Creating a tiny house with a solar power system has its complications, but is absolutely achievable for tiny home owners. Solar energy is booming all around the world and is ideal for tiny home owners looking to reduce their impact on the world around them and still fuel their electricity needs.
Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular and more accessible, thanks to strong policies and incentive schemes from different governments that shift focus towards solar power in both the public and private sectors. In 2020, 27.7% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable energy sources and according to the ANU College of Science, Australia is estimated to reach 50% renewable energy by 2025.
So how can you add a solar system to your tiny home? What do you need to know about installing solar in your tiny house? What are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits of installing solar power systems in tiny homes. Here are some major ones:
Alexandra built her tiny home a couple of years ago and asked HCB Solar to help her with a solar & battery system. The tiny home is designed to be fully independent from the grid.
It is also called a grid-feed/grid-tie solar system. It is the most economical solar power system that allows consumers to utilize solar panel systems with supplementation from the grid. A grid connection allows the system to run without batteries.
They are the most commonly observed stand-alone power systems that are employed in many tiny homes for running small accessories. Solar panels for the tiny houses are installed in exposure to sunlight, the energy is then stored into batteries, and when those batteries are used for powering the supply of electricity. These systems additionally contain a charge controller, a grid box, and an inverter. These solar power systems are generally more expensive because of their extensive battery cost and usage.
They are adequate tiny house solar power systems for remote areas. Anyhow, the batteries are becoming cheaper and now we see these systems also implemented in the cities as well. Electricity is first sent to the battery bank and then it is relayed to appliances. Tiny homes that use this type of solar power system often use backup generators. When weather is rainy and cloudy and there is less sunlight or when the batteries are drained these backup generators help to fill in the deficit to keep all the appliances running well.
They generate power similarly to the On-Grid solar system but they also use hybrid inverters and batteries to function as backup power supply. These are modern-day solar power systems that combine both grids and solar systems. The idea is to store the solar energy from the solar panel for a tiny house to a battery and use it at night. This reduces the load on the grid and the cost of electricity is also brought down considerably. When the batteries have depleted the grid serves as the electricity supply.
Here are some of the most important components that are used in a solar system for tiny homes.
The most essential component of any solar power system is solar panels. Deployed in the open and with clear exposure to sunlight, these black sheets are made of silicon photovoltaic cells, also known as PV cells. PV cells are connected to each other and other solar panel plates via cables. It is sunlight that produces electricity, not heat. The amount of energy generated by these plates depends on their tilt angle, the efficiency of the panel, dirt, and temperature. Solar panels can generate electricity even on a cloudy day, but that depends on the iridescence and thickness of clouds.
HCB Solar features solar panels from trusted and reputable solar manufacturers that we know to be high quality, durable and long-lasting.
The second essential component is the solar inverter. Homes require AC (Alternating Current) but the electricity generated by these solar power systems is in DC. So, we need these inverters to convert DC into AC. A micro-inverter is attached at the rear of the solar panels and it immediately converts DC to AC, and then the AC is carried to the electrical switchboards.
The next component used in a solar power system is the battery. It is an extremely essential component, there are mainly two types of lead-acid and lithium-ion. The most widely used energy storage systems are rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Battery capacity for lead-acid is measured in Amp-hours (Ah) and kilowatt-hours (kWh) for lithium-ion. Lithium-ion batteries supply up to 90% of their available capacity while lead-acid batteries supply 30-40% which in turn enhances their life.
HCB Solar sources its batteries from the most reliable manufacturers in the market. They use Tesla Powerwall 2 and LG Chem batteries in solar power systems.
Tiny homes employ off-grid solar systems mostly. They require off-grid batteries and inverters that can supply energy for 2 days. While hybrid solar power system provides 5-10 hours of uninterrupted power supply.
We have overlooked the tiny house solar power equipment and how it works. Overall these solar power systems are very effective and will be extensively used in the future by the world because of the energy crisis that the world is facing right now. Solar power systems use the resources that are abundantly available all across the globe and even in remote areas and utilizing them is essential.