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Off Grid Solar Power Systems for Small Homes – Budget-Friendly Options. Small solar homes

Off Grid Solar Power Systems for Small Homes – Budget-Friendly Options. Small solar homes

    Off Grid Solar Power Systems for Small Homes – The Best Budget-Friendly Options

    Every year an increasing number of people are turning to environmentally-friendly solar energy to offset some of the cost of their monthly electricity bills. While some believe that you need to spend a significant amount of money and own a large property to set up a practical solar power system, the truth is there are plenty of affordable solar power products that are appropriate for smaller spaces.

    Modern solar power systems have become more affordable and efficient than ever before, which means you can generate a significant amount of clean solar energy, without having to spend a fortune on equipment. This explains why boat owners, RV enthusiasts, and even tent campers are all beginning to invest in small-scale solar power systems.

    The declining costs of solar equipment and improving efficiency of that equipment is great news for those that are on a budget and have a limited amount of space to work with. Whether you own a tiny home, a remote cabin, or just a small residential home, there is no reason why you should miss out on the many benefits that come from setting up your own solar power system.

    How Can We Help?

    To help you understand your options, we are going to explain everything you will need to know about choosing a budget-friendly solar power system for your small home. We will go over some of the components you will need, as well as highlight some of the many benefits of installing an off-grid solar power system.

    From there, we will recommend some high-quality products and complete solar kits that will help you harness solar power, without breaking the bank. If you are looking to reduce your monthly electricity bills, end your reliance on the utility companies, or just make your home a more environmentally-friendly space, we can help!

    Why Should You Go Solar?

    Before we get started, we are going to take a look at some of the reasons why off-grid solar power systems are so beneficial.

    • Drastically reduce or fully eliminate your electricity bills – Going completely off-grid will save you a significant amount of money over the lifespan of your solar power system. With a relatively inexpensive investment, you can begin using solar energy to offset some or all of your electricity costs.
    • Increase the value of your property – Homes that are equipped with solar power systems tend to have a higher value than those that do not. Not only that, they tend to sell much faster.
    • Protect the environment – Embracing solar power is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Rather than contribute to carbon emissions by relying on local utility companies for your electricity needs, you can start turning an endless supply of sunlight into usable electricity.
    • Protect yourself from rising energy costs – In the United States, electricity have increased by an average of three percent per year. By investing in a solar power system now, you can immediately cut your monthly energy costs and protect yourself against unpredictable increases in energy in the future.

    What are the Main Components of an Off-Grid Solar Power System?

    To build a basic off-grid solar power system, you will essentially need to purchase four main components – solar panels, a charge controller, an inverter, and a solar battery bank.

    Solar Panels:

    Solar panels are the most obvious and important component you will need when building an off-grid solar power system. Solar panels are made up of a series of solar cells, which work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into useable DC electricity. The number of solar panels you require will depend on your particular power needs. To get the most out of your solar panels, it is important to position them in a way that that they will receive the optimal amount of sunlight. It is also worth noting that different types and sizes of solar panels will differ in terms of their power and efficiency. The number of panels, their quality, energy rating, and the way they are positioned will determine the amount of electricity they can generate.

    If space is limited and you have a smaller property, we recommend taking a looking at folding solar panels. They are a practical solution for those with limited space, as they can easily be folded for storage and tend to weigh less than the more rigid options. In some cases, property owners with limited space will choose foldable solar panels because they can be moved throughout the year to make sure they are positioned in the best possible location for sunlight absorption.

    If you value portability, take a look at our collection of Foldable Solar Panels and Solar Suitcases!

    Charge Controller:

    The charge controller is the device that will manage the flow of energy from your solar panels to your battery bank. They protect your battery by preventing overcharging and also reduce battery drain issues after the sun has set. There are two main types of charge controller to choose from– PWM charge controllers and MPPT charge controllers. PWM controllers are less advanced and act almost like a switch, which is activated at pre-set parameters to prevent overcharging issues.

