Is An Off-Grid Solar System Worth It in Australia? - Jackery Australia

Is An Off-Grid Solar System Worth It in Australia?

Off-grid solar systems have seen significant growth in popularity in Australia over the past few years, partly as a result of the considerable drop in cost associated with renewable energy. It should not be surprising that some Australians consider becoming wholly independent and implementing an off-grid solar system.

living off the grid in australia

Going off-grid means disconnecting your residence and all its appliances from the national power grid. This off-grid solar system provides sufficient energy for an average Australian home and property. 

Are you contemplating going off the grid by powering your shed, cabin, tiny house, workshop, or residential home with solar energy or a stand-alone solar system? This comprehensive guide to off-grid solar systems in Australia explains everything you need to know, including what they are, how they function, their various varieties, and the best options. Jackery Solar Generators are portable off-grid solar systems with sufficient capacity for off-grid life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Off-grid solar systems are designed to provide electricity in locations without grid power.

  • Off-grid solar systems are essential when there is no electricity infrastructure or always have blackouts.

  • There are mainly three types of off-grid solar systems - stand-alone, hybrid, and portable off-grid solar systems. They have different working principles, costs, and pros & cons. A stand-alone system is the most suitable, and a portable solar system is the most cost-effective option, but it has lower capacity.

  • Here, recommend Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro and 1000 Pro as portable off-grid solar systems to power your off-grid appliances.

  • When choosing the off-grid solar system, you must consider your power consumption, the battery storage, and the warranty.


Why Living Off The Grid in Australia?

Off-grid solar systems are made to work independently of the grid. Solar panels, an inverter to control input and output of generated power, a solar battery to store and furnish power, and a backup generator are the components of an off-grid system.

Modern off-grid systems provide online automation and monitoring, giving you complete control over the energy produced and the excess energy stored in solar batteries. Off-grid solar and solar battery systems continue to advance technologically. 

Today, living off the grid is still considered the ultimate way to live in the wild, but it does not have to be so severe. Off-grid living can also involve producing and utilizing one's utilities, such as gas, water, and solar-generated electricity.

When producing and supplying electricity, there may be no greener, more accessible, or more efficient technology than an off-grid solar system. Solar panels, an inverter, batteries, a charge controller, cables, and connectors comprise the bulk of a typical off-grid solar system. You can also choose a solar generator, such as Jackery Solar Generators, as the secondary power source.


Why Is An Off-Grid Solar System So Important?

There are numerous reasons to have an off-grid solar system if you live off the grid:

You reside in a rural area of Australia, typically in the outback, without electricity infrastructure. Consequently, you must construct your grid system.

You are already connected to the grid, but frequent outages have compelled you to disconnect. The grid connection point closest to your residence is distant, and the electricity network wishes to charge you excessive money to connect you to it.


What Are The Types of Off-Grid Solar Systems?

To maintain a healthy off-grid existence for an extended period, you will need a place to store all the solar energy generated by your off-grid solar system. Off the grid refers to a property with no power. 

These homes are self-sufficient and have no connection to the primary electrical grid. Solar components, including PV panels, an inverter, and lithium-ion battery systems, are required to accomplish this. However, there are primarily three varieties of off-grid solar systems available:

  • Stand-alone off-grid solar system
  • Hybrid off-grid solar system
  • Portable off-grid solar system

All the options have positive and negative aspects; the one you select should be determined by the amount of energy you need, the size of your house, and your budget. There needs to be a correct response to the question of which is the best, as they are appropriate for various applications and off-grid enthusiasts in Australia.

Stand Alone Off-Grid Solar System

A stand-alone off-grid solar system comprises several individual photovoltaic modules or panels with power outputs ranging from 50 to 100+ watts each. These PV modules are assembled into a singular array to produce the desired energy.

A straightforward stand-alone PV system is an automatic solar system that generates electricity during the day to charge batteries for use at night when the Sun's energy is unavailable. A stand-alone, small-scale PV system uses rechargeable batteries to store the electrical power supplied by a PV array or PV panels.

PV systems are ideally suited to provide electricity for lighting, appliances, and other uses in isolated rural locations where alternative power sources are impracticable or unavailable. In these circumstances, installing a solitary stand-alone PV system is more cost-effective than paying the local electricity company to extend its power lines and cables directly to the residence as part of a grid-connected PV system.

How Does A Stand Alone Solar System Work?

A stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) system is an electrical system composed of a solar panel array, an inverter, a charge controller, batteries, and one or more applications. 

