Just a few facts and some myths regarding Solar Power
(off grid ) A sample typical setup pictured here below..A few very basic facts :
Solar off grid is not necessarily low cost to set up !
Bigger Solar systems can cost more than your arms or legs !
Small Solar setups are cheap to set up !
Solar off grid can be very effective at lowering energy costs ( or not ? )
Solar can be VERY expensive to be set up if you expect tons of power?
Solar , like most things in life that we use, has a maintenance component or requirement.
Solar power is great if sized to suit your application .
Solar power sucks if it is sized too small for your needs.
Most solar systems run a generator back up that needs fuel.
The whole question regarding Solar is rather endless , so I will leave the basics at that…..Now to address that short list of basics at the beginning of this article: Solar off grid is not necessarily low cost to set up !
The price of Solar is totally dependent on a few things , some already mentioned . How big you need or want to go ? What size( voltage ) you choose to run ? Whether you use new or used equipment ? Where you buy it from ? and if you can install it yourself ? are just a few of the main things that will effect the cost ? …
Larger full blown home sized systems to run/service a small family,can run into tens of thousands of bucks ! It is not uncommon to hear of people blowing $25.000 to $45.000 and more ! on what they are told by the so called experts, is the system they need ?? BTW there is,no way we could have gone that deep financially into our Solar setup ! Ours has run us up around the $10,000 ALL UP! for our 240volt and the 12 volt setups . Still allot of money, but remember we took 7 years+ to get to this point.: Bigger Solar systems can cost more than your arms or legs !
As already touch on above , If you go look at some of the major Solar off grid systems suppliers out there, you will find that what they have to offer seems to start around $25,000 ish up to around the $60,000 mark. If you do the math regarding saving cash over the long haul swapping to off grid Solar ,then these more expensive systems will take you a full lifetime to recover the original outlay . ( and we personally are getting older , so we would not even look at these systems! ) Be careful not to be talked into spending cash you have not got ( finance) on setting up . IMO that would be a VERY big mistake!: Small Solar setups are cheap to set up !
As an example, we, as said up above, had only a tiny system of under 1 kw for years . A system of this size can be setup with parts you buy from Ebay ect for around $1,500 or so. These small systems will get you by if you have minimal requirements and use them wisely. So you can go off grid without selling your body ! lol
The limitations of these smaller systems can be frustrating , but you will at least not go broke!! with the lights on at least ! lol These systems will run an LED TV small fridge , laptop and some lighting with little effort , but not 24 hours around the clock non stop !Solar off grid can be very effective at lowering energy costs ( or not ? )
As is the case with most things we do in life , if we do them well, they usually turn out fine and as we had planned . (" planned" being the key word here !)
Solar systems are no different. They have to be planned to suit the specific application in mind .
Without mentioning the bloody obvious, if you plan your system to do just so much , any use beyond that planning will cause it to become a bit of a problem ?
All solar systems usually have a level of redundancy factor built in to cope with a few main factors , in the form of a generator ( petrol or diesel) and over sizing for loads that may vary due to use or bad over cast weather .
to be continued ....