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Thinking of going off the grid with Chatiz Power Bag? We’ve created this complete guide to help you!

Off grid living means you have no connection to the electric utility’s distribution network. When you go off-grid, you take on the role of the power companygenerating and supplying the power to yourself. A fully functional off-grid solar system comes with four essential components: solar panels, batteries, a charge controller and an inverter. The exact components will vary depending on how much power you need to generate and use for the lifestyle you will have, so your first step is working this out. 

Calculate your yield – How much power am I using?

Before choosing your solar components, you will have to estimate your expected consumption. You can do this manually or you can use an online calculator.

If you want to do this manually, simply calculate watt hours by using each appliance’s power rating, multiplied by the time (hours) it will be running.

For example, you’re running a 10W light bulb for 5 hours a day, a TV(80W) for 3 hours, a phone charger (10w) for 8 hours, and a fan (125w) for 4 hours. Multiply the watts by the hours and add them all up for a daily estimate.

10W x 5 hr = 50Wh

80W x 3 hr = 240Wh

10W x 8 hr = 80Wh

125w x 4 hr = 500Wh

TOTAL: 870WH

You will need to consider a 20% energy loss in the system, so multiply this number by 1.2, and that will bring your requirement up to: 870 x 1.2 = 1,044Wh

Electricity usage of a Refrigerator

Refrigerators are one of the most common household appliances and are used to preserve food by keeping it cool, most refrigerators also come with a built-in freezer box for freezing food. Modern refrigerators are very energy efficient compared to older models from a few decades ago. A fridge will use anywhere from 100 to 400 watts depending on size, a large fridge will use about 180 watts or 1575 kWh annually.

You will need to know an average running wattage of your fridge to get an accurate result, if you input the rated wattage you will get a highly inflated result. One way to determine the actual running wattage is to find the daily or annual kWh rating and use that as the baseline for your calculation. For example if the annual kWh rating is 500 kWh/year, divided by 365 days will give you about 1.4 kW per day, which means the average wattage (accounting for all factors) is about 58 watts.     1400w/24h=58wh

Now you can spec your components based on your energy requirements. This is where you can save a good amount of money on your kit, by working out what’s absolutely necessary and what you can compromise on – learn more in our other article.

 

Solar Panels  – Converts sunlight into DC (Direct Current) energy.

In an off-grid situation, you want to make sure your panels can supply enough electricity to meet your minimum consumption needs all year round. People tend to use more electricity during winter, when solar systems are less effective (shorter days = fewer sun hours). To make up for this, it’s worth your while to get more efficient panels that will still be able to generate power in less-than-perfect sun conditions. We currently offer a 300w Solar blanket Kit Mono Portable Flexible, which is costlier but more efficient than more common PolyCrystalline panels. Learn more in our other article. 

On average, there are at 239 total days per year with 4 or more sun hours, so we can get a conservative estimate of our panels output based on an average of 4 effective sun hours a day. 

300W x 4hr = 1200Wh

This shows that the output from one of our 300w Solar blanket Mono Portable Flexible, would be easily enough to cover our daily consumption of 1,044Wh. It will also be able to fully charge a 12V battery in a day. 

Battery — Stores energy so you can use it during the night

Batteries are an essential part of an off-grid solar system, as they provide a constant source of stable and reliable power that allows you to power devices when there’s no sunlight. Deep-cycle lead acid batteries are by far the best type of batteries to use in an off-grid solar system. They are designed for the type of deep discharge demands of off-grid use, and have a life-span of 5–12 years. You will want to avoid car batteries at all costs, as they’re designed for supplying short bursts of current and wouldn’t last long when deeply discharged.

1.  Daily energy use
Next find the energy used in a day. Figure out how long each electronic device will be run in hours during a day. Multiply the wattage of each device by its run-time to get the energy in watt-hours per day. Add up all the watt-hour values to get a total for your home. This estimate is likely too low as there will be efficiency loses. To get a very rough idea of the real value with system loses, multiply by 1.2. This will help account for decreasing performance when temperature increases.

For example, you’re running a 10W light bulb for 5 hours a day, a TV(80W) for 3 hours, a phone charger (10w) for 8 hours, and a fan (125w) for 4 hours. Multiply the watts by the hours and add them all up for a daily estimate.

10W x 5 hr = 50Wh

80W x 3 hr = 240Wh

10W x 8 hr = 80Wh

125w x 4 hr = 500Wh

TOTAL: 870WH

You will need to consider a 20% energy loss in the system, so multiply this number by 1.2, and that will bring your requirement up to: 870 x 1.2 = 1,044Wh

2.  Days of autonomy
Now decide how many days worth of energy you want to store in your battery bank. Generally this is anywhere from two to five.

3.  Battery bank capacity
Finally we can calculate the minimum battery AH capacity. Take the watt-hours per day and multiply them by the number you decided upon in 3. This should represent a 50% depth of discharge on your batteries. Therefore multiply by 2 and convert the kwh result into amp hours (AH). This is done by dividing by the battery voltage. Now when we say deep discharge, we don’t mean completely draining the battery like how you might with your phone – you never want to completely drain your battery to 0%, as it will permanently damage your battery and significantly reduce its life-span. We recommend a 50~60% depth of discharge, which is a warranty condition, so work out your requirement by dividing your Wh requirements by the voltage of the battery (most common by far is 12V) and multiply it by 2 for the required Ah. Read more about depth of discharge here.

