How to live off the grid – Renewable Energy

Many people are feeling the burden of South Africa’s power supply challenges.

Go off the grid with solar panels - SUNWORXWith many cities and towns experiencing load-shedding at some time or another. Insufficient energy supply, and the ever escalating electricity rates throughout the country, is forcing many people to consider moving their homes, or even businesses, off complete dependency on the grid.

Where to Start
This decision can be quite daunting if it’s your first time, especially as you’ll need to explore a range of options for generating power independently, as well as the costs involved with each. It’s important to know that there isn’t a one-solution-fits-all answer for moving towards renewable energy and living off of the grid. If you did deploy a solution that wasn’t tailored to your requirements, it could end up costing you in misused materials and a system that isn’t optimised to give you what you need.

If you’re wondering where to start, get some experts involved so that you can make informed decisions. Professionals will be able to provide help during the planning process and reduce your risks for selecting the wrong solution. They will also be able to perform a needs analysis of your property and the specifications you’ll require, holding your hand from purchase to installation.

What Options are Available
Most people start by going partially off the grid in order to save money in the long-run. This is also preferable if you’re retrofitting an existing infrastructure. If you’re looking for full control of your power supply then you’ll require a far more intensive solution. For example, there are three options when it comes to selecting a solar energy solution for your home or business:

Grid Tied
This is the best for retrofitting on existing installations and is designed to feed power to your property from renewable sources and then drawing on the power grid as required. This solution comprises solar panels and a control unit connected to the utility grid. However remember that when considering how many solar panels to buy, factors such as angle, space, strength and position of the roof should be taken in consideration. These elements may affect the energy output you can expect.The more panels you have in place drawing power from the sun, the less wattage will reflect on your electricity bills. This will fluctuate from month to month, largely depending on the weather. Some months have overcast conditions that limit the amount of power drawn from the sun.
Stand-alone Systems
For true off-the-grid living, these kinds of systems increase your ability to be self-sufficient in terms of energy supply. They allow for you not to be bound to the utility grid at all. It’s the best option for new and remote installations. And with this kind of system you can ensure almost 40% more absorption and power output.
Hybrid
This is a highly recommended option in order to get the best of both worlds. These solutions not only increase your independence but also boost the energy supply reliability to your infrastructure through back generation. It can also provide a feed from and to multiple sources and loads. Providing increased flexibility for larger enterprises. While this kind of system does require quite a bit of an initial financial investment, it does counter this with very economical running costs in the long-term. It can decrease your grid dependency to almost nothing!

Find out more by getting comparative quotes and speaking to renewable energy professionals who know how to provide a unique, customised solution for your requirements. Living off the grid takes some planning but provides far more freedom and flexibility down the line.

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