As energy prices continue to soar, it’s becoming increasingly attractive to reduce your reliance on the grid.
Unlike grid-tied systems, off-grid living means that there is no physical connection with any kind of utility company, with electricity being completely self-generated. While being off-grid physically makes sourcing energy a self-sufficient task, it makes for a clean alternative to using fossil fuels.
Going off-grid is also common for rural activities such as camping and portable solar systems, being a great alternative for directly connecting with the grid.
What is an Off-Grid Solar System?
Off-grid solar systems allow electricity to be produced without being connected to the national grid. The systems work independently, allowing consumers to carry out everyday activities naturally.
Solar systems often use back up batteries to store excess energy which has been produced throughout the day. The spare energy can then be used during the night when the solar panels can no longer generate power due to the lack of daylight.
Due to off-grid systems working individually, they are ideal for areas which suffer from frequent power cuts. Off-grid solar systems can assist independent and sustainable energy generation that helps to keep the cost of living down.
Off-Grid vs On-Grid: What Is the Difference?
Depending on whether you are off-grid or on-grid, there are multiple different factors which will determine the production of energy.
Your Access to Electricity
When you are generating electricity off-grid, the energy which is produced is stored in batteries to be used at a later date. Yet as you are generating electricity from natural sources rather than the National Grid, there is a chance that it could run out.
However, when you are on-grid, you will most likely always have access to electricity. If your system is not generating enough power, energy can be pulled from the grid to supplement it.
Depending on the size of your solar system, the amount of electricity which you generate, and use will differ. This leads to times where there might be an excess of energy being produced.
Most off-grid systems are designed to produce specific amounts of additional energy throughout the day. This prevents households from running out of electricity, as the system produces adequate amounts of power to run appliances.
In terms of on-grid solar systems, the excess energy which has been produced is sent back into the grid rather than being saved for later use. However, this energy is compensated for by the consumers utility provider.
Different Types of Off-Grid Living
When living off-grid, there are two main types of sufficiency, including fully self-sufficient and partially self-sufficient.
Fully Off-Grid Living
When living fully off-grid, there is no immediate access to electricity. Although this limits the availability of power, it is still completely possible to generate energy through solar panels.
When living in these conditions, it is recommended that there is little to no shade covering the area. This allows for the solar panels to absorb as much daylight as possible, optimising the production of energy.
Living partially off-grid is where there is a main supply available, but it is only used when it is needed. Often, the main supply is seen as a backup rather than something to be relied on.
What Are the Benefits of Going Off-Grid?
There are many positive impacts which going off-grid can have, both upon the environment and personal circumstances.
Living off-grid has amazing impacts on reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, being a much greener way of sourcing energy. Not only does using renewable energy allow consumers to rely less on the grid for electricity and heating, but it is also great for the wider environment.
Alongside doing your bit for the eco-system, being energy independent also allows consumers to save their money on household bills, as no money is being paid to utility providers.
Building an Off-Grid Solar Energy System
There are three vital steps towards building your own solar energy system. These include calculating the amount of energy which you will use, the total battery storage which you will require, and the number of panels needed to create your system.
Through figuring out the amount of energy which will be used on a day-to-day basis, it will be easier to calculate the amount of back-up battery storage which will be needed. By considering weather patterns and your proximity to external energy sources, you can determine the amount of battery storage which will be needed.
It is also important to know how many solar panels will be required to power appliances when living off-grid. When designing your solar system, especially one which will be relied on persistently, it is important to be cautious of the number of panels you have in relation to your average use of energy.
When planning an off-grid solar system, you should take into consideration different weather conditions, especially worst-case scenarios. By using this as a starting point, you will be able to generate an efficient solar system for all weather conditions.
BLUETTI’s PV200 Solar Panels allow you to connect and leave the solar panel system throughout the day, as the panels will generate energy as long as there is sunlight around. The panels, which are built with monocrystalline solar cells, can convert up to 23.4% of sunlight into solar energy. This allows the solar panels to generate power even in cloudy weather.
The Future of Off-Grid Living
While going off-grid means living self-sufficiently, it often isn’t as challenging as it may appear. By using the correct technology and having the right set-up, living off-grid helps both with the cost of living and the planet!
Whether you’re looking for portable solar systems to take along with you on rural adventures, or you’re looking to become more self-sufficient through off-grid living - there is a Bluetti product to help get you started!
For more information about Bluetti’s range of portable solar panels and other accessories, contact our expert team today!