Remote Solar – Advantages and Disadvantages

Here are some plain facts about the advantages and disadvantages of powering homes off grid.

I have been living off grid for over 14 years now with my cottage.

I was forced to find alternative sources of power and was not, and am still not, interested in smelly, noisy generators.

So I decided that solar was my answer.

I have implemented full solar power at my cottage. In fact, if you did not see the panels, you would never know I completely make my own electricity.

For water, I have a 12 volt water pump that pumps water from a 160 'deep well to a tank resting atop of a 20' water tower. Through the amazing forces of gravity, this tank feeds my cottage.

The advantages are:
– zero bills
– no concerns with storms cut off my power supply
– freedom from the grid
– strong feeling of accomplishment (that I do not rely on anyone)

Now the disadvantages:
– you could run out of power
– you need to be cautious with keeping lights off when not using them
– you need to maintain your power generation – maintain batteries, make sure equipment is working properly etc.
– initial investment

Now most of you are probably not in my shoes. I was forced to find an alternative power source. I could have easily bought a generator like most of my cottage neighbors. But I wanted peace and quiet from my cottage.

If you are considering implementing remote solar or solar for your home, make sure you follow a plan that will ensure your success.

Other things I would recommend you do if you are serious about solar power, is switch you hot water over to natural gas (or propane) from electric. Switch your stove from electric to gas as well. These appliances are huge drainers of electricity.

To reduce the upfront investment, I would suggest you consider building your own panels. Parts are easy to find. You can use common tools. All you need a easy to follow step by step plan.