Achieving the dream of living off the grid and generating all your own electricity for free is ambitious, but not impossible. Achieving it with home solar power is even more challenging. Producing enough home solar energy to power your entire home will take a huge investment of time, effort, and money, but it can be done. This article will give you some tips on how to do it.

Patience is a virtue
First, don’t call your power company to disconnect you from the local power grid after building a single solar panel. Completely off the grid living at home solar energy It requires a lot of solar panels, a lot of batteries, and most importantly, a lot of time to build it all. At first, use home solar power to supplement your home’s electrical needs and lower your energy bill. Once your energy bill drops to almost nothing, you’ll know you can finally try living off the grid without too many disruptions to your lifestyle.

do the math
To live off the grid, you first need to know how much electricity your home consumes. The average American home consumes an average of 588 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, but this can vary dramatically due to the size of the home, the number of appliances, the number of residents, and even the time of year. For example, many homes can double their energy use during the summer months when the air conditioner is running. It’s time to get rid of your old energy bills, preferably a full year’s worth, if you have them. These will tell you how many kilowatt-hours of electricity your home uses each month. Depending on your power company, it may also include your average monthly power usage.

Now that you know how much electricity you’ll need to live off the grid, calculate how many solar panels you’ll need to build. It’s actually easier to figure out how many solar cells you’ll need, and then divide the cells into panels full of solar cells. Unfortunately, the amount of electricity a single solar cell can generate varies depending on size, location, time of year, cloud cover, etc. Fortunately, if you contact the manufacturer or dealer you plan to buy solar cells from, they can usually provide you with a reliable number of average watts produced per solar cell per day.

Finally, figure out how many batteries you’ll need to store home solar energy generated during daylight hours. During the night, all you’ll have to power your home are batteries. Wet cell lead-acid batteries (car batteries) are cheap, but they are not suitable for solar power. Deep cycle gel or AGM batteries are more expensive, but are designed to be discharged and recharged thousands of times. They will last much, much longer than car batteries.

Based on the calculations you have done above, you know how much electricity your home requires on a daily basis. Once you’ve chosen a battery type, look at its storage capacity. Divide your home’s daily power consumption by your battery storage capacity and you’ll know how many batteries you’ll ultimately need.

Minimize your energy consumption
Let’s face it: we’ve all gotten used to unlimited electricity. We use everything we want and we worry about paying it all at the end of the month. Once you switch to off-grid living, you’ll have a finite amount of home solar power. To make sure it lasts, you’ll need to be more careful about how you use it.

If you really want to try life off the grid, generating all your electricity from home solar energy, you will have to accept some changes in your lifestyle. You won’t be able to leave your computer on 24/7, for example, and you’ll have to be very thrifty with your heating and air conditioning. As you build your home solar power system, gradually start equipping your home with more energy efficient appliances. Start by replacing your incandescent bulbs with energy efficient CFL bulbs. Now is the time to buy a new, energy efficient refrigerator, freezer, hot water heater, oven, stoveā€¦ you get the idea. If you can easily and cheaply replace appliances with non-electric appliances, go for it. For example, install a gas stove, water heater, or even a furnace.

However, the hardest part will be changing your behavior. Start training yourself to turn off the light when you leave a room. Turn off any appliance when not in use. Close central air/heat vents in rooms you don’t use regularly. Hang clothes to dry instead of using a dryer. There are many ways to save electricity with small changes in your daily behavior.

Off-grid living can be challenging, but surviving on your own home solar power can also be extremely rewarding and will save you huge amounts of money over your lifetime.

How to live off the grid and save money with a home solar power system

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