Batteries for off grid solar: Everything you need to know
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Batteries for off grid solar: Everything you need to know

batteries for off grid solar: everything you need to know

solar panels in field

Short on Time? Here’s The Article Summary

Off-grid solar power offers energy independence and is used by over 420 million people globally. Understanding the basics is crucial before making the switch. Batteries are essential for storing solar power, allowing for electricity use at night or during low sunlight periods. Factors like energy needs, sunlight availability, roof suitability, and battery types impact system size.

Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly popular due to their longevity, eco-friendliness, and low maintenance. Solar kits make DIY installation accessible, offering cost savings of up to 50%. Kits come with step-by-step guides and everything needed for installation, ensuring the right sizing and capacity for your system. Overall, off-grid solar power offers a reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective alternative to traditional grid power.

Introduction

Are you ready to ditch your mainline power supply for off grid solar power? You aren't alone.

Off grid solar power serves over 420 million people globally and is an excellent way to achieve complete energy independence. However, before launching headfirst into off grid solar power, it's essential to understand how everything works.

Batteries for off grid solar panels are a critical component. Below, we'll get into the weeds of what you need to know about off grid solar batteries. We'll touch on a range of topics, including:

  • Benefits of batteries in off grid-solar
  • Cost of off grid solar batteries
  • Different types of batteries for off grid solar
  • Reasons to install your own off grid solar panel

Why go off grid with solar power?

Here are a few main reasons why people switch to off grid power in the first place:

1. Geographical necessity

  • You're in a location without access to a mainline grid
  • You have an on-the-go lifestyle in an RV, camper, or van
  • You require greater protection measures due to severe weather

2. Economic factors

  • The cost to connect to the mainline grid is too high
  • You've grown tired of paying monthly electric bills

3. Personal reasons

  • You have a desire for self-sufficiency, privacy, and control over your resources
  • The environmental benefits lead to a healthier planet

Off gridding takes many forms. However, solar power makes a compelling case compared to competing methods, such as gas or wind. Below are just a few reasons why solar power has become so popular:

  • The energy source (the sun) is free
  • Solar panels last a long time with minimal maintenance
  • Off grid solar power is safe, silent, and affordable
  • The installation and setup are easy
  • Solar power provides environmental benefits

What are solar power batteries?

person holding off grid solar power battery

The concept of off grid solar power is easy enough to understand. The basic process of solar panel energy systems is as follows:

  • The solar panel's photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity
  • The solar power passes through a charge controller, which delivers it into a battery for storage
  • The battery's energy passes through an inverter, which selectively converts the DC current into AC that can be used with household appliances

Ultimately, batteries for off grid solar act as storage tanks for the sun rays. They are essential because they serve as a reservoir of energy, allowing owners to power their homes at night or during long periods of reduced sunlight.

Why do you need batteries in an off grid solar power system?

Regardless of your power needs, a battery bank is essential for going off grid. Your solar power system must provide all your electricity needs throughout the day and night, which means you must have batteries to draw from when your solar panels aren't generating power.

map of solar irradiation in the united states

Your solar panel array can't generate power 24/7. In fact, it only performs optimally during the few hours each day of maximum sun intensity, called peak sunlight hours. But what is that, exactly? A peak sunlight hour is a period that provides solar panels with over 1,000 watts (or one kilowatt) per square meter.

These periods allow panels to soak up more energy than is being used. Any excess absorbed light is then transferred to the batteries. This allows you to store enough energy for extended periods of little to no sunlight.

It’s important to understand that peak sunlight hours vary based on geographical location and exposure to the sun. You can determine an area’s peak sunlight hours by entering your location in an online calculator. Or, you can consult a map to get a general idea of solar irradiation.

Additionally, you must have the right number of batteries to guarantee an accurate reserve. Solar power kits are a great way to ensure you have the right amount for your daily use, as they come in varying sizes and storage capacities.

What are the other benefits of batteries in an off grid solar system?

Not only does a sizable battery bank guarantee enough power at all times, but it also provides peace of mind as an emergency backup. 

Solar power systems with batteries aren't only good for going off grid; any system can benefit from having power storage. There is a growing desire for energy storage, especially with the falling prices of lithium-ion batteries. Experts estimate that by 2026, 30% of solar panel systems will have battery banks, as opposed to 13% in 2021. 

Can I add batteries to my off grid system later?

Expansion is always an option. Off grid solar kits come with extra inputs, allowing you to easily add additional batteries to create a more extensive reservoir of electricity. All you need are the extra batteries and cables. 

