How do off grid solar systems work?

Advances in wind and solar power over the years have seen major improvements to off grid solar system technology. It’s now cheaper and more efficient than ever. So just because you’re living in a remote location, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice creature comforts! Get your FREE solar quotes here at Energy Matters and make your home more energy-efficient!

Whether you source your energy from solar panels or from wind turbines, the off-grid DC power, system works much the same. Here’s how a remote power generation system works.

Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence. 

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Off grid solar systems work by generating electricity from solar panels and storing it in batteries for use when the sun is not shining. In Australia, where there is plenty of sunshine, off-grid solar systems can provide a reliable and sustainable source of power for homes and businesses.

The basic components of an off grid solar system are:

  • Solar panels: These convert sunlight into electricity.
  • Batteries: These store the electricity generated by the solar panels. Deep-cycle batteries, which store extra electricity generated during sunny times for use during overcast days or at night, are commonly utilised in these solar battery systems.
  • Inverter: This converts the stored DC electricity from the batteries into AC electricity, which can be used by household appliances and devices.
  • Charge controller: This regulates the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the batteries, preventing them from being overcharged or discharged.
  • Backup generator: This provides power in case the batteries run low or the solar panels are not generating enough electricity.

Off-grid solar systems can be designed to meet the specific needs of each household or business. The size of the solar array and the capacity of the battery bank will depend on the amount of electricity that is used on a daily basis.

Off-grid solar systems can be a great option for homes and businesses in remote areas that are not connected to the main power grid. They can also be a good choice for homes and businesses that want to reduce their reliance on grid electricity and save money on their energy bills.

off grid solar systems

  • Sun shines on the solar panels or wind turns wind turbine blades, generating DC electricity
  • The DC electricity feeds into a charge controller, otherwise known as a regulator, which controls the amount of charge
  • Deep cycle batteries are charged
  • 12 volt appliances can run directly off the batteries or the current routes through an inverter for conversion to 240V 50Hz AC electricity. This is suitable for running standard home appliances.

Selecting a remote power system

Getting the right system for your needs is critical and much will depend on where you live. Off-grid solar system and wind generation installers will help you select the system and components for your specific needs. A backup generator may be necessary to ensure that you enjoy continuous electricity, especially if you live in an area that has below average sunshine. 

While a stand-alone power system can be quite an investment, generous government renewable energy incentives for people living in remote areas mean you can also save thousands on an off-grid wind or solar power set-up for a limited time!

Energy Matters’ network of local installers can provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and provide you FREE solar quotes!

If you wish to install an off-grid wind system, and you would like to receive a free quote, please select Other Renewables/Energy Saving then Wind Power in this solar quiz.

If you wish to install an off-grid solar system, please follow the prompts in the solar quiz and select Off-grid System – solar

How to install an off-grid solar panel system

Installing an off-grid solar panel system in Australia allows you to generate clean, renewable energy and achieve energy independence. By following these steps, you can maximise the benefits of your solar panel investment and enjoy reliable, sustainable electricity.

Embrace the benefits of sustainable energy and contribute to a greener future while enjoying reliable electricity in even the most remote locations.

Sizing the system according to energy needs

Properly sizing your off-grid solar panel system is essential to meet your energy requirements. Begin by estimating your daily energy consumption, including appliances, lighting, and other electrical devices. Calculate the total watt-hours (Wh) needed per day based on this estimation. Take into account solar panel efficiency and the average number of sunlight hours in your location to determine the number of solar panels and battery capacity required. Oversizing the solar power system slightly can account for inefficiencies and variations in weather conditions.

Installation tips for optimal performance

To achieve optimal performance with excess electricity from your off-grid solar panel system, consider the following installation tips:

  • Position the solar panels in an area with maximum sunlight exposure, typically facing north in the southern hemisphere.
  • Ensure panels are tilted at an angle that aligns with your latitude to capture the most sunlight throughout the year.
  • Minimise shading by trimming surrounding trees or structures that may obstruct sunlight.
  • Use appropriate wiring and connectors to maintain efficiency and prevent energy loss.
  • Install the batteries in a cool, well-ventilated area to avoid overheating and extend their lifespan.
  • Consult a qualified electrician to ensure compliance with local regulations and safety standards.

You can install your remote power system or off grid solar systems yourself or engage the services of an accredited off-grid installer.

If you wish to install your own system, in the case of solar power, the optimum for solar panels is that the glass face of the modules is positioned at 90 degrees to the sun for most of the day. In Sydney this angle would be approximately 30-40 degrees to the horizontal. 

Now is the right time to switch to Brisbane solar energy. We recommend seeking at least 3 solar quotes to ensure that you get the best deal and selecting the right solar system installer in Brisbane whom you can trust. With this, you can guarantee a solar system in Brisbane that meets your energy needs.

The pros and cons of wind power for off-grid living

Wind power has emerged as a popular option for generating off-grid electricity, offering a sustainable and renewable energy source. In the context of off-grid living in Australia, wind turbines present both advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of wind power for off-grid living

Renewable and clean energy grid: Wind power harnesses the natural energy of the wind, providing a clean and sustainable electricity source that reduces carbon emissions. With its vast open spaces and coastal regions in Australia, wind is abundant and can be a reliable energy resource.

Energy independence: By utilising wind power, off-grid households can become self-sufficient in terms of electricity production power consumption. This reduces reliance on the conventional power grid, making it a viable option for remote locations or areas with unreliable electricity infrastructure.

