If you are looking to switch to an eco-friendly life, you are not too late. Living life off-grid could be your next step in reducing your carbon footprint significantly. Additionally, with the off-grid solar systems, you can avail year-long power supply with zero hassles.
Off-grid solar systems are the best options for people residing in remote areas where there is a shortage of power resources. Such sites are also prone to frequent power cuts and demand access to the grid. Solar energy is an efficient solution to all these power problems with its multitude of benefits.
If you are wondering how to access the off-grid solar system and if it’s worth it, read along!
- 1 What is Solar Off-Grid System?
- 2 How Does Off-Grid Solar System Work?
- 3 What does an Off-Grid Inverter Do?
- 4 Is Opting for an Off-Grid Solar System Worth it?
- 5 What are the Things to Consider Before Building an Off-Grid Solar System?
- 6 Benefits of Opting for Off-Grid Living
- 7 Final Verdict
What is Solar Off-Grid System?
Opting for an off-the-grid living requires adequate preparation and being self-sufficient. People today are making efforts towards environmental conservation and trying to avoid any negative impact on mother nature.
Though off-grid living may sound complicated, with the advancements in technology today, you can gain access to renewable sources of energy seamlessly. This advancement has made off-grid technology worth your investment.
Off-griding, be it total or partial, can be successfully attained with solar power systems. Also known as the PV system, off-girds are an excellent option for people residing in remote areas. Since the off-grid solar system isn’t connected to the primary grid, the inclusion of batteries is vital for power storage.
An off-grid solar system includes- a battery, inverter, and solar PV panels. These systems are not just environmental-friendly but also help you save tons of money. Since solar energy is unlimited, you can harness it for all your energy needs ranging from lighting to cooking to heating, without worrying about its depletion.
How Does Off-Grid Solar System Work?
Wondering how these excellent systems of electricity work? Below is the stepwise guide explaining the functioning of an off-grid solar system:
- The off-grid solar systems operate on the principles of photovoltaic. Here, when captured by the solar panels, the solar radiations tend to generate energy in the form of direct current (DC).
- Once the DC is generated, it is passed onto the charge controller and supplied to the battery. It is needed as batteries play a pivotal role when you experience cloudy or rainy days with minimal sunlight exposure.
- During the days of maximum sunlight, the solar panel can offer the highest energy productivity and produce enough power for your household needs. The excess power generated is stored in the battery for future needs.
- Later, the DC power is converted to AC or alternate current, which is used for residential purposes.
- The alternate current is then supplied throughout to the loads through a wiring system.
Off-grid solar systems involve major installation processes. It may seem like an easy task if you require them for a small cabin, but large-sized off-grid solar powers for homes and businesses need the guidance of a professional solar installer.
What does an Off-Grid Inverter Do?
An off-grid solar system works with the help of an inverter that helps convert the DC power into AC. Since the power generated by the AC voltage is higher, it can supply electricity to the entire household.
Inverters are used for operating appliances, such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, fans, and more. Smaller devices utilize a lot of energy, for which an efficient inverter is required. Also, electronic appliances such as computers and laptops would consume lesser power as compared to others.
If your area has a faulty power supply, the inverters can be equipped with a generator or battery to ensure a non-stop power supply. Inverters have the cardinal work of supplying sine wave AC energy and are the backbone of the off-grid solar system.
It is essential to understand a few details before jumping onto installing an inverter.
Things to consider before selecting an off-grid inverter
Before investing in an off-grid solar system, you may have to analyse a few primary factors for maximum efficiency:
- Types of Appliances: Different appliances consume a varied range of energy. Hence it would help to consider your target appliances before selecting an inverter that could support them adequately.
- Inverter Rating: For efficient inverter performance, you must consider its rating before installation.
- Consumption of Power: You may have to estimate the total consumption of power for each day. It would help to select an inverter that can support a load of power accordingly.
- Features: With tons of inverters flooding the market, you can opt for an inverter with advanced features. Few of them have features like cooling fans, remote controls, etc., that offer the users premium service.
Is Opting for an Off-Grid Solar System Worth it?
Off-grid solar systems are an excellent option for anyone who wants a cleaner and greener energy supply. Though they have many benefits, it is vital to recognize the downsides of these systems too.
- Suitable for remote areas where the supply of electricity is a challenge
- Reduce dependency on the grid
- Storable energy for future needs
- Complicated installation process
- Restricted backup time
- Slightly pricey in its initial stage
What are the Things to Consider Before Building an Off-Grid Solar System?
Installing an off-grid solar system is not very complex. However, there are a few things to consider before installing one for your house. These are:
Step 1: Identify your power needs
Before opting for off-grid power, you should make a note of your household or commercial power needs. You may even have to consider the change in your energy needs throughout the day or year.
Additionally, you must consider the number of appliances you power using the solar system to help you recognize your power needs. This, in turn, would help you invest in an efficient off-grid solar system that would take care of all your power needs.
Step 2: Choose the Right Location
Your next step before setting up an off-grid solar system should be choosing an appropriate location. For example, the roof of your house may not be the best option for an off-grid solar array. You may have to consider areas that have minimal shading.
A place that receives maximum sunlight and helps cool your solar panels will be an excellent option for setting up an off-grid system. It would help in improving the efficiency of the system and provide you with an uninterrupted power supply.
Step 3: Solar System Components
Once you are done with choosing a location for your solar system components, you can move towards selecting the components for your off-grid system. Below are a few details you may have to consider while installing your system:
- Size and number of solar cells needed
- Battery capacity
- Battery type
- Inverter rating
Step 4: Installing Solar Panels
Lastly, you have to get your solar panels in a place that will let you capture sunlight for producing power. The tricky part of installing solar panels is the place you select for them. Solar panels work well if placed directly under the sun.
Also, it is recommended to get the assistance of a professional before installing the solar panels.
Benefits of Opting for Off-Grid Living
So, why should you opt for off-grid living? Even though installing and investing in an off-grid solar system seems like a challenging task, it has are innumerable benefits:
It is Eco-friendly
Opting for an off-grid life will let you live an eco-friendly life and help reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, with an efficient off-the-grid solar system, you can significantly reduce your consumption of non-renewable sources like coal, oil, etc. It would reduce your dependency on the grid supply and also make you environmentally conscious.
It is cost-reducing
We are all aware of our monthly electricity bills, which generally is a very hefty amount. Be it for residential or commercial; the yearly electricity can take a toll on savings. Here is where off-grid systems can help you.
Even though setting up an off-grid solar system will cost you a bit initially, it will save you a notable amount in the longer run. Opting for an off-grid solar system will let you enjoy a year-long unlimited electricity supply free of cost.
Lowers Dependency on Grid
By selecting off-grid living, you can be free from the national electricity supply and directly harness energy from the environment. Even in a remote area, you will need not worry about the power supply once you invest in off-grid solar systems.
Working out a plan for going off-grid can be daunting and confusing. Hence, it is crucial to understand the mechanics of how these systems work and where you can install them for maximum benefits.
According to the latest data, almost 15% of the population in the rural UK is living in off-grid homes. This significant percentage displays the transformation in people’s preference towards a cleaner energy source.
Thus, even though opting for an off-solar system may seem challenging initially, you can relish an inexhaustible supply of electricity with zero dependency on the grid throughout your life!