Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance

Charge Controller Rating 
Additional Factors Affecting Equipment Selection
Calculations – Duplicable City Center
Calculations – Earthbag Village
Calculations – Intertie of City Center and Earthbag Village
Penetration of the Microgrid – Initial Setup and Preparing for Contingencies
Maintenance and Control
Initial Cost Analysis
Open Source Content Coming Later
Consultants for this factor of One Community


RELATED PAGES (Click icons for the complete pages)
Highest Good strength, green power, off the grid residing, eco-living, going green, sustainable energyHighest Good housing, cob construction, earthbag creation, straw bale production, earthship production, subterranean creation, sustainable houses, eco-homesEarthbag Village Icon, building with earthbags, earthbag structure, earthbag creation, earthbag houses, open source structure, Highest Good Housing, One Community, Sustainable Community Construction, Eco-living, Green Living, Community Living, Self-sufficiency, Highest Good for All, One Community Global, Earthbag Village, Straw Bale Village, Cob Village, Compressed Earth Block Village, Recycled Materials Village, Shipping Container Village, Tree House Village, DCC, open source architecture, open source creation, sustainable housing, eco-tourism, international transformation, inexperienced creation, LEED Platinum, sustainable village, green village LEED Platinum Village, Eco-residing villageduplicable town center, solution based totally questioning, One Community, SEGO Center, metropolis hub, exercise middle, eco middle, sustainable living, ecological residing, inexperienced residing, eco-endeavor, institution laundry center, for The Highest Good of AllWind strength value analysis and implementation detailsEco-friendly Insulation, Green Insulation, Eco-friendly Insulation, Ecologically Conscientious Insulation, Ecologically Conscious Insulation, Most Sustainable Insulation, Toxin-loose Insulation, non-poisonous Insulation, wholesome Insulation, Highest Good housing, eco-housing, sustainable production, eco-friendly creation, holistic production, healthy creation, secure production, constructing ecologically, eco-protection materials, eco-housing materials, inexperienced creation, One Community GlobalHydro electricity value analysis and implementation detailsControl, automation, and tracking structures – click on for complete page


Solar array price evaluation and implementation detailsA microgrid is a localized generating station to satisfy the strength desires of a nearby network. In our case, the localized generating station generates energy from solar and wind energy, referred to as allotted strength resources (DERs). Typically, a microgrid is designed to fulfill the needs of the locality in “islanded mode” wherein the microgrid is jogging self sustained and stale-grid. To ensure power at all times, the utility grid continues to be connected to the microgrid and drawn upon as wished.

Because sun and wind electricity are intermittent in nature, the subsequent device is used inside the microgrid to correctly supply electricity:

Converters – Convert direct contemporary (DC) electricity to alternating modern (AC) energy
Energy Storage – We’re recommending deep-cycle batteries
Controllers – Designed for Depth of Discharge (DOD) and State of Charge (SOC) to extend system existence span.
Local Backup – e.G. Installing Diesel Generators in case the DERs do no longer provide enough power.

Solar array cost analysis and implementation detailsOur goal is to make sun an easier do-it-yourself assignment. Solar generation isn’t rocket technology, however there are various technical phrases and standards humans need to be privy to earlier than enforcing any changes to their electricity infrastructure. To help with this even as also teaching all this is wanted for replication, we are open sourcing right here the whole thing for the Duplicable City Center and Earthbag Village Microgrid. As they arise, we will open source extra evolutions for the other 6 villages too.

The Duplicable City Center is designed with 12 traveller rooms and shared social areas to house approximately two hundred-three hundred people. The Earthbag Village includes 72 man or woman houses to deal with approximately one hundred fifty humans. By open sourcing the technique and details for the microgrid setup for these constructions, and later the opposite 6 villages, meals infrastructure, and many others., our desire is to offer the know-how essential for:

Duplication as part of any mission replicating our designs
Referencing as a starting point for similar but specific projects
Better expertise for any DIY sun panel installation project under consideration



Off-grid power infrastructures, also called “microgrids,” are a non-traditional shape of energy generation which might be turning into increasingly more popular for off-grid design and/or anybody concerned about grid stability. They paintings independently or at the side of the grid in an effort to reduce stress on current infrastructure whilst strengthening grid resilience. Some of the blessings of microgrids are:

Enhanced Reliability – They mitigate grid disturbances
Efficiency of Delivery – They reduce electricity losses in transmission and distribution
Reduced Per-unit Cost – They deliver down the fee of energy production
The idea of microgrids may be an power recreation changer due to the fact they decentralize the traditional power device model. Every power system involves era, transmission, and distribution. But in the case of microgrids, power is generated as close as viable to the distribution stop. Thus the term “dispensed strength sources” (DERs).