Cost savings: Over the long term, wind power can result in significant cost savings. Once the initial investment in wind turbines is made, the operational costs are relatively low. As the price of fossil fuels continues to rise, wind power becomes increasingly cost-competitive and economically attractive.

Cons of wind power for off-grid living

Variable wind speeds: Efficient power generation from wind turbines requires consistent and sufficiently strong winds. In certain regions of Australia, wind speeds may not meet the minimum threshold for optimal energy production, limiting the viability of wind power as a reliable off-grid energy source.

Initial investment: The upfront costs of purchasing and installing wind turbines can be substantial. While the long-term savings may outweigh the initial investment, the high upfront expenses can present a barrier for some off-grid households with limited financial resources.

Maintenance and lifespan: Wind turbines require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Components such as bearings, blades, and control systems may need repairs or replacement over time. Maintaining wind turbines in remote off-grid locations can be challenging, requiring specialised expertise and logistical considerations.

If you are considering installing an off grid solar system in Australia, be sure to do your research and consult with a qualified solar installer. This will help you ensure that you choose the right system for your needs and budget.

Read more about off grid solar systems in different states

Are you considering getting solar panels but are currently short on funds? You can still invest wisely, and Energy Matters can help you. 

Powow and Energy Matters have teamed up to provide consumers with an alternative to switching to solar power and battery storage. 

The biggest obstacle to installing solar and battery storage is typically finance. With Powow’s PPA and VPP, our customers will have a $0 upfront option and financial stability in the uncertain energy market.

Get up to 3 obligation-free quotes by getting in touch with us right away. Find out what payment plan options suit your needs and budget!

Check out our page for Powow: Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Off-grid energy storage options

Off-grid energy storage is a crucial component of any independent energy system, enabling individuals and communities to rely on renewable sources and reduce their carbon footprint. In Australia, where vast rural areas are not connected to the main power grid, off-grid solutions are becoming increasingly popular. 

One of the most common and versatile off-grid energy storage options is batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, particularly, have gained significant popularity due to their high energy density, longer lifespan, and lower maintenance requirements. They can store excess energy generated from solar panels or wind turbines during the day and release it during times of low or no generation. 

Additionally, advanced battery management systems allow for efficient monitoring and control, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as capacity, cost, and environmental impact when selecting a battery system.

In cases where energy demands exceed battery capacity or during extended periods of low renewable energy generation, generators can serve as a reliable backup solution. Diesel, gas, or hybrid generators can provide the necessary power to sustain off-grid battery systems during unfavourable conditions or high-demand periods. These generators can be automated to start and stop automatically based on energy consumption levels, ensuring a seamless transition between battery and generator power. However, it’s important to weigh the environmental impact and ongoing fuel costs associated with generator use.

Beyond batteries and generators, other energy storage options are emerging in Australia. Hydrogen storage, for instance, is gaining attention due to its potential for long-term storage and its ability to be converted back into electricity through fuel cells. 

Additionally, pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage (CAES), and thermal storage systems are being explored as viable options for large-scale off-grid energy storage, offering unique benefits depending on specific requirements and available resources.

Selecting the right energy storage solution for your off-grid needs requires careful consideration. Factors such as energy consumption patterns, available renewable energy sources, budget constraints, and long-term sustainability goals must all be taken into account. Consulting with energy experts, evaluating the lifecycle costs and environmental impacts, and understanding the local regulations and incentives can help make an informed decision. Ultimately, a well-designed and appropriately sized off-grid energy storage system can provide energy independence, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and contribute to a greener and more sustainable future in Australia.

Experience a new level of energy savings with Energy Matters Marketplace – your one-stop shop for renewable energy products and more. Whether you’re looking for solar panels, battery storage or outdoor or indoor products. Check out the most popular products we offer and shop now!

Off-grid solar-powered water heating systems for sustainable living

Water heating constitutes a significant portion of energy consumption in many households, contributing to both environmental impact and escalating utility bills. However, a sustainable and cost-effective solution lies in off-grid solar-powered water heating systems. Harnessing the power of the sun, and solar batteries, these systems offer numerous benefits to homeowners in Australia, reducing their carbon footprint while ensuring a reliable hot water supply.

Solar thermal collectors

Off-grid solar water heating systems rely on solar thermal collectors to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into usable heat. These collectors consist of flat-plate or evacuated tube panels installed on the roof or mounted in a sunny area. The panels contain fluid-filled pipes or tubes that absorb the sun’s heat, transferring it to the water stored in a well-insulated tank. The heated water can then be utilised for bathing, cleaning, and other household purposes. The effectiveness of solar thermal collectors depends on factors like climate, system size, and orientation of the panels.

Installation and maintenance tips

When installing an off-grid solar water heating system, it is crucial to ensure optimal placement of the panels to maximise sun exposure. A professional installer can assess the site, considering factors like shading, roof orientation, and local weather patterns. Regular maintenance involves inspecting the panels for dirt or debris, checking fluid levels and connections, and testing the system’s performance. It is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional assistance for any repairs or maintenance requirements.

Is solar energy suitable for your business?

Solar energy has numerous advantages that are worth investigating. Investing in solar array will minimise your operational costs, reduce your company’s carbon footprint, and prepare it for the future. A commercial property with a solar installation is excellent for business.

Contact us today for up to 3 FREE quotations from commercial solar firms we’ve pre-qualified and vetted for their track record of delivering Australia’s best business solar systems. Get your free quotes and begin your solar journey today!