How to Live Off The Grid - Going Off The Grid With Solar Power and Battery Storage Australia
How to Live Off The Grid - Going Off The Grid With Solar Power and Battery Storage in Australia. What you need to know. Looking for Solutions for Off Grid Solar Power.
How to live off the grid in Australia without breaking the bank! Going off the grid with solar power has become cheaper than ever with many options available to update to solar and battery storage. This has made the reality of disconnecting from the electricity grid entirely, an option that many Australians are now considering. ‘Going Off-Grid’ and living off the grid has become a dream for many and off grid stand alone solar systems tend to increase the value of a property whilst also reducing the carbon impact on the environment. No longer do you need to depend on mains power which means power outages won’t affect you anymore, and expensive electricity bills will be a thing of the past. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? However, transferring your house from mains power to off grid solar power requires a lot of preparation. It is not something you want to do without asking yourself a few questions that could make all the difference.
1. Do I want to go fully off grid with solar, or remain partly connected to mains power?
If you desire to live completely off grid, you’ll need a larger system than if you want to remain connected to the grid. Most people will choose to remain connected as they’ll always have a backup in case extended bad weather conditions interrupt the storage of solar power. In this situation, whenever solar power is not enough to power your appliances, the grid will help out and supply the rest of the energy needed. For example, your solar panels have generated 1kW, but you are using appliances that need 2kW. The other 1kW will then be delivered by the grid. Alternatively, if your solar panels are generating more energy than you require, you can feed it back to the grid and receive a payment for ‘selling’ your power to the electricity company.
If you want to completely disconnect from mains power, you’ll need a system large enough to generate your power needs and to charge your solar batteries. It may also be necessary to have a large battery bank to store the solar power for later use (e.g. in case of bad weather), or a backup generator.
2. What Size Does My Off Grid Solar System Have To Be?
The easiest way to find out the size of your solar system is by simply having a look at your electricity bill. It should mention the total amount of kW your family used in the time frame mentioned by the electricity company. By dividing the total kW by the amount of days, you’ll discover your daily kW usage.
For example: your quarterly invoice states that you’ve used 2000kW for those 3 months. The calculation would then be: 2000kW / 92 days = 21.7kWh average daily usage.
If you would like to live completely off grid, you’ll need a system that can generate power to cover this estimated daily use. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need 21.7kW of panels, as panels will produce power for several hours each day. In this example a good amount would likely be 5-6kW of panels. For a hybrid system – when you are still connected to the grid – you could opt for a smaller solar system (e.g. 3kW and use the grid as a supplement).
3. Which Batteries Should I Use For Off Grid Solar?
To store your solar energy, you need good solar batteries. AGM/High Discharge deep cycle batteries are ideal for smaller setups, or shorter periods of time that you are disconnected from the grid. If you want to live completely independent from mains power, you’ll need batteries that can store large amounts of energy and last for a longer time (e.g. 15 years versus 5 years for AGM). Tubular gel batteries are ideal for these long term systems.
Do you want to know more about solar batteries? Have a look at our previous blog post ‘How Do Solar Batteries Store Energy?’ for more information.
4. Do you have enough space to install a Stand-Alone Solar System?
Generally, off grid houses will have their solar panels installed on top of the roof. It is important to then consider how many solar panels you can install that face the right direction for maximum sunlight without being covered by trees or shade. This will most likely impact the size of your solar system. On the other hand, if you have a block of land that’s large enough and that won’t be affected by shade, you can have your solar system installed on the land. Or you can combine both options: some solar panels on the roof and the rest on your land.
5. Running Appliances for Off Grid Living - I want to run an air con with my solar system?
The Australian weather conditions can be very humid and hot during most of the year. If you use your air con almost non-stop during scorching summer days, you’ll need a solar system that can handle this amount of power. Sometimes, it is worth spending a little extra on a more efficient air con as this may be cheaper than buying a larger battery bank or solar system to power an inefficient air con.
Typically, you can expect to need a:
- 3kWh to 4.5kWh sized solar system for a small air con
- 6kWh to 7.5kWh sized solar system for a medium air con
- 10.5kWh or greater sized solar system for a large air con
How to get the Best Off Grid Solar System
Would you like to know more about getting the Best Off Grid Solar System and Stand Alone Solar Systems in Australia? If you need expert, tailored, no-obligation advice on Going Off The Grid With Solar and Battery Storage Power in Australia email or call our friendly team on 1800 853 315 and your dream to live off grid may soon come true!May 6, 2015 | By Nathan Gathercole| Comments
Nathan is the owner of Aussie Batteries & Solar, and has been immersed in the battery industry for many years. Growing up on the Sunshine Coast, he enjoyed taking full advantage of the spectacular outdoors on offer, and has turned this passion into a thriving business. As the saying goes, "Find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life".