One of the biggest motivators for getting off the grid is seeking a sense of freedom. People want to explore how realistic of an opportunity this could be and whether they could continue using their devices.
Off-grid means being off the grid—not hooked up to utilities provided by government or private energy sources. But for those who need their devices to work, connect, or even entertain themselves, it’s not always a practical solution to living more sustainably.
The alternative here is renewable energy, like solar.
What Is Solar Power?
This energy is light and heat captured from the sun, harnessed using technologies like off-grid solar generators. Clean power sources can allow for portability using solar panels, offering a renewable alternative to mainstream energy supplies that lessen your reliance on the grid.
Solar photovoltaic (PV), thermal electricity, heating, and cooling, are established solar technologies. Solar generators produce zero noise or fumes, unlike their fuel generator counterparts.
What Can I Power?
Dependent on the capacity and size of the generator, you can keep many devices powered. If your generator had a capacity of 2000Watts perhaps, it would have the capacity for a fridge, charging a mobile phone, and lighting simultaneously.
Even with a mini-generator with a capacity of 882Wh, you could run a 110W television for 6 hours.
How Long Would a Generator Last?
The most critical factor is the lasting power, which depends on the battery capacity and the appliances that you need to power. You’ll need to calculate the amount of power you expect to use before going ahead and purchasing a generator.
Another factor to consider is the difference between peak power and continuous power. The power surge at start-up is always a higher wattage than the continuous power required. The generator will need to accommodate this usage also.
How to Calculate Power Requirements
- What do you need to power, and for what length of time?
- Calculate the energy used by your appliances. (Often listed on the device in watts).
- Multiply the number of hours by Watts of each device. Add all of your end figures together.
When you have the Watt-Hours figured out, you can select the appropriate power station. Make sure your selection has a higher capacity than the total Watt-hour you calculated earlier.
Will I Have Power Throughout the Seasons?
A misconception is that solar panels aren’t efficient during cloudy weather. They are indeed most effective in direct sunlight, but they still work even using reflected light or light on a cloudy day.
Solar equipment loves the rain. The water washes dirt and dust from the elements and helps maintain the machinery.
Another myth is that you cannot harvest solar energy during the winter weather, but often the tech works better in the snow. Light reflects off the snow at a higher rate and can improve performance.
Whether camping, on an excursion, or simply getting away for a while, solar can keep you powered and your technology connected. Step into a sustainable way of living with your devices.