Going Off-Grid? Don’t Make This Solar Battery Mistake

One of the main draws to solar battery power is its ability to power electronics off the grid. In other words, if you’re a big fan of the #vanlife movement and getting out of the city and going back to nature, solar powered batteries are probably a must-have for you. But there are things you need to know about powering your entire life off of several solar batteries and an inverter, otherwise you might run out of power during an inconvenient or even dangerous time. Being out in the wilderness and “off-grid” can be very empowering, but only if you have the right power solutions on hand. At Solar Bear Tampa, we want to make sure you know how to properly make use of your solar batteries when going off grid. 

Make sure you don’t make this one solar battery mistake when you’re going off-grid. 

It’s not about how much power each of your solar batteries has. 

Most people who decide to go off-grid tend to underestimate the amount of power they use in any given day. In this day and age, unless you’re Bear Grylls (and even then, he has to power his video crew’s cameras), odds are good that you’re going to want to use your cell phone, a laptop, as well as any number of other electronics, like fans, heaters, electric stove burners, coffee pots, and so forth. The list of electronics we as humans use these days is long, and each thing on it requires power. But don’t worry. If you started out with just one, smaller solar battery to charge everything in your life off of, it’s okay. You can always go out and buy another, as long as you also buy an inverter, which will allow you to create a circuit and increase your battery power. 

It’s about how they are wired. 

With an inverter, you can wire two or more solar batteries together to create a much more powerful (or effective) energy source for your many electric needs while off-grid. The key, though, is that you wire your batteries and inverters correctly. Of course, this is important so that the circuit itself is functional, but there is also a good way and a bad way to wire your circuits. The good way to wire a battery circuit is to wire it as a parallel circuit. The bad way to wire a battery circuit is to wire it as a series circuit. 

Never wire your solar batteries and your inverter as a series circuit. 

Use parallel circuits ALWAYS. 

The thing about a series circuit is that if you wire your batteries in a consecutive chain, the way that string lights are wired, if one battery goes out, the entire circuit will cease to work, leaving you up a creek without a paddle if you’re off-grid and away from access to traditional electric power. 

Instead, if you wire your batteries and inverter as a parallel circuit, each of the individual battery’s functions on a different leg of the circuit, meaning that they can operate independently from one another. If one battery in a parallel circuit blows, you’ll still be able to use the second or third or fourth batteries connected to the inverter. 

There is a lot more to learn about using solar power and solar batteries to go off-grid, but as long as you remember to use parallel circuits instead of series circuits, you’ll be much better off. If you need help determining your off-grid solar needs, call Solar Bear Tampa today—we can help you make sure that you’re well-prepared for your great adventure into the wilderness.