DIY How To Understand and Size Your Off Grid Solar Power System

Fortunately for us preppers, if the grid should ever go down we can generate our own electricity. Join us in PART 1 of the series, as we answer every question you would have in creating your own DIY off grid / grid down solar back up system. In this first part we look at assessing your needs to size and design your own system. Check out part 2 here:

Things discussed in this video:
The Kill-A-Watt meter for measuring your consumption-

Schematic of the Tin Hat Ranch 400 Watt Renogy System-

Renogy 400 Watt Premium Solar Kit

Renogy 1000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter:

Solar Assessment Worksheet-


“Come Play With Me” by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Vito D says:

30kw for a average home? are you kidding meeeee? we use 3kw at a max? and we have 2 story house and everything is uses power.

David Burt says:

I have watched all the videos you put up, and will re watch several time. I have 18 panels @100 watts, plus one 240 watt panel. will be putting the system together and make two different units. One for my LED lights for the house and 24 volt system with the rest. Still looking for advise how to put it all together

Maria Cristina Vazquez says:

Necesito por favor que alguien traduzca este vídeo.

Matthew Niedbala says:

Damn the fact that pa only gets 4 hrs is a turnoff, but hell I’ll just get more panels lol.

aroqsi says:

I like your Kill-A-Watt, I bought for similar purpose a ampere meter clamp multimeter -with the formula W=VA- I can use it to know the watts everything is consuming at a given time, even without unplugging, and since it is a multimeter I can use it for other electric purposes to repair things. The only cons is that it is not accumulative, so I need to calculate what would it be for 24h if I need to know it. I Love your video!!!

Mr.Vilas Deshpande says:

Thanks great video

Dane Sadler says:

hey i live in the Caribbean where its always sunny how much panels would i need?

sheparddog117 says:

about a week after i moved into my appartment i upgraded to led bulbs and plan on taking em with me when i leave

David Burt says:

okay watched the 1st video again. I have 4 40 amp charge controllers, and a 5000 watt inverter. I have to build the battery box and vent it from crawl space. For 8 batteries, would you use 2 inch or 4 inch asb pipe for vent?

shouty woofer says:

This is the explanations that I am searching for… I understand now… Many thanks to you… You’re the man!
But can you help me, I want to setup for just my computer, can you give me the things needed to run a pc. Like how may battery and size of the solar panel, watts and everything? I just want to normally run my pc using solar in my everyday use. Thanks.

superman says:

dont buy solar panels… scam

Pale Rider says:

Absolute best solar series! Do you have other prepping videos?

TechStories79 says:

haha full metal jacket i love it.

Peter Aguirre says:

Best solar video on Youtube. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Very good info. I/m putting a solar system together now. If you have any input on what I could do with a 220v pool pump motor – outside of filling the pool with dirt. What kind of motor would be best without going to the “pool supply” I’ve been so tired of them charging so much for everything. Most don’t have time or knowledge to find alternatives to both chemicals and equipment. In an emergency power outage, of course it will be turned all off.


So happy to have this guy break it all down and put it into a language i can understand.

Cherish Each Day says:

Liked & Subscribed. An American Homestead turned me on to you this morning on FB. So…thanx to them. Can’t wait to view videos.

Raven Rook says:

How is it that your coffee maker eat up 800 watts?

Alecia Howard says:

Thanks I learned a lol Thanks again

Douglas Darwactor says:

What freezer do you have that only takes 85 watts?

bowlofZOMBIES says:

Thanks for taking the time to explain!

Bruce Williams says:

I’m sorry but as soo as someone starts talking about how many kw are used per day they lose credibility. KW is power. KW-hr is ENERGY! There is no such unit as KW per hour.

Mike Deluxy says:

This content is amazing. Subscribed!

arduino hobbyist says:

Well made and informative video. Thanks

Whiskey Leaks says:

aproximate location..tin foil hat ranch 🙂

Mister Misanthrope says:

Create your own solar system LOL nice

21boxhead says:

Renogy is expensive
there plenty of cheaper competitors

savingelectrictytip says:

thank you for sharing this video, I need this because I was planning on going off the grid and I need more to learn..

Michael Sisson II says:

Solar power is antique what you people should be making instead will be Nicolai Tesla’s Off the Grid generator which you can make for under $100 and can power your house

Sohail Ahmad says:

I have a question if you could help I would appreciate it. Can I connect my solar system to the present wiring with out using any batteries? Even if some electricity goes to the grid I will not produce electricity more than that I would receive from the grid anyway. Can I do that with out any approvals from the city and hydro? Thanks

Azzam Jaber says:

superb thanks..

Official Poa says:


Karl Thompson says:

Very interesting and informative video – I especially like the fact that it’s your coffee machine is ultimately what dictates the wattage of yer inverter. Thanks from the UK!

Larry Summary says:

You are the “MAN” !! You must be an Electrical Engineer and Communication expert! You make things that are truly “hard to understand and easy to forget” simple for a novice. I have purchased all the products that you have recommended, because I trust you and they do what you said they will do. I will finish the TinHatRanch series and I thank you for this series. P.S. you have a good scene of humor

A Cosmic Castaway says:

Very insightful indeed.
We don’t have those kinds of gold car batteries in my country.
So, should I consider replacing them with some other deep charge batteries perhaps?

Todd Kreger says:

Thanks for great video series. Question: It’s obviously outside the topic scope of your videos, but – as you said, sizing a solar system starts with choosing what devices you will want to power in an off-grid scenario. I am curious why you chose what you chose. If it’s grid down in winter, how will you stay warm? Assume you will cook food on grill. etc. I’m in Miami so I can’t imagine not having AC but that would be a major power drain. Thanks!

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