What is the best type of battery for off grid solar power?

A key question to answer before putting together your solar power system is which type of battery is right for you. While researching, you'll see offerings for various batteries, including lead acid, sealed gel, AGM, and lithium-ion. Each type of battery has pros and cons. For example, lead acids are inexpensive but don't hold a charge for long, while AGM batteries have a low discharge rate but short lifespans. 

With such a glut of choices, it can be hard to know which is right. However, it's becoming increasingly clear that lithium-ion is the best option.

Lithium-ion batteries cost more upfront, but compared to all other types they are longer-lasting, eco-friendly, faster charging, and require no maintenance. They also come with excellent warranties, ensuring you'll get what you pay for. 

 

which solar kit ir right for you?

 

How much do solar batteries cost for off grid systems?

Determining the cost of your solar batteries comes down to the size of your storage needs. Logically, the more storage you need, the more batteries you'll require and the greater your upfront costs. Solar batteries are measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), so the batteries you choose need to reflect your daily kWh requirements. 

To determine your kWh needs, estimate your monthly electricity usage. Then, you can select the right size battery. Below is a chart outlining the size/cost ratio for some of our top-selling lithium-ion battery options. 

Lithium Battery Type

Size

Cost

Cost per kWh

Jakiper [PRO] Lithium Battery

5.12 kWh

$1,699

$332

Mammoth [PLUS]

9.6 kWh

$3,990

$353

BigBattery [White Rhino Kit]

28 kWh

$12,180

$435

For a further look at the best storage options for off grid solar, we have a great comparison article that outlines the top lithium batteries available today. 

DIY with an off grid solar power kit with batteries

As we mentioned above, one of the main reasons people choose to go off grid is to save cash. But the upfront cost of installing a solar system isn't cheap. Don't believe us? Call a solar company and ask for a quote. 

However, we'll tell you a secret: DIY solar kits are up to 50% cheaper. 

Installing your own solar power system is much easier than you think. Additionally, DIY kits contain everything you need to know, so you'll have a step-by-step guide to take you through the process. Not only do you save tons of money, but you also get complete control over your sizing and capacity preferences. 

Below is a list of approximate kit costs based on the system size, battery capacity, and the number of panels. 

Solar Kit Cost Comparison

System Size

Battery Capacity

Panels

Approximate Cost of Solar Kit

2.4 kWh

2.56 kWh

4 x 200 W

$2,600

3 kWh

3.1 kWh

6 x 200 W

$4,000

6 kWh

9.6 kWh

6 x 390 W

$8,300

6 kWh

12 kWh

12 x 390 W

$10,600

13 kWh

19 kWh

18 x 390 W

$16,400

13 kWh

28 kWh

18 x 390 W

$20,900

There are tons of great resources and manuals on how to put together an off grid solar system with batteries. Simply follow the instructions and recommendations, and you'll easily select the correct battery sizes and number of panels for your system. 

With solar kits, you'll be bidding goodbye to your mainline grid in no time. 

Conclusion

If you’re attempting to head off grid with solar power, it’s essential to hook up your panels to adequate battery storage. The best way to guarantee you have the right system is to purchase a solar power kit based on your direct needs.

To learn more, check out our off grid solar power guide. Or visit the Shop Solar Kits online store and explore the various products, kits, and resources to help you switch to off grid living.

The Ultimate Solar + Storage Blueprint (Mini Course)

Struggling to understand how solar + storage systems actually work? Looking to build or buy your own solar power system one day but not sure what you need? Just looking to learn more about solar, batteries and electricity?

Join 15,000+ solar enthusiasts breaking free from their energy dependence with this short step-by-step video course that will make you a solar + storage expert. Start your journey to energy independence today.

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Who is ShopSolar.com?

ShopSolar.com is the #1 digital platform that enables consumers & businesses to source and purchase complete solar + storage solutions direct, saving you thousands in time, energy and money! With over 40,000+ happy customers, we’re on a mission to make solar simple, transparent and affordable.

Article by

Alex S

Alex is a co-founder of Shop Solar, a company that he established in 2018 to revolutionize the solar industry by simplifying the process and making it more simple and cost-effective. Under his strategic leadership, Shop Solar has grown into a comprehensive one-stop-shop, empowering over 40,000+ customers to access top-quality solar and storage solutions, comprehensive information, intuitive tools, and professional installation services.

With a passion for innovation and sustainable energy, Alex has successfully expanded the business's reach and impact, serving as a driving force in the company's growth and development. You can browse best seller's here.

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