Solar Generator For Home – How to Power Your Home Using a Solar Generator – If you’re preparing to survive a loss of the electric grid then a solar power generator is one of the best ways to do it. In this article, I’m going to show you how you can use a solar generator to power your entire house including heavy appliances like central air conditioning.
How to Power Your Home Using a Solar Generator
Solar Generator For Home
For the past eight years, I’ve been helping households get their house set up to be able to survive a loss of the electric grid and oftentimes that involves installing a renewable energy system or what’s sometimes known as a solar generator. So, what I’m going to be showing you in today’s article is, what is a solar generator. And how can you install one to protect the power system for your home? First, let’s take a look at the three main types of solar power systems.
Types of solar power systems
- Off-the-grid system
- Grid-tied solar system
- Hybrid system
1. Off-grid system
So, think of it as just like a fuel-burning generator. It does not need any connection to the utility grid to function, and it can operate in a completely stand-alone environment. With an off-grid solar system, you have three main system components. The first of course is the solar panels that allow you to harvest energy from the sun. The second component is the battery bank.
Think of the battery bank as your energy storage, or your fuel storage tank. So, whatever energy, you don’t have to spend right away. You can store the excess in your battery bank for use at a later time, and then the third component is what’s called an inverter. And what an inverter does is it converts low voltage, generally, low voltage DC power direct current coming off your solar panels and your batteries up into high voltage AC power that you can use for your appliances.
Whether you’re just plugging an extension cord directly into the unit to use power tools or portable equipment. Or, in many cases, actually feeding the circuit breaker panel in your building for example a hunting cabin, or something of that sort you might run the entire building’s electrical system using an off-grid solar power system.
2. Grid-tied solar system
The second type and this is actually the most popular type of solar for homes here in America is what’s called the grid-tied solar system.
3. Hybrid solar system
And then the third type of system here is what we call the hybrid solar power system. And very simply the hybrid system has the ability to operate in both modes. It can run off the grid alone if utility power is not available. But it can also let you take advantage of selling energy back and forth with the power company to help reduce your electric bill.
So, we’re going to be looking at some of the characteristics of each system type and determine which one might be the correct one for you. But when we’re talking about a solar generator, we’re generally talking about a solar system that can run independently of the power company.
That means either the off-grid system or what more of our clients choose to do is the hybrid system. And I’m going to explain why in a little bit, okay?
The difference between the off-grid system and the grid-tied system
Next, let’s take a look at the difference between the off-grid system and the grid-tied system. As we mentioned earlier, the off-grid system can work completely stand-alone. So, there’s no counterparty risk. There’s no third-party risk also likewise there’s very minimal paperwork that you have to do.
Since we’re not going to be hooking up to the power company, you don’t necessarily have to disclose to the power company, or in many cases, even to your local jurisdiction what equipment you’re going to be installing. Another benefit of the off-grid system is a lower initial cost to get started.
If you’re more of a do-it-yourself-inclined person, some smaller off-grid systems can be installed by the system owner directly. However, one downside with this approach is that you’re going to forfeit having a warranty backed by a company. So, if something goes wrong, you want to make sure that you’re prepared to fix it, or do any adjustments that might be needed.
|Off-Grid||Grid-Tied||Hybrid Solar System|
|Stand Alone||Pays You Back||Pays You Back|
|Minimal Paperwork||Must Pull Permit||Must Pull Permit|
|Lower Initial Cost||Better $ ROI||Requires Licensed Contractor|
|Can DIY||Requires Licensed Contractor||Professional Warranty|
|No Warranty||Professional Warranty||Can run off-grid|
|No Backup Power||100% energy independence|
Now, on the other hand, the grid-tied system is really for somebody who’s looking to maximize the dollar-for-dollar payback on the investment. Because we are in most cases, hooking up with the power company, we have to go through a full engineering and permitting process.
Installing grid-tied solar is really like doing any other type of addition on the house. We have to do engineering plans and then we have to apply for both building permits and electrical permits because the permits are required to be pulled which means a licensed contractor and a licensed electrician have to be involved in the project. It’s going to be those contractors’ licenses that are sort of on the line for the quality of that installation.
And when the installation is complete, the local jurisdiction which is usually your city or county government is going to have to come out to do a final inspection before you’re hooked up to be able to sell power back and forth with the power company.
Okay, one benefit of the grid-tied system, of course, though is since you have a licensed contractor that’s doing it, and hopefully, a bonafide company behind that contractor. You are typically going to get a professional warranty which could be anywhere from five up to 25 years.
So, you as the system owner don’t necessarily have to worry about performing any repairs or maintenance on the system. However, one of the big drawbacks with the grid-tied, only system is that you have, no backup power. Meaning you have no standalone capability as you do with the off-grid system, or more solar generator type system.
