grid tied / off-grid kits, solar panels, home backup
Blue Pacific Solar is a nationwide supplier of affordable solar power systems. We specialize in grid-tied packages, backup applications, off-grid energy kits and hybrid solar wind solutions. We have design and technical support professionals who are standing by to help you take the hassle out of buying solar.
Our company takes on the challenge of helping independent minded people create their own energy. At Blue Pacific Solar, our System Integrators can provide polished technical advice on the design and execution of all types of installations. This personalized advice is one of the services that receives the most recognition from our customers.
The products you see here are not just manufactures sales pitches but seasoned systems designed by experienced solar people who have spent years field-testing equipment.
Bright people with extensive industry experience who love technology; experience the value of Blue Pacific Solar and see what the sun's free energy can do for your life.
Tip: Look for the "Good Idea" Tips light bulb as you read through the main pages. There you will find helpful information and plain language advise to help you make better choices.
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Packages
- Even a small grid-tied system can save you money each month. We can provide you with drawings, installation videos, permitting service, rebate assistance and ongoing support.
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- 5880 Watt Off-Grid Solar Kit
- Tennessee off-grid customer. Magnum pre-build power centers make these large, meticulously engineered, systems easy to install. No extra charge for hugs.
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- 2250 Watt Off-grid System
- Where is Scott? With his family at their Illinois weekend cabin fishing and loving life. No noisy generator, no dangerous smelly gasoline. Freedom to spend more time doing what you love most, off-grid living.
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- Magnum 12 Panel Off-Grid Kit
- Yes, this Nevada homeowner, working off our drawings and instructions, installed this 12 panel off-grid system himself. Every do-it-yourselfer knows the feeling of pride that comes with completing a project oneself and knowing that it's a job well done. Saving up to 50% over a professional installation by installing a solar kit while still receiving the federal tax credits and local incentives translates to thousands of dollars in savings down the road. It also means that it's going to take far less time for the kit to pay for itself through the electricity cost savings it will reap each year. This is a no-lose investment that effectively trumps anything happening on Wall Street. A pole mount solar system has to be among the most fun things you can plant with the added benefit of watching your savings grow. Don't take our word for it. Look at this customers face. You will be the envy of all your neighbors.
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TIP; To maximize your energy harvest with a top-of-pole rack, tilt the panels at latitude plus 15 degrees in December, and minus 15 degrees in June.
- DIY Solar; You Are Not Alone
- Yes, this New York State homeowner installed this home emergency backup system himself. The idea of a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) solar install makes some homeowners hesitate for one simple reason: they're nervous to go it alone. From permits to the install itself, people fear the thought of getting it wrong. Consequently, Blue Pacific Solar decided to take this fear right off the table and address what customers need: a dedicated energy consultant assigned to you after your purchase to provide a single contact point. Your technical adviser will answer any questions and guide you throughout the entire process offering their expertise as part of the package. Moreover, the DIY kits' benefits include access our nationwide permit service so buyers have their entire install process streamlined and a backup professional in the wings to steer them through any questions that arise during the install. Whether the install is performed entirely by the homeowner or in conjunction with a local electrician, the cost savings is too compelling to ignore and too practical with the support by us, to do it any other way if the homeowner is remotely inclined to take on the job.
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- 300W 20 Panel 6 kW Kit
- This DIY homeowner in S. CA said, "Arrh! More Power!" 300 watt panels can sometimes allow for a higher kW system using less roof space.
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- Pre-Configured Engineered Systems
- Sally is one of our system integrators. Kicking back with friends in their off-grid cabin is a favorite weekend pastime with her. Modular power centers allow our customers to size expandable systems with prices to fit any budget.
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- Alaska Remote Living
- Off-grid homeowner living his dream in the wilds of Alaska. Best of all, he did it himself. How cool is that? Top-of-the-pole rack, MidNite / Magnum power center with Trojan L-16 batteries powering this remote cabin.
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- MidNite / Magnum Off-Grid Kit w/ On-Grid Option
- 18 - 250 Watt Panels & Magnum Energy power center with on grid capabilities.
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- Enphase 6 kW Grid-Tied
- Enphase microinverters are small DC to AC inverters that attach to each solar panel. These devices allow each panel to operate independently from each other improving energy production when shade is a concern.
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- OutBack Off-Grid 1500W
- Sally loves top-of-the-pole mount solar kits. Why? You can easily change the seasonal angle of the panels and maximize your energy harvest.
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Solar Panels Grid Tied Off-grid DIY Kits Stand Alone Systems; Remote & Emergency Power; AC Coupled Home Backup
Solar panels, grid-tied / off-grid kits and home backup power. The do-it-yourself (DIY) craze is hardly crazy when one considers the mind-boggling cost savings resulting from this trend nationwide. In fact, many people wouldn't call it a trend at all, merely a return to the practical know-how of yesteryear when people simply had to do it themselves and took great pride in their handiwork! Yet few DIY projects are as cost-saving and investment-rich as the installation of a solar system.