Example:  You want the battery bank to last three days without recharging and that you use 1,044wh per day. As 1,044 x 3 x 2 = 6,264wh or 6.2kwh, this is the energy we need from the batteries. Converting this to AH we have to divide by the voltage of your system. This can be 12, 24 or 48 for commercial application. If we choose to use 12V, the minimum AH capacity is then 6,264/12 = 522 AH. Now if you divide by your battery’s rating you find the number of batteries you must use. We assume we are going to use 12v 200ah gel battery. 

522 AH / 200 AH = 2.6 or 3 Batteries  

Based off this calculation, you would need three of these batteries 12v 200ah Gel battery

Even you can use our online calculator in order to find out how many batteries you need for your system. 

Charge controller  –  Protects battery and optimises output from panel

The charge controller is a piece of equipment that goes between your solar panels and batteries. It regulates and controls voltage to prevent your batteries from being damaged through overcharging. A highly effective charge controller will also have a significant impact on the output from your panels, increasing your solar yield. With the purchase of the Chatiz Power Bag, you won’t have to worry about charge controller. Because it has a built-in charge controller and does everything automatically.

 

Inverter  – Converts DC power to AC, so you can run your appliances

Most off-grid solar systems will need an inverter. The inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into Alternating current (AC), which is what your household appliances will require. Having a good inverter means that all your equipment and appliances will run seamlessly.

You will need an inverter that matches the voltage of your battery bank, and has enough output to run the appliances needed -  you’ll need to look at all your appliances and what you’re likely to be running at the same time. For example, a fridge will always be running, but you’ll also want to watch TV at some point, and charge your phone, so you’ll need to be able to support them all running at concurrently. You’ll also want to consider that a having a good inverter may mean you’re able to run more things than your batteries can support – though this does mean you can add more panels and batteries down the line, without buying a new inverter.

In our example, we have a 12V battery, and are running a 10W light bulb, a TV(80W), a phone charger (10w), and a fan (125w), which is  224W total, so we will only need a 12v 600w inverter, and we’ll have room to add more devices. We’ve always recommended our customers to use a Pure Sine Wave inverter in all off-grid solar installations, to ensure you have the best quality of AC output, that won’t damage your appliance or affect their use. Chatiz Power bag uses their designed Pure Sine Wave inverter which has a lot of abilities that most of the inverter in the market doesn’t. 

The Chatiz Power Bag contains a lightweight, compact powerful 2,500 Watt Pure Sine Wave inverter. This inverter has a maximum 3,000 Watt output, and can surge much higher — up to 6,000 Watts!

This surge is for only a few fractions of a second when doing some very heavy lifting, like starting the compressor on a refrigerator. 

Here are some features of Chattiz inverter:

1- Includes one year unconditional warranty on delivery
2- Equipped with a battery cut-off system with a timely disconnection before draining the battery and preventing the battery from sleeping (battery protection)
3- One hundred percent(100%) isolated
4- With automatic disconnect system in reverse connection of battery poles or short outlet connection (in Chinese type will fail if the battery terminals are inverted)
5- The actual power of the device (in Chinese models the power of the device is 40% to twice as actual power)
6- Fully automated 
7- Equipped with controller to control device performance
8- Voltage and constant frequency power output without fluctuation in amperage and voltage and equipped with anti-shock system
9- It has two 220V power outlets
10- Less than one percent loss in 220V power conversion
11- Generating Pure Sine Wave current 
12- Ability to use wire up to 100 meters away without causing voltage drop
13- Usable for everyone with very simple user interface
14- Automatic shutdown of the device in case of increased circuit temperature, to extend the life of the device
15- Equipped with fully automatic electronic fuse system
16- Surge power three times more than the actual power

WHAT IT CAN POWER IN STATIC SITUATIONS WITH BATTERY PACKS?

The Chatiz Power Bag Solar Generator can power just about anything, anywhere up to 3000 watts with battery packs.

Smartphones 
Laptop
Tablet
Computer case
Printer 

Sound recorder
TV
Washing Machine
Dish washing machine
Video game consuls (PlayStation, Xbox)

Radio
Telephone and fax

Camera 

LED Lamp 
Study Light
Rotating fan
Refrigerator 
Freezer
Fruit mixer 
Meat Grinder
drills

Angle Grinder
cement mixer
Coffee Maker
computer case with color printer
Snack maker
Grill machine
Hairdryer
Hair iron
Mixer
1000 W electric heater
Vacuum cleaner 1000 W
cake cooker
Cucumber bulb
food processor
toaster
Sandwich maker
Coffeepot
Electric kettle
Vacuum Cleaner 1400 W
sewing machine
Ironing machine 1200 watts
Microwave
Industrial Angle grinder
Floor lift
Parking Jack
lawn mower
And lot more…