Off-grid Solar Systems are also known as Stand-Alone Power Systems (SAPS). They work by generating power from solar panels, which then charge a battery. The power is stored as D.C. and wall outlets use A.C., so before the electricity can be used it must go through an inverter which makes the power suitable to be used for your home or business.
Having a battery allows you to use electricity from your solar panels at night or when there is sub-par sun exposure.
You might be wondering ‘why get an off-grid solar system?’ Well there is quite a few benefits. One being after the set up cost, your electricity will be completely free as it‘s being generated by you solar panels. You are also no longer at the mercy of an unreliable power company with frequent black-outs. In some cases an off-grid system might be the only solution, for instance if you’re in a remote location with no possible connection to the grid.
The most affordable of the bunch are AGM batteries, rated for 800-1200 cycles. As they have shorter lifespans than the others, this makes these batteries perfect for lighter use such as a holiday/weekend house.
Gel batteries are a step up from AGM batteries, as they offer more than double the cycles at 3500 cycles. Making these batteries suitable for more everyday use in a permanant residence.
Lithium-ion batteries offer an even longer lifespan at 6000 cycles. Not only that, but their rated depth-of-discharge is much higher. Unlike AGM and gel batteries that only discharge to 50%, Li-ion batteries discharge to up to 90%. Which means the usable capacity per cycle is greatly increased. This is the most premium choice for a battery, and is fit for a more power-hungry household, or one that prioritises longevity over costs in their system.