    MPPT charge controller act like ‘Smart’ device that contains an integrated computer system. They are programable and adaptable to changing voltages and currents. This means they measure the voltage of the panels and make sure it matches the battery bank’s voltage limits. This means you can use a higher voltage solar array than the voltage of the battery, which allows you to create a more efficient solar power system. If you are running an off-grid solar power system, you might be better off choosing an MPPT controller, as protecting the health of your battery is of critical importance.

    We carry a wide variety of both PWM and MPPT charge controllers, so you will be able to find exactly what you need by browsing our Solar Charge Controller Collection.

    Power Inverter:

    Solar panels generate DC power, which means current that flows in one direction. This means that you will likely need a power inverter, especially if you are planning to build an off-grid system and rely on solar power for all of your electricity needs.

    The wall outlets you find in a typical home provide alternating current, or AC power, which is why most electronic devices and appliances run on AC power. In simple terms, a solar inverter will convert the DC power your solar panels generate into more practical AC power.

    Power inverters are also extremely valuable for those that plan to run a grid-tied system in the future, as they allow you to feed AC power into your local grid for utility credits and rebates. This is really useful once your solar panels have fully charged your battery bank, as it prevents excess electricity from going to waste.

    Whether you are building an off-grid or a hybrid solar power system, you will find exactly what you need by taking a look at our Solar Power Inverter Collection.

    grid, solar, power, systems, small

    Solar Batteries:

    The final piece you will need for your solar power system in the battery bank. The battery will allow you to store the electricity generated by your solar panels, so you can use it at your convenience and in the event of emergencies, like grid failures.

    Again, the particular type and size of battery you will need will depend on your specific power needs. Ideally, you would find a battery that could hold enough electricity to get you through the day. You can always stack multiple batteries, which will allow you to expand the storage capacity of your solar power system.

    For owners of smaller homes that are limited on space, we recommend choosing a lithium battery bank, as they tend to take up much less space than the less sophisticated lead acid batteries. They also tend to be around 75% lighter than lead acid batteries, which is helpful for those that plan on moving their battery bank, rather than permanently installing it in one location.

    Shop our Solar Battery Collection and choose from some of the best deep cycle batteries on the market today.

    Complete Solar Kits

    While you can certainly build your own solar power system by purchasing the necessary parts separately, one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to build your own off-grid solar power system is to purchase a ready-made kit.

    We offer a wide variety of solar kits that come with everything you need to get started. Whether you are looking for a compact and portable solar power system for your RV or boat, or you are in the market for a more permanent setup for your home, you will be able to find what you need by browsing through our collection of complete RV, Van, Boat DIY Solar Panel Kits

    For those with small homes, we recommend the Lion Energy. 400W Beginner Solar Panel Kit. This complete kit comes with a foldable solar panel, a Savanna charge controller, a 400W power inverter, and a lithium battery bank, which is available in your choice of size. You also get solar panel cables and all of the necessary mounting brackets you need to build your first off-grid solar power system. As your power needs grow, you can always upgrade and expand this kit.

    Recommended Products

    For those that are just starting out, we almost always recommend taking a look at Renogy products. Renogy offers high-quality solar components at affordable prices. They are one of the most well-known brands in the solar industry and their products have won numerous awards for efficiency, accessibility, and affordability.

    We carry a wide collection of Renogy solar panels, batteries, charge controllers, and power inverters. Whether you are looking to purchase a complete kit, or prefer to assemble your own solar power system one component at a time, we carry all of the Renogy products you need.

    Final Words

    Remember, everybody has to start out somewhere, so you should not feel overwhelmed if you are just getting into solar power. You can always start with a basic kit and upgrade the components as your experience level and electricity needs grow.

    As always, if you have more questions about off-grid solar systems for small homes, feel free to reach out to us!

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    Passive Solar Homes

    Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use. A well-designed passive solar home first reduces heating and cooling loads through energy-efficiency strategies and then meets those reduced loads in whole or part with solar energy. Because of the small heating loads of modern homes it is very important to avoid oversizing south-facing glass and ensure that south-facing glass is properly shaded to prevent overheating and increased cooling loads in the spring and fall.

