How To Choose The Best Solar Energy System For Your Off-Grid Home

This blog contains affiliate links. For more information, read our disclosure.

Solar energy is fast becoming one of the more promising renewable technologies in the energy industry. With a growth rate of 2% per year, solar energy systems are likely to soon become the preferred source of energy worldwide.

In our previous article, we discussed the benefits of renewable energy solutions. One of the best natural sources of energy is the sun, and solar energy solutions are one of the best green energy technologies to power your off-grid home.

One of the primary advantages of solar energy is that the sun is able to provide over 10,000 times more than the energy that our planet is able to produce, so the solar energy business is booming worldwide.

But don’t take my word for it. Check these solar energy figures and statistics and see for yourself if whether solar energy is indeed everything that it’s being made out to be.

Are Solar Energy Solutions Financially Viable?

One of the main factors that you would consider when choosing renewable energy solutions is whether it is financially viable or not. Like most renewable energy systems, solar energy has its advantages and disadvantages.

While your solar power system costs and installation costs can be quite significant initially, getting a solar energy system for your home or workplace would actually help you save money on your utility bills annually.

In fact, installing solar thermal systems would allow you to recover the total cost within 5 years of installation, with 15 years for photovoltaic panels, after which, you can enjoy the benefits of reduced costs for your energy consumption.

How Does Solar Energy Reduce The Cost Of Energy Consumption?

Studies have shown that using certain solar energy systems do reduce the total cost of energy consumption that your home or workplace might incur.

If done right, you can actually lower your annual utility bill by as much as 80%, which is very significant, especially if you are trying to find ways to save some money.

Also, some programs allow users of solar energy systems to sell back energy or electricity that they were not able to consume, to the utility provider giving you even more ways to save money.


Do Sunny Areas Have More Solar Energy Systems?

Although the ideal location to place solar energy power plants to harness sunlight would be in locations that have a hot and sunny climate, some places that don’t have a hot climate are known to have more solar panels.

Denmark, Holland and most of northern Europe claim they have more solar panels than the UK, so you don’t necessarily need a hot climate in order to enjoy the benefits of solar energy.

Solar Energy Advantages & Disadvantages

The advantages of solar energy continue to grow but there are disadvantages for those who do not understand how to use solar energy in their home.

It is important to weigh the potential of having your own solar equipment. You should consider the devices you need to power, your location, and budget.

Here are 5 questions you need to ask if you’re planning on installing a solar power system or figuring out which solar panels to install.

1. How Much Solar Energy Do You Get?

The good thing about solar energy is that it can be used anytime or as long as the sun is shining. You can get the power you need day-in and day-out.

But you do have to consider your current location. Are there a lot of clouds or does it rain or snow frequently? How much sunlight do you get per day?

Places that get at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day do well with a solar energy system. So if you live in a tropical area or desert regions you should be able to rely on solar panels.

Of course, you need to determine the angle of the sun to know which spots are most ideal for installation. Solar power is a renewable resource which means you don’t have to pay any bills or keep replacing parts to get the results you need.

The disadvantage, in terms of availability, is that you cannot harvest solar energy if there’s no sunlight, nor can you rely on solar power at night or in places that tend to be overcast or have very little sunlight for several months.

Some locations are ideal for installing solar cell panels, while those that experience very long winter months may not get the best results from solar energy and may have to consider using other types of alternative energy or renewable energy solutions.

If you live in such a location, you may have to invest in a Hybrid Wind Solar Power DIY Off-Grid Kit or you may do better with an electrical or battery source such as a Tesla Powerwall Home Energy Storage Battery to ensure 24/7 power availability.

2. How Much Area Does Your Solar Power Plant Need?

Most, if not all, solar power plants require a certain amount of land area in order to house all the solar panels, solar generator and a solar battery that these power plants need in order to properly harness and collect sunlight and solar energy.

Depending on the solar panel size, the space you require for your solar-powered generator and the solar energy output needed, each solar power plant’s land area would vary.

3. What Devices Do You Need To Power?

Today, solar energy can power anything from homes, offices and cars to small light fixtures, toys and calculators. You can rely on the sun to help you minimize utility and electric bills.

You can even see a number of vehicles now solely powered by the sun. The disadvantage is that the power may tend to fluctuate depending on the sunlight available.

Some devices may not work as well if the acquired energy from the sun is insufficient. In some cases, power may totally fail if solar energy is limited or unavailable.

If solar power is not consistent in your location, you can invest in a Tesla Powerwall Home Energy Storage Battery to ensure 24/7 power availability.

