Are you interested in off-the-grid living in Australia but aren’t sure how to get started? Going off-grid with solar power is becoming increasingly popular thanks to updated technology and more affordable solar power solutions – and the abundance of sun we enjoy here in Australia.
Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about going off-grid with solar and how to get started with off-the-grid living in Australia, including:
- How to know if off-grid solar is right for you
- The difference between on-grid and off-grid solar
- How to determine your energy needs
- How many solar panels do you need to go off-grid
What Is Off-Grid Solar?
Off-grid solar systems are stand-alone power systems that are not connected to the electrical grid. Off-grid solar allows users to be completely independent of the grid while eliminating power bills.
Off-grid solar puts homeowners in complete control of their energy needs and creates a great deal of flexibility. Although off-grid solar used to be considered too expensive for most homeowners, a growing number of affordable solutions are allowing more and more Australians to enjoy the benefits of off-grid living.
What Does It Mean to Go Off-Grid?
Being off the grid means producing your energy without needing to be hooked up to the grid. Off-grid homes utilise wind or solar power as a sustainable, renewable source of free energy. Off-grid solar allows users to run their homes free of utility companies using solar energy and lithium battery storage.
While the initial cost is an investment, off-grid solar systems allow users to enjoy a variety of benefits, including:
- No more worrying about power outages
- Cost-effective in the long run
- Environmentally friendly
- Easier installation
- Excellent alternative for rural areas
Off-Grid vs. On-Grid: What Are the Main Differences?
Here’s a glance at the differences between off-grid and on-grid solar systems.
Off-Grid Solar Systems (Stand-alone Power Systems):
- Utilise off-grid solar batteries to store energy produced by the panels
- Do not allow users to tap into the grid
- Require users to anticipate the various energy needs of the year (i.e. winter months with less sunlight)
- Are ideal for remote areas without affordable or reliable access to the grid
- Are ideal for users wanting to be completely stand-alone
On-Grid Systems (Grid-tie Solar Systems):
- The most commonly used solar system
- Serves a wide variety of energy needs
- No battery bank required
- Allows for net metering (excess solar power can be credited to your utility’s account)
- When solar panels are not producing power at night, users can tap into the grid
- Do not function during a blackout due to safety concerns
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to go Off-Grid?
If you are interested in going off-grid with solar, here are a few factors to help you determine how many solar panels are needed to go off-grid.
Most importantly, you’ll have to calculate your electric needs and decide which solar power solution will meet them efficiently.
Additional factors to keep in mind when determining how many solar panels are needed to go off-grid:
- Determine Your Electric Usage – Check your most recent power bills, taking note of the kWh displayed at the bottom
- Determine How Much Sunlight Your Area Receives – Determine the peak hours of sunlight in your area (this is measured by the amount of time the sun reaches an average of 1000 Watts per square metre)
- Determine Your Available Space – How many solar panels can your roof support? What condition is your roof in? How much space do you have? Do you want a ground mount for your solar panels? How much yard space is available?
- Decide On Your Energy Needs – Want to cut down your energy needs so you can install a smaller solar off-grid system? Consider making changes such as hanging your clothes outside to air dry, using a wood stove instead of a furnace, or washing dishes by hand
- Research Different Solar Panel Systems
Want To Learn More About Solar Off-Grid Systems?
Going off-grid with solar can be an amazing way to allow you to live a mobile or remote lifestyle, meet your energy needs, save money, and reduce your impact on the environment.
If you are interested in learning more about off-grid living in Australia, please feel free to reach out to our team of expert solar technicians. We can help you accurately calculate your energy needs, design the ideal solar system for your home, and install your new solar system to get you up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Powertex Energy Solutions offers affordable, reliable service from start to finish. From your very first questions about off-grid solar until years after the installation process is complete, we are here to support you every step of the way.
With over 10 years of experience designing and building off-grid power systems across Western Australia, you can trust us to design and install a high-quality off-grid solar system so you can enjoy the benefits of off-grid living.