    Energy Efficiency First

    Before you add solar features to your new home design or existing house, remember that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective strategy for reducing heating and cooling bills. Choose building professionals experienced in energy-efficient house design and construction and work with them to optimize your home’s energy efficiency. If you’re remodeling an existing home, the first step is to have a home energy audit to prioritize the most cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.

    Site Selection

    If you’re planning a new passive solar home, a portion of the south side of your house must have an unobstructed “view” of the sun. Consider possible future uses of the land to the south of your site—small trees become tall trees, and a future multi-story building can block your home’s access to the sun. In some areas, zoning or other land use regulations protect landowners’ solar access. If solar access isn’t protected in your region, look for a lot that is deep from north to south and place the house on the north end of the lot.

    How Passive Solar Home Design Works

    In simple terms, a passive solar home collects heat as the sun shines through south-facing Windows and retains it in materials that store heat, known as thermal mass. The share of the home’s heating load that the passive solar design can meet is called the passive solar fraction, and depends on the area of glazing and the amount of thermal mass. The ideal ratio of thermal mass to glazing varies by climate. Well-designed passive solar homes also provide daylight all year and comfort during the cooling season through the use of nighttime ventilation.

    To be successful, a passive solar home design must include some basic elements that work together:

    • Properly oriented Windows. Typically, Windows or other devices that collect solar energy should face within 30 degrees of true south and should not be shaded during the heating season by other buildings or trees from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. During the spring, fall, and cooling season, the Windows should be shaded to avoid overheating. Be sure to keep window glass clean.
    • Thermal mass. Thermal mass in a passive solar home.- commonly concrete, brick, stone, and tile.- absorbs heat from sunlight during the heating season and absorbs heat from warm air in the house during the cooling season. Other thermal mass materials such as water and phase change products are more efficient at storing heat, but masonry has the advantage of doing double duty as a structural and/or finish material. In well-insulated homes in moderate climates, the thermal mass inherent in home furnishings and drywall may be sufficient, eliminating the need for additional thermal storage materials. Make sure that objects do not block sunlight on thermal mass materials.
    • Distribution mechanisms. Solar heat is transferred from where it is collected and stored to different areas of the house by conduction, convection, and radiation. In some homes, small fans and blowers help distribute heat. Conduction occurs when heat moves between two objects that are in direct contact with each other, such as when a sun-heated floor warms your bare feet. Convection is heat transfer through a fluid such as air or water, and passive solar homes often use convection to move air from warmer areas.- a sunspace, for example.- into the rest of the house. Radiation is what you feel when you stand next to a wood stove or a sunny window and feel its warmth on your skin. Darker colors absorb more heat than lighter colors, and are a better choice for thermal mass in passive solar homes.
    • Control strategies. Properly sized roof overhangs can provide shade to vertical south Windows during summer months. Other control approaches include electronic sensing devices, such as a differential thermostat that signals a fan to turn on; operable vents and dampers that allow or restrict heat flow; low-emissivity blinds; operable insulating shutters; and awnings.

    Refining the Design

    Although conceptually simple, a successful passive solar home requires that a number of details and variables come into balance. An experienced designer can use a computer model to simulate the details of a passive solar home in different configurations until the design fits the site as well as the owner’s budget, aesthetic preferences, and performance requirements.

    Some of the elements the designer will consider include:

    • Insulation and air sealing
    • Window location, glazing type, and window shading
    • Thermal mass location and type.
    • Auxiliary heating and cooling systems.

    The designer will apply these elements using passive solar design techniques that include direct gain, indirect gain, and isolated gain.

    Direct Gain

    In a direct gain design, sunlight enters the house through south-facing Windows and strikes masonry floors and/or walls, which absorb and store the solar heat. As the room cools during the night, the thermal mass releases heat into the house.

    Some builders and homeowners use water-filled containers located inside the living space to absorb and store solar heat. Although water stores twice as much heat as masonry materials per cubic foot of volume, water thermal storage requires carefully designed structural support. An advantage of water thermal storage is that it can be installed in an existing home if the structure can support the weight.

