We all know that solar energy is one of the main alternative sources of electricity. It’s renewable, free, and has wide ranges of operation. This means that you can have a portable setup that harnesses solar energy or can build a large solar farm that can supply an entire city.
With that said, thoughts about being independent might enter your mindset. It’s only normal, especially when you can see how sustainable the solar energy systems are. However, is solar energy sufficient enough as a source when you go off the grid?
Can Solar Get You Off the Grid?
Generally, assuming that your solar energy system is planned according to your area’s dimensions, regular consumption rate, and availability of quality materials, you can certainly get off the grid while relying on solar energy alone.
Don’t worry, though; your system is not a great loss to the grid. If you’re living in the USA, renewables have only a 20% share of the grid, which means it is not the main contributor. While you’re at it, it is important to stay skeptical.
Disconnecting from and reconnecting to the grid is not as easy as unplugging and plugging a charger, technically speaking. As you go on to make a drastic change about your electricity supply, here are some concerning things you have to think about:
You can still get enough energy during a cloudy day.
Solar panels are really at the mercy of the amount of sunlight. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get energy if there are clouds present. As long as you see the light of the day, your solar panels will keep on absorbing energy.
You still need to monitor your usage.
Assuming that your place is not sunny all the time, you will be yielding variable results. There will be some days that your panels absorb more compared to other days. If you design your system well, that variability factor will certainly be one of the top considerations.
This will mean that your electrical system is as good as the juice stored on the batteries. Not being cautious enough to monitor occasionally might mean less awareness of battery health and irresponsible usage. If ever you are thinking of adding an air conditioner to your home, make sure that your solar energy system is absorbing enough to sustain additional consumption.
You can still decide to be grid-tied again.
An electric grid is an interconnection of all participating power plants in your country or region. This ensures that what amount of energy a certain power plant yields can be evenly distributed in the whole market. When you want your home electrical system to be off-grid, you will not be connected to any of the power lines in your community.
However, if your solar energy system can no longer sustain your needs along the road, you can still reconnect to the grid. It may take a few weeks since you will be filing documentation again, and so on. The point is that you can still go back to the old ways if the new change fails.
Nowadays, there are other renewable energy sources that utilize compact designs. For wind energy, there are wind vanes that you can use instead of the giant windmills, granted that your area has constant wind. Technology keeps advancing, and the dreams of being electrically sustainable might be achievable in the near future.