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Go Completely Independent this Fourth of July!

Jessica PirroJuly 2, 20201880

Go Completely Independent this Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day!

This independence day looks a little different than usual due to COVID-19. But that doesn’t change the fact that America is celebrating 224 of independence from England. This Independence you may not be able to celebrate with fireworks or a BBQ with your friends (depending on the state and county that you live in), but you can celebrate by going completely independent from the grid with an off-grid solar power system.

The Grid

When most people think of living “off-the-grid” they think of living in a rural area, with no cell phone service, with the nearest grocery store being an hour down the mountain. But “off-the-grid” really just means living independently, without relying on a utility company to provide power. This can be in rural areas that don’t have access to the grid. You should remember that all off-the-grid homes will require an alternative power option, like solar power.

If you want to understand what the grid is, you are going to need to understand what utilities are, and what they’re going to do. The utilities are going to provide a commodity or a service that is going to be vital to the general public. Utilities will be expected to achieve three goals: production or generation, transmission, and distribution. The grid is going to achieve the transmission and the distribution goals, the grids infrastructure is going to allow power to come from the point of generation into your house. When you experience a blackout, it is normally going to be because the grid has been interrupted. For most people, if they are considering getting a solar panel installation, they are normally want to achieve as much independence from the grid as possible to lower their energy costs, and then they can exercise control over how much they will use. If you install an off-grid solar power system, if the grid experiences a blackout, regardless if it is a planned or an unplanned blackout, your solar power system will more than likely continue to produce solar power.

What Does it Mean to Be Independent of the Grid?

If you go “off-the-grid” in terms of electricity measures, it is going to mean that you completely remove any connection to the larger electric grid. If you go off-grid, you’re going to need to meet all of your home’s energy needs with solar power that is produced on-site.

You should keep in mind that when you get a rooftop solar panel installation, it does not mean that you are completely off-the-grid. Most solar power systems are still going to be connected to the grid.

If your home is still going to be connected to the grid, you can utilize solar power incentives like net metering, which allows you to sell any excess solar power that your solar panel installation generates back to the grid. Then when your solar panel installation generates solar power, you can draw energy from the grid to power your home.

If you have an off-grid solar power system, you aren’t going to have access to the grid in the event if you need it, either at night your solar panels don’t have access to the sun to generate solar power or if there’s a bad storm. Instead of drawing power from the grid, you would then create your own personal “grid” by installing an on-site solar battery to store the excess solar power that your solar panel installation generates for later use.

How Do You Get an Off-Grid Solar Power System

If you want to get off the electricity grid, you are going to need to find a solar power system that comes with an off-grid solar power system kit that is specifically designed to go off-the-grid. Your solar panel installation will also need a solar battery, this is going to store the excess solar power that your solar power system is going to generate when the production of solar power is high, and then you can use the stored solar power when the solar panel installation isn’t producing solar power, like at night. For most American homes, you will need several solar batteries to store excess solar power.

You will also need a special solar inverter. When it comes to an off-grid solar power system, the solar inverter is going to need to have a battery bank to function.

This is how an off-grid solar inverter works. Your solar panels are going to feed the solar power into the solar batteries. Then your solar inverter is going to take the power and convert it, creating the AC solar power for your house. The solar batteries are going to essentially work as a miniature solar power grid.  

Why Should You Install an Off-Grid Solar Power System?

Certain homes are going to function very well with an off-grid solar power system. The solar power systems are going to be a little smaller and less expensive. The homes are specifically designed for this purpose. They are oftentimes going to be located in remote areas and will not have access to an electricity grid. Some of the homes are built to Passive House standards and require very minimal energy for heating or cooling. But if you want to be independent of the grid, regardless of where you live it is possible to become completely independent from the grid.

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