DERs are usually renewable resources of electricity, the maximum broadly used being sun and wind. These resources are without problems available and among the most green assets. When part of a microgrid, they also offer usually-on strength via multi-mode backup options like grid-connection and/or backup generators, avoiding the every now and then significant rate of energy outages.

Here we talk information of micro-grid design and implementation with the subsequent sections:

Why Solar
Where to Set Up a Solar Microgrid
Determining How Much Power to Produce
Microgrid Terminology Differences
System Design and Equipment
Solar Sizing
Foundational Calculations
Inverter Sizing
Battery Sizing
Charge Controller Rating
Additional Factors Affecting Equipment Selection
Calculations – Duplicable City Center
Calculations – Earthbag Village
Calculations – Intertie of City Center and Earthbag Village
Penetration of the Microgrid – In case of contingencies
Maintenance and Control

The solar rises each day and even regions with huge amounts of rain can provide sun strength. It is only a be counted of the way a lot and whether or not or no longer it’s far sufficient to justify the fee of solar over different strength options. Using free sources like Google’s Project Sunroof or NREL’s Solar Maps, you can test the viability of sun in your location. Our region indicates sun could be very possible and so is wind. If it is a superb choice for your region you may additionally be glad about those additional solar blessings:

Emission Free Technology: Power constituted of solar panels has 0 emissions, resulting in advanced water exceptional and no additional CO2 brought to our ecosystem.
Fixed Energy Cost: Installing rooftop sun panels is regarded upon as an funding. Unlike power from traditional resources, sun produces power at a hard and fast rate irrespective of the burden call for. This allows offer house owners an estimate on their application bills and saves power. (Googles’ Solar Savings Estimator is a terrific tool in case you’d like a fun manner to start exploring the blessings of a rooftop solar project for any US cope with you input.)
Ease of Installation: Nowadays, rooftop sun panels are commonly handiest needed to provide a few kilowatts to make experience for home use. They can be installed without difficulty with right system and popular safety measures.
Net Metering: Smart meters now include internet metering, monitoring solar electricity production whilst any extra energy is fed back to the grid. Homeowners save cash on their energy bills and in a few states end up eligible for added incentives furnished by using application companies for excess energy sent returned to the grid.
This photo explains how this works:

Image 1 for Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance page, One Community
Click for Image Source

Here is a video about how microgrids paintings:

Here is a video discussing SolarCity and Tesla’s Ta’u Microgrid diesel alternative for the complete island:

Highest Good society, fulfilled dwelling, enriched lifestyles, enriching lifestyles, living to live, how to live an enriched life, retaining all of it walking, sustainable living, social architecture, fulfilled residing, thriving, thrivability, emotional sustainability, the best existence, a new way to liveIn order to accumulate most electricity output from the panels, they want to get as plenty sun as feasible. This means they should be placed someplace without shadows, on the south aspect of structures, and at an an perspective based in your website’s latitude.

This picture shows a preferred example of the distinction in the Sun’s course and perspective during the summer season as opposed to the winter:

photograph three for Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance page, One Community
The solar specifics for each place is extraordinary and those websites may be used to decide the exceptional attitude(s) in your panels.

Here is a more distinctive image displaying our region’s solar angles with a further time of the 12 months for the open source Tropical Atrium:


Image 2 for Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance web page, One CommunitySun Angles on the Tropical Atrium – Click for extra info about this shape

Another consideration whilst putting in your microgrid is the distance from the grid to the factor of use. The longer the distance (and hotter the temperature) the more capability for power loss. Longer distances (and will increase in heat) are compensated by the use of large (and extra high priced) wire; but shorter distances are more green.

