If you don’t have access to the national electricity grid, our range of high quality off-grid solar systems is the perfect option for stand-alone power. Our quotes are developed by experts in off-grid solar systems and remote power packages and are tailored to your individual situation.
The key to a successful off-grid system is installing enough panels and batteries to power your daily electricity usage and not leave you in the dark, literally!
How Does Off-Grid Solar Work?
Off-grid Solar Systems work by generating electricity from solar panels and using it to charge a solar battery via a charge controller. An inverter converts the direct current(DC) to alternate current(AC) so that it can power your home or business appliances. Excess solar power charges your solar battery so that you can use the electricity at night or during times when your system is not generating enough power (cloudy days).
Components of an OFF-GRID
For an off-grid solar power system to work effectively in the average home, you will require the following components:
- Solar panels
- Solar battery bank
- An inverter
- Solar charge controller
- The alternative energy source (optional)
Solar panels are a must for a stand-alone system. The number of panels you need will depend on your daily electricity usage and location. In most cases, the more panels you can install the better, if you have a licenced Off Grid installer complete your installation you can claim the government rebate on the solar panels, like a grid connect solar system.
A solar battery is also necessary to allow your home to continue to run after the sun goes down. Throughout the day, your solar battery will charge as your panels generate excess electricity. Rather than simply losing out on all of that available solar.
The solar inverter converts the direct current collected by your solar panel array into the alternating current required to run your household appliances and electronics. For an off-grid system, you will likely use a stand-alone inverter, though there are a few options when it comes to set-up.
Solar Charge Controller
The solar charge controller or battery charger is vital to the health of your battery. The controller regulates the voltage and current that your solar battery receives, to prevent overcharging and damage. Some brands have an Off Grid specific Inverter to act as a solar charge controller.
Alternative Energy Sources
It may be worth considering an alternative source of energy as a back-up for your system. Back-up power sources are especially handy during the depths of winter when solar production is at its lowest. Many owners who use off-grid systems combine them with a generator that can power some of their homes’ electricity needs. When it comes to affordability, big battery banks might be too expensive, opt for a larger generator to help more frequently when the battery bank gets low.
Is going OFF-GRID Right For You?
Unless the cost to connect to the electricity grid is exorbitant, we recommend buying a grid-connect system. Typically, if the grid-connection cost is below $25,000, you are better off connecting and then buying solar panels or a hybrid system. It is possible to derive the benefits from solar power without forking out so much on an off-grid system.
Sustainable living is one of the main draws for a grid-free lifestyle, and using a renewable resource like solar power is a perfect way to lower your carbon footprint. However, your excess, clean energy goes to waste with an off-grid system. If you have a grid connection, your solar energy can be exported back into the grid and then used by someone else.
If you have a grid connection and you want total energy independence, then you are better to go for a hybrid solar system with back-up power functionality. A hybrid system will be much cheaper than a stand-alone unit and you can use power from the grid when you need it.
You are on your own.
If your power system is knocked offline by equipment failure or inclement weather, your energy company isn’t coming to your aid. You must have total confidence in your system components and the person installing your unit.
Find the Right Installer for OFF-GRID
Off-grid system installation is a specialty craft and not a service that most solar companies provide. The quality of the installation is paramount to the ongoing operation of the system.
Here at Raffin Electrical we can always guide you through the journey of living Off the Grid. Feel free to contact us in our office on 4168 5518.