What is the simplest solar system? Let’s take a look at one. Though it will not take our entire house off-grid, we can get our feet wet as we work towards understanding off-grid systems.

This is the second episode of the Going Off-Grid series. To start at the beginning, see the Introduction.

See further below for notes and additional YouTube video.

I’m anxious to dive into a very simple PV system, but first…

How I Use Podcasts

I’m a huge consumer of podcasts. They are an efficient way of utilizing some of the time I spend throughout the day. I can be mowing the lawn, gardening or building a solar array and still keep up with current events, educate myself on some new topic or just be entertained.

My Little Solar Dehydrator
My Little Solar Dehydrator

However, podcasts have their limitations. They are largely audio-only. Though iTunes and other podcast directories support video files, it is still not practical to do video podcasts.

And I Also Use YouTube

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth millions. That’s why I’m also a big user of YouTube.

So, we are going to do something a little different with this episode – an experiment, if you will.

Show Notes

I often refer to the “show notes”. They can be very helpful. They often contain additional information not included in the podcast. Sometimes I forget to mention something. Or I’ve included a link to an online resource. Sometimes I provide pictures or diagrams. In this case, I’m going to include a YouTube video that demonstrates a most basic example of a solar system.

To find the Show Notes for the current episode, there may be a link in your podcast player. If not, the Show Notes for each episode are located on higher-octave.com/[episode #]. Since this is episode 10, the URL for the notes is https://higher-octave.com/10.

And you can always go to https://higher-octave.com/ to view all of the podcast episodes and show notes listed, the most recent first.

So, now we will get into the video portion of the podcast. If you are driving or something else that requires your attention, just make a mental note to return to the show notes later.

Off-Grid – Most Basic Example – Video Portion

In this video we have the most basic example of a solar system. It is only composed of two components:

  1. 12 Volt Solar Panel Trickle Charger: 18.8V Max * 170 mA = 3.2 W
  2. 12 Volt DC Fan

Abrupt Ending

Sorry, it was hot and my iPad overheated, but I was wrapping it up, anyway.


The electrical diagram of this system is very simple. This diagram will grow with each episode, as we add more components.

A Couple More Videos on Electricity

These two videos are a bit more technical and approach previously presented concepts in a slightly different way:

What is Voltage? Let’s start here. Lesson 1 of 2

AC and DC power: Voltage Lesson 2 of 2


In the next episode, we will address how we can have power when the sun isn’t shining.

If you get value out of this podcast, please share with your friends and, most importantly, be well.

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