Off-grid Solar Systems
There is a lot of talk about going off-grid now. With energy prices rising, energy independence an increasingly hot topic, fear over using fossil fuels to generate power and the increasing chances of power failure on a national level, it’s no wonder people want to go off-grid!
Off-grid solar systems are complete packages for large scale projects. Homes that want to generate the majority of their energy through solar power or holiday properties that want to minimize running costs. Visit this page for our off-grid kits for smaller applications.
Our off-grid power kits can include energy requirement calculations, expert fitting, product delivery and everything you need for an off-grid electric project.
Our Most Popular Off-grid Solar Kits for Homes
Sunstore Solar off-grid systems include everything required to generate renewable energy. They are ideal in situations where no grid connection exists or where the power supply is not sufficient or reliable. They are also perfect for supplementing your energy requirements from renewable sources.
There are two main types of off-grid solar system, fully off-grid and partially off-grid.
Fully off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid and are ideal for those who want to generate green energy or who require power where there is no connection or where cost prohibits a grid connection.
Complete off-grid solar systems include solar panels, panel mounts, batteries, power inverter and everything required to generate, store and deliver off-grid energy.
Partially off-grid solar systems are connected to the grid and can either supplement grid electricity or provide a green alternative with the grid as a backup. These systems are also useful where grid power is intermittent so your property always has the energy it needs.
Partially off-grid solar systems include the same equipment as fully off-grid systems but also include the equipment necessary to integrate with mains electricity.
Each off-grid system includes everything required to install, generate, store and deliver energy from renewable sources. We can design and install your system for you too!
What is an off-grid system?
An off-grid solar system is a complete package that contains everything you need to generate your own energy. These systems are suitable for homes, holiday homes, offices and larger buildings that want energy independence and help create green energy.
An off-grid solar system will include:
- Solar panels and mounting kits for roof or ground mounting.
- Solar power inverter to turn DC Solar current into AC ‘mains’ current.
- DC (battery) to AC inverter for creating the power grid.
- Maintenance free batteries for efficient energy storage.
- CCGX (remote) monitoring panel so you can always see what’s going on
- Autostart generator for emergency backup.
- 4G router to keep everything talking and online.
- Cables, fittings and fixings to put it all together.
Our off-grid solar systems can also include design and specification services and full fitting too!
Sunstore off-grid solar systems can supply enough energy for an average three bedroom house with family. They can also be scaled down for holiday homes and smaller properties if necessary. We can help you specify your own system or build one for you according to your needs.
What batteries are used in off-grid solar systems?
Why do you need batteries if you’re using solar energy? What kind of batteries work best? Two very common questions we hear from our customers when discussing off-grid electricity.
We specify batteries so you can truly be off-grid. It is the inclusion of batteries that differentiates off-grid with general solar power generation you see on many homes.
Most solar panel installations will supply energy to your home and then offload the excess into the grid. An off-grid system needs to retain some of that power for when the sun isn’t shining. This is Britain after all so we need to plan for those times when you’re not generating your own green energy!
The main type of battery to use right now is lead acid. They are ideal for long life, regular use and are very efficient. We tend to use AGM Maintenance Free 3000 cycle batteries in our solar systems as they offer the best balance of cost, longevity and efficiency. On professional and larger scale applications, (6kwh and above) we recommend the very best Lithium-ion cells.
How many solar panels will you need?
How many solar panels will you need? That depends entirely on how much energy you need to generate. Every situation is different and depends on your home’s average energy use, hours of sunshine per day, roof angle to the sun, size of your roof and a number of other factors.
There are solar panel calculators online or Sunstore’s experts can help you specify the right solar system for your needs. As an average, a three bedroom home run completely off-grid would require around 4.4kw of solar panel output. A smaller energy efficient building may only require 2.2kw. Much depends on those conditions above.
Sunstore would be happy to discuss your options and help you decide how many panels you need.
A solar inverter is an essential part of any off-grid solar system. It converts DC, direct current, generated by solar panels into AC, alternating current, used in homes. Your appliances cannot use DC and you cannot feed DC current into the grid. An inverter is a vital piece of the system that turns all that potential energy generated by your solar panels and stored in your batteries into usable energy.
Choose an Inverter That Matches Your System
Roof or ground mount?
There is no ‘best’ option here as it all depends on your property. If your home is angled away from the sun, a ground mounted solar system may be more suitable. If you don’t have the spare garden or land for a ground mount, you may have to use a roof mount.
Some listed buildings or those with unusual configurations may not be able to use roof mounted solar panels. In those situations, you may have no choice but to use a ground mounted system. Both can generate an equal amount of energy so there is no right or wrong answer here.
How much does a typical off-grid solar system cost?
Placing an exact cost to an off-grid solar system is difficult given the range of options open to you. As an average, a complete off grid power system for a three bedroom family home would cost between £15,000 and £28,000 including fitting. A smaller 2.2kw option as described above could cost around £12,000. Prices correct as of September 2019.
Considering the average household spends between £1,000 and £1,300 per year on combined gas and electricity, you could recoup your investment in as little as ten years. Add the fact you’re off-grid, totally energy independent and using completely renewable energy sources, we think that makes a sound investment!
Energy prices are only going up and that shows no signs of changing anytime soon. Energy independence is a huge step in self sufficiency. Whatever your motives for wanting to go off-grid, the technology we have now not only makes it possible but makes perfect sense!
Sunstore has the products, the knowledge and the expertise to walk you through the entire process of going off-grid. Our off-grid solar systems offer great value, superb reliability and use the latest, most efficient solar panels and batteries to generate the highest amount of energy.
Contact Sunstore today for help, advice or to order your off-grid solar system. We are here to help!
Request a Quote
Fill in the form below for a free no-obligation quote. Our off-grid installation service is available nationwide and starts from £360.
Off-grid Solar Systems FAQs
An off-grid solar system is designed to work in situations where there is no mains connection to the grid. They are fully self-contained systems that can generate, store and provide power to a vehicle or property.
Yes, you certainly can power standard appliances with off-grid solar. All solar systems can be specified with an inverter that can convert DC current from the batteries into AC current that is usable in standard household appliances.
An off-grid solar system will use either AGM batteries or lithium-ion batteries.
AGM batteries are ideal when you need short periods of high energy output. They are more expensive than lithium-ion but require much less maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries are ideal in many situations but excel with fast charging or when using generator backup. They are cheaper than AGM but aren’t as efficient at lower temperatures.
You can still generate power if there is no sunshine. Off-grid solar systems can still generate power without direct sunlight and even when there isn’t much light at all. It won’t be the same level of power though.
You also have the option of using a wind turbine and/or generator as a backup for when there is insufficient sunlight for solar panels.
The number of solar panels you need depends entirely on how much energy you need to generate. It also depends on the size of the property, how much sunshine you get per day, roof angle to the sun and a range of other factors.
Our expert team can help you specify and build your own off-grid solar system that delivers on your exact requirements. Contact our team to learn more.
The number of batteries you need to store generated energy depends on the size of your setup. We generally recommend batteries sufficient to store the total power of your panels plus 10% to be safe.
Like solar panels, the number of batteries you need depends entirely on the size and scope of your solar system. Our team would be happy to help with any calculation you might need.
Roof mount and ground mount both have their pros and cons. Much will depend on your property and available garden or roof space.
Roof mount is the traditional method to support solar panels but not the only way. This works best if you have a large roof that faces the sun and/or insufficient garden space for a ground mount.
If your property is listed, in a conservation area or has a complex roof shape, a ground mount may be ideal.