Off Grid Solar Power Explained

How to Set Up a System for Your Home

Off grid solar power is an energy system that requires no connection to the utility grid. It is a great way to take control of your power usage and carbon footprint. Homeowners who decide to install off-grid solar power systems are often motivated by environmental concerns and/or a dislike for their electric company. They understand that it will be more expensive at first, but the lower costs in the long term convince them that this investment is worth it in the end, especially bearing in mind the ever increasing price of electricity, gas and heating oil.

Here’s everything you need to know to set up a system for your home.

Pros of Off Grid Solar Power

One of the best things about off grid solar power is that it’s completely self-sufficient. This means you can use all the energy you generate without having to pay any utility bills. Another advantage is that this type of system reduces one’s carbon footprint which in turn means you are helping the environment.

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Cons of Off Grid Solar Power

One of the cons of using an off grid solar power system is that if you are not in an area with a lot of sunlight, for instance if you are in the far Northern or Southern parts of the plane, it may not be  effective enough to supply all your needs. 

Solar panels need direct sunlight to generate power. You will also have to monitor your batteries and generator to make sure they are running efficiently. Perhaps the biggest issue is that you will need a hefty (and expensive) battery bank in order to store power for use when it is needed when the sun goes down or bad weather reduces the performance of your solar system.

How to Set Up a System for Your Home

There are a few things you need to know before installing an off-grid solar power system. First, the system will need to be designed and sized for your needs. You should also take into account the orientation of your roof and access to sunlight. 

When you’ve selected the right system for your home, it’s time to install it! But first, you’ll normally need help from a qualified electrician, the installation of these systems requiring a degree of technical knowledge and experience. You may also need to obtain electrical permits in some circumstances. Once the system is installed, you can start generating electricity—either with or without batteries.

Choose the right solar panels for your home

A crucial factor in deciding whether or not off-grid solar power is right for your home is the size of your house. You will need to install a certain number of solar panels to generate enough electricity to power your home. 

However, some people like the idea of generating a mix of sources for their electricity. This means that they might have some solar panels and also use their utility company’s grid sometimes. The more panels you have, the more expensive it will be initially but the less money you’ll spend on electricity in the long term.

Find the right inverter

One of the most important decisions is to choose the right inverter. This device takes the electricity generated by your solar panels and transforms it into a form that your household appliances can use. It is important to find an inverter that can handle the amount of electricity that you need and one that matches your electrical appliances. 

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Get a battery backup system

If you want to be totally off-grid, you will need a battery backup system. The solar panels produce power during the day and store any excess (that not used at the time) in the systems batteries. At night, or when weather conditions are poor, the battery can provide the power needed to run at least some of the appliances in your home.

So how do you choose which battery backup system is right for your needs? There are a number of factors that come into play including:

  • How many hours of back up will it provide?
  • What are the maintenance costs?
  • How many watts of power does it have?

Conclusion

Off grid solar power is a system that allows you to produce and use energy without being reliant on the power grid, there also being a sort of half way house where this sort of system supplies some of the power required (although technically these cannot be considered to be truly off grid). While this type of power may seem complicated, it’s actually quite simple to set up, as long as you get the right advice from a specialist solar system supplier.

Before buying any panels, it’s important to take into account not only the cost of the system, but also how much energy you need, how many appliances are in your home and how much sunlight your location receives. Once you know your needs, you can select the right system for you.

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