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SolarPowerStore – Information



Who are We?

SolarPowerStore is a family owned, Canadian business, designing, supplying and installing Photovoltaics (PV, Solar Electric Power).

Since 1989 we have been expanding to service agricultural clients, government contracts, and exports to Africa and the Americas.

However, our main client base remains the local "off grid" clients in cottages, camps, vacation homes, or on islands.

At SolarPowerStore we pride ourselves with offering our expertise and honestly assessing what our clients can realistically expect from solar power. We are in the alternative energy business because like many others we share the dreams of fulfilling a high standard of living, convenience and happiness without the need for the excessive useage of eco-damaging fuel sources. It is very clear that the future will require a much greater dependence on the clean quiet power of solar electricity; at SolarPowerStore we are at the cutting edge of these coming changes and look forward to playing an important role. Solar power isn't just for satellites anymore!

Our continued growth has been entirely due to word of mouth advertising. Often a client will seek us out, and we bring the convenience of this technology to their remote site. It is not long before the neighbours wonder "where did all the generator noise go?"

Quickly and quietly the neighbourhood realises the benefits of solar power...and soon join our client list and advertising team!

LET OUR EXPERIENCE HARNESS THE CONVENIENCE OF SOLAR FOR YOU!

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Is Solar Power for You?

Photovoltaics (solar electric power) are certainly not for everyone...Of course there are no limits as to what we can do and PV always makes sense in the long run, but reality dictates that for certain applications it is not yet financially viable. Photovoltaics has nothing to do with water, heating swimming pools or heating your house. It is an excellent source of electricity for telecommunications, lighting, televisions, microwaves, power tools, vacuum cleaners, computers, radios, fans, pumps, telephones, and electronics.

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"I have hydro now . . . is solar cheaper?"

In Canada, NO! Unfortunately at this time we are not a viable alternative to your local hydro utility. (we are close though!) Utility generated electricity is cheap, really cheap in North America, this is because society is just beginning to pay some of the real costs of fossil fuel and nuclear generated electricity.

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"What if I don't have hydro?"

If you do not have hydro yet (or are running on a generator) and the utility wants more than $5000.00 to hook you into the grid; we can save you money!! Solar is definitely for you. (Generally...it now costs between 20 and 35 dollars per metre for utility hook ups)

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How Do Photovoltaics Work?

Photovoltaics (PV or solar electric power) is the creation of electrical current from light energy. Simply put...a photon of light strikes a silicon solar cell and causes an electron to "jump" accross the P/N junction. As each electron jumps one after another with a load connected we complete a circuit + we get natural direct current electricity. (The same type that is created chemically by batteries) The PV cells are assembled into a panel (or module) to give us a specific current and voltage we can work with. These panels are then configured in series and/or parallel to give us the power we need. All a panel needs is to be facing the sun with no shading and it is producing electricity...no noise...no pollution...no maintenance. At first when you hear about a small 50 watt panel you may say:"50 Watts! Is that all?" but keep in mind: you pedalling on a lifecycle at the gym for an hour is 50 watts! That panel will do that every hour it has full sun for 30 or more years!!!

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History of Photovoltaics (PV)

"The photovoltaic effect" (The ability of a solar cell to create electricity from available light) was first noted by the French physicist Edmund Becquerel in 1839. But it wasn't until the 1950's when Bell Laboratories in the U.S. made a modern working photovoltaic cell that useable solar power came into existence.

By the late 1950's the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration was relying on photovoltaics research to provide the power for its spacecraft. It was out of the lab and working.

Today's modern cells are the result of years of expert research and incredible amounts of research money. Without a large investment we can acquire a wonderful technology that is practical and operates day after day, year after year, diligently turning all available light into useable energy with no environmental impact! No Noise, No Smoke, No overhead wires, No Fuel or Fumes, No moving parts to breakdown, No Maintenance!

