This blog was written by Jan`s Uncle. He has some strong advice for you about going off-grid.
There are many reasons why a lot of South Africans are installing solar systems and going off-grid. If you are thinking of going off-grid you need to factor the following...
The Initial Investment: Even though the cost of solar system components is at an all-time low right now, it is important to note that some of the components are a bit pricey. Before buying, do as much research as you can to find original components at a cost that you can afford. This might sound biased for a second but your best bet is FarmAbility Online Shop. If the initial cost is still expensive for you there are many ways for you to secure funding for your solar installation as discussed by Business Insider here
Lifestyle Changes: It is seriously advised that before installing your solar system or buying any of the components, you first must determine your electricity usage per month. Working this out will determine the Kilowatts you need to go on without interruptions. Buying new appliances or installing a new geyser after the usage assessment and installation will take a toll on your solar system. If you start having problems where your stored solar energy depletes too quickly and too often then you might be needing a system upgrade.
Roof size matters: Before buying anything, make sure that there is enough space on top of your roof first. Make sure there aren't any branches stretching over your roof creating a shade. If there are trees that must be trimmed, you may want to trim them. If the space on your roof is not big enough then you would need to go for the ground-mounted solar panels.
Back-up: Let's say that a long heavy storm descends. And it rains for many weeks nonstop. If solar energy is your only source of electricity then you having an alternative back up power source like gas or a diesel generator must be given thought. This is due to the fact that certain atmospheric conditions affect the performance of solar panels.
Consumption spikes: If you plan on having visitors that come to stay for a couple of days or longer, you might want to plan accordingly because having additional people over means that your solar system will be significantly strained.
Sometimes our dreams come true, sometimes our fears do too. Despite our devotion towards counting on others, people just don't always hold up their end. Of course, there are many reasons why this happens and sometimes its not their fault but it really doesn't matter because you are the one that gets the short end of the stick at the end. That there ladies and gentlemen is the sad reality of ADULTING.