Living off the grid solar systems

Do you see yourself living totally on your homemade electricity?
Photo: Public Domain Peter Griffin

The day you are planning to run your home on solar power by putting up a solar system , you need to make the choice of staying on the grid or becoming totally energy independent by living off the Grid.

This is because the electricity your solar panels make will have to either be consumed right away, stored into batteries or sold back into the powergrid for someone else to use. Which of these options u prefer decides if you will be on or offgrid. That in turn will decide what equipment you will need besides the solar panels themselves to make your solar panels work.

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There are benefits and limitation with both alternatives and during this series we are going to go through them so you feel you can make an educated choice.

 

Off Grid solar systems

There is a great satisfaction in being totally independent, knowing that the electricity I use, I make myself. Not to mention the saving this creates when there suddenly is no electricity bill. But off grid solar systems requires an even inflow of sunlight throughout the year. This is because the energy solar panels make will have to be used up directly or stored into batteries. If power is needed during the time the sun doesn’t shine like in the hours of the night or when the day isn’t bright enough because of rain, that power would have to be drawn from the batteries. If it happens to be that you batteries aren’t charged enough, tuff luck you’re stuck with wax candles and without a TV until the sun comes up.

 

an off grid solar system in the Nordic is not a good idea

An off grid solar system in the Nordic is not a good idea.
Photo: Public Domain by George Hodan

What Climate are you installing solar panels in

If it goes months without the sun shining properly like in the Nordic climates there would have to be a huge a

mount of batteries to see you through that period of the year. A solar array powering up those batteries while still seeing to the normal consumption of a household would have to be huge.

This would also mean the pricetag for both the presumed panels and batteries would be huge. Making the choice of living off the grid, only practical and possible for them residing in the sun safe climates closest to the equator. For the rest of us it is wiser to either continue to stay connected to the public or considering a supplementary power source that does not diminish during the wintertime like a windturbine for instance.

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Selling a off Grid House

Selling a house that is not connected to the public power network can be a nightmare. Pepole are very skeptical when it comes to this kind of thing. Meaning you will have a lot less speculants than if your house were gird tied, resulting in longer sale times and a lower salesprice. You will not be able to get a mortgage either. Even if you manage to get a first, a second mortgage will be absolutely out of the question. This is another thing that will negatively influence the property sales price.

It should be noticed though that if the house in question is located in a far off location. A place without the option to be connected to the normal grid anyway, off grid solar systems will only be an improvement both to the house price and the houses inhabitants.

 

OffGrid Maintenance

alt: off grid solar system maintenance

Photo: Public Domain by Anna Langova

An off grid solar system requires a lot of maintenance. The batteries need to be taken care of and have alto shorter lifespan than the solar panels themselves, therefore they are going to need to be exchanged on regular basis. The whole system performance needs to be monitored and you are going to need to adapt your energy consumption depending on the forces of the weather. Because it will be the weather that finally decides how much electricity you are getting.

The batteries themselves are not environmentally friendly. They are full of poisonous stuff that will ruin the environment if not disposed of in the correct way. So make sure to take that extra drive to the environmental dispose station, so you don’t do nature more harm than good with you solar power PV system.

 

Price

Living off the grid prices

Photo: Public Domain by Petr Kratochvil

Living off the grid is expensive due to the need for extra equipment not needed if one decides to stay on the grid. The most expensive part are the batteries, these will cost 2-3 times more than the solar panels themselves. If you keep reading the next article we will show you a chart featuring the massive price difference of a grid tided PV system versus an Off grid living alternative.

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