An off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid and therefore requires battery storage. An off-grid solar system must be designed appropriately so that it will generate enough power throughout the year and have enough battery capacity to meet the home’s requirements, even in the depths of winter when there is less sunlight. The high cost of batteries and inverters means off-grid systems are much more expensive than on-grid systems and so are usually only needed in more remote areas that are far from any electricity grid. However battery costs are reducing rapidly, so there is now a growing market for off-grid solar battery systems even in cities and towns.

off-Grid System

There are different types of off-grid systems which we will go into more detail later, but for now I will keep it simple. This description is for an AC coupled system, in a DC coupled system power is first sent to the battery bank, and then sent to your appliances.

  • The battery bank. In an off-grid system there is no public electricity grid. Once solar power is used by the appliances in your property, any excess power will be sent to your battery bank. Once the battery bank is full it will stop receiving power from the solar system. When your solar system is not working (night time or cloudy days), your appliances will draw power from the batteries.
  • Backup Generator. For times of the year when the batteries are low on charge and the weather is very cloudy you will generally need a backup power source, such as a backup generator or gen-set. The size of the gen-set (measured in kVA) should to be adequate to supply your house and charge the batteries at the same time.

Advantages of Off-Grid Solar Systems

1. No access to the utility grid

Off-grid solar systems can be cheaper than extending power lines in certain remote areas.

Consider off-gird if you’re more than 100 yards from the grid. The costs of overhead transmission lines range from (for rural construction) to very high (for urban construction).

  1. Become energy self-sufficient

Living off the grid and being self-sufficient feels good. For some people, this feeling is worth more than saving money. Energy self-sufficiency is also a form of security. Power failures on the utility grid do not affect off-grid solar systems.

On the flip side, batteries can only store a certain amount of energy, and during cloudy times, being connected to the grid is actually where the security is. You should install a backup generator to be prepared for these kinds of situations.

Off-Grid Solar Systems

Off-Grid Solar Systems

On-Grid Solar Systems

On-Grid Solar Systems