If you often dream of living in a home that allows you to almost fully forget about the pains of dealing with large cities or gargantuan corporations suffocating homeowners with taxes and costs that seem to total the same price as your mortgage—then you are likely considering or are getting in to the world of off-grid homes.
An off-grid house is one that can provide for itself in regards to its utilities and things of this nature. It is a wonderful option. Especially if the city life isn’t necessarily the life for you, or if you already live in a rural area but are still connected to city necessities.
However, it is important to mention that with this new lifestyle comes various costs. These pose a challenge for anyone attempting to join the fun. The most nefarious of these costs: electricity. There are many electricity solutions to get around this issue and provide for your home a wonderful and efficient power solution.
Solar is a wonderful option for electricity solutions, and has been on the rise in popularity for years. Many places require the use of solar panels as sources of energy while others are beginning to join the trend. For an off-grid home, this is a great option. This is due to the fact that you live in an area that is no stranger to sunlight and has plenty of area for solar panels.
It is estimated that a single Tesla Powerwall battery costs anywhere from roughly $10,000 to $15,000. It stores 13.5 kWh of usable energy. The article also goes into detail describing the amount of power needed for each day given the sun’s respective “five sun hours per day.”
Given this information we see that having only one Tesla Powerwall may not be enough to keep your home at a comfortable level. This would mean getting three or more Powerwalls. And at about 40.5 kWh, would drive the cost up to $30,000 to $45,000 just on the batteries.
The same article puts the average cost of a solar panel installation in 2021 at roughly $20,000. This isn’t to mention setting up the Powerwall, maintenance, and cleaning. It’s a very expensive option. But it is a popular one for homes with plenty of area, sunlight, and trying to go off-grid.
Wind power is not incredibly popular in the world of off-grid housing. It is still one of the viable options for electricity solutions. This is, given you have plenty of open land to build smaller or larger turbines. It also is probably beneficial to have a great amount of wind to give these turbines motion.
With solar, it is safe to say that having three Powerwalls with roughly 40 kWh storage is a safe bet. This is pretty much for any home to have enough power to feel they can do and use as much as they please.
However, with a single common home wind turbine, for around $1,500 you’ll be getting an average output of about 1.5 kWh per day. This means you’ll need upwards of 30 of these to get enough power to be comfortable. This raises the prices to around $45,000. That also does not include maintenance, finding places to put 30 turbines, and having the recommended average windspeed of 10 mph.
Not a terrible option. It’s one that may be more beneficial for someone who needs a little extra power. Especially if you don’t want to shell out $20,000 more dollars on a complete solar array.
So, if solar is a bit much, and wind power doesn’t sound like the best option to you, and you happen to live by a large, running body of water, then hydroelectric may be one of the best electricity solutions for you.
This, of course, is an option that is only viable with a body of water that is constantly running. It must also have enough speed to consistently spin turbines. The best part, however, is that if the requirements are met, then power could be generated constantly. This is unlike wind and solar. And it gives the opportunity to use the water for other purposes like refrigeration or washing.
The average cost of a micro-hydroelectric system is anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 not including pipelines or installation fees. These systems can generate upwards of 1.5-2.4 kWh per day. This is a good amount considering the cost. This number varies significantly on speed, size, and machine. So the output could be much greater.
While this option may be out of the picture for any home without a stream or body of water nearby, it is a good option for anyone who does. This is because it provides a large amount of power constantly. It can even be paired with solar to have a prodigious amount of power.
Going Off the Grid
So if you’re planning on going off-grid or if you already are finding your own methods of producing power and living on your own terms then these electricity solutions may be something to consider.
Having a home outside of the power jurisdiction of a city or town can be a challenge. Finding an energy solution that is reliable, efficient, and affordable can be even more of an issue.
If sunlight is great and the sun shines constantly where you reside then solar may be the best option for you. This is because though the price is fairly high and the maintenance is not obsolete, this would be an investment and something to really think about.
If you happen to live in an area that sways trees with the strongest of winds then large turbines may not look too bad. While costly and even higher maintenance than solar, this too can be a gargantuan project.
Final Thoughts on Electricity Solutions
And if your off-grid home is in an ideal location and has a running body of water nearby, then pulling some power from it is a good idea. The cost is still high but power is constantly being stored. It can be paired with solar or wind power depending on the area and the ambition of the project. Consider the electricity solutions that may be the best for you and the most cost-effective. Then enjoy living an off-grid lifestyle with plenty of power for all.