Off-grid solar system provides electricity, water filtration and hot water

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Video of system installation time lapse 


  • Power Panel, a U.S.-based solar products manufacturer, introduced its portable solar device for emergency response, humanitarian aid and off-grid living. Manufactured in Oxford, Michigan and now being commercialized across the globe, the Gen20 is a portable cabinet equipped with solar, water filtration, and a hot water heater.

The off-grid system can produce 200 gallons per hour of potable water with no need for an external energy source, said Power Panel.

The device has been shipped to crisis zones, like in September 2017, when a Gen20 was sent to Dos Bocas, a mountain community that was severely impacted by the category 5 hurricane Maria. The device helped three families share electricity as they repaired from the damage. A further two Gen20 cabinets were sent to Ukraine in February 2022 to support front line responders and humanitarian efforts.

The device is comprised of four solar modules adding 540 W of peak power. Each module is an HJT N-type module with 28 cells in series per module. The device also contains 2.4 kWh of energy storage via two 12 V lead-acid batteries.

Water can be both filtered and heated by the energy produced by the off-grid device. It contains a 5-micron sediment filter and three 25-foot hoses.

The PV-thermal panels also have a peak thermal generation peak of 2.5 kW and a 52-gallon thermal energy storage tank. An optional water desalination tank can be added to the device.

The device also allows for charging electrical devices, including eight USB type 2 ports and a switch controlled 20 A aux cable.

The dry weight of the portable unit is 450 pounds, but it can be lowered to 242 pounds. for moving by removing the modules. With its 50 gallon tank full, the unit weights 891 pounds. Power Panel said the full unit can be installed from box to operations in under 2 hours.

Image: Power Panel

The product, made in the USA, is expected to qualify for the 10% domestic content tax credit bonus laid out by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Power Panel originates from a long line of innovative American businesses run by its president Rob Kornahrens. Kornahrens opened a roofing business 40 years ago, followed by an air conditioning division in 1994, a solar installation business Advanced Green Technologies in 2005, and Power Panel in 2015. Advanced Green Technologies is among the largest rooftop solar installers in Florida.

Author: Ryan Kennedy

This article was originally published in pv magazine and is republished with permission.


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