    Indirect Gain (Trombe Wall)

    An indirect-gain passive solar home has its thermal storage between the south-facing Windows and the living spaces. The most common indirect-gain approach is a Trombe wall.

    The wall consists of an 8-inch to 16-inch thick masonry wall on the south side of a house. A single or double layer of glass mounted about one inch or less in front of the dark-colored wall absorbs solar heat, which is stored in the wall’s mass. The heat migrates through the wall and radiates into the living space. Heat travels through a masonry wall at an average rate of one inch per hour, so the heat absorbed on the outside of an 8-inch thick concrete wall at noon will enter the interior living space around 8 p.m.

    Isolated Gain (Sunspaces)

    The most common isolated-gain passive solar home design is a sunspace that can be closed off from the house with doors, Windows, and other operable openings. Also known as a sunroom, solar room, or solarium, a sunspace can be included in a new home design or added to an existing home.

    Sunspaces should not be confused with greenhouses, which are designed to grow plants. Sunspaces serve three main functions.- they provide auxiliary heat, a sunny space to grow plants, and a pleasant living area. The design considerations for these three functions are very different, and accommodating all three functions requires compromises.

    grid, solar, power, systems, small

    Passive Solar Home Design for Summer Comfort

    Experienced passive solar home designers plan for summer comfort as well as winter heating. A passive solar house requires careful design and siting, which vary by local climate conditions.

    In most climates, an overhang or other devices, such as awnings, shutters, and trellises will be necessary to block summer solar heat gain. Landscaping can also help keep your passive solar home comfortable during the cooling season. If you are considering passive solar design for a new home or a major remodel, consult an architect familiar with passive solar techniques.

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    Best Solar Kits for a Tiny Home

    A solar power system is a key component of off-grid living. Solar panels, batteries, and chargers allow you to use electricity in your tiny home, trailer, or campsite without relying on a utility connection, or a noisy generator.

    Solar panels offer silent, convenient, and reliable power for your trailer or tiny home while also reducing your carbon footprint and power consumption, but not all solar panel kits are made equal or energy-efficient. If we’ve caught your attention, read on to see what our recommendations are for the best solar kits for a tiny home are.

    What’s in a Solar Kit?

    The best solar kits will come with a set of solar panels, a solar charge controller, and output cables. The power output of solar panels is largely dictated by the size of the unit. A smaller set might produce 100w per hour, while larger panels can go much higher.

    Solar kits work best if you pair them with a power station to store and disperse the energy as you require it. A solar power station is effectively just a battery that takes a charge from the panels and releases energy on demand.

    What Makes a Good Solar Kit?

    The best solar kit for your tiny home will depend on a range of factors, including:

    Your energy needs. (Appliances like refrigerators can be a real drain on your power)

    The space you have available either on your roof or the ground around your tiny home.

    The power storage you have available.

    Able to satisfy the needs of a small home’s energy consumption

    The type of connectors you need.

    Good quality solar kits have a high conversion efficiency—that is, how much of solar energy they convert into electricity—as well as robust build quality. We have chosen to highlight monocrystalline solar panels here because they are efficient even on cloudy days. All of these solar panels are not grid-tied systems, meaning you can use them anywhere that there’s sunlight.

    With all that in mind, here are five of the best solar kits for your tiny home based on how you use it.

    Best Solar Kits for Tiny homes

    Most Versatile Solar Kit: FATORK 100W Portable Solar Panel Kit

    This lightweight and portable three-panel solar kit from Fatork boasts a 100w output and three connectors, XT60, DC7909, and Anderson. These output cords make the kit compatible with the majority of portable power stations including, Bluetti, EF Ecoflow, Jackery, and more.

    Fatork uses monocrystalline silicon panels for high conversion efficiency, so you get good, consistent power even in low-levels of sunlight.

    A built-in carry handle in the high-visibility panel surround makes it easy to transport the panels, and you can find them even in the dark. Magnetic clips hold the panels securely in place when folded, and two kickstands help you position the panels exactly where you need them. A zip-up carrying bag stores the panels and power cords for safe transport.