4. Can You Get Solar Panels Installed?

Even though solar panels are readily available in most hardware stores and the internet, not everyone is still capable of installing these solar photovoltaic systems properly.

Installation depends on several factors and needs careful study, such as the angle of the sun, the position and area where you need to place the solar panels and the number of hours to complete the project.

Usually, your solar panel distributor will help you with installation, but if that’s not possible, consider investing in a Hybrid Wind Solar Power DIY Off-Grid Kit that you can install yourself.


5. Where Can You Buy Solar Panels?

You may find it very expensive to buy solar panels as a first-time buyer and may have to spend more initially to get off the grid. But the costs of using solar energy do decrease over time because the sun is readily available and free.

People living in remote areas may not have ready access to a solar panel distributor from whom you can buy solar panels and you may find that the best solar panels are available online.

The professionals needed to install and maintain the system may not also be available in remote areas, and the installation fees might be more expensive. So, weigh all your options before you decide to buy solar panels.

Are there any available hardware stores that offer the needed parts for your solar energy system setup? Will ordering online be easy and convenient?

Are there agencies or professionals who can offer reliable and quality services to install and maintain the solar cell panels. Are the materials affordable and of good quality?

These are some of the questions you need to consider to get the best deals on solar energy systems online. Ordering online will also depend on your location and the mode of transportation.

If you think that setting up and maintaining your solar energy system will be difficult, it might be better to wait until the technology is more readily available in your area.

How to Choose the Best Solar Energy System For Your Off-Grid Home

As solar energy has become more common and more viable, solar energy companies have begun to develop a number of solar energy systems to choose from, depending on your needs and limitations.

Choosing a solar energy system that would serve all your needs is not easy, so here are some tips to help you choose the best solar energy system for your home.

1. Know Your Solar Energy System

The very first thing you must do is make sure you know what different solar energy systems you can choose from.

Basically, there are two different types of solar energy systems – photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar thermal systems.

  • Photovoltaic Cells Or Solar Panels

Photovoltaic cells are solar energy panels that convert solar energy into electricity that you can use to power up most of your appliances and household lighting, and should only be used for those specific uses.

Unfortunately, solar photovoltaic systems are one of the more expensive, if not the most expensive solar energy systems on the market today.

It is important to learn about different types of solar panels and how to choose the best solar panels to get the best solar panel output for your home.

For example, small solar panels like the 12V monocrystalline solar panel can power a boat, caravan, RV and any other off-grid applications.

But for converting your entire house to solar, the Renogy 300-Watt monocrystalline solar panel is one of the most efficient solar panels and is perfect for residential rooftop systems to decrease your electrical bill, or for a large off-grid system.


The monocrystalline panels will give you the most efficiency per space and have the ability to withstand extreme elements and severe weather.

  • Solar Thermal Systems

Solar thermal systems simply generate heat and are well-suited for boilers, furnaces, solar water heaters and solar pool heaters.

This type of solar energy system allows you to make heat using direct solar energy at a much lower cost as compared to conventional energy and electricity.

However, if you want to retrofit your home with one of these solar thermal systems, you’ll need to sacrifice a little bit of space in your home. The good thing about using solar thermal systems is that you’ll save up to 80% of your total energy cost per year.


2. Calculate Your Energy Costs

Once you have a better understanding and grasp of what solar energy systems are out there, and how they work, you simply need to learn how to calculate the cost of your energy consumption.

This will help you determine which type of solar energy system you should buy. Many people choose to save money by buying used solar panels instead of new ones.

When calculating the cost of your energy consumption, you need to create a list of all the devices and applications that might need energy and electricity.

Include appliances, lighting, water heating, space heating, space cooling and air conditioning. If you can, figure out ways to reduce your electricity and energy consumption too so you can reduce your overall energy requirements.

3. Maintaining Your Solar Energy System

A well-maintained solar energy system will last for 30 years if you take good care of it. You can choose to build your own solar panel or buy it from a solar panel manufacturer.


The longevity of your solar energy system will depend on the quality of the material, the use and applications. The price you pay for it does not immediately equate to quality or longevity.

Spend some time learning about the best solar companies and check if there are any differences with regards to features or benefits that will ultimately enhance the lifespan of your solar energy system. Ask for recommendations from friends or people on online forums who have used residential solar power systems.

But if spending tens of thousands of dollars on a standard solar panel system is not for you and if you want to be “energy independent” and have the fridge, oven and AC on for just a fraction of your usual monthly spend, check out this simple 3D solar array.

This disaster-proof, recession-proof, drought-proof “backyard power plant” is so simple that you don’t have to be an electrician to build it and it requires no maintenance.

