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Off grid solar power #6824695
03/31/20 05:52 PM
03/31/20 05:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
trapper
vermontster  Offline OP
trapper
V

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
Anybody living off grid with solar power with generator backup? Looking into off grid living for ourselves. Just the two of us my wife and myself. Any advice on the do and donít things or things you would have done differently.


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6824697
03/31/20 05:53 PM
03/31/20 05:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,391
Philippines,,ohio
west river rogue Offline
trapper
west river rogue  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,391
Philippines,,ohio
Originally Posted by vermontster
Anybody living off grid with solar power with generator backup? Looking into off grid living for ourselves. Just the two of us my wife and myself. Any advice on the do and donít things or things you would have done differently.

phil brown installed those at his home....maybe he can chime in. Phil???

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6824830
03/31/20 07:44 PM
03/31/20 07:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,898
West Michigan
G
Getting There Offline
trapper
Getting There  Offline
trapper
G

Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,898
West Michigan
The first thing I would do is figure out my power load. Like do you have a water well, a hot water heater, do you burn wood with a blower a must would be LED lights. Amount of day light and how many day of the year do you have sunny days. Don't for get freezers, washer and dryer, gas or elec.
It all adds up. A generator has to be size accordingly. It will be a daily challenge. JMO


To Old
U.S. Army 60-63 SGT.
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6824837
03/31/20 07:48 PM
03/31/20 07:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 607
Alaska/Washington
D
Dragger Offline
trapper
Dragger  Offline
trapper
D

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 607
Alaska/Washington
Is this going to be a full blown modern house or a cabin in the woods?


Give an illegal alien a fish and he eats for a day. Deport him and you never have to feed him ever again!
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6824845
03/31/20 07:58 PM
03/31/20 07:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
trapper
vermontster  Offline OP
trapper
V

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
Not a house with a foundation. Hunting camp that is built on sonotubes,shallow well thatís gravity now to camp. Wood stove for heat the camp is insulated,gas refrigerator,gas lights, shower and kitchen sink, 12 volt led rope lights and 12 volt ceiling fan both wired with 12 ga wire metal clad. Use generator and batteries now. We would install a propane toilet. We have a double out house now. Roof is 56íx16í and faces 225 degrees ssw and full sun. Sun calculations is 4.5 hrs. day.


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6824855
03/31/20 08:03 PM
03/31/20 08:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
trapper
vermontster  Offline OP
trapper
V

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
We would be doing laundry in town no washer or dryer or dishwasher either but we will have two freezer. I started doing load calculations and got 5.4kw


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6824899
03/31/20 08:46 PM
03/31/20 08:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 3,308
Houghton Lake, MI
strike2x Offline
trapper
strike2x  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 3,308
Houghton Lake, MI
Buy quality panels, batteries, wire and charge controller. Also inverter. I have a friend who lives off grid and I have helped him muddle through the learning curve. The better quality stuff is way more efficient and he now lives there full time with frig, washer and dryer (gas) and a well pump along with the lights and phone charger, coffee maker, all the amenities. Wood heat. He has a generator he has to run generator when doing laundry bin the winter but not in the summer.


Wish I had more time to trap....
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: strike2x] #6824936
03/31/20 09:11 PM
03/31/20 09:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 7,027
Maine, Aroostook
Posco Offline
trapper
Posco  Offline
trapper

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 7,027
Maine, Aroostook
Originally Posted by strike2x
Buy quality panels, batteries, wire and charge controller. Also inverter. I have a friend who lives off grid and I have helped him muddle through the learning curve. The better quality stuff is way more efficient and he now lives there full time with frig, washer and dryer (gas) and a well pump along with the lights and phone charger, coffee maker, all the amenities. Wood heat. He has a generator he has to run generator when doing laundry bin the winter but not in the summer.

Who makes quality equipment?

