Today’s industrial facilities are more complex than ever with artificial intelligence, IoT clouds, and other advanced technologies. This complexity drives up the cost of industrial operations and limits their ability to scale effectively.
Industrial operations are also highly sensitive to any change in their environment, whether it’s a change in market prices, new regulations, or usage of raw materials. These factors make industrial processes an ideal candidate for solar adoption.
Over 255,000 Americans work in solar across 10,000 companies, and the industry generated almost $33 billion in private investment last year. If you want to explore how solar can pair with your other industrial processes, now is the time.
Benefits of Industrial Solar
Using solar over diesel generators saves money while giving you energy independence. Electricity costs are rising even if you’re grid-tied, and off-grid systems must rely on skyrocketing fuel prices. This increases overhead in the industrial sector and limits the work that can be done remotely.
Solar is a reliable and scalable power solution that can be utilized on-site and off-grid to ensure mission-critical systems are always running. Downtimes is expensive. For example, the average automobile manufacturer loses $22,000 per minute to downtime. Solar provides a reliable power consumption solution that’s environmentally friendly to boot.
Solar is not a catch-all solution that will work well in every case. However, when implemented correctly, it can bring multiple benefits for your business. This is why more companies are choosing to go solar. It is a clean energy source that’s both environmentally and economically friendly, it’s capable of adapting to all new technologies, and it can sustainably keep businesses on the cutting edge.
3 Things to Consider Before Investing in Solar
There’s a clear business benefit to going solar. However, it can be complicated to install. To help you see the advantages of solar energy, here are a few things for you to consider before adopting solar within your specific industry.
- Evaluate load needs.
Before investing in industrial solar integration, you need to determine your current power load. This will ensure you install a system that can handle your most heavy-duty needs.
Start by calculating the total usage of each piece of equipment you’ll run, along with how many devices will be running simultaneously. This will help you determine the size of your solar panel installation. It’s vital to have enough electricity to handle peak load demands so you don’t shut down operations and lose valuable time.
Solar panels come in a variety of sizes, and it’s important to install them where they’ll have maximum sun exposure. This will allow the photovoltaic cells to work most efficiently and produce the power you need when you need it without shutting down.
- Measure storage capacity.
Next to the generation, storage is the also important to size correctly. Your battery capacity will determine how long equipment can run, especially during times when the panels are no longer generating power.
Lithium batteries are standard for solar applications because of their ability to handle large loads for an extended period. Keep in mind that although solar panels last up to 25 years or more, batteries have a much shorter lifespan between five and fifteen years. It’s very likely you’ll need to replace the batteries at least twice as often as the panels.
It’s best to always have at least 20% more than you think you need on both the panels and battery to account for any issues that may come up. Everything from cloudy weather to changing seasons can affect power generation, and you shouldn’t take risks with the core of your business.
- Determine the right equipment.
Finally, be sure to get all the proper equipment. Solar panels and batteries are just the start. A solar system also involves charge controllers, wiring, inverters, chargers, battery enclosures, mounting, and more. This equipment is vital to making your solar setup run smoothly without issues.
Many dealers provide full-suite solutions, and you should partner with a vendor who can help size the perfect solar system for your individual needs. If done correctly, you’ll reap the benefits of solar energy.
Now that you know what to consider, you can move forward confidently in your industrial solar investment.
Dr. Denis Phares is the chief executive officer of Dragonfly Energy Corp. He leads the company’s innovation and research initiatives, focusing on developing and advancing Dragonfly’s revolutionary technology. Dragonfly Energy is an industry-leading manufacturer of deep cycle lithium-ion batteries and is spearheading conventional and solid-state lithium-ion battery research and development worldwide.
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