The Sun's light strikes the panels and generates an electromagnetic field that passes through your charge controller to charge your batteries or power your appliances.

how to live off the grid
When your battery bank reaches its maximum capacity (100%), solar energy is routed through the inverter converter to power your off-grid appliances. When your battery bank is not fully charged, solar energy flows through the system's charge controller and charges your batteries, which can be used immediately or later. DC power from the DC battery bank is transformed into 240V power by the inverter converter, which is then used to power your 240V appliances.

How Much Does It Cost for A Stand Alone Solar System?

The energy needs of your residence and the regional sunlight patterns primarily determine the size requirements for your solar system. Australia's three primary prices for off-grid solar systems are listed below.


3kW Solar System

6kW Solar System

10kW Solar System

Costs

$14,800 - $19,800

$34,800 - $40,800

$44,800 - $55,800

A 3kW system comprised of high-quality components will cost approximately $4,700, while a 10kWh battery will set you back at least $10,100. After including the generator and other off-grid features, you're looking at approximately $14,800 - $19,800.

In contrast, a 6kW solar system will require 14 to 16 solar panels and cost approximately $4,870. A 20kWh battery will significantly increase system costs and may necessitate connecting multiple batteries in parallel. The entire price of an off-grid system is likely to be closer to $34,800 when all its components are included. (Data Source: Australia Renewable Energy Report)

What Are The Pros & Cons of A Stand Alone Solar System?

Off-grid solar systems are entirely independent of the grid maintained by the utility company. A battery cell is required for use in an off-grid system. The battery bank retains the energy produced by your solar panels.

Off-grid living provides complete independence from the utility provider. Absolute power control can be highly liberating. You will no longer be subject to your local utility company's terms and conditions.

The rising cost of energy will not affect you. Independence from the electrical infrastructure can be especially beneficial in areas that are prone to experiencing severe weather, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

While living off-grid eliminates your monthly electricity bill, off-grid solar requires a more significant initial investment. In addition to the materials necessary for grid-connected solar, off-grid solar requires a battery bank for energy storage. These batteries can account for 30-40% of an off-grid solar system's initial cost.

Stand Alone Solar System Pros:

Stand Alone Solar System Cons:

- Power independence

- Power remote areas

- Suitable for off-grid living

- Backup power supply

- Sustainability

- Saving electricity bills

- No blackout

- Higher startup costs

- Limited power storage

- Need professional installation

- Need maintenance

- Need proper components

Hybrid Off-Grid Solar System

A hybrid solar system is a compromise between retaining access to the grid and the capacity to store excess solar energy in solar batteries.

Wind turbines and solar panels or utility power and solar panels are combined in hybrid off-grid solar systems. The advantage of the hybrid solar system is that it provides nearly 100 percent grid availability when needed. By storing solar energy in your batteries, you obtain autonomy by reducing your reliance on the grid by at least 70 to 95 percent.

Solar hybrid systems are designed to prioritize solar power, battery power, and utility power. Thus, you rely on the batteries to keep you going during the night or, in principle, in the event of a power outage.

How Does A Hybrid Solar System Work?

A hybrid solar system is a grid-connected renewable energy system with battery storage. The solar panels generate energy throughout the day, and any excess is stored in the batteries when the Sun isn't out.


A solar hybrid system is a clean and renewable energy system that uses solar photovoltaic panels to produce clean energy for household usage. This type of system is also known as a solar hybrid array. A hybrid solar system alternates intelligently between solar power, battery storage, and grid power. It prevents you from using grid power during peak prices, resulting in lower utility bills. 

The rooftop solar panels produce renewable energy to power the building. During a storm or power disruption, the system automatically activates to power your home's essential loads. Keep the lights on, the refrigerator operating, and your mobile devices charged.

How Much Does It Cost for A Hybrid Solar System?

Solar panels and battery systems are significantly more expensive than solar panel systems alone. In Australia, the national average cost for a hybrid solar system ranges from $20,000 to $60,000, with most individuals paying approximately $40,000 for a fully installed 6kW system with monocrystalline panels and three lithium-ion batteries.  


Basic Hybrid System

Standard Hybrid System

Superior Hybrid System

Material

$10,000 - $16,000

$16,000 - $32,000

$33,000 - $50,000

Installation

$8,000 - $10,000

$9,000 - $12,500

$10,000 - $13,000

Total

$18,000 - $26,000

$25,000 - $34,500

$43,000 - $63,000

A base system may consist of polycrystalline or thin film panels with FLA batteries, whereas a standard method may employ monocrystalline panels and lithium-ion batteries.

In addition to the solar panels, which are available in polycrystalline, monocrystalline, thin film, and bifacial varieties, you need battery inverters, batteries for the system to operate, and mounts for the different panels. Different batteries vary in price and life span.

