Solar Market Outlook in the Bahamas
Bahamas is one of those countries that belong in what is so-called the “Hurricane Alley”. After many years of being hit by a hurricane, most of its power and electrical grid had been destroyed. This is why the Bahamas government is looking at renewable energy sources as a viable alternative and solar energy makes a valid case.
The Prime Minister of the Bahamas is leading the talks to focus more on empowering its solar energy market. Prior to this, the main energy source is with diesel-fueled generating stations that rely on overhead lines to feed power to the islands.
Due to the risk of storms and hurricanes, they are planning to build a solar grid that will be storm-proof. This push was started way back in 2017 and while the progress is slow, it is moving at a steady pace.
The long-term goal for the solar market in the Bahamas is to transform it into a green island. According to the government, while the country is small, they hope to set an example to the rest of the world that solar energy can be achieved.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in the Bahamas
With the continued commitment by the government to empower the solar energy market in the Bahamas, there are wide arrays of solar equipment suppliers that are available in the island. For those looking for more options, there are nearby countries that provide easy access to solar panels, solar components, and more.
Major Seaports & Logistics in the Bahamas
The shipping and logistics activity in the Bahamas is very much thriving. This makes it easy to access solar power equipment from suppliers in and out of the island.
The following seaports make it efficient to handle goods for solar power installations:
- Inagua Islands,
- South Riding Point
- Ocean Cay.
What Is a Hybrid Solar System?
As the name suggests, a hybrid solar system is a solar system that combines the best characteristics from both grid-tie and off-grid solar systems. In other words, a hybrid solar system generates power in the same way as a common grid-tie solar system but uses special hybrid inverters and batteries to store energy for later use. For this reason, hybrid solar systems are oftentimes described as off-grid solar with utility backup power or grid-tie solar with extra battery storage.
What Are the Advantages of a Hybrid Solar System?
Hybrid solar systems offer two primary advantages to their potential users. These advantages are as follows:
Hybrid solar systems are less expensive than off-grid solar systems. With this kind of solar system, it is not needed to have a backup generator, and the capacity of the battery bank can be downsized. Additionally, off-peak electricity from the utility is also cheaper than diesel.
The introduction of hybrid solar systems has opened up many interesting innovations. New inverters let homeowners take advantage of changes in the utility electricity rates throughout the day. Case in point: solar panels happen to output the most electrical power at noon — not long before the price of electricity peaks — but though that’s the case, the building can be programmed to consume power during off-peak hours (or from the solar panels). Long story short, smart solar such as the hybrid PV system holds a lot of promise.
What Are the Equipment Needed for Hybrid Solar Systems?
Typical hybrid solar systems have the following additional components:
- Solar Charge Controller. Solar charge controllers, also known as charge regulators or battery regulators, limit the rate of current being delivered to the battery bank and protect the batteries from overcharging.
- Battery Bank. As the name suggests, a battery bank is a group of batteries that are wired together.
- DC Disconnect Switch. AC and DC safety disconnects are required for all solar systems. But just like an off-grid solar system, a hybrid solar system requires one additional DC disconnect to be installed between the battery bank and the inverter. This is used to switch off the current flowing between these components. The DC disconnect switch is important for maintenance, troubleshooting, and protection against electrical fires.
- Battery-Based Grid-Tie Inverter. Hybrid solar systems utilize battery-based grid-tie inverters. These devices combine can draw electrical power to and from battery banks, as well as synchronize with the utility grid.
- Solar meter. Essentially, a solar meter is a device that is used to measure kWh production from a solar system. Solar meters collect PV yield production and local energy consumption to monitor and analyze PV plant performance.
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