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.
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 into usable energy stored in your batteries.
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!