With a grid-tied system, if utility service goes down, your home is still going to be without electricity. So, this is a major drawback and that’s why many of our clients choose to install the hybrid system as we mentioned earlier. The hybrid solar power system gives you the benefits of both system architectures. It is both a fully functional off-the-grid system.
So, it gives you the double benefit. Number one, having a secure power supply that’s never going to be without electricity, and number two, having it pay you back every month in the form of reducing or eliminating your electric bill. Of course, just like the grid-tie system, we have to go through that same engineering and permitting process.
For the hybrid system, you do generally have to have this installed by a licensed professional contractor along with a professional master electrician, but it does give you that full energy independence. And another benefit of the hybrid system and being able to purchase through a licensed contractor in a professional solar company. In many cases, you are able to finance the purchase of the solar power system.
So, you can essentially use what you’re saving off your monthly electric bill to cover the cost of your monthly payment for the solar power system. If you’re looking for a way that you can protect your home from a loss of the electric grid without having to pay anything really out of pocket, the hybrid solar system allows you to do that. Because you can just divert a certain amount of money off of your electric company bill towards your solar financing payment instead. And make sure that your house is protected from day one.
Some Self Question
Solar Generator For Home – So, here are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself, what are your needs, first what are your power requirements? Are you looking for a solar generator that can power just small portable hand tools like maybe a cordless drill or a saw, maybe chargers for your laptop or cell phone is that going to be sufficient for your emergency power needs? Or are you looking for something that’s a little bit more heavy-duty that can run some of your heavier appliances like central air conditioning or your microwave, or even your well pump?
- What are my power requirements?
- Do I need financing?
- Would I want a warranty?
- What is my level of proficiency?
Many of our clients that choose to protect their property from a grid down live in rural areas where you typically have independent water and septic system. And so, in those cases, you’ll need a backup power source to make sure that you can keep the water and the septic, and the other critical systems in the house powered up even during a prolonged emergency.
The question you want to consider is, do you need financing for a do-it-yourself project typically, you would have to arrange your own financing perhaps with your own bank or a private lender. Whereas if you choose to have a professionally installed grid tie or hybrid system, generally, the contractor will offer you financing, and again that allows you to just use your electric bill savings to help cover the cost of your solar. So, it’s not really costing you that much out of pocket.
Another question is, do you need a warranty, are you looking to have a system professionally installed where you can kind of sit back and don’t have to worry about it, or are you okay taking on more of a do-it-yourself type project where you are okay with doing the routine maintenance and any repairs that come up?
So, it’s an important question to ask yourself and of course, you know if you’re talking about a roof-mounted solar system 80 of the systems that projects that I’ve done have been roof-mounted. You know you want to consider if is that something that you’re going to be able and willing to do. Potentially, to get up on your roof to check any wiring or anything that might come up that needs attention.
You really want to make sure you have a clear understanding, do you need that warranty or not? And then finally, I would ask myself what my personal level of proficiency is.
You know when I started out in solar, I used to do the installations as well, and the solar installer is. It’s got to be kind of a jack of all trades but the top three would be a part electrician. You have to know how to do high voltage and low voltage wiring. Both alternating current and direct current. You also have to be part roofer, at the very least, you have to be able to access and maneuver a roof safely, and be able to identify where structural attachments to the roof can be made, which means you know and understand where to find, where the rafters are, and then finally, the solar installer has to be a little bit carpenter, a little bit sort of general contractor.
You know sometimes figuring routes to install your electrical conduits from point A to point B, and sometimes doing a minor drywall repair, and things of that sort. So, another question I would ask yourself is Do you know what is your level of proficiency? Do you feel comfortable in all three of these trades where you might potentially attempt a self-install? Otherwise, if you’d like to have a licensed professional handle it for you, go ahead, and reach out to us.
You can either get us on the link here, or you can go ahead and just send a comment to this article, and we can help you get connected with a qualified installation professional in your area.
Is my home good for fit for solar?
Okay, so the next thing that you’re going to want to look at is whether my home is even a good fit for solar. Now, in many cases, as I mentioned earlier, most solar systems are installed on the roof of the home. And in this part of the world which is the northern hemisphere.
Generally solar generator for home, we want to have solar panels placed in an area where you’re going to get good southern exposure. So, that you’ll get good both morning and afternoon sunlight exposure onto the solar panels. We also going to want minimal shading. So, in most cases, you can just kind of step out to the southern side of your property, and take a look do you know if are you getting good direct sunlight to that side of your property, or do you see any shadows that are cast by any nearby trees?
So, folks, this has been how you can install a solar power generator to protect your home from the loss of the power grid. Solar Generator For Home.
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