Author Topic: Off Grid  (Read 1365 times)

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Offline LazyBkpr

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Off Grid
« on: April 26, 2021, 01:44:33 pm »
Anyone out there a solar and wind expert?
   Ever since we owned the cabin up Maine that was off grid, i have been of the opinion that we really don't need power lines, when we can get the power free by purchasing the right equipment.. I know that doesnt equate to FREEEEEE but in the long run, paying 300 dollars a month now for electricity for BASIC appliances lights, water pump etc is just stupid.. so... I am going to start buying the equipment.. panels, batteries, inverter etc.  AND I will incorporate a wind generator into the system, since we almost ALWAYS have 10 plus mph winds...   I have a general idea of what I want and need, but could always use advice!!!
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 07:52:52 pm »
I'm interested in this too.  My father has talked of converting to solar for years, but we have too much tree cover on our property at the moment.  He knew all about this stuff in like 2007, but I'm sure the technology has changed a ton since then, and become cheaper and more efficient.  We are looking to purchase the property next to us, which is more cleared, to put a solar array and other non-forest-loving things on.  Cool that you have the ability to use wind in your area as well.   
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021, 12:26:28 am »
Yeah, lots of wind, average winds 15 to 20 mph.  I have contacted a dozen companies, first, they want nothing to do with off grid, second, they dont want to mess with.. Wind, if they are a solar company, or Solar if they are a wind company, and NONE of them want me to touch anything.. ALL I WANT is to pay someone to give me a site plan, a design with components to fill our needs. The only real reason I want that, is because I do not know what is GOOD equipment and what is garbage. Which batteries work best etc...  I cal look up...  GOOD 400 watt noncrystalline LG solar panels, and a GOOD pure sign inverter.. but, will that inverter also work with wind? Can I tie it in? How big of a dump load do I need with winds exceeding 50mph often? Can I tie the dump load through the hot water heater with a relay/temperature switch?  I have questions, and I have money to spend to get them answered...   Since no one wants to answer them, I guess I am going to spend that money trying to figure out what works best.
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Offline Crofter

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 09:02:56 am »
Lazy, I am no expert on off grid power but did flirt with the idea a number of years ago. General advice is to be skeptical of advice from would be suppliers and from anyone who is in love with a particular mode. Being in love can skew a persons objectivity! :D I hung out on a forum that tried to weight the different factors to come up with the most suitable to your needs.

Wind has liabilities such as run away, ice storms, maintenance, noise, and needs large battery bank. Solar has some of the same, with ice, snow load, weeks with no sun etc. Some of your needs such as refrigeration and cooking might be more cost effectively handled by propane. If you do not have a deep well pump you probably do not have any really heavy start up loads. I would consider a diesel generator and a good sized battery bank. If you get creative, (as I know you can be) you can contrive an exhaust heat exchanger to heat your water during a daily battery charge run. Non sine wave inverters do well for most loads and are much cheaper. Only need true sine wave for sensitive devices. It is easy though to arrive at a system that is no longer flip the switch simple. To have that is expensive! Dont play games with yourself when doing a cost/benefit analysis. A tricky DIY system might get old quick after the novelty wears off and you start to see the warts on it. :yes:

Microcogen.info   is a link
Frank

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2021, 12:31:00 am »
Agreed...  We ran our camp in Maine on solar only, when we had a week of snowy cloudy weather we ran the generator about 4 hours every third or fourth day to charge the batteries..
   The hot water heater will be going to gas on demand, but.. as I said above... if you HAVE to have a dump load for wind generators, WHY wouldnt you use a couple of elements TO dump the load through?  We will be switching a lot of things around as the time nears to install and finish the system. We are already aware of how to manage the power, using appliances during peak charging hours etc.  The system for our house in maine cost about 10K and ran the place off grid with no issues... wife and I played Xbox or watched movies in the evenings on that system. washed clothes during peak hours and hung them out to dry. Coffee was made cowboy style in a perk pot on the gas stove, etc, etc...   we LOVED not having to worry about power...        I did get an estimate finally from one company.. it is obvious that they SELL the equipment when the estimate came back at nearly 150,000 dollars....   I wont live long enough to pay that system off. I am pretty sure I can install a fully capable system for about a quarter of that, but I have no idea what equipment is good and what isnt.. which inverters have the best efficiency AND longevity? etc....   I guess wre going to figure it all out... I have to get the poles set and the concrete poured for the "powerhouse" before I worry about the rest of it.
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Offline Crofter

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2021, 07:24:49 am »
I see that you are already a long way down that journey. Finding out which company's models are the most reliable and bang for the buck will be your focus now. It is hard to avoid paid for or unexperienced recommendations.  You already know about that, so it will help you sort the wheat from the chaff!
Frank

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 08:46:51 pm »
Yeah, I am finding out that the "reviews" can be misleading. A couple of FANTASTIC reviews RIGHT off the bat....  then.. mixed reviews....   It makes a firm CHOICE hard to come by...
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 12:29:23 pm »
There is a youtube channel by a younger couple   They share quite a bit of insight about how they built their place and situated their solar, what changes they made and why. The fella is an electrician by trade, so I felt like he was knowledgeable about the processes and equipment that they used. It may be worth checking out for you.

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2021, 09:16:50 am »
Good find!


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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Off Grid
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2021, 08:23:01 am »
Oh thats awesome TYVM!
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!
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