Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. John, U.S.V.I.

Four Levels of Solar Projects

The four levels of Solar projects by Marv Hart

  1. Portable- A portable unit that can be stored and deployed easily during power outages.  This unit is designed to provide minimum current to support limited refrigeration, lighting, 12v water pump and small appliances. Total usage is 1500 to 2000 watts.  This unit is self-contained and can be wheeled out, solar panels deployed and depending on solar conditions provide survival power during power outages.
  2. Portable w/installed panels– By expanding the portable unit’s capability within it’s same container the amount of current stored and generated is increased for consumption. The big difference is the solar panels are permanently installed and the unit is ready for usage at will.  This option is still not going to fully operate all the needs of a home but will augment the power needs and have an emergency power source functioning
  3. Net Metering– This is the typical “Net Metering” system which is sized to accommodate the needs of the facility and the owners budget.  These systems require permanent installations of solar panels and support equipment.  They do not require batteries for storage. This system utilizes the existing power grid for storage and the resale of access energy back to the grid.
  4. “Off Grid”–  This system, like option #3 requires permanent installation of equipment.  In this case the energy is stored and used by the owner and has no connection with the public utility. A battery system or “Power Wall” is required for this option This option is costly in terms of equipment needed but is free from the utility company.

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