What Are The Pros & Cons of A Hybrid Solar System?

A hybrid solar system presents a highly advantageous choice for individuals seeking to ensure uninterrupted solar-powered operation of their homes during power outages or for those residing in areas where utility companies impose time-of-use rates, demand charges, or lack a net metering policy that provides compensation for surplus energy fed back into the grid.

A hybrid system can be tailored to a home's specific energy requirements and is scalable to accommodate future energy demands. For instance, a consumer may desire a backup power source for medical equipment, lights, televisions, refrigerators, etc.

In this instance, the battery bank would be sized to fulfill the essential load needs and used only when necessary. In addition, solar panels are gaining popularity as people seek to reduce their carbon footprint.

Batteries are relatively expensive, with an average system costing several thousand dollars. Hybrid systems require additional components, which adds to the overall cost. The methods may be more challenging to install than grid-tied or off-grid systems alone.

Hybrid Solar System Pros:

Hybrid Solar System Cons:

- Flexibility

- Store much more energy

- Sustainability

- No blackout

- Stability

- Highest costs

- Need professional installation

- Need maintenance

- Need more components

Portable Off-Grid Solar System

The portable off-grid solar system, also referred to as the portable solar generator, consists of solar panels and power stations. Consequently, a solar generator is a portable battery to which photovoltaic (PV) panels are affixed to collect sunlight.

In contrast to other off-grid solar systems - for which you must engage a professional to install the solar system and pay a significant amount for solar system materials and installation - a solar generator is simple to install and operate. Without exertion, adequate electricity will be generated merely by pressing a button

Solar generators typically include 12-volt sockets, AC outlets, and USB connections for charging various devices. The benefit of having multiple fueling options for your portable generator is that you can obtain power on your terms. Jackery Solar Generators are such power systems that you can simultaneously power multiple devices.

How Does A Portable Off-Grid Solar System Work?

A solar battery generator generates electricity from the Sun and stores it in a battery for later use. Here is a more comprehensive explanation of the procedure:

Solar panels convert sunlight to DC electricity, which is then directed to the charge controller by the charge controller. The charge controller regulates the electricity voltage before storage, ensuring the correct amount of current goes to the battery. All solar energy is stored in the battery for subsequent use. The inverter converts the battery's stored energy to the AC used by most appliances and devices.

Jackery Solar Generator combines Jackery Solar Panels and Portable Power Stations to provide solar energy to your off-grid appliances. Jackery Solar Panels utilize monocrystalline solar cells to absorb more sunlight, followed by an MPPT charge controller and pure sine wave inverter to store and use the generated electricity.

How Much Does It Cost for A Portable Solar System?

The price of your solar generator will depend significantly on the brand and technical specifications. In general, generators that produce and store more energy are more expensive. The primary explanation is the three internal components: the charge controller, solar battery, and inverter.


1kW Solar System

2kW Solar System

3kW Solar System

Costs

$2,200

$3,600

$4,000

Regarding cost, the solar generator's battery is by far the most expensive component. The fact that lithium constitutes such a minute percentage of a battery is unknown to most people. Cobalt, which functions as the negative cathode of the battery, is the most expensive component of a lithium battery.  

Using Jackery Solar Generators as an example, the cost of your solar generator depends on its dimensions. A 1 kWh solar generator costs only $2,000 and can power most off-grid appliances, including lights, televisions, coffee makers, and more.

What Are The Pros & Cons of A Portable Solar System?

This transportable, off-grid solar system requires no fuel to produce electricity. People who want to lessen their reliance on gas-powered generators, combat blackouts and other power outages in off-grid residences, and have a reliable fallback power source alternative available for emergencies are the ideal customers for this product.

You can use a solar generator during a blackout, to charge your devices while camping, and as an energy source when traveling by RV or boat. A solar-powered backup generator is suitable for various real-world situations, making it useful for more than just emergencies.

Another benefit of solar generators is that they are silent. Moreover, unlike gas generators, solar generators lack moving elements. It drastically reduces the quantity of noise they generate while running. 

The only disadvantage of portable off-grid solar systems is their low power output. However, it is sufficient to power the majority of off-grid appliances.

Portable Solar System Pros:

Portable Solar System Cons:

- Easy to use

- Portability

- Sustainability

- Versatile to any usage

- Low noise level

- Lower price than other systems

- Lower capacity, but it's enough to power most of off-grid appliances


Jackery Solar Generators: Portable Off-Grid Solar Systems

The primary benefit of Jackery Portable Solar Generators is that they are entirely free to use. Using portable solar generators will result in considerable cost savings. The generators do not require fuel. Additionally, there is no need to apply generator lubricant. Another benefit is portability; you can transport the product to any destination.

