The off-grid lifestyle has been growing in popularity in recent years, but the possibility seems to getting increasingly difficult as modern gadgets strengthen our need for electricity. The truth is, grid-independence is as easy as ever with the growth of energy storage technology like home batteries. Follow these steps, and you too can have the freedom of off-grid energy independence.
The first thing you need to do to truly get off-grid is to find a power source independent from your power company.
You can tap into other renewable energy sources (like wind or water, for example) but solar panels are attractive because of their long life and minimal maintenance required. Once installed, solar panels usually last over 25 years, generating electricity directly from sunlight. Awesome, right? And completely off-grid.
Most households install photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of their house, where nothing can block them from the sun. When the sun hits the panel, cells made up of silicon semiconductors collect the energy, creating an electrical direct current. This direct current, when passed through an inverter, is converted into an alternating current, which is what your home uses. This alternating current is what gets you off-grid, but solar panels also offer another option.
Many people with photovoltaic solar panels don’t choose to get off-grid, and are still connected to the grid, selling excess energy back to the utility company to help reduce the cost of their utility bills. This can be a good and economically viable option if cost-effectiveness is more important to you than off-grid independence. But solar panels can’t give you off-grid independence alone.
Solar panels generate electricity when the sun is out, but most people don’t need to use as much electricity in the middle of the day. This is why solar panels alone aren’t enough to get you off-grid. The next step? Energy storage.
In order to truly get off-grid, you need a way to store the electricity your solar panels generate during the day, so you can use it at night. Home batteries do just that. A home battery is like a power reservoir. Water reservoirs continuously provide water to overcome the intermittency of natural water flows. Home batteries ensure continuous power to an off-grid home, overcoming the intermittency of natural solar flows. With a home battery, your house can have off-grid energy, even when the sun isn’t shining.
Most home batteries on the market today are wall-mounted, indoor or outdoor systems with quiet, unobtrusive operation. Unlike gas-powered generators, they don’t need to be moved into place for operation, or refueled. With solar home batteries, there are no noxious fumes or obnoxious noise. You won’t even notice it’s there… until you stop getting utility bills.