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A complete beginner’s guide to an off-grid solar power system

How does off grid solar power work

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the basics of an off-grid power system. We will cover what it is, where to put it and how much you should expect to spend on your system. Finally, we hope that this information will assist you in determining whether going off-grid is appropriate for you!

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of installing an off-grid power system, but that doesn’t have to be the case! This guide outlines what you need to know, about off-grid solar power systems. Help save money on installation costs and maintenance by reading this article and empowering yourself to make better decisions.

 

What is an off-grid Solar Power System?

Solar panels, batteries and an inverter are all you need to be off the grid. A "fossil fuel-free" lifestyle that doesn't rely solely on fossil fuels or coal power is possible because it goes through a different energy source than what we're used too: The sun!


off-grid solar power system

Off-grid solar power is a great way to keep your energy costs low. It allows you to have cheap, reliable energy for your house or business almost anywhere in the world.

Have you ever asked yourself exactly how solar power converts into electrical power? Well, this will give you an idea of how that happens.

Solar panels consist of photovoltaic cells, which consist of silicon. These cells absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays and use them to create energy. Keep in mind that not all solar panels use silicon-based products for this purpose. Some companies use thin layers of metal oxide as their light absorber instead since it is more

Solar panels are a great way to harness the power of nature. When you have them, your home will be able use energy more efficiently and produce fewer greenhouse gases because they convert light into electricity so well!

Solar panels are the best for generating clean, renewable energy. They can provide you with an income year after year and never have to worry about blackouts because they're always powered by sun!

 

How does it work?

Your Solar panels will be set up on a level surface, like the roof of your home. The sun's rays once switched on can power these devices and make them work tirelessly for you! These solar panel constructions consist mainly of semiconducting materials such as silicone which absorb light well in order to create electricity inside themselves - all without emitting any greenhouse gases or other harmful agents into Earth’s atmosphere while doing so.

These panels are also known as

Off-Grid solar power installations on site

“photovoltaic” cells, or PV cells

Solar panels are just a group of cells engineered to deliver the greatest amount of power when exposed to sunlight. The unit itself is fairly small and it’s made up of layers and layers of solar cells. Each cell produces about half a volt. These panels (when exposed to light) create an electric current – The duration of the cells light exposure will generate electricity; when there is no sunlight, no power is generated. The speed of this generation depends on the intensity of exposure to sunlight and can vary.

Light to power conversion occurs when the free electrons leave their atoms. The photovoltaic or PV effect is the process in which light is changed directly to power.

From there, you now have direct current (DC) electrical power going into an inverter. The power transforms into 120 volt AC (alternating current), which is the power required to power the house. As the system goes live, it feeds your home’s power distribution board (DB board), so the lights, as well as all applications and devices, will work.

Is Solar Power Worth It?

Solar power is a great way to get free electricity for your home. This is because you can use solar panels any time, during the day, whether there’s cloud cover or not – and if sunlight isn’t available, then simply use the energy that is saved in larger batteries, that are fed by solar power during the day.

Large batteries are included as part of our standard package, when purchasing an off-grid solar system from Relax Solar (www.relaxsolar.co.za). This gives homeowners, peace, in knowing they won’t have to worry about running out of power at night or critical moments such as during load shedding.

At Relax Solar we can supply you with off-grid solar power systems, hybrid solar system that uses both, the grid and solar energy, as well as grid-tie solar systems.

In my case,

solar panels

I have an electrical feed from Eskom which brings electricity to my house. But there’s also a separate line feeding electricity from the solar panels, including batteries etc… via an inverter

Many people who choose to make use of an off-grid solar power system, also invest in a solar geyser. Solar water heaters help supplement water heating, while battery power, from the off-grid solar system, helps to run a heating element for additional heat at night too.

Going onto an off-grid solar system does require a few lifestyle changes, such as the ones mentioned above.

New homeowners and business’s moving to new premises, could also look into improving their homes insulation properties, on windows, doors and ceilings, to ensure they are keeping the temperatures they want inside and keeping the undesirable temperatures outside.

There’s a lot to take in when it comes to solar power and how you can utilize your home’s batteries.

Benefits of off-grid solar power

You can save money and the environment by powering your home with solar energy. All it takes is a little investment in panels that will generate clean, renewable electricity for years to come!

The best part about going green is how much time you’ll save on shopping groceries online, or waiting at red lights, or getting stuck in crazy traffic jams. Not having an interruption every few minutes from routine utility cuts, or when there’s a storm coming up. They also allow us to secure our families’ safety, during emergencies, by allowing important security and systems to remain up and running.

Solar Powered House
Save thousands by getting your home on to solar power

With the use of solar panels and an inverter, your off-grid system, if sized and designed by an electrical engineer and solar company, and will convert the power to your AC home and business. Your power needs can be met all day and night, as required. For large industry clients, the addition of an on-site generator assists in carrying any excess power loads, not already handled by the solar power system. This would be on a case by case basis.

Why Make Use Of Solar Power – 6 Great Reasons

Maybe you are more than happy with the electrical status in your business or home, these days. Maybe you feel all is fine and you do not feel the need to transform your systems. Besides, they have worked for over a century, why change now. If you do favour change, think about a few of these advantages that solar power brings, and also you may simply recognize its possibility in a rather positive light.

Are You Committed to helping the environment?

It’s hard not to be in love with the way everything works on this planet. You might even say it would make you want to start an environmentalist movement or two!

You and I have a right to clean water, fresh air and trees left standing.

Diversify your risk by adding solar panels.  You can keep your home or business up and running and efficient. The sun does what it needs to do on Earth! It is up to us to utilize its energy for a cleaner environment in which non-renewable resources like coal.

