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What is off-grid?
Off-grid is the term used to describe a residence or other location that is not connected to the electric grid. This means that you generate your own power using solar panels and a battery bank.
For example, some people go off-grid because they are unhappy with the service they are receiving from their utility company. Others may live in remote locations far away from power lines and so need to generate their own electricity using solar panels.
This calculator will help you determine how many solar panels you need to power your home, cabin, shed, or other off grid location and what size of battery bank you will need for storage.
You can also see how much money you can save by generating your own electricity.
How do you calculate how many solar panels you need?
You’ll need to have enough solar panels to be able to fully charge your battery in one day.
The remote cabin solar power calculator above will help you determine how many solar panels you need to power your home, cabin, shed, or other off grid location and what size of battery bank you will need for storage. You can also see how much money you can save by generating your own electricity.
To find out how many solar panels you need:
1) Enter the type of off grid location you’re thinking about getting solar panels for
2) Choose how many days of “autonomy” you need. This is the number of days that you can go without any sunlight at all, just running off your battery system.
3) (Optional) Enter how much you’re paying for grid electricity, so we can calculate savings
4) Enter the amount of electricity your use daily
5) Confirm your location. We need to know roughly where you are in the world as the closer to the poles you are, the less sunlight you’ll get during winter.
6) Select which direction your roof faces. In the northern hemisphere, south facing is typically best.
7) Enter your main goal with going off grid.
8) Click “next” and we’ll tell you how many solar panels are needed and what size battery bank is needed to store them
What size of battery bank do you need?
The reality is that battery banks come in all shapes and sizes. This calculator will help you calculate how much energy needs to be stored to power your home, cabin, shed, or other off grid location.
The first step is to estimate the total size of your battery bank. This takes into account the useable storage of the battery system. For lead acid, this is often only 50%, whereas for LiFePo4 it’s usually 80-95%.
You’ll want to have a battery bank that can support your daily useage over the number of days you’ve chosen as “autonomy” days.
For example, if you use 1kWh per day, you’ll need a 2kWh battery if you want 2 days worth of autonomy.
If only 90% of the battery is useable, you’ll then need a 2.3kWh LiFePo4 battery, or a 4kWh lead acid battery. If you’re using 12v batteries then those would be 28 amp hour LiFePo4 or 48 amp hour lead acid batteries.
How much money can you save?
One of the benefits of going off-grid with solar power is the savings.
Since you are not paying an electric company for your energy, you can save anywhere from $50 to $500 per month depending on where you live, how much electric you use, and its cost.
You will also be saving a lot of money on maintenance and energy efficiency upgrades as well.
A side benefit to going off grid is that you never have to worry about blackouts or brownouts in your home or property. This means that you don’t have to worry about what time it is or how much sunlight there is because your power will always be on.
Solar power is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, but it can be difficult to figure out how much power you need. To help you figure out the right size solar panel, battery bank, and solar charge controller for your home, we created the Off-Grid Solar Calculator. This handy tool can help you find the right size solar panel and battery bank for your needs and will also provide you with an estimate of how much you can save with off-grid solar power!