Living off-grid is not difficult in the modern age of technology. Many benefits are associated with the use of off-grid power sources as they are independent sources and help you get rid of paying electricity bills. The most popular off-grid power sources are propane and solar because they are the most efficient energy sources for your home.
Though there are many other options too, these are the most frequently used methods to generate power for your home use. You might wonder, propane vs. solar: which is better for the living off-grid?
Propane offers efficient, fast heating and cooling, and it is ideal for freezers, heaters, and ovens. However, it costs more to run propane than solar, and it is cheap to set propane than solar. Therefore, a combination of solar and propane will be your best power source for off-grid living.
Propane is one of the resources that can prove the best choice to run your home appliances easily. Keep in mind that some home appliances run effectively on solar while others show maximum performance on the propane energy source. So, a combination of both these power sources will be the best option you can afford.
Read on to find out more about solar and propane energy sources and which one you should choose. You might also enjoy reading: How Can You Get Water for an Off-Grid Bathroom?
Propane vs. Solar
We can’t decide whether a solar power source is a winner or propane just by a single feature. It will be wise to discuss various aspects of both these power sources. Here are some of the most important aspects of these power sources.
1- Heating Capability
Generally, a lot of energy is used to heat anything. In winter, the most frequently used thing is the room heater. A normal room heater needs 1.5kW of energy to run that will need a solar power source with a 10-15kW array. It means if you want to run multiple room heaters, you’ll have to arrange multiple solar power sources too.
On the other hand, a propane power source with 5000 BTU power will be required to run a typical room heater. It means you’ll have to invest .2 liters per hour to meet the electricity requirements. This may prove an expensive choice.
From the above comparison, you can see that it can see that the propane power source will be more costly than the solar one. However, if you want to use it for a short while until the installation of the solar panel, it’s good.
However, solar power sources are more sensitive than solar power sources. So, the solar system will last for less time than a propane power source. If you want a long-lasting setup, go for propane. Also, the heating and lighting equipment of the home runs better on propane than solar. If you consider the overall benefits of both these sources, propane will be the winner.
2- Cooking Capability
Another important thing in a home that needs electricity to run is the cooker. Different cookers use a different amount of energy to run. If you’re considering the installation of a solar power source or a propane power source, ensure you check cooker capabilities.
You can also use the old ones after some alterations. Regarding the cooking capability, both the propane and solar power sources are equal. So, you can choose any of them.
3- Lighting Sources
The lighting of the home or business place is an inevitable thing. You can’t survive without it. However, running bulbs with maximum light on electricity will be expensive. If you want to shift to energy savers, it will also be expensive to purchase them. So, another best idea is to use solar power bulbs.
Solar power bulbs are available in the market easily and use solar light to charge in the daytime and give off sufficient light at night. If you want to use a propane source, it will prove expensive. You’ll have to arrange a complete setup even to run just the home lights. So, solar power bulbs are the best choice for you in this regard.
4- Other Home Uses
- Propane is the best option for refrigeration as its mechanism is simple, and repair tension is the least.
- Solar-based power sources are the best choice for all types of heaters, water filters, cookers, lighting sources, chargers, or laptops and PCs.
- For high-voltage appliances, propane is the best choice.
When Can You Use Solar Power?
Even though solar power is the more popular way to power your home, many modern conveniences require electricity, and there are no propane alternatives for some. With solar power, you run the following appliances:
- Large appliances including fridge, washing machine, freezer, tumble dryer, and cooker
- Small appliances like toasters, hairdryers, blenders, and microwaves
- Cell charging
- Home water heaters
- Hot tub heaters
- UV water filters
When Can You Use Propane Power?
Though propane is not as versatile as solar power, you can also use it to run heating, cooling, or lighting applications. With a propane source of power, you can run the following:
- Large appliances, including fridges, cookers, tumble dryers, and freezers
- Water heaters
- Hot tub heater
- Fireplaces or room heaters
Can Solar Panels Replace Propane?
Solar panels can replace propane power sources. These are the most efficient energy sources for low-power-consuming appliances. However, if you want to shift your high-voltage appliances to solar power, you have to arrange power banks too.
Is Gas Cheaper Than Solar?
It costs more to run propane than solar, but setting propane is cheaper. Solar power sources will need money just for their setup or repair, while gas-based or propane power sources will need less money for setup, running, and repair.
So, gas will prove more expensive than solar energy. If you want a cheaper power source, go for a solar power source.
Can You Power a House With Propane?
You can power your house with a propane power source if you can afford the cost of its running. The whole home appliances can easily run on propane power sources if you convert them to this source.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics show propane production in the U.S. is now roughly 2.3 million barrels per day (BPD).
Is Propane Good For Off-Grid?
Propane is a good choice for off-grid living, but it is expensive too. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential propane prices averaged $2.70 per gallon, which is 73 cents per gallon above 2020’s price.
You can make it set up with a small amount, but you’ll have to manage its running, too, which will need fuel. So, if you want a cheaper alternative to electricity, go for solar power, as you’ll not have to pay for it throughout your life.
Off-grid living is not difficult if you know how to start a new life with alternative electricity sources like wind electricity, solar power, or propane-based power sources. The setup of the propane power supply is cheaper than solar power, and it also lasts longer.
However, you’ll have to invest in its fuel throughout the use, which may prove expensive. So, the solar energy source will be the winner overall as it is an economical choice.