DC Disconnect: For safety and to meet electrical codes, a disconnecting means needs to be placed between the charge controller and the battery bank. There is also a disconnecting means between the solar array and the charge controller called a combiner box. The combiner also "adds" the current of each panel string together.

Battery Bank: This is your "energy storage" device which allows you to store energy now to use later when the sun isn't shining or you need more loads to be powered.

Wiring Cabinet: Typically, in any solar system, especially off grid systems, there needs to be a large junction box in which to make electrical connections safely. This can also be referred to as a wiring cabinet or power distribution panel. Additionally, AC and DC circuit breakers are located here as well.

Inverter: The inverter is the "heart" of the system. It converts DC voltage and current into AC voltage and current used to run house appliances.

AC Disconnect: Once again, a disconnecting means is needed between two pieces of equipment.

Load Panel: The load panel is where the system power is provided in a safe way to distribute to the load circuits in the house.

The diagram to the right is a block diagram showing the components of the typical off grid system.

Solar Array: The Solar array is your personal power plant. It converts the power of the sun into current to charge your battery bank.

Charge controller: The charge controller is the "traffic cop" controlling charge flow into the battery bank. If the battery bank needs more charging, the charge controller "opens the flood gates" and let's more current in. If the batteries are nearing or are fully charged, the charge controller "throttles back" the amount of current to the batteries.

ORCHID ISLE SOLAR  ​808-345-0660  719-330-2597  or John@orchidislesolar.com

Our personnel at Orchid Isle Solar provide service and repair of off grid solar on the South, East and West sides of the Big Island. We have experience with all the major off grid and grid tied systems and equipment. We offer advice, design assistance, installation services, troubleshooting and commissioning services. We provide service and repair in Pāhoa, HPP, Hilo, Kurtistown, Fern Forest, Keaau, etc.

We specialize in off grid design, installation, service, repairs and upgrades.

With an Electrical Engineer and NABCEP certified Solar Installer on staff, and literally hundreds of Grid Tie and Off Grid systems to our credit, there is not much we haven't seen or worked on. Have a question? Please call and ask. We offer troubleshooting and system evaluation services if you need them.