    The panels are IP67 waterproof and durable thanks to a scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, and chemical-resistant ETFE coating. You can leave these panels in light rain but should put them inside if the rain is heavy or if they are sitting in water.

    The panels operate at 24% conversion efficiency.

    Compatible with multiple power stations

    Limited weather resistance

    Product Specs:

    Peak Power: 100w Conversion Efficiency: Up to 24% Dimensions (folded): 23.8×15.2×1.1 inches Dimensions (unfolded): 23.8×45.9×0.16 inches Weight: 8.37 Pounds Connectors: XT60 / Anderson / DC7909

    Best High-Output Solar Kit: RICH SOLAR 800 Watt 12V Solar kit

    Four of RICH Solar’s high-efficiency 200W monocrystalline panels combine in one solar power system designed for tiny homes with big power needs.

    The 60A maximum power output tracker (MPPT) controller combined with nine busbars to distribute electricity inside the panels help ensure maximum efficiency and output at all times. Inline fuses help protect the panels, the controller, and your devices from electrical spikes adding extra security.

    The MPPT charge controller is also Bluetooth enabled for ease of use. This high-power solar system is ideal for long-term off-grid living and can be pared with large power stations for reliable and consistent energy supply.

    RICH Solar systems are plug-and-play with no crimping tools required, so it’s easy to set up and break down the system to head out on the road, and it’s easy for anyone to do.

    This solar system kit is supported by a 25-year output warranty.

    High-end charge controller

    Simple and cheap connectors

    Product Specs:

    Peak Power: 800w Conversion Efficiency: Not listed Dimensions (single panel): 58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4 inches Dimensions (four panels): 238.4 x 107.2 x 1.4 inches Weight: 26.5 Pounds Connectors: XT60

    Best Briefcase-Style Solar Panel Kit: Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Portable Solar Panel with Waterproof 20A Charge Controller

    Renogy is one of the more proven names around when it comes to renewable energy systems for tiny homes, campers, or RVs. The company’s 200W 12-volt solar panel kit with a 20A charge controller is well-sized for most tiny home dwellers.

    You will pay slightly more for Renogy systems than others you find, but the connectors, charge controllers, and the panels themselves are all of high quality. This system combines two monocrystalline panels in a briefcase-style folding unit with a built-in stand.

    It’s interesting that Renogy pairs this system with its pulse-width modulation charge controller (PWM). PWM controllers aren’t as efficient as MPPT options, and Renogy does make both. It’s possible Renogy opted for PWM here because it’s safer, and allows this kit to have four charging modes with different levels of protection. That way you can protect your battery bank by offering up a slow charge to start, then a boost to bulk charge, before maintaining a floating charge or equalization charge. This is the safest way to charge and keeps your batteries lasting longer.

    Of course if you prefer to, you can just change out the controller for one of Renogy’s MPPT options later to get more efficient charing. This entire set up is expandable for more power, and you can build on it as you go.

    The energy panels will produce reliable electricity from the sun for 25 years and Renogy also offers a three-year warranty on workmanship and materials.

    PWM controller isn’t as efficient as MPPT options

    Product Specs:

    Peak Power: 200w Conversion Efficiency: 21% Dimensions (folded): 35.6 x 25.9 x 3.1 inches Dimensions (unfolded): 51.8 x 25.9 x 1.55 inches Weight: 36 Pounds Connectors: MC4

    Best Solar Kit for DC Batteries: Grape Solar 100-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit

    The Grape Solar kit is a simple, small solar charging kit ideal for a true, goal-zero off-grid system. If all you want to do is charge a few small devices or charge a small power station in your tiny home this 100w off-grid solar kit is a solid idea.

    It’s best suited for circuits with a 12v deep-cycle battery (or many) which makes it good for RVs and boats as well as tiny homes. You can pair a 12v deep-cycle battery with an inverter for higher voltage appliances.

