Off-grid solar allows you to get all your energy from the sun without the requirement of electricity. This can be achieved by installing a solar power system, which is paired with an energy storage system such as an solar battery in the location of power consumption (your house).
Due to its demand for space and high cost installation of an off-grid system was once considered an unpopular idea. Nevada Solar Power Installers has made it much easier and less expensive to install solar panels. It is now common to see country cabins and RVs entirely powered by off-grid solar energy.
This is the place to go if you are thinking about buying an off-grid system. This blog will explain everything you must know about an off-grid system before you buy one. We will assist you in determining if an off-grid solar array is suitable for you, and also how to buy the right system for your needs.
What is an Off-Grid Solar Panel System?
A lot of people think of solar panels with off-grid solar. However, the truth is that there are numerous elements needed to create an off grid PV installation.
An off-grid system comes with the equipment needed to generate, store and store solar energy on the spot. Solar systems off-grid are also known by the term “standalone energy systems” since they are not powered by any external source of power.
Off-grid solar systems differ from other types of solar arrays, such as the grid-tied system. They depend on batteries to provide power to be generated in the event that the sun doesn’t shine.
However, batteries are more expensive than solar panels with which they’re paired. They are more expensive than grid-tied systems because they require large amounts of battery storage.
How does an off-grid solar energy system perform?
The off grid solar PV system operate on the basis of photovoltaics. If sunlight hits a solar panel it creates Direct Current (DC).
The DC energy generated is sent to the controller for charging that regulates the flow of charge and provides the power required into the batteries. Batteries play an important part in providing energy for the day and night..
When the sun shines the solar panel produces enough energy to supply power to the load and also charge the battery. Any extra power stored within the battery can be retrieved later if required.
The DC energy from a solar panel or battery is converted into alternating current(AC) energy (as most of the appliances at residential/commercial buildings run on AC supply) with the help of an inverter. The AC energy converted is then fed to the loads via an electrical connection.
What are the various uses of off-grid sun power?
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy with many advantages. One of them is its modularity and the ability to scale. This is how parts can be rearranged and combined for greater flexibility and efficiency.
It is a great option for small devices, like solar phone chargers or even a system that runs an entire factory.
These are the most popular applications of off-grid solar:
- Charge your tablet or phone via USB
- They are powered via an electric supply
- Small cabins are able to be powered by electricity
- Small, energy-efficient homes can be powered
It is vital to know that off-grid solar panels are not feasible in locations where power is available. This is especially true where one wishes to power a house in a suburb, city, or town.
You can also save by choosing a grid-tied, Grid-powered or hybrid solar panel. Based on the local economy, you may also be able to stick with grid power.
What equipment is required for an Off-Grid Solar Panel System?
Here is a complete list of the equipment needed for running an off-grid solar panel system.
- Solar panels
- Solar charge controller
- Solar inverter(s)
- Solar battery
- Racking and mounting system
- Junction boxes
How to size an Off-Grid Solar System
When it comes to installing an off grid solar array, it is essential to determine the type of system you’ll require.
It will affect the kind of equipment you require and the amount of effort needed to set it up, and, ultimately, the price of the entire project. A solar setup is determined by the amount of power it is able to provide.
There are two methods to determine the number of people you need. They are dependent on:
- Your current usage
- Assessment of load
Solar setup size is determined by the amount of usage
The option to do this is to those who want to keep your current lifestyle but switch from grid-tied solar to off-grid. You can take your monthly electricity bills as a guide to calculate your consumption of electricity in Kilowatt hours.
Then , you can design an off-grid solar system to be exactly the same size. To maximize the efficiency of solar energy, you may need to consider going bigger.
Solar setup size is determined by load evaluation
A load assessment is the second option to figure out how much power your system will require.
- Calculate your total energy consumption
Start by listing all appliances you are planning to use as well as the time they will be in use. This will help you determine both the power consumption for each appliance as well as your total power consumption over the course of the day.
You can determine the size of the solar panel by knowing how many kWh you use each day.
- Calculate the load requirement at the moment.
It is also important to figure out the amount of appliances you can run at once. This allows you to determine the instantaneous power requirements.
- Determine the battery’s storage capacity
Then, determine how much energy storage capacity you need. Do you want to create backup for your daily usage or just a day’s worth?
The term “solar battery backup” generally requires storage to last at most 2 or 3 days during peak usage times.
- From Steps 1 to 3, you can design a system around you number
The sizes of the three main components that comprise the inverter, the inverter, and the solar panels, is often enough to permit solar equipment vendors to create an off-grid solution that is suitable for you.
What is the cost of an Off-Grid Solar Panel System?
Prices for off-grid systems can range from $50 for an iPhone charger or tablet and up to thousands. Off-grid solar can be used for a variety of applications.
Prices for off-grid solar systems that can provide power to entire homes vary from $12,000 to $50,000.
Cost-effectiveness of the battery type
The price you pay for your solar system off grid will be affected by the option of battery technology.
The most recent lithium battery technology is more effective and come in a smaller size, more comfortable form factor. However, they are very expensive and will make up an important part of your overall costs if used.
The AGM (Absorbent Gas Mat) acid lead batteries are heavier and last longer and are also less expensive. They are used in off grid systems due to their low cost.
Off-grid Solar: The benefits
More than 300,000 households are using off-grid energy sources to meet their energy needs. Here are some reasons that Americans prefer living off grid:
1. Unlocking the Grid
In areas where blackouts are common, people are drawn to off-grid solar because of this. You depend on the utility company for your power when you are connected to the grid.
