Off Grid Solar Power
The number of people living without access to the grid in the USA has risen consistently over the last 20 years. It is estimated that a current 2.3 million families currently live off-grid in the US.
On a global scale, off grid living is vast. In developed countries with remote areas unable to be served by the grid like Australia, Norway and Turkey, off-grid living has a large and established base. Then there is the developing countries, where 1.5 billion or around 20% of the world’s population lives off-grid. These vast figures make the need for off-grid solar power ever more important.
Furthermore, with a lack of energy options, shifting preferences towards more sustainable power production, and new energy efficient household appliances, the ability to use off grid solar power as your main power source is a real possibility.
The SolMan solar generator is an ideal source for off grid solar power. Solar generators are clean and silent in their operation, fitting into off grid preferences for sustainability. SolMan solar generators specifically are rugged and durable, ready to stand up to exacting usage on a consistent basis in unrefined terrain.
Use the SolMan instead of a gas generator for your small energy needs like powering efficient appliances or pair it with a gas generator to create a hybrid system capable of continuous 24/7 off grid power.
Call (800) 828 - 2965 or E-Mail us to find out more about our Off Grid Solar Power options
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Off Grid Living
The number of people living without access to the grid in the USA has risen consistently over the last 20 years. Growth in off-gird living averaged 33% annually from 1996 to 2006, rising to 180,000 unique families living full time of the grid according to Home Power Magazine. While exact figures are hard to come by, recent reports by publications like Real Estate Weekly suggest these numbers continue to swell.
Using these figures and growth rates, an estimated 2.3 million families would currently be living off-grid.
Confirming these statistics, there are around five million homes located off-grid based on US Census Bureau 2013 household figures minus 2013 US Energy Information Administration household electricity customers. When using average household size (2.63) we get approximately 2 million off-grid families.
On a global scale, off grid living is vast. In developed countries with remote areas unable to be served by the grid like Australia, Norway and Turkey, the sector is big. Then there is the developing countries, where 1.5 billion or around 20% of the world’s population lives off-grid according to solarserver.com. Combined, the off grid living market is booming.
Off Grid Power Options
With the rise of environment conscious consumers and the off-grid living market’s predilection towards this mindset, preferences for sustainable energy options have been spreading. This demand has also been supplemented by the off-grid living consumer’s need to be prepared for lack of access to outside energy sources. The combination of the sustainability and preparedness focus for the off-grid community is pushing consumers towards non-fossil-fuel based power options.
This characteristic plays directly into another key opportunity, the lack of energy options. Off-grid power is typically only serviced by gas or diesel generators, solar, water and wind generation. Water electricity generation is expensive and location dependent, while wind has both these issues plus inconsistency. This makes solar power generation the most efficient, effective and economical alternative energy option.
Off grid solar power gives the best combination of sustainability and effectiveness, but there is a distinction between installed solar and portable solar generators. Fixed off grid solar systems are generally more powerful, yet more expensive. These systems are enticing to larger off-grid home owners. With plentiful space on the house, the system can take up the area it needs. With smaller abodes like cabins and trailers, a smaller, portable unit can work better.
Fixed systems also do not allow owners to move them around. As they are secured to one location like a roof or mounting pole, most solar panels in a fixed system can’t be moved easily for solar tracking. Solar tracking grants the user the ability to move the panels during the day with the sun’s angle to maximize watts inbound.
Compounding the preparedness mentality and shift away from fossil-fuel based power generators (at least as the sole power source) is the presence of volatile energy prices. Oil prices have risen and fallen by nearly $100 per barrel over the last ten years, with prices falling 70% pre-2008 recession and increasing around 300% post-recession.
This volatility has been a boon to the solar industry specifically, where the price per watt of solar panels has been falling steadily for the last 40 years. This is only enhanced by the numerous reports that solar costs will continue to dynamically fall, with on-grid parity estimated at around 2021 for millions of Americans and parity with diesel already a reality in countries with limited infrastructure and high off-grid living rates like the Philippines.
Lastly, as everyday appliances like refrigerators and consumer electronics have become more energy efficient, as well as the prevalence of low-wattage consuming LED lights, total energy usage can be managed easier.
Energy-Star rated refrigerators run 400 to 1500 watts a day, depending on the model and time of year according to www.energystar.gov. Users can further decrease their refrigerator’s energy use by following tips like regulating temperatures properly, keeping the door closed, thawing frozen food in the fridge and other simple to do things.
In addition, by using LED lights, energy usage is 10% that of incandescent bulbs and half that of compact fluorescents for comparable light spectrums, based on a www.designrecylceinc.com comparison chart.
These are just a couple examples of the options available for homes to incorporate into their lifestyle for a vast reduction in energy usage.
SolSolutions Off Grid Solar Power Products
SolSolutions SolMan line of portable solar generators are built specifically for consistent usage at off-grid locations. Customer’s energy needs are taken into account and then an off grid solar power system is prescribed or designed to match their needs. This process ensures that the solar power system can handle day-to-day usage for off-grid living.
Further adding to the value of the SolMan to off-grid living is its rugged and durable nature. The SolMan Classic and Lithium Deluxe specifically have their main components, like batteries and solar controllers, housed in a sturdy metal frame. The frame is then mounted on bicycle wheels, ensuring the units’ ultimate portability by allowing them to be moved by one person easily, even in rough off-grid terrain.
In addition, all SolMan models are fitted with the capability to be paired with a gas or diesel generator for non-stop off-grid power. This pairing allows users to run mostly off of the SolMan, then when the batteries are low, during periods of limited sun, or for higher energy draws, people can plug straight into the gas generator, whilst putting a fast-charge on the SolMan batteries. This hybrid power system significantly reduces fuel usage and is the ultimate in electricity production for off-grid living.
Off Grid Power Resources
Generating Off Grid Power: The Four Best Ways - Resource for understanding sustainable sources of off grid power.
Tiny House Blog - Network of Tiny Home owners and information on off grid solar power relevant topics.
Off Grid Power - Modern Survival - List of articles discussing off grid power options.
What do you do when the Power Goes Out? - SolSolutions written article highlighting off grid and emergency backup power issues.
OutBack Power - High quality components for off grid solar power.
(1) USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau, retrieved via http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
(2) US Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Annual 2011. Retrieved via http://184.108.40.206/electricity/annual/pdf/tablees1.pdf
(3) Davidson, Paul, “Off the Grid or On, Solar and Wind Power Gain.” USA Today, 4/12/06. Retrieved via http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2006-04-12-off-the-grid_x.htm