Essentials for an off-grid house

Off-grid households that rely on solar power almost always have a generator for backup power when battery storage levels are low, the sun isn’t shining, or both.

With the price of solar panels and wind turbines continuing to decline, more homeowners are likely to supplement their power sources with renewable energy, reducing their dependence on the grid without disconnecting entirely. Off-grid cabin essentials: The off-grid cabin essentials are water, food, power generators, fire starters, lights, tents, tools, sleeping bags, cash, heating devices, cooking appliances, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, garbage disposal, fire extinguishers, crops, clothes, hiking boots, self-defense equipment, and emergency situation items. An additional consideration for the overall solar power system is the number of backup days that you may want to have energy in reserve – during times when the sun is covered by clouds during periods of bad weather.

They usually incorporate rainwater collection, water recycling, solar panels, and indoor greenhouse into the design, for the ultimate in self-sufficient, off-grid living. The Enerdrive 40A battery charger delivers multiple sources charging for DC systems, including either an alternator linked to a battery or solar power. In the midst of a string of overcast days in which solar energy is lacking, wind power may be abundant and ease the worries of running out of energy; being set up to use complementary systems can be advantageous.

You will likely end up either drilling a well or installing a cistern to be the main water source of your home, both of which are standard systems for conventional houses as well as off-grid homes. Off-grid solar power also stores DC electricity in batteries. An off-grid system, also known as a stand-alone power system, consists of components that capture sunlight, transform it into usable electricity, store excess for use overnight and provide a backup power source in case of unusual events.

I am using a MidNite Solar charge controller which handles all of the solar panels nicely while charging my battery bank (48 volts – which is likely the most popular voltage for typical off-grid home battery banks these days). Since you do not consume all of your daily energy requirements during just daytime, an off-grid system will store the energy that’s collected during daylight into a bank of batteries to be used during the night (or cloudy periods during the day). 3,000 (watt-hours) divided by 4 hours of good sunlight equals 750 watts of solar panel power capacity to absorb and convert 4 hours of solar energy into 3 kWh of electricity (to be stored in a battery bank).

Batteries can be charged via solar panels or wind turbines, making it easy to have a consistent and reliable source of power. Solar panels are ideal for off the grid adventures since they are charged up by the sun and power is stored in batteries. It works by creating electricity from the power of the sun through solar panels and then using the energy the same way a traditional refrigerator uses electricity.

A home-sized windmill power generator as an adjunct or backup to installing solar power panels can keep you permanently off-grid for your electricity needs. Traditionally, living off-grid meant no connection to power, water, or telephone, so life off-grid was very tough. This is one important element that you shouldn’t skimp out on. You can build your very own energy-efficient house, or buy a land or house that comes with pre-installed off-grid power sources.

The idea sparked when groups of people thought how they could potentially get their source of electricity via more natural means, i.e., solar and wind power. Off-grid solar, wind and micro-hydro allow you to live independent from utility power, and/or off the beaten path. When designing an off-grid system, it is critical that electricity consumption is determined for everything in your home or business, and to calculate for those cold, dark winter days and nights when energy consumption is at its peak and power production is at its minimum.

To be fully independent, a system must have a larger wind generator or array of solar panels, and greater battery storage capacity than in applications where grid power is available. There are many reasons to be off-the-grid, but typically off-grid (standalone) solar electric systems are used in remote locations where connecting to the local utility grid is impossible or prohibitively expensive, in areas where grid power is inconsistent, or due to the appeal of an independent lifestyle.  It is also a necessity to have clean drinking water, USA Berkey filters are the leading brand in gravity-fed water filtration, you can learn more about these products at