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: Posco] #6824947
03/31/20 09:23 PM
03/31/20 09:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,130
MN
W
walleye101 Offline
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walleye101  Offline
trapper
W

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,130
MN
Originally Posted by Posco
Originally Posted by strike2x
Buy quality panels, batteries, wire and charge controller. Also inverter. I have a friend who lives off grid and I have helped him muddle through the learning curve. The better quality stuff is way more efficient and he now lives there full time with frig, washer and dryer (gas) and a well pump along with the lights and phone charger, coffee maker, all the amenities. Wood heat. He has a generator he has to run generator when doing laundry bin the winter but not in the summer.

Who makes quality equipment?


Try Solyndra. They should be doing well with that 535 million dollar Federal loan! wink

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6825168
04/01/20 05:47 AM
04/01/20 05:47 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
trapper
vermontster  Offline OP
trapper
V

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
I have been looking online at a company called wholesale Solar and they have complete systems and load calculators and engineers to help you workout the best system for your needs. They offer three types of batteries lead,AGM and lithium. Lithium has a lot of advantages with a higher up front cost. I have a load work sheet I am working on and checking three times to make sure I have everything we will need for power. They have the inverters,charge controller,breakers, all pre wired package and you wire between the solar panels and main panel and battery bank to the pre wired control panel. Itís setup or DIY if you choose to which is what I will be doing if we go through with it.they supply the wire from the battery bank and for the battery to battery and from solar panel to control panel. I supply conduit and fittings. I also have to purchase the roof mounting flashings for the solar panels the mounting rails and panel attachments come with the kits.


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6825221
04/01/20 07:27 AM
04/01/20 07:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 11,165
Central NC
T
traprjohn Offline
trapper
traprjohn  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 11,165
Central NC
Originally Posted by vermontster
roof mounting flashings for the solar panels the mounting rails and panel attachments come with the kits.


the roof is the last place I'd put panels since they need washed monthly, or at least quarterly, to keep efficient.

Ours will be ground mounted where I can stand on the ground to clean and NOT a ladder or roof. BUT, we have pasture to the south with NO trees to block sun.

Sounds like ya got a great start!


www.sevenoakstrappingsupplies.com for trap mods and gear
The 10 Commandments are not suggestions.
Buy a soldiers meal EVERY chance you can.

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6825268
04/01/20 08:44 AM
04/01/20 08:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 7,221
On Georgian Bay, Ontario Canad...
H
Hutchy Offline
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Hutchy  Offline
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H

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 7,221
On Georgian Bay, Ontario Canad...
I am off grid. I will say the best way to keep costs down is to buy a GOOD QUALITY 12/24 volt chest fridge/freezer. Sundanzer and Steca are the best. i have a steca. Its a chest fridge that can run on a 12v boat battery for a week.

Also, do all your calculations for battery storage, get everything very close.

Then double the battery bank size if going lead acid or AGM.

If I were to do it again, and I am going to I would seriously look into Tesla Powerwall. I have a buddy with it and he felt like he was wasting sun energy because his batteries were always full. So, no kidding at all, he installed central air in his house and still sees not much battery drop. Normally large draws are way outside the realm of possibility for off grid, but the tesla power wall packs really are that good.

I like having no power bills.

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6825314
04/01/20 09:25 AM
04/01/20 09:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 956
east central WI
D
Dirty D Offline
trapper
Dirty D  Offline
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D

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 956
east central WI
I have a solar set up with a battery backup. Not off grid. 10,000kw system. Biggest issue will be your generator will NEED to be running every night till the panels can generate power again.
Better do some figuring on how much you'll be spending on gas for your Generator.
And better figure out how long that generator will last running as much as it will.
Also with a gennie if your not using the power you generate with the solar your wasting it. You really should have batteries to store the overage you'll generate in the summer.
Oh, and there are very many days in the winter where your solar generation won't be enough.
That gennie better be reliable in below zero weather during a snow storm. There might be several days in a row that it'll have to run.

With our system we pay approx $500/yr for power. We are getting a bad deal on over production during the summer months. If we got paid what we pay for power for our overages we would be making money.
Also with off grid we would save approx $30/month just because of the adtional charges the power co. has over and above what we pay for the power itself.