Ecologically responsible power is not a new concept. billions of people live their lives happily without knowing it! It has been used for thousands of years, and Solar energy, in its many forms, is a clean and inexhaustible source of energy. 

Ecological solar energy can come from two places:

  1. Captured water molecules create hydrogen gas when they react with sunlight;
  2. Using an electric charge created through photosynthesis- which occurs on land plants like trees (and also algae).

The first step in making electricity happen? Seeing the sun

solar powered off-grid home

Cost financial savings

The many advantages of looking after your sunshine are the best part about it. One such advantage is that you may save money in the future by taking advantage of government depreciation incentives! By applying depreciation in 2021, a Business Solar system can claim the full expense in 1 year. After purchase and installation.

Give a lot of thought, when deciding where your panels will go, and which ones to use. Given the position of the property and the types of batteries, we’ll need to store all of the electricity generated by our panels. Your panels need to face the sun as much as possible. That means little to no shading from trees and high-rise buildings. and ensuring they face North, in the Southern hemisphere. Make use of an electrical engineer for this type of expertise.

Existing customers have shown that making use of an off-grid solar system requires only minor tweaks to their lifestyle, to ensure a happy, productive environment.t

Off the grid

Going solar is a great way to get away from the social collective and be more self-reliant. In essence, it takes you off of society’s grid by putting your energy consumption back on yourself!

Versatile

Solar power will certainly go from a niche technology to an essential part of our future energy equation, but there are still some limitations with how versatile it can be. Solar power, as well as solar panels produced into sheets for automobiles and trucking firms’ electric-powered vehicle fleet, is a developing industry. The majority of these have not yet been validated.

Batteries may hold more juice than you think, so don’t fret if your battery dies quickly while utilizing solar electricity; this could just mean that it wasn’t designed properly or charged enough before use!

The newest Lithium-ion batteries now work with an off-grid solar power system. The batteries are as streamlined as a Tesla wall.  The batteries have been built to last for over 15 years. That’s a huge improvement over the older technology that was not recycle-able and only lasted 3 to 5 years.

 

Personal obligation

Solar power is a no-brainer for those looking to save money and protect the environment. In just about every way, solar cells are cheaper than coal plants while also providing significant environmental advantages:

  • they reduce acid rain by 93%,
  • reduceair pollution from burning fossil fuels 100% (when compared with natural gas),
  • cause fewer accidents when generating electricity due in part or whole because operations don’t have any flammable liquids present at all times

Finally, you’re helping out future generations who will most likely rely on cleaner sources of energy if we don’t stop polluting now!

Personal responsibility

Consider the economic benefits and environmental integrity that solar power brings. You’ll be part of a much larger social order which produces more things for us all to use!

Pros and Cons of an Off-Grid Solar System

Solar power system installlation in progress

The benefits of off-grid solar systems include

  • the ability to generate your power,
  • lower utility bills,
  • and decrease dependence on fossil fuels

 One disadvantage is that it may not be for everyone because you need to have a large enough roof or yard for installation

 Another disadvantage is the initial expenditure, which can be prohibitively costly if you don’t qualify for certain loan programs such as our lease offer from Relax Solar South Africa. This provides for a monthly payment that’s comparable in price to your current power bill. The one significant benefit, though, is that you get to own the solar system at the end

 A final consideration before installing an off-grid solar system in your home is whether or not you want to completely disconnect from the grid and rely solely on renewable energy sources like wind and sun for electricity generation.  A viable alternative, to become self-sufficient is to install a grid-tie system for your home.

 Advantages of Installing an Off-Grid Solar System in Your Business – It reduces carbon emissions and promotes sustainability. – Natural catastrophes like tsunamis and hurricanes are less likely to affect them.

 Disadvantages of putting up an off-grid solar system in your company

 Such systems may require annual maintenance.

Please make sure that you educate all personnel on what to do if something goes wrong, on system installation.

Different types of systems and components available for purchase and installation

 

What components does an off-grid solar power system require? Here’s a list of the most essential parts that our staff would assemble for you.

1. Solar panels – these convert sunlight into electricity

2. Charge controller – this regulates the flow of power from the solar panels to charge batteries or connect to an inverter, which converts DC power to AC power for use in your home

3. Batteries-these store energy so you can use it at night and when there is no sun

4. Inverters: – Inverters change direct current (DC) from a battery or solar panel into alternating current (AC), making the power available for household appliances to use.

5. Load report-this refers to a report about the amount of power that all the electrical devices in your house, such as lights, water heater, refrigerator/freezer, TV and stereo system use during the day ** This is only provided for loan applications

6. We provide a diagram that shows you how everything links together, in an off-grid solar system.

 

In Summary

Solar power supplied by off-grid systems does not rely on the availability of an electric grid. You can purchase and install one of these systems for your home, but there are pros and cons you’ll need to consider before making this investment. The most obvious pro of off-grid solar energy is that it doesn’t require any electric company involvement so you don’t have monthly bills or surcharges on top of what you pay upfront for installation.

If done correctly, the system will satisfy all of your home’s or company’s energy requirements. That is without the assistance of anybody else, allowing you to operate independently from traditional suppliers like Eskom. There are a lot of various options for solar power these days, as more and more individuals desire to live off the grid. It’s essential to do your homework, by reading articles such as this to get a better understanding. Feel free to give us a call, or book a call to chat about your solar needs today.

Have we covered everything? Do you still have any questions about off-grid or alternative energy systems? Drop us an email or leave a comment below.

 

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