SolarSaga 100W solar panels and the Explorer 2000 Pro are combined in the Jackery solar generator 2000 Pro. The SolarSaga 100W turns sunshine into electricity and stores it in the Explorer 2000 Pro. It has an MPPT charge controller and pure sine wave inverter to ensure consistent and seamless energy. It is the best portable off-grid solar system to power off-grid appliances.

Jackery solar generator 2000 pro for living off the grid

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro

The Solar Generator 2000 Pro has a tremendous charging capacity of 2,160Wh and can be fully charged in under 5.5 hours with 6* SolarSaga 100W solar panels or in 2 hours with an AC wall outlet. The Explorer 2000 Pro may be charged using solar panels, an AC receptacle, and a carport. Its numerous output connectors make solar charging simple. It can, for example, power an 800W oven for 2.2 hours and a 700W water heater for 2.5 hours.

Capacity

Output Ports

Off-Grid Appliances

Working Hours

2160Wh

2*AC Output: 230V, 2200W, peak 4400W; 2*USB-A: Quick Charge 3.0x2, 18W Max; 2*USB-C: 100W Max, (5V, 12V, 9V, 15V, 20V up to 5A); 1*Carport: 12V⎓10A

Oven: 800W

Coffee Maker: 600W

Refrigerator: 500W

Cooling System: 200W

Water Heater: 700W

Radio: 30W

TV: 100W

Electric Tool: 500W

Grill: 2.2H

Coffee Maker: 2.9H

Refrigerator: 3.5H

Cooling System: 8.6H

Water Heater: 2.5H

Radio: 57.6H

TV: 17.3H

Electric Tool: 3.5H

The rechargeable Solar Generator 1000 Pro can power up to 93% of your camping appliances, including a grill, speaker, lamp, CPAP machine, and more, with its 1002Wh capacity, 1000W rated power, and 2000W peak power. The ultra-quiet solar generator has a ten-year lifespan and can be fully charged in less than two hours.

Jackery solar generator 1000 pro for living off the grid

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

The Explorer 1000 Pro portable power station weighs 11.5kg, 30% less than the industry standard for the same capacity. The solar panel's folding shape makes travel and storage more convenient. When a 500W refrigerator is charged using a Solar Generator 1000 Pro, it will run for 1.3 hours, while a 200W cooling system will run for 4 hours.

Capacity

Output Ports

Off-Grid Appliances

Working Hours

1002Wh

3*AC Output: 120V~ 60Hz, 2000W, 4000W peak; 2*USB-A: 18W Max, 5-5V⎓3A; 2*USB-C: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 15V, 12V, 20V up to 5A); 1*Carport: 12V⎓10A

Oven: 800W

Coffee Maker: 600W

Refrigerator: 500W

Cooling System: 200W

Water Heater: 700W

Radio: 30W

TV: 100W

Electric Tool: 500W

Grill: 1H

Coffee Maker: 1.3H

Refrigerator: 1.6H

Cooling System: 4H

Water Heater: 1.1H

Radio: 26.7H

TV: 8H

Electric Tool: 1.6H


How to Choose The Best Off-Grid Solar System

Choosing an off-grid solar system can be daunting, especially if this is your first time installing a solar kit. There are several things to consider when you look through the various alternatives.

Power Consumption: The scale of your project should be the first consideration when selecting an off-grid solar system. To begin, determine how much energy your off-grid application consumes. This can be challenging, but you can calculate the estimated loads of each electrical gadget you plan to run on solar energy and how much time you'll use it daily.

Battery Storage: Next, consider if you need batteries for your system. If you only need power during the day, several off-grid systems can run with only solar modules. Other uses will require constant power, even on overcast days when solar generation is limited or at night when it is non-existent.

Warranty: Finally, consider the warranty coverage associated with your equipment. Most do-it-yourself solar systems have a warranty to cover your investment for at least a few years. A 5-year warranty covers Jackery Solar Generators.


Is An Off-Grid Solar System Worth It?

Off-grid solar systems are a perfect option for some individuals, but it depends on your specific situation and energy requirements. If you own a home in a remote location where connecting it to the grid is either impossible or economically impractical, an off-grid array could be the optimal solution. It can provide you with pure energy at all times, so long as you properly size your system and install batteries.

A hybrid solar system may be the best option if your residence is close enough to the grid to connect or needs constant power. In addition, a portable off-grid solar system is ideal for charging appliances; if you only need to charge off-grid devices, select Jackery Solar Generators.



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