Reasons We Live Off-Grid

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Comments

  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,121 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Reasons We Live Off-Grid
    Alaska Man wrote: »
    Great thread, Tony.

    We like many others could spend about $5,000 to run the "Man's System" onto the homestead, but why? We are our own power company, nobody sends me a bill every month. The power only goes out if I say it does and according to my wife, it brings out my "Inner Nerd".
    We want independence and not just because of the Mutant, Zombie, Bikers that may take over after the Aliens destroy Metropolis. I'm also proud that we are doing our part to reduce our carbon foot print and lesson the country's dependence on Oil.

    And that is a reasoned judgment, as long as you do not also hold the belief that you are saving money. The economics of battery banks for off grid are still (but hopefully not forever) such that even when you amortize the $5000 up front investment your power would be cheaper from POCO than from off grid unless your power needs are very small.
    Can you give us an estimate of your daily/monthly kWh consumption? From the pictures, I am guessing pretty low.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252
    Re: Reasons We Live Off-Grid
    inetdog wrote: »
    And that is a reasoned judgment, as long as you do not also hold the belief that you are saving money. The economics of battery banks for off grid are still (but hopefully not forever) such that even when you amortize the $5000 up front investment your power would be cheaper from POCO than from off grid unless your power needs are very small.
    Can you give us an estimate of your daily/monthly kWh consumption? From the pictures, I am guessing pretty low.



    We are pretty conservative. In the summer we have plenty of sunshine to keep us ahead of our usage. In the winter we unplug the fridge and use a cold room, we heat with wood, use propane on demand hot water. Our use comes down to about 660AH a day. I never let my batteries get below 12.2V and that's under a load. If you google the rates for power in Fairbanks, Alaska I think you would be surprised. My elctric bill before I started down this journey was an average of $240/mnth being very conservative. At the farm I usually had between a $600-$700 electric bill in the winter. Heat tapes, Trucks plugged in etc. Now even in the dark of winter and having to charge with the generator a lot more I hardly ever burn more than $60 worth of gas/mnth.

    However, all that being said, I'm not doing this to save money. That's just a bonus.


    ETA........... this week I'm adding a 400W wind genny. So I hope to impact the winter generator run time. I'm also toying with the idea of adding a Thermo-Electric generator to the woodstove. The the stove is running 24/7 anyway. Why not add another 5-10 Amps/hr to help out? Hell, I may even get two........
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,121 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Reasons We Live Off-Grid

    660AH at 12V, as in 7.9kWh? That is not all that small. You must have an awfully big battery bank to support that on a daily basis. Or is most of that coming from the generator?
    Taking 660AH daily out of an 880AH bank would be pretty bad! And your 960W array can only contribute on the order of 60AH/hour while the sun is high.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252
    Re: Reasons We Live Off-Grid
    inetdog wrote: »
    660AH at 12V, as in 7.9kWh? That is not all that small. You must have an awfully big battery bank to support that on a daily basis. Or is most of that coming from the generator?
    Taking 660AH daily out of an 880AH bank would be pretty bad! And your 960W array can only contribute on the order of 60AH/hour while the sun is high.

    Well I got into this with another guy, I guess my figgerin is not correct.

    At 50% DOD the bank has 440AH usable, but like I said I never let my batteries get below 12.2 and that's with a load on them. I charge to 100% at night usually around by 9:00 p.m. at least once a week, if the sun didn't get me there during the day. Then we sit and watch T.V. (led) for another hour or so usually with 2 lights on, again LED about 4w each. For ghost loads and all the TriMetric tells me we average about 7-8amps constant draw on the battery bank.

    The fridge (Danby) uses 8-12amps during it's cycle.


    In the morning when we get going, the bank is anywhere from 88%-93% full. My day starts about 6:00 am and the bank will do okay with the water pump, lights and T.V. running to about 10:30am, when we are now reading about 72%-74% full from the TriMetric. This is when I start to get jumpy. Then the sun comes around and with full sun the array will get me back up to float by 2 or 3 in the afternoon. This is my non-generator day.

    So with all that I guess I'm not using 660AH like I thought?

    To be honest it would be nice to have a bigger battery, but there is only so much cash one can layout, before it just hurts too much to lighten ones carbon foot print any further.


    The peak I've seen from the array is high 700's Watt reading and low 60's amp reading on the Classic 150. I do have plans to add another 1KW to the array next summer or should I push that up?

    Thanks for taking the time to help out us beginners.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Reasons We Live Off-Grid

    Your math sounds ok, you meant to say that your using about 220 amp hrs and have 660 amp left at 75 % SOC. Sounds like a balanced system for what you use.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,563 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Reasons We Live Off-Grid

    Reasons?
    Freedom
    Privacy
    Clean air
    Quiet
    Clean water
    Elbow room...I was able to build the big shop that I always wanted.
    Econ major...if the debt doesn't concern you, consider yourself lucky?
    I like to think of myself as more akin to an eagle than a sheep.

    Built this sunroom last year. Great heat engine when the sun shines. Keeps away some winter doldrums. Been building for over four years. Shoot, someday I'll have a kitchen that works and working plumbing during the winter.

    Attachment not found.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • AudiomakerAudiomaker Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭✭✭
    For me... in short... so I know I can.
  • WulfmanWulfman Registered Users Posts: 7
    I live off grid for the freedom, the pleasure of knowing that i don't have to be tethered to the grid and if the SHTF I will still have the same lifestyle i have now. Been living off grid for 20 of the past 30 years. Just love the freedom.
  • just startingjust starting Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭
    Just to piss off my first wife and to know I can

    1500 w PV- xantrex 60-150 mppt -894 ah agm- Rd2824 magnum MSW inverter- 250 E panel-  chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - fl Samsung wf5200 washer Ryobi 2200 watt gen-80 w panel with morningstar sunguard 4.5- 2 gc2- for water pump 5.5 GPM 60 psi - 24v 5.5 gmp 60psi water pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher with the heayer disconnected and 168 degree water.
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    3 words. Fortress of solitude.
    I like living with and among nature rather than fighting to keep it at bay.
  • katlupekatlupe Registered Users Posts: 1
    I live off the grid because I love the forest, nature and privacy.
  • OceanOcean Registered Users Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Hey @Ecnerwal

    look into used Lithiums from a Chevy Volt.  You might find a 16kWh batt for 3k.  Just need the right inverter to use them - like a Magnum...
  • kamchukakamchuka Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭
    edited October 2 #104
    Lot of different reasons but one of the big ones is I'm just tired of wasting my hours talking to idiots on the phone! I'd rather get a coffee enema than talk to comcast ever...period. every other day its an hour trying to fix something or get 12 dollars back from some "accidental" overcharge. We went flat rate gophones to avoid tmobile or the likes. We only have dish internet available and only have it so I can finish a degree I wont even use lol. we dont have heat if i dont chop wood, no power, no water.....etc. I guess I can call myself and transfer me to a dumber version of myself and I can ask to speak to the manager version of me and leave myself a voicemail and wait for me to call me back....then I'll call myself an a**hole and hang up because its not worth $4,32 to argue.
    700 watts pv (building on) on poles, off grid 60a mppt, magnum 2k 12v msw, 1400 ah forklift battery (rewired to 12v), 8k diesel gen for house. honda eu6500, 2x 8D, coleman 800w inv for shop, honda 5k for well (pumps to 1000g cistern), ryobi 2k suitcase for mobile ops. 
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