GSA’s system has been tested in a 3bedroom 3bathroom model home. The home does not have a metering system connected to the grid making it completely off grid. The home has been monitored August of 2015 and has successfully proven the viability of off-grid solar in a market where blackouts and brownouts are a common occurrence. The table below displays the various appliances being used in the home and the total power each appliance uses during an average day:
Total Electricity Consumption of Model Home
|Appliance||Quantity||Power (watts)||Run Time||Electricity Consumption (watt hours)|
|Fan||2||50 (each)||15 hours||1500|
|AC Unit||1||1100||2 hours||2200|
|Sound System||1||70||4 hours||280|
|Interior Bulbs||12||6 (each)||7 hours||504|
|Exterior Bulbs||9||6 (each)||12 hours||648|
The use of appliances will vary according to system size, and behavior modification may be necessary due to size constraints of the system in use. The model home provided us the opportunity to characterize how the system performs. By monitoring energy usage in the model home, we were able to establish a set of best practices for system use, including:
- When using high voltage appliances such as a microwave or AC, it is best to run them one at a time to prevent rapid battery drainage.
- High voltage appliances are best used during the day when the battery bank can be replenished; these appliances can only be used for a limited amount of time at night.
- Leaving appliances/lights turned on when not in use wastes energy and drains the battery.
- Customer education, awareness, and possible behavior change will be key in the implementation of off grid solar systems.