Off-Grid Solar System
Today we delve into the world of off grid solar systems and explore this fascinating subset of power use all related directly to the use of the sun’s energy for power in an entirely self-sufficient environment separate from the traditional power sources that we’ve all come to rely upon.
It’s all about completely eliminating the need to rely on hard-wired power sources and reducing long-term costs and your carbon footprint all while providing self-sufficiency in energy, regardless of the location where we happen to be. Read on to find out more about how off-grid solar works and how you can make it work for you.
What Is Off Grid Solar?
An off grid solar system provides the perfect solution for people who require power for their appliances but are either unable to access grid power or do not wish to use it. The possible reasons for this are numerous but include lessening their impact on the environment and making long-term savings.
If you’ve been asking yourself the all-important question “What does off-grid mean?” then we’ll now enlighten you by saying that it quite literally means that a building that doesn’t rely on grid power to power itself whether it be for lighting, heating, cooling or a general-purpose electric supply for utility items.
Going off the grid with solar technology means that you’re relying on solar power to replace all of these traditional power and energy sources and provide for all of your needs from water heating to lighting. Luckily, it’s a lot easier to do this than you think. Provided you know what the overall electrical load for your property is (the combined energy requirement of all of your “powered” electronic items) and you have enough solar panels to meet those needs. It’s all green from there.
There are a few things to consider before making a purchase, but provided you do your homework and get your calculations right then there’s no reason why making use of solar technology to provide you and your family with every ounce of your energy needs away from the grid shouldn’t be the right option for you.
Why People Decide to Live Off-Grid
It’s important to first understand that not everybody chooses to live off-grid. Sometimes circumstances dictate that it’s not possible to connect to the grid because of their remote or otherwise inaccessible location. For these individuals, no other choice is available to them and an alternative to the norm that must somehow be found to provide enough energy for themselves and their families. However, some people willingly live away from “the grid” as a matter of choice because they believe it to be a better way of living.
These people sometimes live in established residential areas but (providing the laws in their state or location allow it) but may have willingly removed themselves from the grid in their local area and broken away from the norm. No matter what the reasons why someone may choose to “opt out” of grid use are, the benefits are undeniable. They include, but aren’t limited to:
- No company monitoring of energy consumption
- Long-term cost savings
- No reliance on a central grid meaning (theoretically) no power outages
- No complicated ongoing maintenance or reliance on external companies to control power use
- Total energy freedom
All of the above is possible with the purchase of an off grid solar panel kit that provides a one-stop source for all of your household energy consumption.
Pros and Cons of Off-Grid Solar Systems
As with anything done off the beaten path, there are several pros and cons to weigh up when making use of this kind of energy system. We’re going to run through the main positives associated with their use, and some of the not so positive parts too.
The benefits of using off-grid solar are:
- You’ll save a lot of money in the long term
- There are no restrictions on your energy use
- You don’t have to liaise with any external companies over your energy use
- If you take the time to research, you can perform a self-install (no contractors required)
- Off-grid solar doesn’t cost a penny after the initial set up
- You may get tax rebates on self-install solar technology (this is location dependent)
- It’s usually easier to isolate and resolve issues with individual solar panels than entire electrical circuits and wiring systems
The main issues surrounding the use of off-grid solar are:
- The initial set up costs can be very expensive
- A lack of reliance on companies means quick servicing and fixes can be tricky if you don’t know how to do it yourself
- Grid power is usually very reliable (it’s tried and tested) but solar efficiency can vary depending on your panels and residence location
- You’ve got to get your set up calculations exactly right to ensure that your solar array works effectively; otherwise, it’ll severely underperform
Generally speaking, off grid solar is a hugely efficient energy solution. But you need to keep the above points in mind at all times.
Off-Grid vs On-Grid Solar
Here are the reasons for and against going on or off the grid with solar technology.
On-Grid Solar system benefits:
- Combines grid and solar power so that you’re covered from every angle
- Less likely to experience outages (due to grid inclusion)
- More overall power capacity
- Cheaper to repair with contractor assistance than a solo solar system
- Arguably more reliable
On-Grid solar system negatives:
- Your energy use will always be monitored
- This type of system is likely to cost more upfront to install
- This type of system is not truly self-sufficient
- Due to the integration of grid elements, your energy use will not be entirely green
The above reasons all outline why you should give some serious thought to whether or not you want your solar technology to be on or off the grid.
As you’re now aware, off-grid solar is probably the most viable solution for anybody wanting to power their home away from the main power lines we take for granted. It’s hands down the greenest and most reliable self-sustaining source to work with thanks to its reliance on the sun, which is 100% renewable. Provided you get your upfront calculations and costings right, then you’ll have nothing but a positive and liberating energy experience.
Though solar technology is still somewhat in its infancy and isn’t fully understood by some, once you give it a chance to prove its value it’s unlikely that you’re going to be disappointed. You will soon realize how carefree it is to use thanks to the low maintenance requirements once in place. Whether you decide to go completely solar or have a combination of on and off-grid. It’s a win-win in the long term with solar technology at your side.