To in addition clarify and decide your own calculations, this website calculates voltage drop primarily based on distance and temperature:


Highest Good society, fulfilled living, enriched lifestyles, enriching existence, dwelling to stay, how to live an enriched lifestyles, retaining it all running, sustainable dwelling, social architecture, fulfilled dwelling, thriving, thrivability, emotional sustainability, the best life, a new way to livePower to be produced/generated is decided as a complete of load demand (how an awful lot strength is needed by way of device) and losses incurred (how much electricity is lost via equipment, wiring, and many others.).

I.E. Generation = Load Demand + Losses

This is the conventional approach of determining strength manufacturing. With both a traditional grid and an off-grid (or grid-tied) microgrid, losses are categorised into constant (guaranteed to happen) and variable (dependent upon gadget layout). They arise due to warmness dissipation.

Fixed losses would be:

Unwanted heating of resistive additives: The heating of resistive additives caused by stresses on system and accounted for based on equipment specs
The impact of parasitic factors which includes resistance, capacitance, and inductance: The losses experienced inside the circuits themselves and based on system necessities
Skin impact: Accumulation of rate on the surface of the conductors
Losses inside the transformer: Eddy currents, hysteresis, undesirable radiation, dielectric loss, corona discharge, and so forth.
Eddy Current: a localized electric powered modern-day precipitated in a conductor through a varying magnetic subject
Hysteresis: In this circumstance the magnetic induction lags behind the magnetizing force
Dielectric loss: This cost quantifies dielectric (insulatory) substances’ inherent dissipation of electromagnetic electricity particularly in the form of warmth
Corona Discharge: This condition is determined as a glow round a conductor at excessive ability specially due to ionization of air
Transmission and distribution losses: These are because of prolonged traces, conductor sizing, unbalanced systems, low strength component, load component, overloading of traces, distance between distribution transformer and load center, and so on.
Variable losses would be:

Maintenance, anticipated and sudden outages, energizing of gadget in the course of top and coffee call for hours, etc.
Note: As stated before, microgrids are installed at the distribution cease – that means installation and energy collection happens where the electricity is wanted. Thus, transmission losses are negligible.


In case of a solar microgrid, the idea to decide the strength generated is similar to a traditional grid: load + losses. The method and technical terminology used may be exclusive though with a microgrid. This is due to the fact we are running with sun panels, batteries and inverters in place of traditional-grid turbines, transmission strains, and many others.

With a microgrid based totally on renewable, intermittent solar energy, the following terminology is helpful to understand (and distinct from) a traditional grid-tied machine:

Insolation and shading of area: This time period refers to the the quantity of solar radiation achieving a given vicinity
Capacity issue: The ratio of actual strength generated over a year by the mounted potential
Storage machine: Energy financial savings produced at one time for use at a later time. In the case of microgrids, deep cycle batteries are our advice
Inverter losses – This term depicts the performance of the inverter. Efficiency varies consistent with power used at the time and is typically extra with elevated power utilization. An inverter uses some electricity from batteries even when it isn’t always delivering any AC output, resulting in low efficiencies at low strength levels
Conductor sizing: The length of the conductor plays a prime role within the gadget losses. The resistance of the conductor decreases because the radius of the conductor increases. This is discovered within the method for resistance (R) in terms of resistivity (ρ), length (L), and radius (r) of the conductor:
R = ρL / πr2

Low resistance in flip, reduces the gadget losses. System losses are without delay proportional to the conductor Resistance times Current (I) squared thru the conductor as the consistent factor:

System Losses = R x I2

Efficiency of rate controller: Charge controllers regulate the voltage and modern coming from the solar panels going to the battery. This facilitates prevent the batteries from overcharging. Therefore, their efficiency varies based on the battery price
Solar panel I-V characteristic curves: demonstrate the modern-day and voltage (I-V) characteristics of a specific photovoltaic (PV) cell, module, or array and provide a detailed description of its solar electricity conversion capacity and efficiency. Knowing the electric I-V traits (greater importantly Pmax) of a sun panel is crucial in determining the tool’s output performance and solar performance
The I-V graph underneath offers an in depth explanation of parameters to study while figuring out the sun panel.

