Off grid solar system in containers and trailers

Off grid solar system in containers and trailers

BlogRenewable Energy

“Volts Energies designs turnkey, custom-made residential, commercial and industrial systems for your off-grid energy needs.”

Our systems are preassembled, tested in the workshop, installed and delivered in different forms:

  • Fixed, in sea container or custom shelters
  • Mobiles, trailer or vehicle
  • Existing buildings or poles

This article focuses more on systems in containers and trailers that are typically found in commercial applications such as outfitters, forest camps, industrial sites in remote areas, etc.

In this type of context, long trips to sites and on-site conditions can all the more justify a solution pre-assembled in advance and ready for commissioning. Indeed, an existing shelter, resistant to the exterior environment (sometimes harsh climatic conditions) and the integrity of the equipment, is not always available on site.

Off grid solar system Off grid solar system

Container systems

It is thus possible to mount the solar system in a container. During the preparation in workshop, several improvements can be made: separation wall between the main solar components and a generator, battery compartment (when emanating gas), thermal insulation, controlled thermostatic insulation, heating of the enclosure, LED lighting, fire extinguisher, CO2 detector, electrical input etc.

Depending on the project, the solar panels can be installed separately on poles or on roofs of existing buildings, or on the container itself using custom-made brackets.

Container energy systemsContainer energy systems

Container energy systemsContainer energy systems

Advantages:

  • All-in-one enclosure that houses the entire system, weatherproof, outdoor environment and flight
  • Suitable for projects with high energy consumption where equipment weight (batteries, generators in particular) is less restrictive
  • Space needed can be adapted with a container 20 or 40 feet

Disadvantages:

  • Cost of transport to the site according to distance
  • Non movable once installed on site (unless with an adapted logistic justified by a move)
  • Often requires the installation of solar panels separated from the container due to the scale of this kind of project that often involves tens of solar panels, so not integrable on the roof of the container

See example of container system presently used by an outfitter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmJdeoAGrao

 

Trailer Systems

A system can also be mounted on a trailer when the application requires a mobile power source. For example, construction companies and mobile services in remote areas of the electrical network (logging camps, mining, etc.), or multimedia event companies, moving from one site to another.

In this case, the solar panels are integrated on the roof of the trailer using customized supports. When the trailer is stopped, the solar panels can be deployed and locked at their operating tilt.

When the trailer is moving, the panels can be folded and locked on the roof (horizontal) and one of the side walls (vertical) of the trailer. They can continue to produce for recharging batteries.

In addition to the advantage of mobility, a trailer system enables to select an optimal location for the energy production by solar panels (South orientation) on all the sites where it goes.

Also, the inclination offered by the supports of the panels, once deployed, make it possible to avoid the problems of snow accumulation.

Depending on the daily energy needs, the amount of solar panels and batteries can vary, which also influences the choice of trailer in terms of length, space available inside, resistance to the equipment weight etc.

The custom fittings are similar to those made for container systems.

Advantages :

  • Mobile, easily moved at a lower cost
  • All-in-one enclosure that houses the entire system including solar panels, weatherproof, outdoor environment and theft

Disadvantages:

  • Cost of transport to the site according to distance
  • Limited project scale due to weight of equipment to be transported
  • May need more care as often moving, and sometimes more attention as more exposed to theft
Off grid solar system in containers and trailers
Off grid solar system in trailers

See example of solar trailer presently used by a forest camp:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxtcpVi6mEY&t=6s

For each of the two types of installations, Volts Energies integrate systems of diagnosis and remote monitoring allowing:

  • Improved performance and proactive management of your system
  • Management, analyzes, remote updates
  • Production monitoring, status and alarms in real time
  • 24/7 emergency service

 

By Clement Benoit, Volts Energies.