Off Grid FAQ’s

Off grid FAQ

Can I purchase the material and hire Texas Off grid to install the system? Simply put, the answer is no. We provide a Design/Build delivery method that requires great detail in material procurement.  Our turnkey installation approach is common in the electrical industry and assures us that we will have the right material needed when working in Off grid locations.

I am considering using a DIY kit, why should I hire Texas Off grid Instead? Off grid Power Systems are very technical and require a strong electrical background to be installed properly. We only recommend using a DIY kit if the kit is designed for a specific setup (small pump) and the system does not require any customization. For custom systems, we recommend you consider the following when looking at DIY systems: Do you have enough time? A properly installed system will require many man-hours to install. Do you have tools and material required? Many specialty tools and unspecified material will be needed to properly install the system. How long will the system last? An improperly designed and/or installed system will not be as dependable and will most likely not meet its advertised life span. DIY kits may work for some, but in most cases it is a bad idea to rely on the design of a Company that holds no liability in the performance of the system. When an Off grid System is installed by Texas Off grid, the turnkey installation is eligible for the Federal Tax Credit.

How far will Texas Off grid travel to provide service? We are located in Central Texas and currently provide service in the entire state of Texas. We do, however, possess the knowledge and credentials to acquire proper licensing in any given US State. Interstate, International, and remote service can be negotiated per special request.

Will you drive out to my property and provide a quote? Yes, but due to the large distances associated with Off grid Systems, we try to gather as much information from the Customer and provide a non-contractual estimate before driving out to the job site. Texas Off grid will then visit the job site to provide an Official Proposal for the Customer.

How much does Off grid Solar Cost? Please read our article on “The cost of Off grid Solar Systems”.

Can you convert my existing Grid Tie System into Off grid or Battery Backup? Yes, in some cases we can even utilize the Grid-Tied Inverters in the Off grid System. See our article on “Backup ready Off grid Systems” to learn more on how we make the transformation.

Should I wait for the price of solar to drop before making the investment? The price of solar has dropped dramatically over the past decade. But when observed over the past year (2013-2014), the cost of solar has plateaued and in some cases risen a bit due to Government issued tariffs on the Chinese Solar Industry. The Federal Tax Credit is set to expire in 2016, if incentives are not extended then the price of an Off grid System will increase by 30% in 2 years.

What warranties are offered on an Off grid System? The solar modules have a 25 year performance warranty. Off grid Inverters generally have a 5 year warranty. Battery warranties vary from 6 – 10 years depending on the manufacturer.

Should I wait for a newer technology to come out before making the investment? It depends on the need for the system. Any Consumers that need a system for power in a rural location shouldn’t wait. Solar Modules usually increase 20 – 30 watts in efficiency per year. Advancements in batteries is slow and is most likely not worth waiting for unless the Customer is connected to Grid and doesn’t mind the wait to convert to backup. Battery Banks can usually be replaced by different makes and capacities, this means that you can purchase a system now and take advantage of a newer battery technology in the future without changing the other equipment.

What is the voltage of an Off grid System? We can provide both DC and AC Off grid Systems. AC systems are available in 120V single phase, 120/240V split phase, and 120/208V three phase. Any other system voltages can possibly arranged through the use of a transformer.

Should I lower my electrical demand to save money? Yes! When designing a home or business for Off grid Power, special considerations for the efficiency of the electrical system. Consider using gas for all heating appliances (Heater, Water Heater, Cooking Appliances). Efficient pumps should be considered for well, water, irrigation, and septic pumps. Efficient light such as CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) and LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs should be used in place of conventional incandescent bulbs. Structures that are heated and cooled should have heavy insulation and avoid unwanted air leakage. Air Conditioning systems should be a high SEER rating.

Should I purchase a Generator or an Off grid Solar System?  It depends on the application. Generators are best suited for temporary loads that are not needed on a daily basis. The start up cost of Generators is much less than Off grid Solar but have an expensive fuel demand and suffer from a shorter life span.

What separates Texas Off grid from the competition? Off grid Systems are very technical and installations demand the skill sets of a highly qualified Electrician. All Texas Off grid systems are design and installed by Derrick and Eric Hoffman. We are licensed Master Electricians and possess the highest credentials in Solar Photovoltaic Design and Installation. Our services are offered at a very competitive price. We encourage our Clients to request multiple bids. Our previous customers have found that our pricing and service are unmatched. We are happy to provide referrals upon request.

Will Texas Off grid keep my information confidential? Yes, as long as we do not encounter any projects that constitute illegal activity.