8000 Watts


"So how does it work?"

Solar panels in the sun

It's amazing how many times my wife and I have heard that question. "A lot like a normal home," I'll tell them. "Except I'm plugged into the batteries that are sitting in my garage instead of a power plant miles down the road."

And that is the gist of it, in a super simplified sort of way. But like a lot of things, there's a little more to it.

In an off-grid home, your house is essentially running on batteries. Charging of the batteries can be handled in a variety of different ways, but in my case, I'm using photovoltaic panels.

The general rule of thumb to remember is, the more batteries you have, the longer your house can run between charging. And the bigger your solar array, the faster you can recharge your batteries. Easy enough?

10/12/2015 7:31:55 PM

NebraskaDave - Thanks for the comment. Regulations for grid-tied solar vary from place to place and they're changing the rules all of the time. It would make a LOT of sense to encourage more household solar, but it's been my experience that this frowned on by the utilities. They like having 100% of the market, so when you provide your own energy it takes a bite out of their revenue. But that's the thing about technology - you can stop it about as well as you can a tsunami : )

10/11/2015 8:47:24 AM

Jack, I don't live off grid but conservation of energy is key to even city living. You have good grasp on what it takes to live off the power grid. Most city dwellers that have solar power are hooked into the grid and don't have batteries which are a big expense. The extra power generated goes into the power company's grid and keeps the electric bill lower. I've heard that there is a limit to how much a single household can put into the grid and receive credit for. I have thought for years that it should be required for any new houses built to have at least a couple solar panels hooked into the grid to help power companies hold down the cost of having to build new power plants to provide the ever increasing need to feed the power hungry appliances. I admire your inspiration to us all to conserve and plan ahead for power usage. ***** Have a great off the grid day.

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