Your guide to going off grid, with solar batteries.

So, what does it mean to go off grid?

Have you ever dreamed of turning your back on mainstream power generation and living off your own energy supply? Maybe you want to break the nexus from those big energy companies. Or maybe you’re sick and tired of rural blackouts from an unreliable grid. Whatever the reason, first let’s answer this: is it even possible to create and store enough energy to power every aspect of your life including heating, cooling, and hot water?

As the popularity of new energy technologies like solar panels and batteries surge, so does the interest in going off grid. But what does it actually mean?

To put it simply, living off grid means disconnecting from the electricity grid and relying on your own energy generation and storage through solar panels and batteries. It means that you have complete control of your energy supply.

So how can a solar battery help you go off grid? And what do you need to consider before flicking the switch off grid supplied power? We break it down for you here.

Solar batteries store energy.

While you can use your solar panels to power your home during the day, what happens on a cloudy day or at night? This is where solar batteries come into play.

Solar batteries allow you to store excess energy that has been generated by your rooftop solar panels during the day, for use later. The type of solar battery you need will depend on your energy use, the size of your solar panel system and what you want from your battery.

To go off grid, you’ll need to be able to store enough energy to power your entire home, and a solar battery can help you do just that.

First, consider how much energy you need.

Before you make the decision to go off grid, think about how much power you’ll need to run your household, especially during your peak usage times. It’s important to factor in energy hungry appliances such as air-conditioners and clothes dryers.

Also consider any future changes that may affect your energy needs, including things like expanding your family, working from home, adding a pool or purchasing an electric vehicle. All of these factors will affect your energy usage so make sure you plan ahead!

This is also a good time to think about ways you could reduce your energy usage by changing your habits – like using fans instead of aircon, and turning off your heater before going to bed – and sourcing more energy efficient appliances.

What’s your energy capacity?

Once you figure out how much energy you need, it’s important to know and understand your capacity to make and store energy in your home. How big is your roof and how much sun does it receive? This is essential to deciding if you can run your own electricity supply using solar energy. Also consider the size and storage capacity of your solar battery to ensure it can keep up with your needs – even during periods of cloudy weather.

Your off-grid supply will be solely dependent on the quality of your solar battery (including maintenance), your geographical location and the weather. Make sure you’re in the position to be able to manage it all well, to ensure you’re not left in the dark.

Find an accredited electrician.

With various types and sizes of batteries on the market, it’s important to discuss your off-grid requirements with a Clean Energy Council accredited battery designer. They will help you understand how much energy you need, the differences between solar battery systems and choosing one that meets your needs.

Remember that to ensure the safety and efficiency of your system, solar batteries must be installed and maintained by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer.

Find out more about solar batteries here.