Well, for some years people have been using small scale DC solar system to recharge their caravan or boat battery. These have been basic, but adequate systems, despite their weight and bulk. If you want power in remote places, this is a very good way of providing it and recharging it. Just as an aside, did you know that we have developed a unique Power in a Box – a mobile solar generator in a box, see power in a box for more details.

For some time, people who have enjoyed the benefits of having solar energy production have dreamed about going off grid (more on that later) by storing excess power generated throughout the day in batteries and then using that power overnight to run the house appliances, like fridges, freezers, TVs and don’t forget the alarm clock.

The problem has been that the battery technology wasn’t that great. They were expensive to buy, could be messy to maintain, had to be replaced too often, they were very heavy and occasionally blew up. Not idea in your basement. However, with the advent of the R&D investment going into automotive and mobile phone battery technology, the reliability has increased at the same time as the size, weight and cost have all reduced enormously.