How Much Solar Does Your Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home Need?

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to Provide Electricity for Off Grid Sheds, Cabins and Homes?

Guide to Off Grid Living - How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Guide to Off Grid Living – How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

How Much Solar Does Your Off Grid Cabin Need?

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Living Off Grid News – Solar is the #1 financial budget line item that people think about after the costs associated with building a shed, cabin, home or other type of shelter.

The first big expense that most people consider before moving to an off grid living lifestyle is how to generate electricity for their home when it may cost $50,000 to $100,000 to pay the electric company to run poles from the electrical grid to their property’s remote location.

By contrast spending $5,000 to $15,000 on solar panels, solar panel racking system, a combiner box, a trickle charger, a bank of batteries, a power inverter, fuses and a rock solid grounding solution, seems like a pretty good deal. Most households would benefit from the largest system that you can afford, which should cost around $1.50 per watt for everything except batteries. But once its installed you’ll have free electricity for up 25-years.

A good solar power array should start with around 4,000-watts or sixteen 250-watt panels, but many folks can get by with less than 1,000-watts. The information below will tell you how to select the best solar panels, wiring voltage (48, 24 or 12 volts), a power inverters, using AC vs. DC appliances and how many days of electricity usage you to store in your battery banks to account for several days of cloudy or rainy weather.

And while many people think about solar power as related to producing only free solar electricity, there are so many other ways to harness the power of the sun that will benefit an off grid property including lights, how water heaters, passive solar furnaces, ovens, dehydrators and septic tanks.

Please click on the links below that will take you to our Off Grid Home Facebook Group where we have hundreds of photo albums. If you scroll through the photos, there are comments to read, articles to review, videos to watch and photos that should give you some good ideas on what is possible and what topics you might like to research a little bit more and eventually include on your own off grid homestead.

How to Generate Free Electricity with Solar Panels

How to Install Solar Powered Lighting Systems

How to Heat Water with Solar Hot Water Heaters

In addition to producing free electricity, solar is also great for heating water. Cost-effective solutions can range coiling up a black water hose inside a black box with a window so that the sun’s solar UV rays can be absorbed and used to heat hot water and store it in an insulated tank all the way up to very fancy systems that use copper tubing and a host of add-on features that will keep the water from freezing at night when the sun isn’t shining.

In addition to household hot water, solar water heaters can be used to heat stock tanks and ponds, water troughs, greenhouses as well as water used for outdoor bathrooms, hot tubs, showers and radiant floor heating.

How to Purify Water a Solar Still

Solar stills can run rainwater through an evaporation system that will utilize UV rays to purify water and heat water into steam that will condense back into fresh water that is cleaner than rainwater for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

How to Heat Homes with Passive Solar Heaters

Solar can also be used to heat a shed, cabin or home with no electricity by building a passive solar heater, which is very similar to building a solar hot water heater except that you’ll be heating air inside a black box with a window and using aluminum/tin cans, copper tubing, rocks or sheets of tin roofing that are painted black to absorb heat. As hot air rises it will flow from the heated box into a colder structure at the top of the room while sucking in colder air at the bottom of the using a Trombe Wall vacuum air pattern.

How to Cook with Solar Powered Ovens

Passive solar heat can even be used to cook your food at up to 350 degrees. It won’t be as fast as other forms of cooking heat, but it can be used to do everything from boil water to cooking just about anything that you can cook in a regular oven – but the sun does need to out and shining at full force.

How to Dehydrate Food/Beef Jerky with a Solar Dehydrator

Solar can be used to dehydrate meat, fruit and vegetable for canning purposes.

How to Evaporate Moisture from Septic Tanks with Solar Windows

The main purpose of a septic tank is let moisture escape from human waste, but using leach fields and drip systems can take a long time to work if there are more than a few people living in the home. Installing a glass windows or doors on top of the septic leach tank allows solar rays to steam the water out of the sewage and keep septic tanks from freezing in the winter.