Tuesday, September 06, 2011
For *off-grid* PV solar, we have reached and exceeded fridge parity!
My father has a house at west point, and since the electricity grid (nor the water grid) does not reach there, a combination of power alternatives does the job for off grid. Just a few years ago, the most economical off grid fridge alternative was a gas fridge. A twelve volt power system with four Lead acid batteries for storage and one solar panel (80 W) was enough for a tiny (all 12V) bar fridge, lighting, tv and charging of phones. Now with just 2 80W solar panels and a few extra batteries for good measure, there is enough power for a full size 12V fridge freezer! Being that the house is not always occupied, the fridge can stay on and neither drain money nor waste food. Air conditioners are still most economical with diesel generators run as needed, and gas cannot really be beaten for cooking, but I believe this is a very important milestone for solar over fossil fuels for off-grid purposes. This has required *NO SUBSIDIES*. It is prohibitively expensive to convert a system optimised for greed feed-in to a system optimised for off-grid purposes. This is why greed feed-in is useless in power blackouts - no storage - no internal power regulation - inefficient upconversion from 12V to 240V.