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An introduction to grid-assisted living

September 15, 2017

In this post, we’ll go over the nuts and bolts of grid-assisted living, and why you might want to consider installing a grid-tied battery system for your home.

With new advancements in battery technology, it’s more affordable than ever to separate from the grid while living in a city. New lithium-ion batteries, such as Tesla’s Powerwall and the LG Chem Home Battery, allow homeowners to cut ties with their local utilities without breaking the bank. 

Sleek, clean and compact, these new batteries make it a safer, more affordable and more attractive solution than the old-school lead acid batteries.


First things first: What is grid-assisted living, anyways?  

Grid-assisted living is a hybrid of renewable power with batteries and also the emergency security of the grid when needed.

When your batteries are able, and when the sun is out, your home has the ability to sever from the grid and run like a typical off-grid system. When the batteries are low and there is no sun to charge the batteries, you then have the ability to tie back into the grid to run your lows as well as charge your batteries full again. Once the batteries are full, or the sun comes back out, you can now switch back over and separate from the utility.

In some areas, like certain subdivisions in California, this type of technology is actually mandated to help ease the burden of power consumption on the grid.

It’s still uncertain how some utilities and local jurisdictions are going to handle this complexity. Some utilities could initiate some type of usage fee for doing so.


The benefits of grid-assisted systems

Grid-assisted systems are a great option for folks who want to be more environmentally conscious and more self-reliant, but don’t necessarily want or have the option to move to a rural area away from power lines. It allows you to be more sustainable, and these systems will also give you the security of having power during power outages.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like living off-grid, and why people choose to live this way, check out our blog post, “Off-grid living: Knowing if it’s a good fit.”

If you’re not quite ready to cut the cord, or if you’re financially not able to obtain a full system, Harvest Solar can design a two-phase system to make it more financially friendly. We do this by first, installing a system designed to function as a grid-tied system down the road. When you’re ready, we can add batteries that seamlessly fit into your current system.

Stay tuned for our next blog post in which we cover lithium-ion batteries, like the Tesla Power Wall and the LG Chem Home Battery.

Kyle MacVean, owner of Harvest Solar, lived off-the-grid for 6 years. During that time, he gained a new sense of freedom that comes with total energy independence. He also developed an in-depth perspective of what it takes to live off-grid, relying on the power of the sun and back up batteries.

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