My friends often talk about how to become self sufficient and live off the grid, completely independent from the outside world. In many of those discussions I find myself being the only one bringing up the solar power issue, as everyone else seems to talk about growing your own food or building a self sustained water supply. Their ideas are all great and useful, but living like this is simply unacceptable in the modern world where we need electricity. And if you are buying electricity from a power company, then you aren’t a 100% self sufficient now, are you?
Self sufficient definition
"needing no outside help in satisfying one's basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food"
The above is a globally accepted definition for self sufficiency so it’s no surprise a lot of people don’t immediately think about solar panels, but seriously, what’s a modern household without electricity? For the very least, you should have enough solar power to charge your smartphone and laptop batteries and have a little something to power up the lights (preferably LED’s) in the evening.
Self sufficient power from the Sun
1. How much sunlight hits your panel
2. The size of the panel itself
3. The efficiency of the solar cells inside the panel
If you want to power your entire home or homestead with solar energy, then you might want to check out the Weather Underground Solar Calculator to calculate the amount of clean energy you can harvest from the Sun in your location. Yeah, it’s location based and it is so precise it even asks for your GEO coordinates!
It’s common sense, but I’ll say it anyway- you need a lot less solar panels to generate your own power, if you live at or near the equator.
Depending on your location, the entire household will probably need quite a few panels interconnected to each other in a grid. There are two possibilities:
1. you either connect the separate panels yourself
2. pay up to 50% more and order the entire kit made ready for you.
You should also consider do you really need all those appliances in the first place? I’m talking about the television set, the microwave, the dish washer and all of these unnecessary devices for spoiled kids. The only appliances I use, for example, is the fridge, the electric kettle, a laptop and a couple of LED lights. Oh and the electric stove with one heating element. Some people might consider this uncivilized, but I call it smart living. To be honest, I still feel like I need way too much electricity.
Check out this amazing video of DIY self sufficient home: https://youtu.be/VckbqU4kK2I