Off Grid Solar Power Systems Design 101

A simple design process for stand-alone solar PV systems.
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

The goal of this course is to provide a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts necessary to design a stand-alone solar power system. Students will learn to perform application-based load analysis, how to size PV array and configure battery banks to meet energy requirements; students will also learn controllers and inverters design criteria.

The class will consist of a collection of three to five minute lecture videos and exercises. The instructor encourage and challenge students to learn from each other, and interact by helping each other and sharing ideas and best practices, in the course forum.

The course is structured in four section:

  • Stand-alone solar PV basics
  • Load assesment
  • Stand alone PV systems design
  • Conclusion
This course is ideal for those seeking to enter the off grid solar PV industry and, for those already in the industry but seeking to strengthen their design skills.

What are the requirements?

  • Students don’t need prior solar PV knowledge to take this course: all the basics concepts will be explained and, we will also use examples to make sure students understand.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Describe the configuration of stand–alone PV systems
  • Perform load estimate calculations
  • Describe PV array configuration
  • Design battery banks in series and parallel configurations and calculate values for current, voltage, power and energy
  • Identify the appropriate controller and inverter for stand-alone systems
  • Design a complete stand-alone photovoltaic system for any particular application.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course teaches the theory necessary in order to design an off grid photovoltaic (PV) system. It is the ideal course for those seeking to enter the off grid solar PV industry and, for those already in the industry but seeking to strengthen their design skills. Even if the course is particularly indicated for off grid solar PV installers, this course is not a PV systems installation course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

This lecture is about how the course is structured and what you will gain from it. The benefit of the course is that you will be able to size solar power systems of any sizes.

Section 2: Stand-alone solar PV basics

In this lecture, you will discover basics electricity concept. The concept learned are useful for the design of PV systems. We will deifine electricity, energy, power, voltage and current. We will also learn electric circuits configuration and the concept of resistance.


How is sunlight converted in electricity? In this lecture, we will get an answer to this. We will discover the three generation of PV cells and describe their performance. We will also learn the basics terms used in the PV language.


In this lecture we will list the components of off grid PV systems and learn how they work together.


Off grid PV systems rely on battery storage to supply energy when the sun is not available. In this lecture we will discover lead acid batteries, the most used batteries for solar PV applications.


Overcharging and deep discharging are the main causes of bateries premature failure. In this lecture, we will discover the two types of controller used to prevent batteries overcharging and deep discharging.


PV electricity is DC but most appliances are AC. In this lecture we will discover the inverter, the component responsible of converting DC electricity into AC electricity usable by most of appliances.

Section 3: Load assesment

Off grid solar power system are sized based on the load to be connected. In this lecture, student will learn how assess the load.


In this lecture, we give a few tips on how to reduce the demand and therefore impact on the size of the PV system.

Section 4: Stand-alone solar power systems design

The PV array is responsible of generating enough energy to cover the needs of the consumers. In this we will learn how to make an accurate estimate the amount of energy a PV array should deliver.


Energy delivered by PV modules depend on several factors. In this lecture we will learn to estimate the required PV power necessary to deliver enough energy to cover consumers needs.


This lecture is about how PV modules are arranged in a system to build up the voltage or the current.


This lecture present the selection parameters of PWM and MPPT controllers.


In this lecture we will learn how batteries are arranged in a PV system to build up the voltage or the amps hour.


This lecture present inverters selection parameters.

Off Grid Solar Power Systems Sizing Tool 101
1 page
Section 5: Conclusion

This lecture present the three most important career path in the off grid solar industry. We will also discover what is expected from you when embracing one of those careers, and how off grid solar power systems design 101 will help you.

In closing the course

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Instructor Biography

Mathy Mpassy Isinki, Off Grid Energy Solutions Professional

IEEE Smart Village Ambassador, accomplished off grid energy solutions business and technical sales professional technically competent in the applications and installation of off grid photovoltaic systems, as well as in hybrid energy solutions combining diesel generators and solar. 

In addition to providing solutions design; customers development and project management services to the off grid solar industry, Mathy contributes to better energy solutions through training, with the vision of building a better future for under-served communities in off grid locations. 

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