Resource I've been building -

alexj Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
Hi all,

I just wanted to share a resouce - - that I have put together that gathers what I have spent years learning while designing/installing solar in the US and Latin America. It has no commercial interest and is primarily targeted at audiences in the developing world, but the general concepts are the same and the design section is based upon best practices/the NEC, so it should serves as a valuable resource for any location. It is based upon Wikipedia's platform, is open source, and is intended to be collaborative and avaialble in various languages as time goes on. A few notes:
  • Covers all major concepts associated with off-grid PV systems with graphics.
  • Provides a complete walk-through of various off-grid system configurations.
  • Provides an Excel based design tool that greatly simplifies off-grid system design.
It is, and will always be, a work in progress. The willingness of people on this forum to share their knowledge to help others has been an inspiration for me and I am merely trying to work towards that same goal. I would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback or input.

Take care!



  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021 #2
    Something about Lightning Protection should be included, including Step Voltage hazards, which just killed a bunch of kids in school in
    And Franklin Rods for lightning prone areas

    Video: Lightning Occurrence and Casualties in Uganda
    Lightning continues to kill Students
    Six high school students killed by lightning in Ivory Coast

    Six students were killed by lightning in front of their high school on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 5, 2021. 
    The six students, returning home from school, took shelter from the rain in a shed. Two were killed on the spot. Four died of their injuries after being evacuated to the general hospital.

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • alexj
    alexj Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for that. I have been gathering information on lightning for a couple of years now. It is just such a complicated/critical topic and I am not an expert, so I have been somewhat reluctant to write anything on the topic. But you are right that it is important to at least have some basic information to raise concerns about the hazards and safety of lightning. The two questions that I typically get in Peru that are I find somewhat difficult to answer in a small system/low budget context are:
    -Will this PV system increase the risk of lightning strikes in my area? It seems quite difficult to quantify how much a small scale PV system could increase the potential for a lightning strike and how much it increases the risk to the occupants of a building. I am scared of giving definitive answers as I recognize my ignorance and don't want to be held accountable for my answer. Lightning is such a capricious beast.
    -What can I do to mitigate the lightning hazard in my area and/or any hazard created by the PV system? It seems like many hazard reduction/mitigation strategies are quite expensive and complicated. This seems to put them out of the reach of many folks. I am always open to discussing this topic to try to learn if there are any appropriate low tech/low cost solutions for small scale systems in the developing world.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. I have scoured all of the threads on here over the years and the rest of the internet, but still feel like I am lacking a concrete way to address the topic.

    Take care!


  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,523 admin

    Here is a FAQ about solar power... And includes many issues like lightning protection, grounding, and fuses/circuit breakers:

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset