EKISTICS is the science that draws on the
combined talents of the professional design community
to shape and define future settlements.

Remote Habitat Photovoltaic Applications

Remote home applications continues to be a strong market segment in the US, North America in general and around the world.

In the U.S., the largest growing subcategory in this segment is power for middle-class first homes and vacation cabins. Within this sub category, typical systems include:
· minimum electricity for basic lighting and appliances
· full power systems, generally including generator-set back up
including a growing number of installations within range of potential utility grid connection.

A private residence is one of several new off-grid homes only 1300 feet from Sierra Pacific's powerlines and is a typical remote home installation. The solar-electric system automatically tracks the sun, storing the power in deep cycle rechargeable batteries. Two 2000 Watt inverters provide continuous 110 Volt electricity, and are the brains of the electrical system. Back-up power is provided by woodstove and propane generator set.

The PV system powers normal household amenities; microwave, washer & dryer, dishwasher, 110 volt refrigerator, curling irons, hairdryer, coffee maker, disposal, stereo and computer.

EXAMPLE: The Navajo Nation continues to install photovoltaic for remote homes throughout Arizona and New Mexico. A typical modular PV power system consists of one 50-80 watt photovoltaic module, two rechargeable batteries, and a control panel. Navajo houses are wired for three 15 watt fluorescent lights, wall switches and 12 volt appliance outlet. Thousands of Navajo Nation homes currently have PV modules.

Larger Navajo Nation home systems typically consist of multiple ground-mounted PV modules, that produce sufficient electricity to power five or more lights, water circulation equipment, television and other energy efficient 12 volt appliances.

The are a good number of manufactures of PV powered D.C. refrigerators and freezers, worldwide. By making full size refrigerators highly efficient and well insulation a typical remote home application may need as few as three PV modules or as many as twelve to provide the necessary charging power. Typical 16 cubic foot PV-powered refrigerator/freezers have been tested to operate on as little as 42 Amp Hours/ day in 70 degree ambient temperatures, using three 47 watt chargers. In contrast, a typical AC refrigerator of equivalent size would require over 20 similar PV modules.

copyright S.K. Lowe 1995-2007