If your going to live a typical lifestyle its hard to do it on solar.

Hutchy makes good points, 12/24 volt fridge/freezers and battery size.

When our existing batteries die we also are going to look into tesla powerwalls. Not available when we put the system in..

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6825335
04/01/20 09:37 AM
04/01/20 09:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
trapper
vermontster  Offline OP
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V

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
The generator would be a Kohler propane sized for our needs. I am going to go with the lithium batteries they can tolerate a deeper discharge of 80% and recharge a lot faster. They cost 4 times more but last 10-15 years. They are the same technology I believe as the Tesla. Panels have to mount on the roof for maximum exposure due to forest .


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6825411
04/01/20 10:45 AM
04/01/20 10:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 789
Star City Arkansas
Owen Offline
trapper
Owen  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 789
Star City Arkansas
Try Missouri Wind and Solar.


Old enough to know better, but dumb enough to still try.
Re: Off grid solar power [Re: Dirty D] #6825479
04/01/20 11:39 AM
04/01/20 11:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 7,221
On Georgian Bay, Ontario Canad...
H
Hutchy Offline
trapper
Hutchy  Offline
trapper
H

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 7,221
On Georgian Bay, Ontario Canad...
Originally Posted by Dirty D
I have a solar set up with a battery backup. Not off grid. 10,000kw system. Biggest issue will be your generator will NEED to be running every night till the panels can generate power again.
Better do some figuring on how much you'll be spending on gas for your Generator.
And better figure out how long that generator will last running as much as it will.
Also with a gennie if your not using the power you generate with the solar your wasting it. You really should have batteries to store the overage you'll generate in the summer.
Oh, and there are very many days in the winter where your solar generation won't be enough.
That gennie better be reliable in below zero weather during a snow storm. There might be several days in a row that it'll have to run.

With our system we pay approx $500/yr for power. We are getting a bad deal on over production during the summer months. If we got paid what we pay for power for our overages we would be making money.
Also with off grid we would save approx $30/month just because of the adtional charges the power co. has over and above what we pay for the power itself.

If your going to live a typical lifestyle its hard to do it on solar.

Hutchy makes good points, 12/24 volt fridge/freezers and battery size.

When our existing batteries die we also are going to look into tesla powerwalls. Not available when we put the system in..


Hey Dirt. Curious why you think youd need to run the generator every night when off grid?

I can go two days without power as the batteries are sized to store enough power to run things for 48 hours without getting below 70% capacity. After, say a two day blizzard i need to top up batteries with the Honda.

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: Hutchy] #6825488
04/01/20 11:43 AM
04/01/20 11:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 427
NY
whartonrattrappe Offline
trapper
whartonrattrappe  Offline
trapper

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 427
NY
Originally Posted by Hutchy
I am off grid. I will say the best way to keep costs down is to buy a GOOD QUALITY 12/24 volt chest fridge/freezer. Sundanzer and Steca are the best. i have a steca. Its a chest fridge that can run on a 12v boat battery for a week.

Also, do all your calculations for battery storage, get everything very close.

Then double the battery bank size if going lead acid or AGM.

If I were to do it again, and I am going to I would seriously look into Tesla Powerwall. I have a buddy with it and he felt like he was wasting sun energy because his batteries were always full. So, no kidding at all, he installed central air in his house and still sees not much battery drop. Normally large draws are way outside the realm of possibility for off grid, but the tesla power wall packs really are that good.

I like having no power bills.


May I ask how much did the whole setup cost, including all the appliances?

Re: Off grid solar power [Re: vermontster] #6826594
04/02/20 05:29 AM
04/02/20 05:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
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vermontster  Offline OP
trapper
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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
Thank you all for your advice. Hutchy I have looked into the 12 volt freezer and they arenít that expensive and I will get on to replace our ac freezer. Hutchy is your backup generator a propane or diesel, gas? How much fuel does your backup generator require on average per winter. Our cabin will not be able to get a propane delivery during the the winter months from December thru April.


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
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