Many people wonder if their homes could run solely on solar energy. That means taking the house off of the general electricity grid and making all of the energy used in it by the solar power system. The answer is yes, in most cases, but it depends on several factors, and it is critical to assess whether it is convenient or not. We look at it in more detail.
Can a house run on solar energy alone?
Yes, it is possible to run a house with solar energy without the need to use the electricity grid. This is possible due to solar energy systems for isolated houses. However, in these cases, the installation must be more extensive, and, of course, it is essential to have batteries to be able to store the energy that will be used when it is night or on sunny days. However, you have to take into account whether this suits you or not since batteries are the most expensive parts of the self-consumption installation.
Measuring the cost of solar energy systems for isolated houses
As we said, the answer to the question we posed is yes. However, it is essential to measure the costs, how long they will be amortized, and whether it is convenient for us to promote this independence of the general electricity network. For this, it is essential to carry out a photovoltaic study in the first place.
Keep in mind that the most important parts of the isolated photovoltaic solar installation are the batteries. Therefore, we must consider the type of battery to be used and their amount. One of the most recommended options is lithium, although it depends on where the installation will be carried out. They have a usable life of 11 to 15 years, more load capacity, and a greater depth of discharge, although their price is higher than those of lead-acid. These are the different types of solar batteries that you can find today and their characteristics.
To calculate the number of batteries you need in an isolated solar installation, you will also have to know the daily consumption value. To figure this out, you need to think about how much energy each of the appliances you always have connected, like the refrigerator, TV, light bulbs, stoves that use solar energy, and so on. It would be best to think about how long each of them is used. It is always recommended that you do the calculations above so as not to rush too much so that you can make use of other appliances or electrical appliances without complications. The next thing you should do is divide the daily consumption by the battery bank’s voltage to know the necessary capacity. Taking into account that the battery should not be discharged more than 50%, in most cases, the result obtained should be multiplied by two.
With this calculation, we will obtain the capacity that a battery should have with a day of autonomy. In case of looking for a higher autonomy, the capacity must be multiplied by the days of autonomy that are being sought and obtain the necessary battery ratio. You can also look for batteries with a higher power, depending on what is best for you.
How much solar energy do you use at home?
Solar energy systems for isolated houses allow us to be 100% self-sufficient and 0% polluting. Still, not only that, but also avoid any expense in the electricity bill and, of course, be able to take advantage of the energy generated at any time of the day. Now, the use of solar energy must be based on our daily consumption. It is essential to carry out the steps explained in the previous point.
When making this calculation, it is vital to consider the appliances that are always connected, such as the refrigerator or freezer, as well as those that you use daily or periodically, such as the television, the oven, and the washing machine.
You need to leave enough space to be ready for anything that might happen, like using a new appliance, charging the phone battery, or heating the house with solar energy when winter comes. Keep in mind that energy consumption will increase considerably when heating the house with solar energy.
Of course, having an isolated photovoltaic solar installation, it is also important that you keep in mind that there will be days in which the amount of light is not enough to generate the same amount of energy as in the previous days. It is important to consider this last point and pay attention to the winter season. As we explain in the next point, the most recommended is that you have a generator.
The importance of the generator in a photovoltaic solar installation
The generator is a rotating electric machine used to generate electricity by movement. These can be of various types, although the most common generators are those that run on gasoline.
In general, a 2-liter 4-stroke gasoline generator of 1,000 Watts usually offers a range of 4 continuous hours, while a 2-stroke generator of 1,000 Watts with 3 liters of diesel can last up to 6.5 continuous hours.
Depending on the model, the amount of power generation can vary. In an isolated solar installation, the generator is an essential piece to use in case of need. For example, in long seasons in which there is no sun – these days, the electrical flow generated in the solar panels can be interrupted. So, it is necessary to have extra support to continue making use of electricity.
It is important to note that generators can be automatic start or manual. In the first case, the machine will be activated automatically when it detects that there is no charge in the batteries of the solar panels. Likewise, generators are a highly recommended option when there are problems or some breakdown.