    With one anodized aluminum frame measuring approximately 32×28 inches this isn’t a small panel. On the plus side it is weatherproof and comes with a sealed junction box so you can leave it outside in any weather. A 40A charge controller helps keep the charge consistent, and you can expect about 300 Watt Hours of charge per day from this system.

    You can easily add more Grape Solar panels to your system to increase capacity and gain more energy from the system.

    High-end charge controller

    Simple and cheap connectors

    Product Specs:

    Peak Power: 100w Conversion Efficiency: Up to 24% Dimensions (single panel): 31.89 x 28.15 x 1.38 inches Dimensions (unfolded): Not applicable Weight: 15.4 Pounds Connectors: MC4

    Best Solar Panel For Rugged Country: EF Ecoflow Adjustable Kickstand Solar Power Kit

    EF Ecoflow’s medium-high capacity solar kit is a four-panel, 400W off-grid energy system that can help you keep your tiny home powered up reliably in most conditions.

    Flexible EVA and fibreglass framing make this foldable four-panel system easy to move and pack away, while keeping it robust enough to stand off-road adventures. The Monocrystalline cells are coated in ETFE film which helps keep them safe and scratch-free. The solar kIt also boasts a IP68 Waterproof rating which not only means it’s water tight but will keep dust out of sensitive components.

    A set of MC4 connectors make it easy to connect this system to most off-the-shelf powerstations as well as the fleet of stations offered by EF Ecoflow in its Delta, Delta Max, and Delta pro iterations.

    The panels come in a dual-purpose carrying case which also operates as a kickstand for the panels when you set them up. Locking tabs keep the panels aligned when they’re unfolded.

    The EF Ecoflow solar panel system is among the pricier options because of the build quality. The system also doesn’t come with a charge controller, so you’ll have to pick one up separately.

    grid, solar, power, systems, small

    Product Specs:

    Peak Power: 400w Conversion Efficiency: Up to 22.4% Dimensions (folded): 23.2 x 20.2 x 0.8 inches Dimensions (unfolded): 41.7 x 93.1 x 1.0 inches Weight: 34.2 Pounds (with case) Connectors: MC4

    FAQs About Solar Kits

    How many Solar panels do I need for my Tiny home?

    As a homeowner, the amount of solar panels you need will depend on your energy requirements. For a true off-grid experience you might only need 100W panels, with 800W solar panel systems handling the needs of most modestly equipped tiny home. The good news is you can always build on your solar system to use more renewable energy as your needs and budget grow.

    What type of electrical infrastructure do I need to set-up Tiny home solar panels?

    Electricity from the sun into your devices inside your tiny home is both simple and complicated.

    In simple terms your solar installation requires:

    A device to capture energy

    A way to control that energy

    A way to store that energy

    A way to convert that energy into usable energy for your devices

    Usually, this is done by the following:

    Your solar panel “collects” the sun’s energy and converts it to electricity.

    The charge controller, which makes sure the energy coming in from the solar panels is controlled properly and doesn’t overcharge your battery bank, power station.

    Your solar battery bank or power station is how you store that electricity for future use.

    Inverters convert DC electricity from your panels into AC electricity to use your devices. They usually come with 110v household-style outputs and even USB outputs you can plug into. Some power stations double as an inverter, so you don’t need a separate device.

    These systems combine together to create a solar generator that can power any number of devices.

    What will a 400-watt solar kit run?

    grid, solar, power, systems, small

    A 400W solar power system will run a laptop computer, a television, and even gaming consoles. It’ll also run small fans, and small condenser-style coolers as well.

    What will a 100-watt solar panel kit run?

    A 100W solar panel kit is usually enough to charge small devices like phones and tablets, power some lighting, and charge a small power station or battery bank. Because it’s a modest amount of power, you should look for ways to conserve energy like using LED lights instead of conventional bulbs.

    What battery do I need for tiny home solar panels?

    Most solar panel kits for tiny homes operate on a 12v system, while some step up to either 24v, 48v or higher. The important part is the charge controller, and how it sends electricity into your energy storage system.

    You should look for a power bank or station that is matched with your solar panel setup, but remember, the first question is: How much energy do I need? This is usually calculated in watt hours.