The power supply of your home is affected when the grid goes down. This isn’t a problem until you experience power outages or blackouts like the California blackouts of 2019 can attest.
2. It’s great for the environment.
Carbon emissions are decreased by switching off the grid. Because most electricity is generated from fossil fuels, it is essential to produce your own power using renewable resources like wind, solar, and hydro. This can drastically decrease your carbon footprint.
3. It encourages an active life style
It’s easy for you to ignore your consumption of power when you’re connected to the grid. You use electricity, pay the bills as they arrive, and that’s it. It cuts you off from the origin and destination of electricity.
When you are off-grid, your attitude towards power will change completely. You’ll have to watch your electricity generation closely and review your energy consumption.
4. Sometimes it is the only way to do so.
If you’re trying to run a power source to a structure that is out of reach, such as a hunting cabin in the woods, there is a high chance that there is no grid in place.
The utility will likely tell you that your location isn’t covered when you attempt to connect. They might offer the wire to be laid, but for a price.
That means you’ll need to source your own electricity. Even though you could utilize a backup generator to provide power, it’s expensive and unpractical in most places. solar power can be the only viable option for power off grid.
Off-grid solar: The downsides
There are many valid reasons that the vast majority of US households are connected to the grid even though solar panels offer great advantages.
There are some key points to consider when you go off grid.
1. Off-grid living could be illegal depending on where you live.
While solar panels and the capability to produce your own power are becoming more popular in the US however, it is not legal for certain counties to disconnect entirely from grid. These legal restrictions on disconnecting from the grid tend to be more prevalent in urban areas , compared to rural areas.
2. Solar systems that are off-grid are often very costly.
It is not typical for solar panels to provide all of the energy needed by a home to be costly.
An off-grid system is more costly than grid-connected systems. The system requires more power panels as well as an inverter that is equipped with larger voltage capacity.
You will need a backup generator that is either gas- or diesel-powered, as there is no grid. They can be very expensive to run. Because generators can’t be relied on for long periods and this is why it’s more urgent to repair faults within the off-grid system.
3. It takes time to get off the grid.
It’s not easy to commit to produce enough electricity to meet your household’s needs.
It is important to have a good understanding of the workings of electricity. You will need to spend some time calculating how much power you need in relation to your energy consumption patterns.
You’ll need to invest time making sure you reduce power waste to the minimum. You will need to monitor your power supply as power generation can change rapidly.
Additionally, you should be aware of the equipment that generates power.
4. California off-grid solar is not eligible for SGIP rebate
California’s Self Generation Incentive Program is the largest battery storage incentive across the nation. Eighty percent is dedicated to battery storage in the budget for incentives.
The SGIP rebate can help people save thousands of dollars on batteries, especially those located in fire hazard areas. The catch is that SGIP is only available to grid-tied solar systems that have battery backup, and not to systems that are completely off grid.
5. There are better options for backup power
You may not be tempted to go off grid as there’s always an alternative.
Installing a grid-connected solar system with a backup battery is the best and easiest way to prevent blackouts. A hybrid solar system is an alternative term used to describe this type of.
These hybrid systems which use battery solutions such as the Tesla Powerwall are more affordable than traditional off-grid solutions. They also qualify for incentives, such as the SGIP rebate.
6. Off-grid solar entails major lifestyle sacrifices
If you ask anyone who owns an off-grid solar panel and they’ll say the same issue: relying upon off grid power requires you to rethink everything regarding energy.
Off-grid solar is costly, so homeowners must invest in smaller systems. Weather conditions can affect the amount of power available. A cloudy day could cause a 50% reduction in power output.
There’s a problem if you run out of power. Either be patient until the sun returns or use an emergency diesel generator to power your home (if you own one). While the first is more convenient, the second option is expensive.
The restrictions could affect every aspect of your daily life. For instance, many off-grid people say that they must conserve water because water pumps require lots of energy. This implies less frequent flushing and shorter showers. The air conditioning system is greater power guzzler and can use only for brief intervals of time, when it is used there is any need.
Are you looking for off-grid solar power near you?
When access to the grid is challenging or impossible, off-grid solar can be the ideal option. It’s difficult to imagine a camper abandoning solar in favor of a generator which is noisy and costly.
It is also usually the best option for those committed to a low carbon footprint, sustainability-minded lifestyle. Wind and hydropower are more costly than other sources of renewable energy like hydropower and wind. They also require an uninterrupted supply of water and wind.
However, if you’re a homeowner who lives in or near a town or city and is off-grid, then it might not be the best option for you.
Off-grid solar systems can be expensive and rarely offer savings over utilities power. Due to the high cost of off grid solar, homeowners must install small systems. This could result in significant life-style issues for residents.
Grid-tied solar systems are a good alternative if you’re seeking financial savings. These systems are the cheapest way to go solar and could save you as much as $100,000 in certain states. You’ll always have power access provided you have a connection to it.
Learn more about Grid-Tied Solar Systems
Hybrid solar systems are a good option if you need backup batteries like that of the Tesla Powerwall. Hybrid solar systems may be grid-tied and have batteries. Hybrid solar systems are typically more expensive than traditional grid-tied systemsbut provide greater savings and are also much less expensive than an off grid setup.
Off-grid system installation is a specialized skill which Nevada Solar Power Installers solar companies offer. The performance of the setup is critical for the continued operation of the system. We can connect you with highly qualified and experienced off-grid installers. All you need to do is fill in our off-grid quote application form.