Here are some documents to guide your thinking about off-grid electrical power.
- Watthours are the key do determining how big a battery or solar panel you need.See our “How Many Watthours?” post for an introduction to watthours, and estimates of energy needed by computers and small electronic devices.
- The SCOS handbook is a good introduction to using solar technology in the context of small systems in remote locations. The 2016 Version of this “handbook” is available here:
You might also find the older versions of this SCOS handbook educational, they can be seen here:
Selecting Equipment that uses less power
Solar power is so expensive that you probably can save money by giving away all your existing equipment and buying all new devices that use less energy. Using smaller solar panels and batteries to power your new equipment will save more than the purchase price of your new devices. This applies to most everything from refrigerators and light bulbs to computers.
- Wholesale Solar has a nice summary of the different Lead-acid battery types you’re likely to run into. We Recommend AGM batteries specifically designed for off-Grid solar because they will cost you the least in the long run.
- Learn about properly charging LiFePO4 batteries
- Villager III – What Panels Do I Need?
- Portable Power System Usage Scenarios
- Direct Solar Charging of Phones and Tablets
- How to Design an Off Grid Solar Power System
- Design Help