An off grid solar system kit is a smart investment for your home. The solar systems are popular as they offer an eco friendly solution for your power needs at home. Solar panels are economical alternatives to traditional power sources.
Off grid solar kits use solar equipment to generate energy for your home. The kits store energy generated by solar panels. An off grid solar kit is not connected to a utility grid, so it relies on a battery to store renewable energy.
Off grid systems utilize a battery bank that stores electricity absorbed by solar panels. An off grid solar system also serves as a backup when power failures arise due to bad weather and other natural emergencies. The off grid systems are ideal for homes in rural environments.
When buying an off grid solar system for the first time, you might not know where to start. There are many options to choose from so you should know a few things about off grid systems before making a decision.
To make it easier, we’ve created a list of the six most popular off grid solar systems. We’ve also included a guide that’ll help you choose the best off grid solar system for your home.
Equipment Required For Off Grid Systems
An off grid solar kit requires more than a few panels that soak up the sun.
Here are the essential components of a solar power system for your home:
Devices manage the flow of energy from the solar panels to the battery and they ensure that the battery is charged correctly without any overcharges occurring.
Inverters (AC) or MPPT solar charge controllers (DC) – these charge controllers are different from the battery inverters because while they control the battery charge, the input voltage from the solar panels needs to be at least 30% over the voltage of the battery.
The battery bank is where all extra power and energy is stored for use during nighttime hours or for those days that are overcast.
The panels are installed onto the roof of the home or placed around the home to ensure the correct wattage. These little cell-filled squares are joined together to harness the power of the sun.
A generator is optional. If you want to use a generator when running a solar panel system, then you can. The devices provide a secondary source when power failure strikes, however, they require fuel to run.
Off Grid Batteries
- Lead-Acid – the lead-acid battery there are different battery options and can be the more cost-effective option. Necessary maintenance is absolutely required to ensure that this battery is working properly and supplying the home with the right amount of juice to avoid power failure.
- Lithium-Ion batteries are more expensive but a lot more convenient as they do not need to be charged to be used and they can easily be stored without ventilation. They require no maintenance at all and are desired for a pre-set number of charging
Best Off Grid Solar Systems
As promised, here are the top six off grid solar systems on the market today.
This off-grid solar system comes with a regular monocrystalline panel that’s both sleek and durable. It’s meant to provide you with the highest efficiency per area, while the rover charger controller will ensure peak conversion efficiency.
Your purchase comes with a four-stage battery charging process that’s quick and efficient. For complete protection, the set also comes with a junction box. Those who have purchased this kit mentioned that it’s of high quality, and they felt that the quality of the components was nearly flawless.
Performance-wise, it tends to vary, but individuals have mentioned that they could get 22-24 amps out of the system. Others have also raved about the Bluetooth module that they can use for monitoring performance while dry camping.
- Comes with a four-stage battery charging process
- Comes with a Bluetooth module
- Sleek and durable monocrystalline panel
- Doesn’t come with any installation instructions
This model produces at least 4 kwh daily depending on the amount of sunlight. It comes with a combiner box that offers additional protection along with a charging battery and backup power.
Setup is easy, and your purchase also comes with a one-year warranty along with 24/7 customer service. The company provides strong customer service should you have any questions or concerns during the installation process or afterward.
- Produces at least 4 kwh daily
- Comes with a combiner box
- Easy setup
- One-year warranty
- Sometimes the batteries are hard to charge
This premium solar panel kit produces a daily output of 16,000 WH under 4 hours of sunshine. It can charge the system battery six hours. Composed of 3,500W 48V pure sine wave and 80A MPPT controller. Not can it be used off-grid, but when there is no sunlight, it can also receive electricity from the grid to charge the battery.
The combiner box offers safety protection, with 10A fuse for each string, anti-backflow diodes and lighting protection.6 independent terminals, make you get rid of the complex tangled troubles of the connection,so that your installation is more easily and convenient.
- All-in-one to the load you want to use.
- Worth the investment
- Delivery issues
- Product arrives in multiple deliveries
LiFePO4: ExpertPower’s newest line of batteries is the sealed lead acid battery. The battery provides 2,500 – 7,000 cycles. The battery has a ten year lifetime with a built-in battery management system (BMS) that protects it from overcharge, deep discharge, overloading, overheating and short circuit, and excessive low self-discharge rate ensuring up to 1 year maintenance-free storage.
The 40A MPPT controller utilizes modern solar technology to maximize your solar array’s power generation by over 20 percent through sophisticated tracking and capture compared to PWM with auto-detects 12V/24V systems.
- Versatile wave inverter
- Lithium battery doesn’t require BMS board
- Issues producing at 100 percent
The EcoWorthy 800W comes with a Wind Turbine Generator that solves the problem that solar panels could not work during night time or when the sun is not strong enough. It has a low start-up speed, high wind power utilization, lightweight, low vibration with 3 blades and auto windward direction adjustment.
The solar power kit features a PWM Hybrid Controller that protects the battery. This feature allows it to shut down when the battery is charged, protect it from overcharge and short circuit.
- Long lasting
- Long battery storage
- Durability issues under harsh weather conditions
Benefits of Off Grid Solar Systems
The most significant benefit of an off-grid solar systems is how you don’t have to worry about power outages. Since you’re not tied to the city’s power source, you won’t have to worry about disruptions caused by inclement weather or damaged power lines and equipment.
Another great benefit is that it helps with reducing electricity costs. Although you’d be forking out a little more money initially to purchase the off-grid solar system, you’ll be saving money in the long run, thanks to the low monthly rates and maintenance costs
The installation system of off-grid solar systems is also much easier because they don’t have a complex infrastructure. All you need is some tools, and you’re good to go, you won’t have to fork out extra money to pay for a professional and can do it yourself.
