4 Easy Steps to Off Grid Solar
To ensure you get an effective off-grid system that meets your unique needs, it is vital to start by gathering some important information. This includes:
- Electrical Usage (historical or anticipated)
- Calculate Your Power Usage: Solar Load Calculator
- Electrical System Details (location and type of main panel, etc.)
- Mounting Location & Type (roof, ground, or pole mounting)
- Lifestyle Considerations – What are your power essentials? How often will you need to use electricity, and for what?
- Local Regulations that may affect your project (permitting requirements, environmental impact studies, feasibility or engineering studies are all possible requirements—depending on your preferred system type and location)
- Finally, you should look into what types of equipment you are interested in (solar, wind, etc.) and reputable manufacturers, distributors, and installers.
- As you become familiar with the types of power systems available, it should become apparent whether you can DIY or will need/want a full-service installation. As you research products you will be able to make a clear decision about who will best provide you with the support you need to create your off-grid system.
Whether or not you will be installing your system on your own, you will want to work closely with a team experienced in off-grid applications. Many solar companies do not work with off-grid systems, and not all equipment is designed for the heavy use and complicated interactions required in an independent system. A specialized team can help you navigate the intricacies of designing your power system and answer questions about industry proven products.
Decide how you will purchase your equipment and get it to your project site. Logistics are important, especially if you are going to be doing the installation yourself. If you are having the system installed, Fire Mountain Solar will work with you to outline the phases of the process and what to expect. Establish your timeline for how and when each piece of the installation will be completed. This is particularly important for DIY solar as you will need to make sure you have the appropriate ancillary electrical equipment and tools needed for each step.
You’re over halfway done! Once you’re confident in your support team and your design, place your order for equipment (DIY) or pay your first invoice (Full Service).
4) Install & Activate!
Since you aren’t connected to the utility grid, off-grid power systems do not require any type of utility approval after installation. Once your system is installed, you will need to have your electrical, building, and/or other permits signed off on by your local jurisdiction. If you installed the system yourself it is time for programming (Fire Mountain will take care of this for full-service clients). Make sure you are familiar with each piece of equipment and their maintenance schedules. Ask your support team if you have any questions or need assistance locating information.