Off-Grid Solar

Remote & Renewable. Expert install for remote cottages, islands & communities. Diagnosis & repairs for code-deficient and/or problematic systems.

One size does NOT fit all.

Off-grid solar is a completely different beast from grid-tied, even though some of the equipment required is the same.

Off-grid power systems provide electricity to properties that are not connected to the local utility grid. These systems are often referred to as ‘stand-alone power systems’ (SAPS), or ‘remote area power systems’ (RAPS). These systems are independent power stations capable of powering a wide range of applications with reliable electricity. Whether it be for a small or large new or existing home, business or an entire community, off-grid power systems are commonly the cleanest and most cost effective solution.

Your installer needs to have a very careful and thorough understanding of off-grid energy applications. Even qualified electricians are not usually trained in off-grid DC systems, and whether you’re living “off the radar” or not, the risks of a poor installation are not worth any perceived savings. 

With our exceptional technical knowledge of off-grid power, we’ll ensure that your off-grid system is properly sized and installed. We also offer regular maintenance for clients who request it, or we’ll train you to look after your system yourself.

 

If your off-grid solar system was designed poorly or installed improperly, chances are you’re experiencing problems. Maybe it’s not performing as well as you’d been promised by your installer, or it’s not performing at all. Or you’ve (inadvertently or otherwise) added electrical loads after it was designed and installed, and the solar system can no longer keep up.

Installation shortcuts, poor quality components, misaligned arrays, as well as increases in system loads that weren’t taken into account during the initial design – any or all of these can result in an off-grid system that is not producing enough energy for your needs.

Batteries make off-grid solar possible. Without access to the utility grid, you need a reliable way to store the energy you generate for later use.

Your battery bank keeps your appliances running — even at night or during winter, when the sun isn’t shining. It’s critical to build a battery bank that can store enough energy to get you through off-peak production periods. Our available battery banks come packaged with the capacity to get the job done.

There are three battery types commonly used for off-grid solar:

  • Flooded Lead Acid
  • Sealed Lead Acid (AGM or Gel)
  • Lithium

 

  • Typical Off-grid Solar Equipment:
    Solar PV modules

  • Battery bank
  • Racking

  • Inverter(s)

  • Charge controller

  • Required Electrical Safety (i.e. fuses, breakers, disconnects)

  • Energy Monitoring (optional)

  • Backup generator (optional)

Off-Grid Solar Services

SAGE Energy provides consultation and repairs to numerous residential systems, including cottages and primary residences, and we also provide consultation services to insurance companies. We have the tools and expertise to provide analysis, diagnosis and repairs. 

  • Sales, Installation, Service
  • Commissioning
  • Troubleshooting and Repairs

  • Code compliancy
  • Upgrades and expansions
  • Performance Analysis
  • Training
  • Insurance adjustment support

Let’s begin.

(902) 306-1200

F.A.Q.

Looking for some basic information? Read our FAQ here, or check out our articles in our Learning Centre. If you don’t see your question here, submit it below!

Can i unplug my home and go off-grid?

Sometimes this is possible, but generally speaking unplugging your conventional home and going off the utility is NOT cost-effective. You may see encouraging advice elsewhere, but we’ll tell you right now, it’s not realistic. Read about your grid-tied options here. 

How big does my off-grid energy system have to be?

Sizing an off-grid solar system requires more due diligence than a grid-tied solar system. If your grid-tied solar system is too small for all of your loads, you just buy what you need from the grid. With off-grid, you are on your own. If you didn’t make enough electricity during the day, you may have to postpone vacuuming your rug until the next sunny day. 

Do a loads calculation. This will list out everything you’ll be powering; how many watts it draws and for how many hours a day. From there, we can help you determine the best system for your needs.

Do I need a backup generator for my off-grid system?

Backup generators are a common inclusion with off-grid systems. If the batteries are empty or there is a limited amount of solar energy available, the inverter/charger will start the generator. As soon as the generator is not needed anymore, it will turn off automatically.

Can I make my tiny house off-grid?
That all depends on the loads. If you are cooling the house with a ceiling fan, it will need a heck of a lot smaller system than if you are using air conditioning. Likewise with heating with a wood stove versus an electric heater.

As before, do a loads calculation. It’s your #1 step in going off-grid, no matter the square footage of your home.

Why do I need an inverter, and can it be modified sine wave?

The primary job of an inverter is to convert the DC (Direct Current) power from the battery bank or solar panels to AC (Alternating Current) power needed for most appliances. 

A modified sine wave inverter can be used for simple systems that don’t have any delicate electronics or audio equipment that may pick up the choppy wave and produce a hum. Old tube TVs and motors with brushes are usually ok with modified sine wave.

Pure sine wave inverters are used for electronics. With a modified sine wave inverter, your digital clock will likely act funky, and battery rechargers quite often just plain won’t work. Some equipment may seem to be working fine, but may run hotter than with a pure sine wave and reduce the life of it.

Request Quote

If you’re ready for a site assessment or need our services, please use our request form. We’ll do our best to respond within 2 business days.

Warehouse and office in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

902.306.1200

hello@sage-energy.ca