Even better, it doesn’t take up a lot of space because its ingenious vertical design means that it needs only 5% of the surface used in conventional solar panel systems.

This device is the cheapest, easiest way to effortlessly make your own personal power plant and have a perpetual source of cheap green electricity for anything heading your way. And the best part: you won’t need to rely on the power grid anymore.

Do share your experience with choosing the best solar energy solutions for your off-grid home in the comments below.

Renewable Energy: Green Energy Solutions For Your Off-Grid Home

This blog contains affiliate links. For more information, read our disclosure.

Are you looking for green energy solutions to power your off-grid home? You don’t have to be an energy consultant to understand the many benefits of renewable energy or green energy.

So, what is renewable energy and why are renewable energy sources better for the environment? Why use renewable energy sources?

The definition of renewable energy is “energy from a source that is not depleted when used, such as wind or solar power.” This source of energy is not likely to run out, inasmuch as the sun is likely to stop shining.

How do renewable energy sources affect the environment? Firstly, renewable energy sources don’t cause global warming, which is caused by burning fossil fuels, which are non-renewable energy sources.

Another benefit of renewable energy is that it can be decentralized, that is, it can be produced locally. You can turn whatever is available locally – wind, solar, tidal energy, hydroelectric (water energy), geothermal energy or biomass energy – into electrical energy to power your off-grid home.

That’s why it is so easy to power an off-grid home with green energy.

How much energy comes from renewable sources?

How much energy is produced by renewable energy sources today? In 2018, renewable energy sources accounted for about 11% of total U.S. energy consumption and about 17% of electricity generation.

While Iceland generates 100% of its electricity from hydroelectric and geothermal sources, 28% of Denmark’s electricity comes from wind, and the government plans to increase this to 50% by 2020.

Any new homes built in California after 2020 will have to be at least partially solar-powered, Google now sources 100% of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind, and Tesla plans to install solar panels on 1100 houses in South Australia, creating the world’s largest virtual solar plant.

What are renewable energy sources?

There are many types of alternative energy available that are an excellent substitute for fossil fuels that cause global warming. But most people have a lot of questions about renewable energy sources.

They usually want to know, are renewable energy sources reliable? Are renewable energy sources cheaper and more cost-effective? Can renewable energy sources replace fossil fuels?

How many renewable energy sources are there? What are some renewable energy sources examples and how do they compare to each other?

Here are the main forms of renewable energy, along with the advantages of using each one.

Solar Energy Solutions

Passive solar building design uses the inherent properties of building materials to absorb the sun’s heat during the day and keep the home warm at night. These construction methods have been used by many civilizations since ancient times.

Passive solar heating and passive cooling — approaches known as natural conditioning — provide comfort throughout the year by reducing, or eliminating, the need for fossil fuel.

Yet, while heat from sunlight and ventilation from breezes is free for the taking, few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved.

In his book, The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling, Dan Chiras, brings those principles up to date for a new generation of solar enthusiasts.

Active solar energy solutions like solar hot water systems use a fluid like water to absorb the heat, while photovoltaic (PV) solar panels convert sunlight into usable direct current electricity and are currently installed in over 100 countries.

What are solar energy’s advantages and disadvantages? The benefit of solar energy is that it is in abundant supply and will not run out for millions of years. All we have to do is find more efficient ways to harvest it.

The disadvantage of solar energy is that our current photovoltaic systems don’t convert energy efficiently enough to be considered a feasible energy alternative.

How efficient are renewable energy sources such as solar power systems? Not as much as we would like, unfortunately.

Solar Energy Facts: Roughly 16% of the sunlight that hits the photovoltaic cell is converted into usable energy.


However, there are new breakthroughs happening all the time in the field of solar energy. For example, electrical engineer Aaswath Raman, at the University of California in LA, invented a device that can harness energy from a dark night sky to power an LED, which is immediately practical for lighting and off-grid sensors.

The primary advantage of solar energy is that it is free, and with more efficient models already in production, solar power may become the world’s primary energy source in the future.

Wind Energy

Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing sources of electricity in the entire world. Here are some wind energy facts.

In 2013, the 168 million megawatts of energy that wind turbines produced resulted in the elimination of 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. As of the end of 2014, the United States wind power capacity was at 65,879 megawatts.

There are many advantages of wind energy as wind turbines do not pollute or contaminate the surrounding area on which they are built. Wind turbines can be located offshore and some countries use wind farms to supply up to 20% of their electricity needs.

Despite these compelling wind power facts, it does have some disadvantages as wind turbines have been blamed for killing birds that fly into them and they can only generate power in windy areas.

Wind Turbine Facts: A single wind turbine can produce enough energy to power 500 households.

