Going off the grid using solar panels - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-31-2015, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Going off the grid using solar panels

I recently read an article about how people are now off the grid by using solar panels. It really caught my attention and I'm wondering about having them installed too. I'm going to do some research as I have some concerns but I'd also like your feedback on this.

What happens during night time when there is no sun? Is this a reliable source of energy? Are there government subsidies for this or tax deductions? When can I expect a return of investment? Are solar panels high maintenance? For those who have firsthand experience with solar panels, what are the pros and cons?
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#2 of 9 Old 02-01-2015, 04:46 AM
 
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I am in Australia so I can't answer your questions about govt funding (I assume you're in the US).

Generally people who are relying on solar as their only power source will have a large battery bank to supply power during times of low/no sun.

The panels are pretty low maintenance. Maybe a wash every few years. We have had ours for 2 years and haven't done anything to them yet. I think my dad may have washed his once in their previous house.

Depending on what you want to run you may need a lot of panels and a lot of batteries to reliably supply your needs. When we lived in a remote area we had a large solar system plus a generator but my parents were running a tourist business as well and we lived in a place where there could be a lot of cloudy days during the wet season. I guess that's a long way of saying that there are many variables.

Overall, I would say that if you live in a sunny place, have low to moderate electricity requirements and can afford the high initial set-up costs it's a pretty good system.


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#3 of 9 Old 02-01-2015, 09:51 PM
 
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I would like to invest with solar panels also because I believe that it helps to stop global warming which threatens the survival of human society, as well as the survival of other species here in our planet. It’s dependable the rising and setting of the sun is extremely consistent. We know exactly when it will rise and set every day of the year. However, the disadvantage is aside that it's quite expensive, the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day. When the sun goes down or is heavily shaded, solar PV panels stop producing electricity. If we need electricity at that time, we have to get it from some other source. In other words, we couldn’t be 100% powered by solar panels. At the very least, we need batteries to store electricity produced by solar panels for use sometime later.
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#4 of 9 Old 02-02-2015, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by katelove View Post
Overall, I would say that if you live in a sunny place, have low to moderate electricity requirements and can afford the high initial set-up costs it's a pretty good system.
That's great! It's mostly sunny here and the initial costs are fine by me. But I'm still going to check if there are government subsidies or tax deductions available here.

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Originally Posted by Christi Thrussell View Post
At the very least, we need batteries to store electricity produced by solar panels for use sometime later.
I've read from my research that it is possible to go off the grid. But you're right, I must install a good storage system first. I found this one, Ecoult, which has lots of case studies and I'm pretty optimistic that it will all work out.

Last edited by verticalscope; 05-21-2015 at 05:58 AM.
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#5 of 9 Old 02-02-2015, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Carla Halter View Post
I've read from my research that it is possible to go off the grid. But you're right, I must install a good storage system first. I found this one, Ecoult, which has lots of case studies and I'm pretty optimistic that it will all work out.
I'm glad I was able to contribute. I'm going to check it out also

Last edited by verticalscope; 05-21-2015 at 05:58 AM.
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#6 of 9 Old 04-30-2015, 06:31 PM
 
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Hi.
We live totally off the grid with solar panels and well water. It is a bit expensive at first but we did not change our lifestyle one bit. We have a 9,000 watt setup with batteries to stand 2 days of darkness.
Working now on getting enough animals to feed ourselves. We have now about 30 chickens incluuding 14 chicks, 5 sheep and 3 pigs.
It is so amazing to. Go out at night and not see a single light blocking the stars.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-19-2016, 02:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangopack View Post
Hi.
We live totally off the grid with solar panels and well water. It is a bit expensive at first but we did not change our lifestyle one bit. We have a 9,000 watt setup with batteries to stand 2 days of darkness.
Working now on getting enough animals to feed ourselves. We have now about 30 chickens incluuding 14 chicks, 5 sheep and 3 pigs.
It is so amazing to. Go out at night and not see a single light blocking the stars.
Oh wow! I so want to live just like that! Are you planning on to do this as a community of like minded peeps? And may I ask where you are located?

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#8 of 9 Old 08-01-2020, 02:30 AM
 
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If you want to install the solar panels on your house, first of all, you should calculate if it is profitable or not, because all the equipment cost a lot and after 10 years you should change it. Moreover, do you live in a sunny city? If not, my advice is to not install it. I, also, was excited about this theme and I wanted to install it as fast as I could but after reading an article https://generatorpalace.com/solar-pa...ator-for-home/ I changed my mind and I didn't install it. Good luck with your choice.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-01-2020, 02:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RoyFollman View Post
If you want to install the solar panels on your house, first of all, you should calculate if it is profitable or not, because all the equipment cost a lot and after 10 years you should change it. Moreover, do you live in a sunny city? If not, my advice is to not install it. I, also, was excited about this theme and I wanted to install it as fast as I could but after reading an article https://generatorpalace.com/solar-pa...ator-for-home/ I changed my mind and I didn't install it. Good luck with your choice.
My friend was just looking for this information. Thanks
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