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Off The Grid

I'm going to live off-grid. Read my blog and learn how to do it yourself!

Archive for the ‘electricity’ Category

Colorful solar panels

Until now, the solar panels (photovoltaic panels) and solar thermal collector were highly visible on the roofs of houses. In this article I will show you a technology that might change it a bit.

As I found out recently, Colored Solar, a company based in US, makes solar panels in a variety of colours, e.g.:

  • green,
  • red,
  • brown,
  • gold,
  • violet,
  • pink.

They are all made from silicon policrystals.


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  • Filed under: electricity
  • Two new deep cycle batteries

    Who said you can’t have your own alternative energy source for emergencies if you’re living in an apartment?

    Having some cash at hand at the end of december, I bought online two large deep cycle batteries, of capacity 140 Ah and 100 Ah.

    The larger one was a bit broken (piece of plastic broke, but was glued by the shop who sells them), and because of that cost almost the same as the smaller battery. (more…)

  • Filed under: electricity
  • Gifts for off-grid enthusiasts

    With the holiday season near, you’re probably wondering what to buy as a gift for your friend, who likes the concept of off-grid living. In this post you will find at least a couple of ideas for such gifts. I’m pretty sure you’ll find something that will be interesting for both you and the person you have in mind.

    My number one suggestion for someone who likes the concept of off-grid power generation, would be any kind of portable solar energy source. My first idea was the flexible solar panel, but those panels are expensive, and generate not much energy. But if the person you want to give it likes to spend a lot time outdoors and uses many electronic gadgets like smartphones, such panels may be a good idea. (more…)

  • Filed under: electricity
  • My two new solar panels

    Two weeks ago I go a delivery from a shop, that contained two new 30 W solar panels. This weekend I finally had some free time to make some tests and prepare some photos to show here.

    At this moment my solar system has 150 Wp and consists of 5 solar panels. I have one 10 Wp flexible solar panel, two 40 Wp laminated glass panels and those two Wp monocrystal panels.


    Me and one of my two new solar panels.

    The solar panels are made of 36 monocrystal solar cells connected in series. In standard conditions (1,000 W/m², AM 1.5, 25°C) they give 30 W output each. Since I don’t have a wattmeter that would be able to measure the power of such device (I own a wattmeter that’s plugged into wall socket and measures the amount of energy used by household devices, but that won’t work here), so the only thing I could measure is the open circuit voltage (Voc). (more…)

  • Filed under: electricity
  • PV systems energy profitability

    Those of you who know me better, know also, that I am a moderate fan of photovoltaic energy systems (solar panels). The first solar panel I bought (flexible 10 W) 5 years ago, and since that time, my PV system has grown to 150 Wp. Lately I aquired two 30 Wp panels, which I want to review here as soon as possible.

    I calculated some time ago that photovoltaics is not a viable solution from the economic point of view. But is it worth to spend energy od manufacturing PV panels and use them somewhere else to produce solar power? Isn’t it just a way to store electrical energy? What is the EROEI of such an investment?

    I wouldn’t worry about that if I didn’t hear an interview with Steve Harris of, who is an expert in the energy field. He said that PV systems are one of the worst investments you can make, because you simply transfer energy in the form of silicon crystals from Japan to USA or Europe.


  • Filed under: electricity
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