If you live in a rural area, off-grid solar systems are also a great choice. Since there’s less advanced infrastructure in those areas, the chances of blackouts are more common. An off-grid solar system can help make your home self-sufficient and more independent from the inconsistency of city power.
Off Grid Solar Power System Pros And Cons
Here’s a more thorough overview of the advantages and disadvantages of an off grid system.
- Cost-friendly. Solar energy is free so that you won’t have a hefty electricity bill, and there’s minimal maintenance required.
- Eco-friendly. These systems rely on solar power, so you’re doing your part for the environment.
- Great options for rural areas. If you live in a rural area and commonly experience blackouts, off-grid solar systems are a great choice as you’re generating your own electricity.
- Great for emergencies. Even if you’re not living in a rural area, you can take comfort knowing that you’ve got backup power in case of an emergency.
- Easy to maintain. Off-grid solar systems are sturdy and don’t require much maintenance, all you need to do is occasionally clean the body and change the battery bank.
- High upfront cost. When you first purchase your off-grid solar system, you’ll need to fork out quite a bit of money.
- Bulky. You’ll need quite a bit of space on your roof to install an off-grid solar system.
Off Grid Solar System Factors
First and foremost, calculate your load. Figure out the total load of your home. This will determine the power and quality of your off grid solar system. Next, you’ll want to consider the battery your system will need to store electricity.
There are different types of batteries, and it depends on the appliances you’ll be running and your power sources. However, these systems will use lead-acid batteries, and a larger system will require a more significant bank.
As part of your solar array, you’ll need to consider the solar panel. Make sure that you’re getting sufficient solar energy, and that’s determined by the number of hours the sun is shining on your solar panels.
There are different types of solar panels available, and the most popular is monocrystalline solar panels. These generate the most electricity, but they can be pricey. For smaller loads, amorphous solar panels are a great choice.
A charge controller regulates voltage and electrical currents that protect the battery. There are different types of charge controllers, but you want to look at PWM and MPPT as they’re the most efficient. If your appliances run on AC power, you’ll also need an inverter.
The inverter you purchase is dependent on your devices. The voltage of your battery bank is something you’ll need to consider. You’d also need to balance the system by getting other essential elements such as breaker boxes, wires, fuses and breakers, and more. Finally, a backup generator would be a good idea.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How Much Does An Off Grid Solar Kit Cost?
When it comes to putting in an off-grid solar system, you need to be prepared to cover a fairly substantial cost. What it comes down to is how much power do you need. It’s the type of system that is expensive during installation, but in the long run? Installing an off-grid power system will pay off in a major way when you no longer have monthly utility bills that are subjected to rate hikes.
A smaller off-grid solar system that has enough wattage to run smaller appliances and other small duties, such as charging phones, will cost approximately $20,000.00 at time of publishing. If you are looking to go completely off-grid and remove other sources of electricity; then you are looking at spending approximately $50,000.00 – $70,000.00 for installation and start-up.
It is important to remember as well that when you install an off-grid solar system, the costs doesn’t stop once installation is complete. There are on-going maintenance costs for the upkeep of the generator, fuel costs to run the system, and maintenance costs on the battery’s and wires.
This can become pricy if you are running only an off-grid system but it truly depends on the rationale for leaving the local utility company. If you want to live a more alternative and greener lifestyle? Then an off grid system powered by the sun and backed up with fuel and batteries is the right path.
How big of a solar system do I need to go off-grid?
The first thing to consider when wondering how big of a solar system you need to run a house off-grid is whether or not you plan to use another alternative source of energy to power the home. If you are going to be using off-grid solar energy for smaller needs, then you won’t have to invest in such a big system.
You want to invest in at least 20-25 solar panels for the average home. Available online through numerous forums, however, are solar system calculators to determine the size of the system that is required to power your current residence!
What Is The Best Off Grid Solar System Kit?
You want to determine how much power you need for your off grid home. Next, narrow down the best off-grid solar systems because there are so many options to choose from. Before making any final decisions on a particular system, it is always recommended that you complete research on different styles of off-grid solar systems.
Determine the size of the solar system required, choose a company that has a solid reputation with both installation and customer service, and ensure that your current climate will be able to harness enough energy to power the chosen system.
How Much Solar Power Is Needed For An Off Grid Cabin?
If you are planning to use a solar system for an off-grid cabin, you definitely won’t have to install the same size system as you would for an average-sized home. Cabins tend to be on the smaller size with a lower number of electronics to power on a consistent basis.
Also, if you have alternative heating sources (for example, a wood stove), then you won’t need to install a system that can run electric heat comfortably.
Determine if you plan to use only solar panels or you will use battery backup storage power to run the electronics of the cabin. However, a small to average size cabin will require at least three moderated-size solar panels to run electronics comfortably but remember! You can only use solar panels during the daylight hours so a backup system is imperative.
Off Grid Solar System Conclusion
An off grid solar power system might be the best deal on the market today for those who want to lead a cleaner lifestyle. The solar industry is advancing faster than ever before. As a maintenance free power source option that comes in an affordable package, it’s worth the upfront high cost.
When you need access to power during a natural disaster, for example, an off grid system makes sense. Face it, solar batteries and lithium iron phosphate technology are the future. With battery storage, your specific needs are covered when your electricity supply fails.
Outback power can provide energy for your water pumps and other specific needs for your off grid home. When you can generate power without relying on your local utility grid, then you become more self reliant, and that’s what you want. Your local utility company can only do so much.