Easy, Affordable Way to Get Started With Solar Power (with Video)

| 8/17/2016 9:54:00 AM

Tags: solar power, home energy, homestead inspiration, off grid living, portable solar, Idaho, Alyssa Craft,

Summer is here and sunny days are plentiful which has only been feeding our itch to get our solar on! We’ve been delaying our solar installation for a few reasons I’ll explain later, but we’ve finally taken the plunge and we’re finally reaping the benefits of renewable energy.

Why Did We Wait So Long to Get Started with Solar?

Just shy of one year ago, we arrived on our off grid property which we chose for many reasons including the huge solar potential! However, there were some roadblocks to diving straight into capturing the sun straight away. Some of these roadblocks included:

• We were heading into winter, so solar potential was less
• We had a limited budget with many other expenses taking precedence

• We simply had no idea how much power we would need on a day-to-day basis

• We had no idea what our future power needs would be, so sizing would be guessing

• Running power tools, most of our power needs would be on-demand

• Solar panels aren’t much good without a proper battery bank, which a big expense

• A large outlay for solar wouldn’t yield a big return on investment for years to come

• We’ve never built a solar setup and sounded intimidating, confusing and frustrating

• Solar has come a long way but many components still can’t be easily upgraded

• Security is challenging as we’re just getting started and theft would be heartbreaking

solar power potential on off grid property

All that said, solar just wasn’t a huge priority. Until recently, we have been relying on a single RV battery and our generator for our power. This system was working well as we chose the happiest balance between efficiency and output on our Honda generator so fuel costs have been a modest $50-100/month which you can read about in our monthly expense reports.

A year down the road, we had a much better idea of our power needs and with summer upon us, our itch to stop burning fuel, cut the noise and start collecting sun was begging to be scratched! So we decided to take another look at solar to see if we could get to make sense or not.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!