Wind turbine companies now produce small wind turbines or home wind turbine kits and wind turbine generators to generate wind power for homes in remote areas or for those who want to experience off-grid living.

If you live in a place where solar and wind energy are both plentiful, you can get a Hybrid Wind Solar Power DIY Off-Grid Kit for power generation around the clock.


It can be used to power your RV’s, cabins, boats, backup power generation, remote power needs, or around the home such as sheds, barns, and outbuildings.

Hydro Energy Systems

Hydro energy is water energy generated by the movement of water, whether it is falling or flowing down a river. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the term hydropower has referred to generating electricity using water.

Flowing water was used in ancient water mills to power various machines, from saws to cranes and lifts. Today you can get a portable micro-hydro generator kit like the WaterLily 12V to generate power from rivers and charge day or night in any weather.

This water turbine kit is perfect for RVers, boaters, campers, hunters, cabin owners and ideal for base camps, emergency prepping and off-grid living.

Hydropower is an efficient and renewable source of power. However, the building of a dam and reservoir can flood catchment areas, resulting in harmful effects on the environment and displacing thousands of people who live there.

Careful consideration is often given to this before a reservoir system is actually built. Micro-hydro power systems don’t have the disadvantages of mega hydropower dams. You can find a micro-hydro generator for sale online.

Portable water turbine kits like the Pelton Water Wheel or the WaterLily 12V can be used in hilly or mountainous areas to generate energy from small rivers and streams.


Biofuels & Biomass Energy

As one of the primary types of renewable energy used all around the world, biofuels are a sustainable energy resource. They are made from biomass, which is biological material from living or once-living organisms. This includes traditional “fossil fuels” such as gasoline.

However, more readily available biological materials, such as wood, corn, hemp and a wide variety of different species of trees can be used to create biofuels. These biomass energy sources can be grown and harvested, making them a sustainable energy resource.

But, burning biomass for energy does have disadvantages as some of them can release toxic fumes when burned, contributing to air pollution. Also, burning biofuels is not a zero-carbon activity and contributes to global warming because of the CO2 released.

If you do plan to use biofuels, like ethanol, in your off-grid home, you can get the eco-friendly Ignis Ventless Bio Ethanol Fireplace Burner. It doesn’t produce any smoke, soot or dangerous gases, has no chimney, no gas or electric lines and is easy to maintain.


Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is generated by tapping into the thermal energy or heat at the Earth’s core. This energy is harvested by drilling deep into the ground, then pumping in a heat transfer fluid such as water or steam.

The energy that is transferred up to the surface is converted into usable power. Water-based systems are the most effective, but also have the potential to cause contamination in the nearby water table. This means that great care must be taken to not damage the local water supply.

In the book, DIY: How to Make Cheap Air Conditioning Earth Tubes: Do It Yourself Homemade Air Conditioner, you’ll learn how to use earth tubes (or earth-air tubes) – underground tubes that use geothermal energy – to cool or heat temper the air for your home.

It works like cheap air conditioning because you can build it yourself for several hundred dollars and it is free to run (no electricity needed). Being completely passive, this is a sustainable technology based on designs that are 3,000 years old and still used today around the world to cool homes.

If you live in an area where a volcanic activity or geothermal springs are present, you should get these books on using Geothermal Energy for the home.

The continuous growth in sustainable energy technology has made energy source alternatives increasingly viable options.


With such positive results and far less impact on the environment, sustainable energy sources are our best energy option when it comes to a long-term energy supply.

How much do renewable energy sources cost? 

Are renewable energy sources expensive? In the past, installing solar energy systems used to be extremely expensive because of the cost of photovoltaic cells and also complicated because consumers couldn’t figure out the solar energy marketplace.

Over the last decade, the cost of installing solar energy systems has fallen by 70% and solar energy companies are educating and guiding consumers through the process, making solar energy an incredibly lucrative long-term investment.

For budget-conscious consumers, used solar panels are a great way to save money.

But if spending tens of thousands of dollars on a standard solar panel system is not for you and if you want to be “energy independent” and have the fridge, oven and AC on for just a fraction of your usual monthly spend, check out this simple 3D solar array.

This disaster-proof, recession-proof, drought-proof “backyard power plant” is so simple that you don’t have to be an electrician to build it and it requires no maintenance.

Even better, it doesn’t take up a lot of space because its ingenious vertical design means that it needs only 5% of the surface used in conventional solar panel systems.

This device is the cheapest, easiest way to effortlessly make your own personal power plant and have a perpetual source of cheap green electricity for anything heading your way. And the best part: you won’t need to rely on the power grid anymore.