Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Energy › off grid tips please
- May 15, 2010 at 1:49 am #41661TaylorJohnsonParticipant
Looking to go off grid and was wondering what any of you all to as far as electric and what not goes. We were thinking a small battery bank to start with and a few solar panels and a back up generator . We don’t watch much TV and use very little electric as is . We are experimenting a bit right now and learning as we go a bit . We hope to have it figured out by winter , any tips would be help full. Taylor JohnsonMay 15, 2010 at 10:20 am #60142Carl RussellModerator
Taylor, we have about 640 amp hours of storage in 12 deep cell batteries, 2400 watt inverter, 960 watts of solar panels, and a 1kW wind tower, with back-up generator.
We started with the generator and added the wind tower, then solar. The generator gets old fast. I have never bought a really good generator, just big portable ones so I can use them for other jobs.
The first key is conservation. We use a highly insulated DC fridge. It cost a lot, but it uses very little electricity, and being DC it is more efficient as there is about 10% loss inverting DC to AC. Water pumping and heating are huge expenses. Obviously propane is a good move for water heat, but pumping is hard to find alternatives. We have excellent gravity fed water @ 20-30 psi which saves a lot.
Cut out all the energy suckers like coffee makers, we make ours with a drip maker we add boiling water to. Sweep instead of vacuuming. No digital clocks, and put the phantom loads like TV, stereo, and computers on power strips so you can turn them off completely. I set my inverter to go to sleep when I turn off all the lights at night, saving more.
I can go on, and probably will later. Chore time….late, CarlMay 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm #60143matt wnyParticipant
taylor we have a bank of 6 trojan t105 batteries charged by a small 400 watt wind generator.i also have an alternator driven by a litttle 5 horse briggs that i use to charge the batteries if we dont have enough wind.we use an inexpensive 750 watt inverter to convert 12v dc to 120v ac household electric.I have found that it works better to try to use mostly 12volt lights and apliances whenever possible and only turn on the inverter when absolutely neccesary we use a generator to run our water pump it works but is kind of inconvenient i think a gravity system would be much better if your site allows. we have propane hot water,cook stove and refrigerator and a wood stove is our sole sorce of heat. this is a very small system that would not be enough power for a most of people but it depends on how much you want to compromise and do without. for example we dont ojwn a tv and we only use a laptop computer that we can run off 12 volt.I have also been thinking about building a water wheel under the overflow of my pond to turn an alternator that would charge my batteries seems like a great idea to me but another one of those projects that i havent got around to yet
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