Living Off-Grid 101 - What You Need to Make it Work

By: Randy Anderson, Technical Sales & Training Manager

In this post, we’ll detail the various components of an off-grid system and some specifics surrounding the products you need to get your system up and running smoothly.

To back track a bit, a solar panel is a device that's designed to collect energy from the sun's rays and turn it into usable household power and/or recharge batteries. Solar power requires a certain amount of sunlight to generate electricity, so you’ll need to make sure that your panels are in a location where they're getting proper and sufficient sunlight. Ideally this would be facing in the right direction and at the proper angle depending on your location.

What are some of the components that you’ll require for a solar system? Obviously, solar panels to recharge the batteries is one of the most important components. You’ll need some type of racking or mounting to mount those solar panels, whether it be on a roof or a ground mount or fixed mount. You need an inverter charger; something that's going to convert the battery power into AC power and/or recharge the batteries off the generator. We're going to need a charger controller. That's going to control the amount of power coming from the solar panels into the batteries into again a usable voltage or amperage. Of course, you're going to need batteries to store the energy and there are a number of different types and sizes of batteries and voltages depending on what your inverter is. You'll need cables to connect all that together as well as breakers, distribution panels, and likely some type of generator, if you’re off-grid for backup if you don’t get sun for any number of hours or days.

If you have questions about any of these requirements, or you’d like us to help you size and install a system in your off-grid location, contact us!