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Located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, Smucker’s Energy has installed hundreds of off-grid solar systems for cabins, homes, and farms, even before the recent popularity surge of solar as a solution to mainstream energy needs. Ideal for those wanting to remove their dependence on the local utility completely, Smucker’s Energy has installed these self-sufficient systems for everything from hunting cabins to full-fledged commercial facilities. Off-grid solar systems put your energy production and consumption firmly within your control—allowing you to reap the benefits of free and green energy for years to come.


Off-Grid solar systems are solar energy systems that are completely disconnected from the local utility and allow you to power your home (and other buildings) by utilizing a group of batteries (battery bank) that store the power produced by the solar panels. When you turn on your lights or use other appliances that contribute your building’s load, the power is then drawn from the battery bank. Unlike grid-tied solar systems, which feed power back onto the utility grid (essentially using the local utility as the battery), off-grid systems allow you to disconnect completely by directing the power generated by your panels into the battery bank, which supplies energy to all the loads connected to your electrical panel—thereby removing the need for a utility connection. Additionally, while grid-tied systems do not produce power while the grid is down (for the safety of the line workers), off-grid systems allow you to maintain power regardless of the status of the local grid because of their independent connection.


In addition to homeowners wanting to cut ties with the local utility, Off-Grid solar systems are perfect for remote cabins, lodges, camps, and even boats because of their independent connection. However, when considering an Off-Grid system, there are two important factors to keep in mind: (1) sizing an Off-Grid system needs to be much more precise than a grid-tied system to ensure that your power production is completely sufficient for your lifestyle, and (2) Days of Autonomy, which is the number of days you want to be able to draw power from your battery bank in case inclement weather prevents your solar system from recharging the batteries. Days of Autonomy can be added by increasing the size of the battery bank; however, more batteries will increase the up-front system cost. Alternatively, you can install a smaller battery bank that offers relatively few Days of Autonomy, and utilize a small gas generator so that you’re still protected from extended periods of inclement weather. Off-grid systems can be as large or small as you need them to be, and we’ll walk you through all the specifics of your Off-Grid system to come up with a solution that works perfectly for you.


Our experience in helping customers disconnect from the local utility or establish independent systems in remote or mobile locations is important in helping determine what system is right for you. We can provide advice on conserving energy usage to make your system smaller (and thereby less expensive), we can provide solutions for simple battery-free DC connections (like remote water pumps), and of course, we can walk you through the potential financial incentives available on your system. If you’ve got questions about going off-grid, feel free to give us a call. We’d love to help! If you’ve got questions about going off-grid, visit our FAQs page, or feel free to give us a call. We’d love to help!