Since Enphase and Tesla have released successful residential battery systems, most of the people we talk to are now enquiring about how storage will work with an existing solar system and how will they be able to get off the grid in the not so distant future. For most people – ‘off grid solar’ means disconnecting from the mains power supply completely.
To go off grid gives you freedom. It’s an idealistic act that says no to coal, yes to renewables, and of course no more power bills!
However, for most households going completely off the grid would be terribly expensive, no matter how cheap batteries get.
But that’s not what the usage of batteries and solar in homes is aiming to achieve.
The basic concept behind the use of a combined solar and battery system is that the batteries are charged by solar panels during the day, and then the household runs from the stored solar energy at night time. So far, so good.
In this case, economics says that you should install enough solar and battery capacity to cover most of your nighttime energy usage most of the time.
However, to go off grid (and therefore not have access to grid power at any time), means you not only need to install enough battery capacity to run your house overnight and into the next morning, but also to run your house in the event that we get days (or even weeks) without consistent sunshine – ie in an extended rainy period. To do this – and not run the risk of running out of power just before guests arrive for dinner – means you would have to buy and install around 10 times the capacity of batteries than you would otherwise, and only save an extra handful of dollars a month.
So if money isn’t an issue it’s possible to go off grid. But if you are doing it for environmental reasons why not stay on the grid, fill your roof with solar panels and turn your home into a small yet meaningful power generator – whilst using as much of the available solar power as possible?
For most households it’s all about generating the biggest impact for the money you are willing to spend, which will mean running your home on solar power during the day, and excess solar power at night.
For more information and a personalised quotation, please contact the Solaray Team today, I’d be happy to suggest a few options based on what you would like to achieve.