Making the decision to install an off-grid solar system should be fairly simple. After all, it’s a great way to reduce your electricity bill and overall environmental impact. However, there are a lot of different factors you need to take into consideration before taking the leap. Putting aside the potential high cost, you need to make sure that you’re selecting the most appropriate solar system that’s a great fit for your home and your region. Keep reading to learn more.
Determine Your Power Consumption and Energy Storage Needs
Before you go ahead and install a solar system of any kind—whether it’s off-grid or hybrid—you should have at the very least a general idea of how much energy your home uses on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This is vital information because it’ll determine a number of other factors including how many solar panels you need to install, the size and storage capacity of your battery unit, or if you even need a battery unit at all. The best way to get an accurate idea of how much energy your property consumes is to get a net meter reading from a minimum of the last two years or however long you’ve been living at that location. You can also use this information to make any necessary adjustments to your energy consumption habits.
Find Out the Exact Capacity Your Off-Grid Inverter Needs
Since off-grid solar systems are disconnected from the main power grid in your area, you’ll inevitably need to install a solar battery to store excess energy for times when relying on the sun is infeasible (i.e. storms, overcast conditions, etc.). The role of an inverter is to convert DC (direct current) energy that’s collected by your solar panels from the sun into AC (alternating current) energy to power your appliances and electricity in your home. The required capacity of your inverter depends largely on the size of your property and the amount of energy you consume on a regular basis which is why it’s so important to monitor your energy consumption for a given period of time before installing solar panels and going totally off-grid.
Check Your Local By-Laws
While it’s not necessarily illegal to go completely off the grid in most parts of Canada, there are certain regional regulations that are put in place to help standardize the use of solar energy while also offsetting the astronomical costs of hydro. Some regions might not allow residents to go off the grid because it interferes with the hydro company’s ability to maintain the local power grids, whereas other municipal governments might have a great deal of restrictions in place. In some cases, if you purchase a new home, you may need to check with the builders before purchasing and installing solar panels or wait a minimum amount of time before doing so. It’s always best to educate yourself about the local by-laws regarding off-grid and hybrid solar systems.
At Bendygo Solar, we specialize in providing expert advice and installation services for clients all over Ontario. We’ll take the time to assess your property, read your net meter, and answer all of your questions for you. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.