Living off-the-grid is not always a choice, and sometimes a necessity for many that live in the rural areas of Arizona. There are many forms of off-grid homes and structures in the deserts and pine trees of the state. Off-grid solar can work well for mobile homes to tiny homes, RV’s to travel trailers, sheds to home-made structures and much more.
Skypro Solar offers flexible off-grid packages to suit just about anyone in just about any situation. We provide budget battery banks, solar panels, inverters, charge controllers and more in a variety of sizes and bundles. There is not a one-size-fits-all off-grid solar package so our flexibility appeals to heavy energy uses, or those that just need emergency back-up power.
If you are new to off-grid living, here is a general overview of how the system is set up.
First, you need to identify how much power you need to keep your preferred appliances going for 24 hours a day. We recommend finding the “amp hours” needing for these loads. Once you have this calculated, then you can start with sizing the battery bank.
Batteries are not created equal, or even remotely close to it. There are lithium, Ni-Cad, Flooded, Sealed and more. A reliable battery that we recommend for those that are on a budget are sealed AGM batteries. They are able to be used up to 70%+ of capacity and are very reliable for years. When the amount of “amp hours” is determined, you will be able to use that number to compare to the number of amp hours and batteries that you need. For example, if your loads each day require 1000 amp hours, your battery system must be able to support that, without fully draining your batteries. We recommend sizing your battery bank 20-30% higher than your loads. So, with loads of 1000 amp hours per day, a battery bank of sealed AGM batteries of 1300 amp hours would be ideal. This should allow you to have sufficient power during the night when there is no power generated by the solar panels.
Keep in mind that the house or loads are powered by the batteries, not the solar panels. The purpose of the solar panels is to keep the batteries charged during the day. Thus, when you are sizing your system, make sure you have enough panels to keep your batteries charged. An insufficient amount of solar energy will cause to much deep draining on the batteries which is not recommended.
When considering the amount of solar panels needed, keep in mind that in Arizona for example, 1000 watts of solar can produce 5000 watts of power per day. In some calculations, it can produce much more if there is no cloud cover. It is common to have 100-200 watts of solar power to charge a 100 amp hour battery. Additionally, monocrystaline solar panels have higher efficiency and can lost longer than other solar types.
The function of the charge controller is to make sure that the batteries are not overcharged by the solar panels. Charge controllers can be very simple and small or larger with more charging functions. It is important to note that you are sizing your system based on the specs of the charge controller. Most of them have a label that displays the maximum
amount of watts for a 12 volt, 24 volt or even 48 volt battery system.
The inverter is responsible for converting the DC power produced by the batteries, into usable AC energy which our appliances require. We recommend a reliable “pure sine wave inverter” that is oversized by 20% in case there is additional surge or power required. So, if your loads require 2000 watts of use, with 4000 watts surge, we would recommend an inverter that is rated at 3000/6000 watts.
Every off-grid system should be designed around the actual loads that will need to be powered. It is also important to note that future add-on loads should be considered. Using quality products can also make or break the system as heat and weather can put a strain on electronics. If you have questions about an off-grid system, contact us today, we would enjoy learning more about your project!
Pricing on our off-grid packages:
960 watts $2500. Includes 3 solar panels, 3 batteries.
1280 watts $3000. Includes 4 solar panels, 4 batteries.
2500 watts $4800. Includes 8 solar panels, 8 batteries.
* all packages include solar panels, inverter, charge controller and batteries. Pricing is subject to change at any time.