Backwoods Solar Off-Grid Power & Solar Panels Learning Center
We want our customers to stay educated and knowledgeable about off-grid power systems and solar panels for their homes and businesses.
Read about some of our more common questions below and if you have any other questions, feel free to call us 208-263-4290.
A Simple Explanation - An overview of a PV system for your home or RV.
- Starter Solar Kit 1 - Go Off-Grid Now
- Cottage Off-Grid Power System
- Off-Grid Power for Small Family Home
- Off-Grid Power Systems for Active Families
- Larger Home or Cottage Business Off-Grid Power
- Large Home Small Business Off-Grid Power
Off Grid Worksheets:
- Off Grid Load Worksheet - Use this worksheet to calculate your electric load.
- Off Grid Solar Array Sizing Worksheet - Learn how to calculate the number of solar panels needed to meet your electric needs.
- Off Grid Battery Bank Sizing Worksheet - This worksheet will help you determine battery bank size.
LIVING OFF-GRID ARTICLES
Upgrading Your Off-Grid Power Systems - Three voltage choice add-ons to upgrade or expand your existing off-grid system with minimal changes to the existing configuration.
Preparing for Winter - A checklist of those things to review before winter arrives!
The Off-Grid Home - How to get started with homemade electricity in a remote home. Rough ideas of what systems cost and where to put them.
Appliance Selection for your Off-Grid Home - Detailed descriptions of everything from simple lighting, computers and electrical components to large appliances.
DC Fridges - Protect your food with a backup solution.
How Much Power Do You Use? - Explains AC Load calculations, as well as a downloadable worksheet. Solar Radiation Map with percentages to compensation for cloudy days in order to help determine watts needed.
MPPT Charge Controllers Explained - Why this type of charge controller is necessary in some installations.
When to Use DC Appliances & Voltage Converters - Explains when it makes sense to use DC power directly.
Safety & Local Help - Safety and code with links to websites that can help.
Wiring Your Home for Efficiency - Best practices for wiring your home to maximize your renewable energy systems.
Wire Sizing Charts - Charts that help you figure out your wiring needs.
Battery Wiring Diagrams - Diagrams of typical battery configurations for 12V, 24V and 48V systems.
Solar Powered Water Pumping- Different options, system types, PV Direct or Battery based, deep well submersible and surface pumps. Includes a handy checklist of what you need to know about your well before you call.
Initial Planning Questions to Ask Yourself - This is a good place to start when you're just starting to explore your off the grid electricity options.
Phantom Loads - Are they lurking in the shadows of your home?
Lease vs. Owning - An article the explains the pros and cons of leasing versus owning your renewable energy system.
Is Your Electric Bill Too High? - Grid-tie systems and how they work to reduce or eliminate your electric bill through net-metering.
Utility Outages & Backup Power - Off-grid power systems and creating a back-up system.
What is AC Coupling - Our easy to set-up grid-tie retrofit kits that allow you to add batteryback up to your existing grid-tie battery-less system without rewiring the existing set-up.
High Voltage DC Coupled Charging - A different approach to adding batteries for back up power to an existing grid-tie array.
Sizing Your Grid-Tie System - Solar radiation map and formulas for sizing your system.
Getting through Utility Outages - Real world examples of how to best utilize renewable energy to get you through short or long term power outages.
Sizing a Micro Hydro System - Discusses the steps to take to determine if your stream is suitable for generating your electricity.
Scott & Tracey's Micro Hydro Story - Read about Scott and Tracey's experience of installing their micro-hydro system here in North Idaho.
OTHER OFF GRID LIVING ARTICLES
Solar Power for Your RV or Boat - We explore different moible ready solutions for boats and RVs.
Backwoods Solar Humanitarian Outreach & International Projects - Backwoods has for the last seven years aided hundreds of humanitarian projects around the globe. We highlight some of our biggest success stories and welcome others to share their own.
How to Wire an Inverter in an RV - A step by step article showing best practice for wiring and inverter in your RV.
Environmental Concerns - Why renewables make sense for more than just your pocketbook.
Self-Reliance and Preparedness - Why many people turn to renewable energy systems to realize the self-sufficient lifestyle of their dreams, and how these systems can keep you safe in times of disaster.
Hybrid Wind Power Solutions - Is Wind the Right Choice For You? - Wind and Solar system, why they are the most sensible use of wind power for your off-grid home.
Solar Array Wiring - DIY - Basics of wiring your solar panels.
How Renewable Energy Systems Work - An overview of the components in renewable energy systems, the terminology behind them, and what those electrons do.