    What are watt hours?

    Watt hours are the wattage a device uses over one hour. You can use this figure to determine what size battery and solar panel kit you need.

    For example, a 50w light bulb uses about 50w an hour. If you have a lightbulb and a 100w laptop, than you’re using 150w per hour that they’re on. Let’s say both are on for 12 hours a day, you will use 1800 watts per day, or 1.8 kilowatts. A power station and battery bank capable of storing a little more than that should keep you with enough power if you use a 300w solar panel kit to charge the system.

    Jacob Black

    Jacob Black is a 40-year-old Australian expat who has been writing about automotive, insurance, and other topics in Canada since 2012. He is an award-winning journalist with a passion for all things driving, and an amateur motorcycle racer. Jacob owns a 2001 toy hauler which he has been restoring, slowly. You’ll find him attempting humor, or worse, karaoke at various locations in the Greater Toronto Area.

    Tiny House FAQs – Answers To Your 30 Most Popular Questions

    July 6, 2021

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    March 9, 2022

    Powering your Tiny Home with solar electricity is a popular choice for those living small.

    Solar Power is a great fit for Tiny Homes. Whether you’re looking to reduce your Tiny Home’s reliance on grid power or go completely self-sufficient with an off-grid system, Wanaka Solar can help you design and install the perfect Solar System for your Tiny Home’s needs.

    Off-grid or grid-tied?

    For grid-connected Tiny Homes, adding solar panels is a great way to reduce your reliance on big power companies (and even sell your power back to them!), reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Read more about this here.

    If your Tiny Home is too remote to connect to the grid or you’re just looking for the freedom of a more sustainable life, an off-grid solar system is a great choice.

    Off-grid Solar Tiny Homes

    Designed correctly, a high-quality off-grid Solar System will ensure your Tiny Home stays warm with the lights on all year round. Our expert solar team will take the time to complete a detailed energy profile of your energy demand.

    We model and predict your Tiny Home’s energy use by looking at the appliances, the space available and your usual lifestyle. With this information, our expert team design your system to perfectly match your energy use.

    How much space should I allocate?

    We don’t need to tell you that when it comes to Tiny Home design, every inch is put to work. Solar is a perfect fit for Tiny Homes. While roof space is limited, there’s typically plenty of room for the size system you’ll need.

    As well as fitting panels on the roof, consider where to install the inverter. If you’re going off-grid you’ll also need somewhere to install batteries. Batteries ideally need to be inside somewhere dry with a stable temperature.

    How many batteries will I need?

    Battery storage allows for Solar Power generated in the day to be used at night.

    We build allowance for this is for when your system will be generating at it’s peak and for days of inclement weather where little to no solar generation occurs.

    The more days allowed for (the more battery capacity) means the less chance of having to charge the batteries from a generator. You can find more about our battery manufacturers here.

    How much will a Tiny Home Solar System cost?

    Another benefit of a bespoke Solar System for your Tiny Home is the ability to design to your budget. As a guide, the typical grid-tied Tiny Home solar system is made up of 8 panels plus an inverter. This usually costs around 8,500 including installation. If you’re going off-grid with solar and batteries expect to add around 6,000.

    Our solar systems have a life expectancy of 25 years with very little maintenance required. From the panels to the batteries all of our equipment come with extended warranties.

    What if something goes wrong with my Tiny Home’s Solar System?

    There’s nothing worse than waking up to a power cut on one of Wanaka‘s freezing mid-winter days. We’re big advocates of the DIY attitude. But when it comes to powering your Tiny Home with Solar – particularly off-grid – we recommend enlisting expert help.

    Your system will be connected to the internet, so any faults or alarms we both customer and installer are notified.

    The Wanaka Solar team are experts in off-grid power for Tiny Homes and best of all we’re local. So if something goes wrong, we’ll be just up the road and ready to get the lights back on if needed.

    Powering your Tiny Home with solar electricity is a popular choice for those living small.

    Wherever you’re at with your Tiny Home dream, get in touch to discuss powering it with clean energy with Wanaka Solar.

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