A stand-alone small solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system operates
off-grid – in other words, it isn't connected to a electricity distribution
grid operated by a utility.
A stand-alone PV system makes sense if any of the following apply:
You live in a remote location where it's more cost effective than
extending a power line to a grid.
You're considering a hybrid
electric system – one that uses both a PV (solar electric)
system and a small
wind electric system.
You need minimal amounts of power; e.g., for irrigation control equipment
and remote sensors.
Anyone can take advantage of outdoor
solar lighting – a stand-alone PV application.
For more information on small stand-alone solar electric systems, see operating
your system off the grid. Compare with small
grid-connected solar electric systems.