Off-grid power systems are power systems that are not connected with the main or local grid system. Off-grid power systems are dependent on a secondary power source, such as solar energy, fuel cell, and natural gas, to become operational. Off-grid power systems are often used in situations when main or local grid system is unavailable or when 100% standalone power is required. These systems are also employed to lower the load on the main grid. Utilization of off-grid power system in applications such as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), and various remote sensing devices is increasing. Demand for off-grid remote sensing power systems is perpetual in end-user industries such as oil & gas and wind energy.
Remote sensing is used in many industries. For instance, it is employed in airborne or satellite images taken to examine the health and viability of crops in the agricultural industry. It is also used in forestry applications in depletion monitoring of forests, agroforestry mapping, burn delineation, biomass estimation, and coastal protection. Remote sensing is widely employed in exploration activities, monitoring hydrocarbon pipelines, lithological mapping, and environmental geology in the oil & gas industry. Demand for energy is rising in various countries. This is anticipated to propel the dependence on off-grid power systems. The use of off-grid power system reduces the load on the main grid, thus ensuring smooth running of remote sensing activities. Off-grid power systems prove to be cost effective in remote locations, when compared to extending a power line and connecting the remote sensing system to the main grid. Successful standalone off-grid power systems have an advantage of using a combination of technologies to generate power and reduce the dependence on the main grid.
The global market for off-grid remote sensing power systems can be segmented based on power supply into natural gas, propane, methanol fuel cell technology, solar, and hybrid solutions. The utilization of natural gas, propane, and renewable energy for generating power helps lower the emission of greenhouse gases. The power supply by using solar energy includes utilizing solar PV cells for generating electricity. These solar PV cells are made of silicon and convert sunlight into electricity efficiently. Fuel cells are also an efficient means to supply off-grid power to remote sensing systems. Fuel cells convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy without any intermediate steps. This helps lower the loss of energy. Fuel cells utilize methanol, which is cheap, easily available, and easy to transport even at remote locations.
In terms of region, the off-grid remote sensing power systems market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is anticipated to dominate the market, led by the increasing usage of renewable energy for powering remote sensing systems, due to the decline in oil and gas reserves. The market for off-grid remote sensing power systems in Europe is expanding owing to the presence of large wind energy capacity, especially in the U.K. and Germany.
Ensol Systems Inc., SFC Energy, Tycon Systems, HES, and Acumentrics are the key players operating in the off-grid remote sensing power systems. Ensol System Inc. provides a customized range of power solutions, which utilize a number of fuel sources such as natural gas, ethanol fuel cell, and solar PV cell. The company provides mobile tracker power solutions, which are built to perform in harsh environments and work efficiently up to -400 C.
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