Photo 4 for Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance web page, One Community
Important parameters mentioned from the above I-V feature curve are:
VOC = Open-circuit voltage: This is the maximum voltage that the array presents while the terminals aren’t connected to any load (an open circuit circumstance). This value is an awful lot better than Vmp which relates to the operation of the PV array that is constant by using the load. This price depends upon the number of PV panels related together in series
ISC = Short-circuit modern-day: The maximum modern furnished by means of the PV array while the output connectors are shorted collectively (a quick circuit situation). This fee is tons better than Imp which pertains to the regular running circuit modern
MPP = Maximum strength factor: This relates to the factor wherein the power furnished by way of the array related to the weight (batteries, inverters) is at its most value, where MPP = Imp x Vmp. The most energy point of a photovoltaic array is measured in watts (W) or height watts (Wp). The Maximum strength factor trackers are programmed to tilt the panels consistent with the location of the solar at some point of the day based on the MPP (= Imp x Vmp) price.

A standard off-grid PV solar machine looks like the discern under:

photo five for Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance web page, One Community
Image Source: www.Nachi.Org

Here are descriptions of all of the system visible inside the determine above:

PV Module: These modules help convert daylight (solar energy) to DC using the idea of photoelectric impact on PV cells, which are nothing however p-n junctions
Technical jargon explanation of a “p-n junction”: A p–n junction or diode is a boundary or interface between styles of semiconductor material, p-kind and n-type, inside a single crystal of semiconductor. The “p” (superb) facet contains an extra of holes, whilst the “n” (terrible) side carries an excess of electrons
Solar Charge Controller: Solar fee controllers resource in enforcing sorts of manage:
Tracker manage, additionally noted Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) of the panels and
The state of the Battery: Battery State of Charge (SOC) and Depth of Discharge (DOD).
Inverter: Semiconductor equipment that enables convert DC energy produced at the panels to AC to fulfill the weight call for
Battery: Solar being an intermittent source of power (simplest available when sunny), may be used to price batteries that assist meet the burden call for in instances of inadequate or absent sunlight for solar
Load (AC and DC): Appliances connected to the system act as load. Most residential loads require AC. The use of DC is visible in charging batteries with the help of DC-DC converters. In our layout we run a DC spine of 24V for the converters applied on top of things and automation
Auxiliary Energy Sources/Local Backup: This supply is to behave alternatively for the primary supply of electricity, which in this case is sun. For this unique microgrid infrastructure we decided to go with diesel generators
To assist with further information, right here’s a video about how solar panels work:

This idea of a solar microgrid can be expanded to a solar/wind hybrid layout as well. We realize that solar and wind are complementary resources of energy and an evaluation of a wind microgrid has been achieved as nicely.

To meet the wishes of both the Duplicable City Center and Earthbag Village, an intertie among the 2 has been designed for redundancy and reliability motives. Any variability in the call for of power in a single structure can consequently be met with the assist of energy generated from the alternative shape(s) and vice versa:

picture 6 for Solar Energy Microgrid Setup and Maintenance page, One Community

In case of growth, an economical design have to also take into consideration the following factors related to placement:

The voltage drop at the output of the inverter: There is not any perfect advised distance among the microgrid and masses. But no matter the distance, voltage drop at the output of the inverter should be calculated. Based at the inverter manufacturer used, a voltage drop of two-3% is allowed. This component increases the inverter’s accuracy to maximum energy factor monitoring and the system more efficient.
Conduit layout: The conduit designed to hold contemporary from the device to the hundreds ought to be designed in this kind of way that the filling of the conductors isn’t always extra than 80%. Proper sizing may be located from a conduit fill chart and, in case of trenching, it is able to be an awesome concept to move one length better on the chart.
Tying the structures together: In phrases of better layout, it is low cost to tie the present device to the new one. This improves reliability and balance for the energy being produced. One of the most important factors to recollect in the course of implementation is the design of twine and conduit tying the 2 areas together (Area 1 for the existing structures and Area 2 the brand new device). Make sure the wire used is designed for the worst-case scenario.
DIY Video 1/2, approaches to help One Community, open supply sustainability, One Community globalDo-it-your self video coming, supporting via crowdfunding, crowdfunding sustainability



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *