What is Off-Grid Solar?

What is Off-Grid Solar?

Solar power has experienced explosive growth over the past decade. Advances in technology, coupled with decreases in prices, have make solar achievable for a wide range of homes. All across the country, especially in sunny climates like Colorado, solar panels are dotting rooftops and empty spaces.

But the vast majority of those systems are directly tied to the existing electrical grid. This means that they are producing solar power as a supplemental source of power, on top of a direct tie to the grid. It is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your utility bills. But it isn’t the only solution when considering your solar options.

What is Off-Grid Solar

For those looking to go beyond the typical grid-tied system, there are options for going totally off-grid. But what exactly is off-grid solar?

Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the electricity grid in any way – making them totally reliant on creating their own electricity. Because of the popularity of on-grid systems, many people are surprised to learn that it possible to go off-grid with a solar system.

Typically, an off-grid solar project will have four main components:

  1. Solar Panels: As with any system, off-grid is primarily powered by photovoltaic panels that collect energy from the sun and transform it into electrical energy.
  2. Battery Bank: Because there is no grid-tie to provide power during off-times, there needs to be a way to store power generated during sunny days. A charge controller is also used to ensure that the batteries are charged evenly and safely.
  3. Inverter: While the battery bank is using DC voltage, your house is wired for AC. An inverter transforms that DC from your battery bank into usable AC for your home.
  4. Backup Generator: Even the sunniest climates can have times of extended cloudy weather or times when your needs are exceeding your supply. That is why an off-grid system should have a backup generator – the type and capacity will depend on your individual needs.

Benefits of Off-Grid Solar

Now that we’ve answered the question of what off-grid solar is, it is important to look at the benefits of installing and using an off-grid system. The bulk of our clients, especially because we are located in wide-open Western Colorado, are using off-grid solar because it is the most effective way to get electricity to remote areas. Vacation homes, hunting cabins, and ranchers have all seen the benefit of off-grid solar; but those aren’t the only reasons to pursue energy independence.

Going with an off-grid solution also provides freedom – both from monthly utility payments and from relying on a centralized, vulnerable power-grid. Many of our clients find satisfaction in knowing that they are largely self-sufficient in their power needs.

Finally, off-grid solar is a great way to radically reduce your carbon footprint. As the energy needs of our society continue to sky-rocket, investing in an off-grid solar system is a responsible way to manage your individual impact on our environment. Maintaining a positive relationship with the earth is an important part of Mountain Power Solutions’ vision, and we love helping our customers achieve the same!

Solar Solutions

Going off the grid is a big decision and it shouldn’t be made lightly. That’s why we decided to specialize in off-grid power solutions. We can provide expert advice, design, installation, and service for your off-grid solar system.  We love talking about solar, so contact us today and we can discuss your energy needs!