Renewable Energy

The first thing you need to do to go off the grid is to rid yourself of dependence on electricity from your power company. The most common way to do so is by using the sun and the wind to provide your power. Neither concept is new, but more people are turning to these constant power sources to help offset or replace their reliance on Power transmission companies.

Residential homes that use solar power typically have photovoltaic (PV) solar panels located on the roof or near the house. These panels contain cells made up of silicon semiconductors (Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline). When the sun’s light hits the panel, these semiconductors collect the energy and knock electrons loose so they can flow freely. An electric field in the panel then takes these electrons and forces them to flow in one direction, creating an electrical direct current (DC). The DC is then passed through a charge controller to an inverter that simply converts this DC into the alternating current (AC) that your home uses.

Wind power works in a similar fashion. A typical residential wind turbine looks like an airplane propeller sitting atop a 50 to 120-foot tower. When the wind blows, the blades start moving and spin a shaft that leads from the hub of the rotor to a generator. The generator takes the energy produced from the rotation and turns it into electricity. Like solar cells, the energy created by wind turbines is converted into usable AC power with an inverter.

Many people pair their solar and wind energy with traditional power to create a hybrid system that will reduce their bills.