Off grid living – Power Generation and Energy Systems

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Interesting facts for solar energy

There are many reasons to go solar; but the most common reason is to reduce your carbon footprint and cut energy costs.

Solar energy produces no pollution, has no detrimental environmental effects, and is ecologically sound.

Installing solar systems should not be looked at as an expense but rather as an investment.

The average American pays off their solar purchase in seven to eight years and sees a Return on Investment of about 20 to 30 percent.

Several tax breaks and financial incentives exist that make solar energy more accessible to homeowners. As a result, solar is a significant cabin efficiency upgrade that also increases the value of your property.

A power generation system (with backups) is a crucial feature of off-grid homes. So how do you meet all your energy needs from the power of the sun? The most critical step is to size your off-grid solar system. Sizing will determine the kind of equipment you need and the installation costs. To do so, you can refer to your average monthly electricity bills, or you can calculate the power usage, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), of all your electrical household appliances.

How much solar power do I need?

How much sun do you get?

It’s essential to know how many peak sun hours you typically get in whatever geographic area you are living in to determine your system’s size. It’s recommended to use the month of December as a guide as it receives the least amount of sun hours and using that month will assure you will calculate more than what you need.

For instance, Maine receives an average of 4.51 sun hours throughout the year but gets an average of 1.89 winter sun hours. Consider an off-grid household in Maine with several electric appliances, including a coffee machine, a fridge, microwave, TV-LCD, washing machine, electric clothes dryer, water heater, water pump, and an electric oven.

Typically, such a household would consume about 18kWh per day on average; this depends on how long the appliances are kept running. This household would require a system that can produce at least 9.5kW per day. This is a generalized system size estimation. Other factors to consider would include peak load, shade, and available panel space. An off-grid 10kW solar kit would work well for this household.

How many solar panels will you need?

The next step is to determine the number of solar panels. Typical residential solar panels usually produce about 250W per panel. Forty of these can produce 10kW per day and require about 700 square feet of roof space. If you don’t have enough space, you might have to consider using panels with higher wattage. For example, 27 370W panels would produce the required 10kW and would utilize less space.

Batteries and Inverter

A battery backup is a vital component of the solar system. The battery must provide enough backup power for nights as well as stormy/snowy days. The choice of battery is subjective and determined by the number of days of energy independence you’d like. For a 10kW system, a 30kWh battery will provide three days of energy usage.

The other two considerations for an off-grid solar system are the choice of solar charge controller and inverter. Solar charge controllers optimize battery charging and prevent the charge from flowing out the battery to the solar panels when there is no sun. An inverter converts solar power from DC to AC, which powers equipment and appliances in the home.

Solar energy kits

With this in mind, there are several solar kits available in the market, for example, the Eco-Worthy Solar System

ECO-WORTHY 3900W Solar Panel System for Homes Off Grid 48V Solar Power Station 15kwh Daily Output: 20pcs 195W Solar Panels + 6 String PV Combiner Box + 60A LCD Controller(15kwh Daily Output)

Eco Worthy sells smaller sizes as well if your looking for less power. The one we are talking about above has:

  • 15kWh daily output depending on how much sun your get, means full charge 48V 400Ah battery bank.
  • Combiner box offers safer protection, with 10A fuse for each string, anti-backflow diodes and lighting protection.
  • For charging battery and a backup power, suitable for off grid cabins,sheds and remote areas,etc.
  • Easy setting up, the kit supports charging for 48V lead acid, gel, li-ion, flooded battery bank
  • 1 year warranty with lifetime technical support, freely reach out to ECO-WORTHY professional customer service team.

If you want to go solar and have the option to hook up to the grid, this may be the best option as you can earn money in some places by selling power back to the grid.

GOWE Grid tie Solar Power System from 1500W to 10KW(1500W)

  • This is 1500W grid tie solar system . Including 1500W mono solar panel . 1500W mppt grid tie inverter .
  • What is grid tied solar system? Grid-tied solar system connects with state grid directly, you can use the power generated from the system or feed into grid.
  • You don’t need any battery to store the power, it is more economic.

What are the features of the Gowe Grid Tie System

  • 1. Cost effective price and best in class performance;
  • 2. One-stop shopping for your rooftop
  • 3. Free Pre-sales technical support, including system design optimization
  • 4. One-stop service from components purchase to logistics
  • 5. Fast and accurate delivery
  • 6. Wide range of kit solutions
  • 7. One-stop after-sales service for the whole PV kit;
  • 8. Intelligent Mounting System design makes your job easier
  • 9. Residential Rooftop Grid-tied PV System Reference Design

GoGreen Solar 10kW DIY Solar kit. This kit comes with 33 x 310W tier-1 monocrystalline solar panels that carry a 25-year warranty. The kit includes a SolarEdge inverter, a wireless system monitoring device, and all racking and attachments required to get the system up and running.

Installing solar power can significantly improve off-grid living and you don’t need to buy all your equipment all at once. Solar energy is scalable and it is possible to start small. It’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact and your carbon footprint. After all, we can all play a part in ensuring sustainability.

Click this link to see other solar system kits.

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5 thoughts on “Off grid living – Power Generation and Energy Systems”

  1. Hello Teresa, thanks for the wonderful information you have shared here. Wanting to live off the grid is not a bad idea at all and I know a few people who would do just that if the had the chance and I’m one of them actually. So glad I came across your website and all the valuable information in it.  I will be bookmarking your site for sure.

  2. I’m from a country where the government is trying to monopolize solar system – therefore they are still not available here.

    But that being said, I’ve been binge watching a lot of van life videos and have been extremely obsessed with everything there is to build an off-grid “home”. And solar is one of them, especially there’s none sold here!

    I never knew that the sun hours would determine the amount of solar panels one needs. Perhaps that’s the reason why different vans have been having different number of solar panels – some travel south while others stay up north.

    And I didn’t know you could actually sell back the power you got to the grid! That’s awesome!

    Since we’re at the solar panel topic, do you have any guide on how to install one?

    • Hi Wina, that is sad that you live where you can’t access your own solar.  The van life is interesting, my aunt has been binge watching those videos as well and is ready to go for it!  We installed a small solar system in our little cabin.  Here is the link to that.  Solar Panels for Cabin When the solar goes into the off grid home we are building I will be sure to post that on the site too.

  3. We are doing renovations to our house at the moment and part of the project is replacing our old and leaking roof. Putting solar panels on the roof is part of the plan, and although we are not off grid, it is great to find all this information on solar systems. We had been wondering how we would know how many panels we would need, so it is very helpful that you have shown us how to calculate the kW amount we need and from there work out the amount of panels. 

    Solar panels are an awesome way to use one of our earth’s resources and there should be more incentives from local councils and government to encourage people to use solar energy. 

    • That great, I can’t wait to get our solar panels up on our off grid home.  We are still building the home, the cabin has a small set up and it’s great.  

      I too wish our governments would encourage solar use with incentives of some kind.  Maybe down the road and I’ll be sure to post if I am able to get any before doing our set up.  


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