System Design

September 20, 2012

The most common question we hear from customers at Glenergy is, 'What size of system, or how much solar, do we need to power______?  

There is no one-size-fits-all answer! But, if it can be done with solar, we can do it. Here’s a run through of the initial considerations:

The alternative energy system design process begins with a careful evaluation of energy needs. It is important to be thorough and realistic when estimating your energy consumption because the size and cost of a system are directly dependent on the amount of energy that the system will need to provide. Some important questions to ask are:

  • What will the system be powering? (a single light? computer? fridge? etc)
  • How will daily, weekly, and annual usage vary?
  • Where exactly will the system be used?

Your location and the time of year that the system will be used are very important. Hours of effective, full sun can vary tremendously during the year and from place to place. Wind resources are even more variable. If considering a wind-powered system, it is generally advisable to conduct a survey of the site and measure the wind resource available. For residential off-grid applications, hybrid systems including both wind and solar power, are often used, along with a reliable back-up generator.

To help you to begin exploring the system design process, Glenergy has developed a System Design Estimation Tool. This tool will help you to estimate your energy needs, to determine the size of system required to meet those needs, and to find the rough cost for such a system. 

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