Off Grid Homes - Residential Solar Electric Systems
What are off grid systems? Is a totally off-grid system the right
system for your pocketbook and needs?
We've put together information to help you make the right
choice for your residential solar electric power.
We have considered the first
two of the three main systems on other pages and now will consider
off grid residential solar electric systems.
Off Grid residential solar electric systems - Independent Solar Power Systems
An off-grid home solar energy
system is one that is completely separate
from a power utility company's grid. It produces sufficient power
from solar energy to supply the power demands of the home.
For reliable power in remote
locations, often these systems are the only choice.
What do off grid residential solar electric systems consist of? In general:
totally-independent residential solar electric systems
the Grid-Tied and Grid-Tied plus Battery systems, there a number of
advantages and disadvantages that could affect your choice of
Off Grid Homes - Advantages
- Ideal for Remote Use:
These systems are great for cabins or cottages that don't have a
- The cost of a system is usually far less than running power
lines into the property.
- Totally Independent:
Maybe best reason of all, the user is not dependent on an outside
entity for the power needs.
- Optimum Power
Management: Since you generate, store, and use all your own
power you can optimize your usage.
Off Grid Homes - Disadvantages
- Complicated: These
residential solar electric systems are more complex than grid-tied
- The increased system complexity means more components to
install and tie together.
Secrets of DIY Solar Power Revealed:
- How solar panels make electricity
- How to use a multi-tester device
- Basic electronics concepts and practices
- How to solder correctly
- Everything you need to know about batteries
- How charge controllers work
- How inverters work
- Panel mounting and fabrication
- Sun tracking and why you should use it
- System estimation and design concepts
- Tax incentives and rebates
- System payout
- System maintenance
- Need a Backup: Because
these off-grid home systems are independent of any local power
company grid, it is likely you will need a backup power generator
for times when the sun doesn't come out for days and your batteries
- Higher Cost: An
off-grid home system is going to cost you about twice as much as a
grid-tied system. That is due to needing the extra batteries
- Require More
Maintenance: Once again, because these residential
solar electric systems use a number of batteries, more maintenance
- The battery fluid must be checked on a regular
- Any corrosion must be removed in a timely manner. The more
complex system with more battery connections requres vigilant
cleaning to prevent damaging corrosion.
- On top of that, batteries will need to be replaced every 5 to
- Less Efficient Use of the
Solar Power: Charging the batteries in off grid homes
systems takes more energy than using the power directly. It takes
about 10 to 20 percent of your solar energy to charge them, and
this is energy you won't have available.
- Environmental Concerns: The manufacturing
and disposal of batteries involves chemicals and metals that most
eco-minded consumers would rather avoid.
Return to Grid-Tied plus Battery systems
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