Reasons We Live Off-Grid

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  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    What's this "retired" thing folks are talking about ?
    I am not sure. I was taught it was called "critical mass"
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Retired definition, Having left ones job and ceased to work.
    An active mind is a healthy mind, don't plan to cease work if there is not something to keep the mind active, it will atrophy very quickly, sad but true, so many have no idea what they will do with all that spare time.

    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,185 ✭✭✭✭
    If your chosen career is something you are passionate about and enjoy, the need to retire may never appear. OTOH If your chosen career has become unfulfilling and the thought of going to work every day is making you sick, you best hope you have prepared for retirement financially. I pity those who haven't prepared and will likely have to work till the day they die.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Apparently, I merely changed careers. Checking ponds, changing filters, mowing fields, burning brush piles, fixing chipper, oil changes in 2 mowers, 2 tractors, 2 generators. Battery water.........
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,128 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm with Mike on this point.... once you retire you never have any quiet time, there is always something new to do every day.... and it was not on the list yesterday!
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • PorschephanaticPorschephanatic Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭
    mike95490 said:

    Apparently, I merely changed careers. Checking ponds, changing filters, mowing fields, burning brush piles, fixing chipper, oil changes in 2 mowers, 2 tractors, 2 generators. Battery water.........

    +1 It's not that I don't enjoy working. I'll just change careers. I have a 1949 Ford F-3 that my uncle bought in the early 1970's that I'd like to finish restoring, among many other "fun" activities. :D
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    I used to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week, drinking coffee, making sure my engineers were doing something and that they were happy. Now I work my butt off 6.5 days a week, only have time for one cup of coffee, don't always stop for lunch, for a lot less pay...

    Yeah retirement is great!

    Rancher
  • HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 325 ✭✭✭✭
    I retired as an engineer (turned manager) in 2013. My engineering blood got had been mostly dormant for many years, but the idea of putting together a solar power system for our cabin really got it flowing again. My engineering interest along with the GREAT knowledge here on this board really got me pumped up again for our install last July (2017).

    I'm not living off grid like others here, but I'll admit that I sometimes crave that experience. The system I designed is a good 6 hrs drive from here. It's working really well, and may be for many years. But we live in suburbia, and that's OK. I don't think I could actually live full time at our cabin for many social reasons, but I love to visit it.

    Maybe more importantly for this thread: I am really, REALLY, very glad that our cabin doesn't have access to the grid. If it did, I'm not sure I would be as anxious to spend time there every summer. As it is, I go there in part because I enjoy the feeling that I am not beholding to any "service" for the time we are there. It's just on us.
    Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.
  • jmbjmb Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    We retired and bought some land in BFE to escape to when we had time.  Utility company wanted thousands to run a line to us so solar it is!
    Justin B.
    9 Renogy 100 watt panels, 6 Universal UB121000 100 Ah deep cycle batteries
    Samlex 24V 1500 watt PSW inverter, PowMr 60A MPPT charge controller

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,633 admin
    BFE is where?

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • jmbjmb Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    BB. said:
    BFE is where?

    Bill
    Hmmm, I forget sometimes that not everybody has been in the military.  BFE is an acronym for "Bum-F&$k Egypt which is slang for "in the middle of nowhere."

    Actually relates to the Ouachita National Forest in OK.
    Justin B.
    9 Renogy 100 watt panels, 6 Universal UB121000 100 Ah deep cycle batteries
    Samlex 24V 1500 watt PSW inverter, PowMr 60A MPPT charge controller

  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . victron battery monitor . 24 volts 450 ah surette batterys . off grid  holiday home 
  • PorschephanaticPorschephanatic Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭
    edited October 2018 #134

    Looks like a good reason!     :D
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭
    OldMan said:
    kamchuka said:
    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.
    I snipped the rest in respect to the "don't get me started" idea.

    The thing you can do is email the CEO (better yet, call him at Comcast HQ in Philly) and you'll be put in touch with the "Executive Customer Service Team" and they CAN get things done, but calling the 800-comcast gets you out to the Philippines where they read their script. Call Philly. Raise hell. Things get done, and DEMAND discounts for your trouble. Ask them what they're going to do to make all this up to you. If they balk, tell them Mr. Roberts (Brian, CEO of Comcast) won't like you calling his personal cell to complain. Even if you don't have it, it plants a seed of doubt. I'm sure there's a big, red "A" on my account at Comcast that stands for a-hoe. I hope they do. I earned it.


    you sound like my kind of person!  ha ha ha
    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. and a 600 a/h 48 volt battery bank
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭
    edited December 2018 #136
    jmb said:
    BB. said:
    BFE is where?

    Bill
    Hmmm, I forget sometimes that not everybody has been in the military.  BFE is an acronym for "Bum-F&$k Egypt which is slang for "in the middle of nowhere."

    Actually relates to the Ouachita National Forest in OK.


    kind of like  MMFS  or Miles & Miles of F(**&^ Sand....thats what we called it in the sand box BFE...same difference.

