“Off Grid” Power systems are primarily used for energy security, independence and are a cost effective alternative for remote locations.
One of the most frequent questions that we get is “How much to power an average home?”
While it may seem that there should be a quick and easy answer to this, it is not as simple as that. There are many factors that affect the size of a system, the equipment used and how much if at all, a generator will be a part of the system. “Off Grid” systems are typically sized for winter conditions, therefore load calculations must be based on the highest demand, lowest production time of year. The minimum ratio of Solar to usage that should be used for sizing a system is ½. In other words, if you have a winter usage of 12 KWH per day, the minimum size of solar array should be 6 KW and the minimum battery storage capacity should be 7 times the usage, so 84 KWH. (This gives about a 3 1/2 to 4 day autonomy since batteries should not be discharged more than 50%).
Typically, Good “Off Grid” systems will cost a lot more than people expect, so it is important to go through the steps in determining the correct size, layout and equipment. One of the most important aspects of going “Off Grid” is energy efficiency.
While it will take a while, it is highly recommended to go through all the information that is provided here if you are seriously considering going “Off Grid”. The suggested order is as follows with the packages link listed at the bottom of the page.
The new 2015 Canadian Electrical Code has some new requirements. It will be up to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (electrical inspector) to determine exactly what he or she will accept.