Let’s face it…
Our electrical bill is one of the biggest bills we need to pay at the end of the month besides our mortgage and in the long run, it’s easy to realize just how much it drags you down, financially speaking.
But what is probably worse than the money you have to pay to the electrical companies is the fact that at any given time, be it due to unexpected natural disasters, storm damage or the poor maintenance of the municipal power grid, you can be left without power.
Under these circumstances and given the fact that you may live in a remote area where the temperatures are well below zero…
Well, a lot of people would agree that having your own solar powered generator is the best way to stay off the grid and survive even hundreds of miles away from civilization.
1. More affordable than you think
Financially speaking, solar power is a long term investment that guarantees your independence from the electrical companies by helping you meet your electrical needs and saving a lot of money.
Solar power systems are also very durable and you can expect them to last for up to twenty five years or even more. And since they have no moving parts, maintenance is as simple as wiping them clean from dust and any other debris that may prevent them to absorb the sun’s energy.
Solar powered systems vary in terms of types and if you live in an area that gets little sun, then you may want to go for photovoltaic panels, but don’t forget to consider using an emergency generator as well. This will ensure you have electricity in rainy or cloudy conditions.
2. Battery operated solar powered systems
You should know that you can go with one of the 2 types of solar power systems, with the most popular one being the grid inter-tie. What this means is that during the day you’re going to power your home using solar power, but during the night you are still going to be on the grid. As a result, you are going to continue generating power and when you generate more than you use, you can feed it back to the system.
The advantage of this type of system is that you can greatly reduce your monthly electrical bill and at the same time make sure you have plenty of power during an emergency situation, brownout or disaster. On the other hand, if you plan on getting off the grid completely, then you’ll have to consider getting a rechargeable battery array. This is very useful since it helps you store electrical energy. And because you won’t want to be left without electricity when the sun sets, you need to get some rechargeable batteries as well, but getting power in and out of them requires additional equipment.
3. Charge controller
Charge controllers are the best way for you to regulate the power that goes in and out of the batteries. So what happens when you use a charge controller is that once your batteries have been fully charged, the charge controller will stop them from continuing to absorb electricity. If they continue to absorb electricity, you risk having your batteries damaged, disabled or broken. The charge not only prevents that from happening, but it also regulates the current inside them to prevent accidental discharges. To sum it up, charge controllers guarantee your batteries won’t blow up.
4. System meter
What are system meters, you may ask? Shortly said, they are a device that tells you the exact amount of power your home is using and how much power your solar panels can produce a day. When you have this information on hand, you know exactly what changes and decisions to take in order to ensure you don’t use more electricity than you can produce.
5. Battery box
Not everyone can store their rechargeable batteries inside their house and many people actually have more space in their shed or maybe outside their home. If this is your case as well, then you may want to consider getting a battery box which guarantees safe storage. Even better, this box is large enough for you to be able to store many other electronics, including your main DC disconnect, your system meter and of course, the charge controller.
6. Solar pool heating
Plenty of us do have a big house and when you have a big home and property to boot, then won’t you want to build a pool?
Of course you would, but hey, no one likes to bathe in cold water right?
Don’t worry though, since if you have solar panels already installed, you can easily use them in order to heat up your pool water. Better yet, it seems that a lot of people are actually using solar blankets which are left lying on top of the pool. These cost around one hundred dollars and covering the pool and then pulling them off takes less than two minutes, making them very easy to use.
7. Solar water heating
Having a big bulky boiler inside your house that uses tons of electricity is not going to help reduce your electricity needs. What you can do in this case though is to consider solar water heating. For example, you need to consider a basic plumbing redesign if you want to install a passive solar water heating system. This means that you’ll have a hot water tank on top of your roof and not in your house. These systems should be painted in black and enclosed in a wooden box, while ensuring the exterior pipes are painted in the same color. And since everything is going to be painted in black, it’ll allow your system to absorb the maximum amount of heat possible.
Some people though want to have very hot water available at any given time and if that’s what you also need, then you can consider connecting a solar panel to the hot water tank you’ve mounted on the roof. Now when it comes to powering its coil, you just need to connect the inverter that comes off the solar panel into your heater and hot water and then let it power the heater directly. What is great about these systems is that they’re simple to build and are also low on maintenance.
Getting off the grid is definitely simple and all you need to do is assess your electrical needs, check your budget and then invest in a solar powered system. You’ll be surprised of its efficiency and wonder why you didn’t get one earlier.
Do Want to Know The Secrets of Off The Grid Living?
We have compiled the most important facts in guide for you.
If you want to know the essential knowledge about solar power…check out this step by step guide The Ultimate Guide To Generating and Storing Solar Power