Below you'll find resources, calculators, and other tools to help you plan a solar power or solar water pumping system. Note that some links on this page will take you to our parent company's website - the altE Store.
Add solar panels and a battery bank to a home or business that's not connected to the grid. The battery bank powers 100% of the electrical loads, and the solar panels (and optional external generator) keep the batteries charged.
Add solar panels to a home or business that already has electric utility service. Solar becomes the primary (and less expensive) power source when the sun is shining, and the grid automatically takes over when it's not.
Our solar load calculator makes it easy to determine your daily Watt-hour consumption. This is a vital piece of information to have before designing or purchasing a solar power system or using the system sizing calculators below - and it's also useful for auditing your electricity use to find out where you could improve your efficiency.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has improved and expanded solar rebates! Among the law's provisions is an increase of the Federal Solar Tax Credit to 30% through 2032 (including retroactively applying to all qualifying systems installed in 2022). It now also includes battery-based systems.
This means grid-tied, hybrid, and off-grid systems can now all qualify for 30% off their installed cost!
State and federal rebates and incentives for solar can significantly reduce the cost of installing a solar power system. Learn about the solar rebates and incentives you can take advantage of based on the location and type of system you'll be installing. This rebate and incenitve data comes from and is regularly updated by DSIRE.
Click here to see available federal renewable energy rebates and incentives.
Click a state below to see available renewable energy rebates and incentives by state.
Combine the power of solar with a DC water pump to harness water in an off-grid or remote location. A solar water pumping system can be as simple as a solar panel wired to a pump to run a small fountain - but for critical applications like providing drinking water for people and livestock or watering crops, a pump controller, water tank and/or battery storage may need to be integrated. Read more in this extended excerpt from the Solar Living Sourcebook or request a free quote for a system tailored to your needs.
Need help troubleshooting? Questions about system design? Wondering which system components are best for your needs? For these or other technical questions about your renewable energy or water pumping system, please contact our Tech Desk:
The Solar Living Sourcebook is the definitive guide to off-grid living. Revised and updated in this 14th edition, the Sourcebook covers renewable energy systems, energy conservation, sustainable living, natural building techniques, land speculation and homesteading, and much more.
"The latest nuts-and-bolts information on how to harvest renewable energy in a variety of ways depending on need."
"The best single source I've ever found on the technologies, philosophies, and lifestyle changes we must embrace in order for our species to survive and thrive into the future."
-Woody Harrelson, actor and envrionmentalist
We've collected some other resources from around the internet that are helpful for those wanting to learn more about other aspects of sustainable and/or off-grid living.
Check the Real Goods Blog for information on renewable energy, off-grid living, and the latest news about Real Goods.