Going Off-Grid with Solar Backup Batteries

Ashleigh AngellSeptember 28, 201810700

Going Off-Grid with Solar Backup Batteries

If you want power when the grid goes down you have the choice of getting a generator or a solar with battery backup system (also called an off-grid solar system.) An off-grid solar system will cost more than a generator but is far superior if correctly designed. Keep reading to learn exactly why.

You’ll No Longer Need Fuel

Because you’ll only be relying on the sun for your energy, you won’t have to worry about obtaining fuel ever again. And they will replenish as soon as the sun comes out. This is obviously the most important one. The main problem with using a generator is that as soon as it starts running, you’ll only have power for as long as you have fuel. This is unlike the sun-powered batteries, which will last all night, and then as soon as the sun comes back up, start fully recharging. You won’t have to worry ever again about the food in your fridge spoiling overnight as soon as your fuel runs out.

You Won’t Have to Worry About Storage

While a generator is capable of lasting up to a week, this would mean you’d also have enough fuel in storage to last that long. If the reason the power is out is something serious, like a natural disaster, then the gas station is going to be the very first place people go to stock up. When you run out of fuel, you’ll be all out of luck. This happened in 2016 when a gas pipe in Alabama broke and disrupted the gasoline supply for the whole southeast United States. This disaster showed just how fast gas runs out in a crisis. Even if you have a propane tank or diesel storage system, you’ll need to keep a huge amount of gas stocked.

Batteries Last Longer Than Generators

If an off-grid system is designed properly, it can last 7-15 years before the batteries need to be replaced. Some batteries can even be disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled to last an extra 15 years. That’s a bit better than a generator, which will most likely only get you a few days to a week off-grid. If you’re preparing for a lengthy power outage, why would you even think about getting a generator? A generator in your situation would just be a waste of your money, especially since solar panels alone should last up to 30 years.

Batteries, Unlike Generators, Make No Noise 

Generators are noisy, and just starting them up is a very loud process. This is not only annoying for you, but it’s a signal to everyone in the neighborhood that you have power, and they’ll probably want to use it. While you might not mind helping a few friendly faces, sometimes people aren’t so nice, and they might try to take advantage of your power. While it may be unsettling to think of someone harming you just to get to your power, it’s reality, especially in a disaster situation. You can get batteries so you can quietly power up your home, and you can also let the friendly neighbors you know you can trust know that you have power, that way you won’t feel like you’re being selfish, either.

Batteries Require Less Maintenance and Are More Reliable

A generator requires regular maintenance and can break easily. If you don’t know how to fix it yourself, you might find yourself stuck in a disaster with no way to get power. The bigger the generator, the more maintenance they’ll need, with the bigger ones needing to be fixed every few months. You need to power them up and inspect them all the time. You can’t just purchase one and hope it works during a disaster situation. This means that batteries are definitely the more reliable choice.

Want more tips and information about going solar and the different ways you can do so? Check out the HahaSmart blog.

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