One of the most recent sought after innovations stemming from the desire for independence from the energy companies is the utilization of off grid solar power as a natural source for domestic use. Although many people living in remote rural districts are already living off grid, there has been a surge in interest from many others, even city dwellers, to switch to off-grid solar power.
Off-course, as with all cost-saving innovations, there is a trade-off between cost and convenience. However, when you go off grid I believe it’s worth every bit. The most important thing to remember with off grid solar power is how and at what times you will use it. It’s not a question of it running out, but to use it efficiently without wastage in order to achieve the most benefit.
Another aspect of off grid solar power is the maintenance up keep. There is generally very little involved. However, you can easily undertake this by availing yourself of the wide variety of product information that is now available on the subject of off grid power energy. You can easily become an expert trouble-shooter of your own system. Many have gained the necessary expertise by building there own off grid wind or solar power system, and thus gained the skill and knowledge along the way.
The 9 components of an off grid solar power system are as follows:
1. The photovoltaic cells, otherwise known as the solar panel. This is basically a series of interconnected solar cells which you are generally placed on the roof and facing the sun.
2. DC breaker disconnect. This serves as the fuse and enables you to disconnect the system in unlikely case of the system failure or maintenance issues.
3. There is also a precautionary controller to prevent overcharging of the batteries.
4. Batteries with which to store electricity for the days when the sun doesn’t shine. It’s recommended that you have enough to hold enough electricity for around 3 days. It’s for this reason you would safeguard against unnecessary waste of electricity.
5. The meter that monitors your system so that you can see at a glance how each of the components are functioning.
6.There is also a main breaker DC disconnect between the inverter and the batteries.
7. The Inverter itself that converts the electricity that is generated by the solar panel from DC to AC current for your domestic supply. This doe the same with the electricity from the battery storage.
8. The AC breaker panel that acts between the the converted and domestic current in your home much the same way as that used by the power companies.
9. You will also need a generator as a backup just in case of any prolonged spells of inclement weather that outlasts the battery storage supply. Instead of using gas you can use bio diesel in-keeping with a more eco-friendly system.
The system is relatively simple and not difficult to understand. You can even install these yourself if you want to save even more on your energy costs. Once you have the system installed, as there are no moving parts, its simple to maintain. If you wish to go that extra mile then you can make your own bio diesel to fuel the backup generator. You will probably need very little anyway.