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How It Works:

Within an individual silicon cell there are two layers of impure silicone: One side is "doped" with an element that tends to lose a valence shell electron and the other with one that needs one more electron to fill its valence shell. Often manufacturers use Boron and Phosphorous This sets up a situation where one side tends to be positive and the other negative. Where they meet is called the P/N junction. One has a tendency to give up an electron and the other has a tendency to attract an electron. Light energy in the form of photons creates a movement of electrons across the P/N junction (i.e.: current when you have a load attached). Each of these cells are connected with other cells in series and in parallel to form a module. Modules are then grouped into arrays which create a large source of power.

There are presently thousands of PV installations all over the world. Locally there are notable installations at:

  • The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's Baxter Conservation Centre near Kars Ontario South of Ottawa.
  • In Toronto at The Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place and the Kortright Conservation centre.
  • And in Sudbury at Science North.
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How Does It Make Life Easier?

Once we have an array of panels in the sun, we regulate the power and store it in large powerful batteries to be used later. Then we pass the direct current electricity through a device called an inverter. The inverter changes the electricity to alternating current (just like the kind that comes out of the wall socket back home!) Now you have regular, boring old electricity and can plug anything you have back at home into your vacation residence. No adapters, no fuss, just plug in and go.

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Why Choose SolarPowerStore?

You already know us...Odds are your neighbour told you about us! You may even have seen a SolarPowerStore system running.

Experience

Our systems are increasingly more powerful, more versatile, and able to do any task our clients require. Yet they continue to be user friendly, simple to operate, no moving parts, and practically maintenance free.

Service

Our team is dedicated to providing top quality equipment; all problems are handled by us. You don't have to track down manufacturers for warranty service and you don't have to order your system blindly from some catalogue. We ensure your equipment is performing at peak efficiency.

Quality Products

SolarPowerStore offers a wide variety of products from many manufacturers and is continually testing new products to keep our clients up to date.

Price

Anywhere on earth we are extremely competitive;
We ship or install anywhere!
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How Do We Get Started?

Ask us about doing a load analysis; basically you must "guess" at your potential power use at your location. Because you will own the power company you must insure that it has the capacity to meet your peak loads, now and in the future. Start by writing down all the devices you wish to use along with the duration and frequency of use. Some clients have a few basic safety needs like a cell phone and can stay small and inexpensive. Others may wish to have all the conveniences at their remote site and demand a larger more complex system.

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Can We Do It Ourselves?

YES ! Our staff is happy to assist you in designing and preparing to install a safe and reliable solar power system.

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Is It Easily Expandable?

YES ! Provided you prepare for it at the outset, expansion is simple.

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What Systems are Available?

  • Each system is completely different and depends on the client.
  • The systems that follow are examples to give you a rough idea:

A small 12 volt system:

50 watt panel and regulator, 12 volt light, 12 volt pump
(you need a 12 volt deep cycle battery, wire, mounting hardware, fuses)

Cabin System:

You can run any household devices up to 800 watts.
2 to 4, 75 watt panels, regulator, Mounting Rack, Fused disconnect, 800 watt Inverter, Inverter Cables, Meters
You need a battery bank
You need wiring and hardware

Weekend Cottage:

Same as Cabin System above but use a 2400 watt inverter. Now you can use up to 2400 watts (microwave oven)

Vacation Retreat:

Basically a summer residence you can enjoy 8 to 10 months a year. If you only visit off and on you can do with less PV panels. 8 to 14, 85 watt panels. Control panel and interface with metering, back up generator interface/remote start, RS232 interfaceability/remote digital monitoring, safety shut down controls/breakers, battery bank, Interconnects, wire, hardware, Inverter Cables, Battery Cables
4000 Watt Inverter.

Recreation Vehicle (RV):

The combinations are endless !!! Let us design an affordable system specific to your needs, location and budget

House Example:House Example Icon

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Generator vs. Renewables Debate (The Short Version):
Generator Pro Generator Con
  • Great gobs of power really cheap
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Requires: Oil, Fuel, Maintenance
  • Noisy
  • Dirty
  • Ecologically harmful
PV Pro PV Con
  • Cheaper in the long run
  • Zero maintenance
  • Longevity without emissions
  • Expensive to set up

Winner: Solar
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— Respect the Earth —



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