DIY Green Energy For Homes

How to Make an Off-Grid Solar Energy System

A typical home is usually connected to an array of utility lines, such as water, electricity, natural gas and telephone lines. To go off-grid means not using public utility services in favor of producing your own energy and water.

However, going off-grid is not for everyone because there are usually some inconveniences you have to put up with, on top of the installation and maintenance debacle.

Utility services are particularly costly in terms of subscription but relatively convenient.

Besides the inconveniences, living off-grid has its fair share of benefits. If you want the gratification and satisfaction that comes with generating and controlling your own energy and water, then living off-grid might be the thing for you.

While some people install solar systems for personal reasons, others are forced by geographical location and lack of access to a utility grid, for instance remote rural areas.

When planning for a solar off-grid system, the first thing is to make an estimation of your energy requirements. You can make use of DIY instructional calculators to obtain minimum system requirements by using the following information:

• The average amount of electricity (in KWH) consumed in the last 6 months.

• Power output of the off-grid solar system

• Total number of hours of peak sunshine that your location receives in a day (this information can be obtained from solar maps)


Homeowners who are planning to install an off grid solar energy system must have knowledge of off grid inverters, variable efficiency ratings of the panels and factors that affect the system’s possible performance. When you have determined - with certain accuracy - the projected energy demands of the off grid solar energy system, you can then take a look at the individual components, including:

Solar panels – These are the most important component of the energy system. You can choose from polycrystalline, amorphous and mono crystalline. These solar panels capture the radiation energy from sun and through photovoltaic effect convert it into usable electrical energy. You can choose among the three types of panels depending on your budget and the demand of your off grid solar energy system.

Inverter - Direct current energy (DC) is converted into the gadget friendly alternating current (AC) with the help of standalone inverter. For future use the energy produced by the solar panels is stored in batteries. Lead acid deep cycle model is the most commonly used type of battery. These batteries are manufactured to withstand the continuous discharging and charging in the stand alone solar energy system.

The charge controller prevents the battery from over-charging and it is placed between the solar modules and the battery.

The other parts of this system are an AC breaker panel, a backup generator and system meter.

The cost of installation can start from $ 2,000 to $ 22,000, depending on the size of the off grid solar energy system. Once the solar energy system is used to its full capacity and if you subtract the cost savings, these initial costs are easily recouped.

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