Going off the electrical grid can begin as an environmental or political ideal, but in practical terms, 2017 is the year to turn ideas into reality. For those brave pioneers who tried to free themselves from utility companies in years past, the available options today will seem like Utopia. While many details must be considered, your off-grid power plan needs two major components: the photovoltaic (PV) panels and the storage batteries.
PlanWhen deciding to make the leap to off-grid power, plan carefully. Calculate your power consumption needs, how many PV panels you will need to meet those needs and how many batteries (and of what type) you will require to store power for sunless days and overnight use. The first consideration is how long you expect batteries to sustain you and your family:
- Overnight and cloudy days?
- Through a snowstorm of three or four days?
- Tesla Powerwall — using lithium-ion batteries for maximum efficiency
- Iron Edison — using nickel-iron batteries
- Adara — lithium-ion energy storage systems