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Convert On Grid Solar to Off Grid: How should I?

The idea of energy self-sufficiency has emerged as a compelling goal as people become more aware of their ecological footprint and energy expenses. As a result, there has been a rise in the adoption of off-grid (totally self-sufficient) solar systems as an alternative to the more conventional on-grid (partially reliant on national grid during emergencies) ones.

Changing to an off-grid solar system has many benefits that are attractive to both homeowners and businesses. People can take charge of personal electricity production and usage by becoming energy independent and less reliant on the utility grid.

Assessing Your Energy Needs

Before making the switch to an off-grid solar system, you should assess your energy needs. An accurate evaluation of the user’s power requirements is essential for the design of a reliable and functional electrical system.

Average daily energy usage, critical load requirements, needed battery capacity, battery Depth of Discharge (DoD), and accounting for fluctuations in battery temperature and efficiency are just some of the things you’ll need to figure out.

Your off-grid solar system’s total battery capacity in kWh can be determined by considering these factors. That way, you know your battery bank can handle your essential loads and normal everyday use.

Upgrading Solar Panels and Inverters

Verify that your current solar panels and inverters can function properly in an off-grid setting. You can utilize your existing solar panels with the new system, but you’ll need to make some significant modifications.

Why, you ask? Well, because on-grid solar panels are designed to feed back into the grid, and send back any surplus energy to the grid instead of storing them in batteries. On the other hand, batteries in an off-grid system are used to store excess energy produced by a solar array for use on overcast days or time periods of low sunshine.

Implementing Energy Management and Monitoring

To get the most out of an off-grid solar system, it’s important to set up efficient energy management and monitoring practices. Charge controllers and energy monitoring systems are crucial to this procedure.

Charge controllers help with important aspects such as overcharge prevention, load regulation, temperature adjustment, and battery care.

On the other hand, energy monitoring systems allow users to regulate key aspects such as energy generation, consumption, and battery health. It’s a great tool for monitoring and controlling things like performance data, load distribution, battery life, and remote access.

You may learn a lot about your energy consumption and how efficiently your off-grid solar setup is operating by installing an energy monitoring system. This system can optimize energy use, prolong the life of your off-grid solar system, and reduce costs by factoring the data and insights provided by this system into decision making.

Backup Generator Integration (Optional)

Off-grid solar systems are built to function autonomously and deliver reliable electricity in most settings, but there are still instances that call for extra safety measures. There are many benefits to adding a backup generator to an off-grid solar system, including security and reliability during times of low sunshine or high energy consumption.

While optional, having a generator backup is valuable because it provides extended energy supply and emergency backup, and also ensures power supply during periods of peak demand.

Planning the Conversion Process

To ensure a smooth and effective transition from an on-grid solar system to an off-grid configuration, extensive planning and preparation are required. Here is a detailed breakdown of the conversion process, complete with a checklist for keeping track of all the little details:

1. Energy Assessment

  • Use your past few months of utility bills to calculate your daily energy usage.
  • Determine which loads are absolutely necessary to provide uninterrupted power during times of low sunshine or power interruptions.
  • You must determine how many days your off-grid system can go without sunlight.

2. Battery Sizing and Chemistry Selection

  • Based on your typical daily energy use and desired backup time, you can determine the appropriate battery capacity.
  • Find the best battery for your needs and budget by comparing the many battery chemistries available today, such as lead-acid, lithium-ion, and others.

3. Solar Panel Evaluation

  • Check to see if your current solar panels may be used in the off-grid arrangement without any modifications.
  • To maximize energy harvesting in a grid-free setup, think about the panels’ alignment and tilt.

4. Inverter Upgrade

  • Purchase off-grid or hybrid inverters with charging and discharging capabilities.
  • The capacity of the inverter must match that of the solar panels and the battery bank.

5. Backup Generator (Optional)

  • If you like, you can supplement your off-grid solar setup with an emergency generator.
  • Make sure your backup generator can keep you safe even during times of prolonged low sunshine or high energy consumption.

6. Energy Management and Monitoring

  • Install charge controllers to manage the flow of current from your solar panels to your batteries to avoid overcharging and prolong the life of your batteries.
  • Install a monitoring system to keep tabs on the sun’s output, the health of your batteries, and your energy usage.

7. Load Analysis and Load Shifting

  • Examine your energy consumption habits and look for load shifting possibilities to save money and energy.
  • During times of low sunshine, make sure the most important appliances get electricity before the others.

8. System Safety and Compliance

  • Make sure your off-grid solar setup complies with all applicable safety regulations.
  • In order to ensure that your solar installation abides by all applicable codes and laws, you may choose to seek the advice of local authorities or solar experts.

9. Installation and Integration

  • Make sure that your off-grid solar panels, batteries, inverter, and backup generator (if using one) are all installed and working together properly.
  • Make sure everything is running smoothly and efficiently by testing the system.

Hiring Professionals vs. DIY Approach

You can either hire experts or try your hand at installing your own off-grid solar system. There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach; ultimately, the choice should depend on your level of experience, budget, and level of comfort working with intricate electrical systems. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each strategy:

1. Hiring Professionals


  • Expertise and Experience.
  • Quality Assurance.
  • Safety.
  • System Optimization.


  • Higher cost:
  • Dependence on Others

2. DIY Approach


  • Cost Savings
  • Learning Experience
  • Flexibility


  • Technical Challenges
  • Safety Risks
  • Potential Inefficiency

In the end, whether you choose the professional route or tackle it alone, you want to build an off-grid solar system that is safe, reliable, and efficient. It’s an investment in cost savings and a better future, so pick the method that works best with your knowledge, resources, and comfort level without sacrificing quality or security.


There are numerous personal and environmental gains that come with making the switch from grid-connected to off-grid solar power. Off-grid solar systems provide you with energy independence, reduce your carbon footprint, save costs in energy bills over the long haul, and are also highly customizable.

Before making the switch to an off-grid solar system, it’s important to take account of your energy consumption habits and determine which appliances and electronics you can’t live without. Make sure you pick the proper battery chemistry, solar panel configuration, and inverter type by doing your homework. With proper planning and execution, there is no reason why cannot make the switch to an off-grid setup which serves for many years down the road.