    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. and a 600 a/h 48 volt battery bank
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭
    edited December 2018 #137
    I bought a Cabin on the foothill of Fuji close to the fuji five lakes region as a weekend getaway slash eventual retirement house.  the house in the city just drives me nuts, though my wife seems to like it well enough.  My problem is multi pronged, as the overall population in the country side Declines it gets more expensive to maintain kilometers of power wire, and TEPCO is passing that on to the folks hooked up to it.  and the fact that they have said once they hit a critical tipping point they will remove service for certain areas unless the owners are willing to pay for all costs.  thanks but no thanks. 

    currently the cost to have power at the cabin is a monthly surcharge of $15.00 for just having the hookup and then 30 cents per Kw.  that is on a 30 amp 100 volt circuit.  During the summer months my electricity averaged about $50.00 per month and the winter months the cost jumped up to $180.  The one month I left the heat tapes plugged in the entire month it cost me over $260.00 needless to say i did not make that mistake again.  gratuitous photos of Fuji : 

    the two CONEX boxes are my shop and storage garage and the little wooden structure next to them is the battery bank/ inverter/solar controller shop.  insulated with 2" foam on all sides for the winter, and in the summer I will install two 10" fans to remove excess heat.  it was -4 celcius last week at night and the temp probe in the box was reading about 6 celcius so the batteries should be safe in the winter.

    the power lines you see in the photo are still powered, but they were knocked down in the last typhoon and TEPCO took a week to fix them.  they said if they keep losing customers they will have to charge the individual users on that line for the maintenance costs.....when that happens...good by TEPCO because this Marine is not paying them :(
    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. and a 600 a/h 48 volt battery bank
  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭

    18 JA solar 200 watt panels, morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. and a 600 a/h 48 volt battery bank
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Since this a show and tell thread, thought I'd include a picture, this is when I started with nothing  more than a few 12V Led lights  powered by my Isuzu pick up battery, come a long way since then. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • OldManOldMan Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2018 #140
    KenMorgan said:
    OldMan said:
    kamchuka said:
    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.
    I snipped the rest in respect to the "don't get me started" idea.

    The thing you can do is email the CEO (better yet, call him at Comcast HQ in Philly) and you'll be put in touch with the "Executive Customer Service Team" and they CAN get things done, but calling the 800-comcast gets you out to the Philippines where they read their script. Call Philly. Raise hell. Things get done, and DEMAND discounts for your trouble. Ask them what they're going to do to make all this up to you. If they balk, tell them Mr. Roberts (Brian, CEO of Comcast) won't like you calling his personal cell to complain. Even if you don't have it, it plants a seed of doubt. I'm sure there's a big, red "A" on my account at Comcast that stands for a-hoe. I hope they do. I earned it.


    you sound like my kind of person!  ha ha ha
    Hey, I'm just an old Berkeley Commie...with some edge. Hope to meet you out there, somewhere. I'll save a beer and a bowl for you!!
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭
    Never notice that the grid is down till I look outside
    Never had a meltdown
    Never had an radiation release
    Never fowled  the environment burning coal
    Never made hydrocarbon emissions
    Never triggered earthquakes with large hydro
    Never destroyed fish populations with dams 
    and so on......ok so I am an environmentalist 
    native Alaskan, proud to stand on my two feet!

    david...from Mat-Su borough Alaska

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tecnodave said:
    Never notice that the grid is down till I look outside
    Never had a meltdown
    Never had an radiation release
    Never fowled  the environment burning coal
    Never made hydrocarbon emissions
    Never triggered earthquakes with large hydro
    Never destroyed fish populations with dams 
    and so on......ok so I am an environmentalist 
    native Alaskan, proud to stand on my two feet!

    david...from Mat-Su borough Alaska

    How do you obtain power in winter ? 
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Maybe he does not need power😏. I have couple friends up there that have years where they have power and years when they just do not care about it.

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭

    Mike & Dave,

    I am from Alaska, a long way from Alaska , flew south after winter of 67 skunked in flood @ Fairbanks lost everything, Winter was 70 below zero for 96 days in a row. I was born on homestead in Matanauska-Susitna Borough,its moderate there maybe 30 below at worst, most times in winter, just below freezing. i have lived in coastal California for many years now. On the edge in Santa Cruz County, very near Pacific Ocean <6 miles with my back to Santa Cruz Mountains. Its great here. No below zero. Medeterian climate. Surfing paradise, fishing is good, not as good as Alaska but way better than Kansas Ha! Do go back to Alaska until snow comes till it gets cold then i fly south! retired now, plum just tired and so on.

    david

  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭

    Dave,

    love your area, Yosimite is awe.some, been there many times,visited mariposa, lovely place. Love the mountains, but there is one thing here that keeps me here.....3 of the highest rated colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Including Five Branches in Santa Cruz. Good medical care is vitally important to me. I do not trust Big Pharma and their lackeys...western MD,s...its all about the money with them.

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Today is pancake breakfast day at the Grange, in Willits Calif. (about 200 breakfasts served today)

    we just got a warning after noon from the County OES that we are expected to have 6-8 inches of rain in the next 2 days. "not a bad time to build an Ark" they said.

    So after breakfast, I pulled the boards off the spillway to make some room in the pond.



    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yep the floodgates are open here also Mike! Basically a 4 inch drain pipe from the roof into 19K gals of tanks🤨

    We like Santa Cruz area a lot, tell me when the crab boats come-in! Agree that western medical has its issues, but are both from families in Medicine Tecnodave.

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭✭
    edited February 26 #148

    I also value good medical care. Every time I have a medical issue I have to balance the advice i get from my daughter who is a physician and my spouse who is from China.

  • FlyFly Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Hello All,

    Vince here.

    I thought that I would briefly post what ATTRACTED me to Solar Off-Grid ;):

    An $8000 fee to connect to the local power company (Sulfur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Cochise County, Arizona) for the privilege of writing them monthly checks. "You need your own new transformer, etc."

    And there was already a good-sized transformer on the northern edge of my property feeding only my neighbor's un-large house.

    They call it "opportunity cost." I call it something different.

    Have a Great one,

    Vince

  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭

    How big is your property, i.e. how far is it to your neighbor's transformer? SSVEC would have to extend the primary to within 200' of your home because that is the max distance they will run the secondary (120/240 vac).


    Rancher

  • FlyFly Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Thanks for the reply, Rancher!

    It is about 500 feet to the neighbor's transformer.

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