Backwoods Solar Learning Center

We love to help people learn about off-grid living and educate them about off-grid power systems, solar panels and how it all works together to power your home or business.  These articles answer some of the more common questions we receive so it’s a great place to start or refresh your knowledge.  If you have any other questions or if you’re ready to get started on a system quote, please give us a call 208-263-4290.




Protect Your Solar Electric System With Our New EMP/CME Hardening Kit

DIY Solar Electric Pak – Portable, Powerful and Feature RichA new DIY project from our Tech Department

A Simple ExplanationAn overview of a PV system for your home or RV.

Eclipse Battery LiFePo4 Battery Review – Read Sales Manager Brian Betz’s review of our exclusive Lithium Battery offering.

Discover Battery LiFePo“Making The Switch” –  Converting an off-grid System to discover Battery Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries.

Discover Battery “Living Off Grid”  – Case study description of Discover Battery upgrade.

Upgrading Your Off-Grid Power Systems – Three voltage choice add-ons to upgrade or expand your existing off-grid system with minimal changes to the existing configuration.

Preparing for Winter – A checklist of those things to review before winter arrives!

The Off-Grid Home – How to get started with homemade electricity in a remote home. Rough ideas of what systems cost and where to put them.

Appliance Selection for your Off-Grid Home – Detailed descriptions of everything from simple lighting, computers and electrical components to large appliances.

DC Fridges – Protect your food with a backup solution.

How Much Power Do You Use? – Explains AC Load calculations, as well as a downloadable worksheet. Solar Radiation Map with percentages to compensation for cloudy days in order to help determine watts needed.

MPPT Charge Controllers Explained – Why this type of charge controller is necessary in some installations.

When to Use DC Appliances & Voltage Converters – Explains when it makes sense to use DC power directly.

Wiring Your Home for Efficiency – Best practices for wiring your home to maximize your renewable energy systems.

Wire Sizing Charts – Charts that help you figure out your wiring needs.

Battery Wiring Diagrams – Diagrams of typical battery configurations for 12V, 24V and 48V systems.

Solar Powered Water Pumping– Different options, system types, PV Direct or Battery based, deep well submersible and surface pumps. Includes a handy checklist of what you need to know about your well before you call.

Initial Planning Questions to Ask Yourself – This is a good place to start when you’re just starting to explore your off the grid electricity options.

Phantom Loads – Are they lurking in the shadows of your home?

Lease vs. Owning – An article the explains the pros and cons of leasing versus owning your renewable energy system.


Homes with Utility Power – Grid Connected Systems – Grid-tie systems that will work to reduce or eliminate your electric bill.

Critical Load Systems – Homes with utility power that also want back-up power during outages.

Safety & Local Help – Safety and code with links to websites that can help.

Sizing Your Grid-Tie System – Solar radiation map and formulas for sizing your system.

What is AC Coupling? – Our easy to set-up grid-tie retrofit kits that allow you to add battery back-up to your existing grid-tie battery-less system without rewiring the existing set-up.

High Voltage DC Coupled Charging – A different approach to adding batteries for back up power to an existing grid-tie array.

Getting through Utility Outages – Real world examples of how to best utilize renewable energy to get you through short or long term power outages.


Sizing a Micro Hydro System – Discusses the steps to take to determine if your stream is suitable for generating your electricity.

Scott & Tracey’s Micro Hydro Story – Read about Scott and Tracey’s experience of installing their micro-hydro system here in North Idaho.


Our Customers’ Stories – Our customers have written about their experiences going off-grid.

Solar Power for Your RV or Boat – We explore different mobile ready solutions for boats and RVs.

How to Wire an Inverter in an RV – A step by step article showing best practice for wiring and inverter in your RV.

Self-Reliance and Preparedness – Why many people turn to renewable energy systems to realize the self-sufficient lifestyle of their dreams, and how these systems can keep you safe in times of disaster.

Hybrid Wind Power Solutions – Is Wind the Right Choice For You? – Wind and Solar system, why they are the most sensible use of wind power for your off-grid home.

Solar Array Wiring – DIY – Basics of wiring your solar panels.

How Renewable Energy Systems Work – An overview of the components in renewable energy systems, the terminology behind them, and what those electrons do.

If you’re interested in building or improving your off-grid or grid-tied homes, call us 208-263-4290 or contact us online for more information. Request a Catalog to browse our solar products at your convenience.


No products were added to the wishlist.