The Challenge of Off-Grid Solar Installs
When most people think of getting solar, there are really two main markets. First, there’s the residential rooftop market, with local salespeople who often don’t know what they’re doing, banks that require you to both own the property and have good credit, and installers who hopefully put the system you need in. On the other side, there’s the low-voltage DIY market where people buy a few solar panels, a little charge controller, and charge something like a deep-cycle RV battery.
This started to change when solar “generators” hit the market. We’ve been reviewing a bunch of different systems here at CleanTechnica, but what they tend to have in common is that they accept a small amount of solar power, and store it in a portable power station that has battery storage, inverters, and everything else inside. These kits, ranging from small stations that max out between 100-300 watts of output, to huge kits with over a kilowatt of portable solar power and stations with multiple kilowatt-hours of storage.
For emergencies, camping, picnics, and outdoor trade/craft shows, these stations have been great for many buyers, but they often fall short of the needs of people trying to do something more powerful, like power a whole RV or an off-grid cabin. Such things are possible, but they’re expensive and take a lot of skill to set up. Worse, getting financing for a more traditional solar system is either too small or outside of what installers want to deal with.
In many places, a professional install of a solar power system isn’t that easy with government regulations. This leads many installers to refuse to work on off-grid systems altogether (or, at least, use it as an excuse).
EcoFlow’s Solution: Grow Into This Grey Area
This is where EcoFlow’s new Power Kits come in. Instead of being small and portable or requiring a big professional installation, EcoFlow offers modular systems that don’t require an electrician to put together.
The modular system allows you to put in a pretty hefty off-grid system or build one up over time. Maximum battery storage in a stack of LiFePo battery packs can go as high as 15 kWh. Solar panels, a small backup generator, a power hub to tie it all together, and other system components are all designed to be easily plugged together with no electrical tools or specialist knowledge. So, anybody can get to work installing an extensive solar system on an RV or off-grid cabin, or anywhere else for that matter.
Even people renting a house or apartment could probably get good benefits from this system, even if they can’t tie it into their house’s wiring.
The whole system is designed for maximum safety (LiFePo batteries are far, far less prone to fires), the easiest install, and for growth from a basic system to something more robust over time. Permanently-mounted smart controls are possible, but you could also just use your smartphone to see what the system is doing and manage it.
Sales of these systems will start on July 5th, and you can find more information about them here.
Featured image by EcoFlow.
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