Are questions about off-grid energy situations off topic on EESE? For example, sizing batteries, sizing solar arrays, compatibility of devices with inverters, generators, etc. From looking here it seems they are off-topic.

The question that made me wonder about this is here: Charging a deep cycle battery with generator while using it plugged into an inverter

In the past I have often answered this type of question. I am wondering if I should refrain from doing so. If it is off-topic, where is the best place to go to find help on something like this?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I usually consider these kind of questions as "use of electronic devices", and VTC as off-topic. There's rarely (if ever) any electrical/electronic design taking place - it's typically just a plug this thing into that thing situation. Questions about sizing of conductors, circuit breakers and suchlike things are usually well-received and answered over at DIY. \$\endgroup\$
    – brhans
    Jan 3, 2023 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


For a question to be on-topic, it would have to be about design considerations, underlying physics or the proper way to do the electronics mounting/assembly (in terms of electrical safety, EMC, wiring, soldering etc). What makes such questions answerable and on-topic might be the amount of details and research put into it, rather than the topic itself.

For example "what solar panel and battery capacity should I pick" might be on-topic if the poster can present numbers regarding peak and average power consumption, that is some manner of simple, technical specification. Or if they are asking how to wire it after posting photos and simple schematics, datasheets etc.

However the same question would be off-topic if not enough details are provided (close as too broad/unclear/use of electronic products) and it would also be off-topic if it is asking which specific brand that is best (shopping recommendations).

Most of these question are more suitable for Home Improvement (DIY). Please note what's on-topic there before recommending someone to post there instead. For example they don't welcome shopping recommendations either.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Another question that seems to come up frequently on EE.SE is "how long will my battery last?" and the math for that estimation is the same whether it's a 100mAh battery, or 1000Ah \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Jan 11, 2023 at 15:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sustainability.SE is another good fit for some of these questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – LShaver
    Jan 16, 2023 at 14:16

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