Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy

stand-alone small solar electric systems

solar modules
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.

Related category