Over the past ten years, solar energy has gained popularity as a trend, and there are now numerous options for powering homes with it. Innovating and working hard are needed to live off the grid and become somewhat self-sufficient. When you can meet every one of your demands using solar energy, it becomes simpler.
Everything is now accessible for DIY solar energy solutions, from passive cooling to batch solar water heaters. People are starting to realize that solar energy is simpler than certain people would have you believe. In the present era, this technology has become incredibly accessible, and you only need a few fundamental skills to complete your project.
Here are some ideas to get you started whether you want to live off the grid and use solar energy or if you want to reduce your electricity cost in half.
Solar energy is considered a universal energy source because it can be used in ways few people can imagine. Before you start creating a shopping list for your project, you should first determine your needs. Are you planning to use solar power for cooking? For hot water preparation or to generate enough power to keep your devices running even during a power outage?
There are off grid solar systems that you can use to light up your home and even your yard. Solar ovens are becoming increasingly popular, and there are some clever designs you can take with you wherever you plan to stray. You can also rely on water heaters, warm air collectors, and space heating systems if you plan to use solar power for your off-grid systems.
It all depends on what you need to do and how much electrical power you would need. The best part about harnessing the sun’s power is that you are not limited in how you build your solar panels system. For example, you can always add more solar panels and expand your battery bank.
People think solar energy is complicated because they don’t bother to read and learn the terms associated with solar energy. There are both passive and active systems, so you should be aware of that if you intend to use solar thermal applications.
The mechanical devices are not intended to be a part of the passive systems. Active systems, on the other hand, use mechanical devices to stock the energy for future use (such as photovoltaic panels). When you start knowing about solar energy, you’ll come across a lot of terminologies that can be puzzling at first, such as an open or closed system, a charge controller, and an inventor. To understand more about terms related to solar energy, consult the glossary that the kind people at Energy.gov have created.
Due to various factors, you can’t install solar panels if your roof needs to be replaced in the next few years. You will only increase the cost if you don’t repair the roof first, not to indicate the possible inconvenience of being without power for the time of repairs. Make a thorough assessment of your off-grid property and decide where to install the modules.
You should check if there are local regulations governing these types of systems. You may be off the grid, but you still have to obey the law until it’s gone. It would help if you found the right place for your mini solar panels or risk spending a lot more on repairs and maintenance.
Once the system is installed, you should move on to the next step: gathering the right information to keep your panels running without outside help. Finally, living off the grid requires you to develop all the necessary skills to be self-sufficient in a sterile environment.
Suppose a snowstorm, wild animals, or other uncontrollable factors damage your panels. In that case, you should have spare parts or materials and the knowledge and practical skills to replace them. This isn’t difficult to master, but it does take time and dedication to learn the basics.
Build your solar panels
As alternative energy becomes more mainstream, you can find plenty of home improvement supplies at your local hardware store or online. Solar energy has gained a lot of popularity from visionary people like Elon Musk, and people are beginning to understand the potential of this unlimited energy source.
Materials and guides are also available from specialty retailers, and many organizations offer training, news, and all kinds of resources to help you get started. If you plan to build your solar panels, choose something simple that you can build and maintain without professional help.
Related reading: How to take care of the food in the fridge when the power goes out?
Solar energy is all about conservation
While it is possible with today’s technology to power an entire household, solar energy teaches you how to be energy efficient. An off-grid life should be determined by independence. You cannot live off the grid if you are not self-sufficient unless you have a huge budget available. When this is not the case, efficiency becomes the first step towards independence. Every task related to solar energy should be maximized as much as possible, and reducing the need for energy becomes a way of life.
Turning off electronics and improving your home’s insulation can significantly reduce your electricity needs. You have to think of it this way: the better you are at conserving energy, the lower the system you need to install for your home.
Here are a few solar power kit recommendations that anyone can install and use:
Goal Zero 31901 Yeti 1250 Silver/Black XX-Large Solar Generator, 1,200 Watts. It can power lights, tools, refrigerators, freezers, and medical equipment.
Wagan (EL2547) Solar e Power Cube 1500 Plus, wattage 1,500. A simple all-in-one device that is ready to use as soon as you charge it.
KISAE 40400 1800-watt power kit with 40-watt solar panel, wattage 1,800. The complete solar power supply is ideal for your bug-out vehicle or an RV that doubles as a bug-out shelter.
Solar energy can provide your home with a reliable source of energy that will not be affected if the power grid fails. Having your independent power source is essential if you plan to live off the grid or if you are preparing for natural or artificial disasters.