The era of solar energy, as many would say, is upon us. From astounding new solar products like AC coupled backup systems and high efficient microinverters to banks of solar panels that provide electricity to run our homes and, eventually, even our cities, the solar revolution may well have begun in earnest. Yet too most people, how solar actually works is a mystery. How do these panels convert sunlight into energy that homeowners can use to power their appliances and their homes, a practice that ultimately protects the environment and leads to cheaper utility bills and economic freedom?
Photon to Electron
So how does a seemingly simple looking panel harness sunlight and transform it into electricity? Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells. These cells are where the conversion from light to electricity takes place. The cells must be made of a material like silicon or a similar single cell semi-conducting material. As light enters the cells, the semi-conductor pulls the energy in the form of electrons from it and allows them to flow through the material. In essence, this flow is actually a current. While the absorption of the light into the cell is enough to free electrons, the cells also contain an electric field that can steer the electrons where they need to go. The current is then steered to the bottom of the panel where it can then be collected and drawn for use externally.
Most people don't think in terms of particles, but light actually hits the PV (photovoltaic) cells as photons. As each photon hits the PV cell, it gives up an electron. While this is putting it somewhat simplistically, this is, indeed, the moment of conversion. The freed electron is absorbed by the silicon where it flows with other electrons into current; hence, electricity is born. Some scientists would say that the real tricky part is enhancing the cell with an electrical field to get all these electrons in line to flow as a current in the required direction: enter silicon.
The Role of the Semiconductor
Silicon is popularly used as the solar cell's semiconductor. Yet it must do more than simply absorb photons; it has to employ an electrical field and get their current moving along. Moreover, it must be fashioned with impurities, because pure silicon will not do the job alone. Phosphorous and boron are added in a process referred to as doping and together these elements in their atomic interaction create the electrical field needed to move the electrons in the prescribed current they need to flow.
From Panel to Refrigerator
After the photons are transformed into electricity, the panels direct this energy to power the home. Some homes, those independent of the utility grid, must rely on battery storage to store energy, yet they may also have to rely on backup generators when there is too much demand on the size of the system. Many people use solar in tandem with the utility companies so that they have a convenient back-up during fluctuating periods of energy. This net metering partnership is a bit involved, but it has also been evolving to become more effective as more and more people choose solar to provide the bulk of electricity to power their homes.
It goes without saying that solar panels are essential for a solar power system. Actually, what you will probably need is known as a solar array. That is because each panel generates a small amount of electricity. The number of panels included in your solar array depends on how much power you need to generate. PV photovoltaic modules, often referred to as solar panels, convert light energy into a direct electrical current (DC). As solid-state devices, solar panels have no moving parts and are extremely reliable and durable compared to any other generator electronic technology. While solar panels have become somewhat commoditized in recent years, there are important differences in form, quality and performance that can impact both installation time and long-term system performance. Our web pages presents a selection of high-quality polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels with a variety of features and cheap price points to suite virtually any homeowners project.
Solar panels come in two types; monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Where home or cabin owner wants their solar installation to be grid tied, off-grid or emergency solar backup each of those systems starts with a solar panel selection. Monocrystalline solar panels are generally higher efficiency, but they tend to derate faster in hotter conditions. Polycrystalline are sometimes considered a better choice for warmer climates, but the truth is that either panel type is so similar the differences are relatively not worth comparing.
What is the Best Solar Panel to Choose? The output power, voltage and current profile of the solar panels will dictate the number of panels needed and what inverters or charge controllers can be used. Small off-grid home or cabin kits often require 12 VDC output panels to directly charge batteries and/or operate DC loads. Larger solar panels with output voltages ranging from 24 to 50 VDC are more commonly used in grid-tie home systems where a high DC voltage is required to operate the inverter. If you have the roof or ground space with limited shading issues on your property, the larger solar panels may provide a better investment since the cost per watt is cheaper than smaller PV (Photovoltaic) panels.
Connect to the Grid or Not, or Both; That is the Question
PV (photovoltaic) systems can be grouped into two categories, off-grid and grid tied. In off-grid systems the energy produced by the solar panels must match the daily demand of the home or cabin, and the power is stored in a set of batteries. With grid-tied solar systems, the local utility company functions essentially as the battery bank during the night. In America, most solar systems are grid-tied with all of the excess electricity generated being fed back to the utility grid hence the term NET metering.
When you hear the term off-grid which is synonymous with stand alone systems, you may generate a picture in your mind of rustic pioneer-type living in a cabin with few modern conveniences. In fact, this is not necessarily the case. While it is true that off-grid solar power is usually not sufficient to power an electric heating and cooling system unless you just won the Lotto or work on wall street, nearly all other appliances can be adequately powered with a properly configured off-grid system. You simply start with a daily energy budget and match the right components to meet your power demands. Check out our off-grid living page for some great information to help you plan the right system for you.
Solar panel mechanical characteristics such as dimensions, frame profile, and static load rating, as well as grounding and mounting locations will need to be understood when designing your home solar grid tied or off-grid system. Frame and back sheet color may also come into play for residential DIY customers. Black frame solar panels are very popular because the aesthetics of the panel blend very well with many roof applications.
Solar Mounting Structures, Racks and Trackers
Solar mounts and solar trackers are nearly as important as the panels themselves. Solar mounts provide the stability your panels require to remain in place. Solar trackers allow you to orient your panels automatically to take maximum advantage of the sun's rays. The IronRidge, SnapNrack and UniRack roof and ground mount module racking we sell were developed by teams of engineers working with installers in the field to ensure quick, efficient installation.
Outback, Magnum Energy, Enphase and SMA; AC Pure Sine Wave Power Inverters
The electrical current generated by your solar array will be direct current, or DC electricity. Most electrical appliances run on alternating current, or AC electricity. A power inverter converts the DC power of your solar array into AC power that your appliances can actually use. DC electricity travels in only one direction but AC electricity alternates back and forth. Without a power inverter, you will be forced to rewire your home and to purchase expensive DC powered appliances over lower cost mass-produced appliances made for the conventional home power source. In some cases, DC powered appliances will not be available and you will have to do without certain appliances. If you intend to be off-grid, you should consider propane to power things like stoves and refrigerators. Heat with a pellet or wood burning stove but make sure they are highly efficient modules that use less fuel.
Deep Cycle Batteries, Battery Monitor and Solar Charge Controllers
Without a deep cycle battery system, you will be unable to store the electricity that your solar power unit generates. This means basically that you will only have power when the sun is shining. Deep cycle batteries are specially configured to be charged and discharged frequently with a high demand system like a solar power system. The battery monitor provides a visual gauge of the electricity generated and stored by your solar power system, while the solar charge controller manages the process of charging your deep cycle batteries making sure they receive just the right amount of power but controlled and regulated throughout the day.
Battery Cables, PV AWG Wire / MC4 Connectors, Combiner Boxes, AC Disconnects; Electrical Distribution Balance-of-System Accessories.
These small items are minor but essential for making your solar power system work. You will need, among other items a solar combiner box, AC breaker panel, DC Breaker box, DC breakers, battery cables, remote temperature sensor, AC and DC wire and solar power cables. Cables and connectors on the solar panels we carry above 80 watts are generally manufactured with PV wire into the panel junction box that are listed to UL 1703. This can save time during installation. The modules with MC4 cable connectors are fully waterproof when connected, touch protected and designed for up to 600 volts DC and 30 Amps. It is important to keep in mind that PV cables cannot be safely disconnected under load. All of our grid tied and off-grid output cables are made with UV resistant wire that is Listed to UL 854. You may also wish to add other solar accessories. Blue Pacific Solar also carries a variety of cable adapters that enable use of optimizers or microinverters that may not be available with the same connector type as the module chosen for the job.
Home Emergency Backup Generator
If you are worried about utility blackouts, take at look at Blue Pacific Solar off-grid power generators and pre-wired, pre-engineered power center equipment. A backup solar generator can provide you with peace of mind during utility power outages and blackout or other weather related emergencies. With a grid-tied system when the utility provided power goes down, your solar power system is nonfunctional, you will be literally in the dark without a backup generator or battery bank to power essential loads. Your solar back up generator will automatically switch over to your battery bank and so that it takes over immediately in the event of a blackout when the grid goes down. Our solar generators are designed in compact kits that work by having stand-by batteries connected to an AC inverter.
AC Coupled Battery Backup Systems
Until very recently there were few options available to homeowner with grid-tied systems to utilize the energy from their solar panels when there is a utility blackout. On our backup solar page we offer a number of stand alone AC coupled emergency backup kits that use your existing solar system with our AC coupled system to provide power to your home in the event the utility goes down. The AC coupled system will take the energy from your solar panels and use it to charge a battery bank that will in turn power your essential loads. Additionally, SMA Sunny Boy 3000TL-US / 4000TL-US / 5000TL-US is a new innovative design and the next step in performance for UL certified inverters. A unique feature provides daytime power from your solar panels even in the event of a grid outage, without the need for batteries.
DIY (Do-it-yourself) off-grid / grid-tied kits, solar panels and pre-wired home backup power packages. Solar can recharge your life while creating jobs in a new economy. Everyday Blue Pacific Solar Technical Sales Consultants are hard at work engineering new ways to help homeowners everywhere; see what the sun's free energy can do for their life.