Rain rain

mountainmanmountainman Registered Users Posts: 439 ✭✭
Hats off to all the full time off grid 
 I'm only off grid in the summer months when I'm at my mountain get away.
The challenge is definitely winter.
Winters im at 34° latitude 30 miles from the Atlantic ocean. So no snow but
Since the first of December till now
Roughly 10 weeks.
 I've seen the sun 5 times and 2 of those times was an hour before sunset.
I don't see how it would be possible 
Here in the winter without a generator
Because my panels put out next to nothing.
My question is how do all of you manage without a generator?

2kw array 6 345 q cells  make sky blue 60 cc
 6 230ah GC @36 volts 
18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion 


  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are places you can't live without a genset!  Even microclimates in areas that are good can be ruff. Coastal is always harder.

      The standard way to minimize it, is lot's of solar and enough battery to go 3+ days. The ability to reduce, shift, and shed loads when needed is also standard operating procedure.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]i.net

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,275 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am only modestly overpaneled, and run the generator on the 2nd shady day.   No way around it
    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 ,

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,577 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I live without a generator...

    It can be a pain, mostly a well designed system for my location and being frugal during those ugly times. 

    My system is undersized for air conditioning in out sunning summers here in Missouri. I've got a 16kWh battery and that's just a single days use in the summer! But I only use perhaps 1-3kWhs in the fall and winter. It's been 4 years now since I had 13 days with a single hour of direct sunlight. I was down to near 20% SOC a couple times, getting some charging on bright overcast days. I suspect I did some damage to my battery during that time.

    I've currently had several overcast days in a row and have been babying my 9+ year old battery. I didn't realize how much I had been babying the battery until yesterday, when I had bright overcast conditions and 0 degrees. I went and cleared the 1" of snow about noon and checked my charge controllers which said they had taken in .4 kWhs and were then taking in 700 watt hours and was already pushing absorb voltage levels...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
     I am guessing that I have over 100 clients who do not need a genset, including myself. For many of them, it can be a pain. You do learn to live with it by doing some basic things. If you have enough clothing, you do not need to do laundry and can postpone it 3 days or so. Things like that.

    For those who want very little of the pain, it is a matter of having more battery and the ability to charge it. The other way is just a second power system with its own battery. Generally this is 6 to10 KW of solar and,  in places like the southwest that can support it. It also gives you redundancy or the ability to charge during a wildfire (here for us). We had 7 weeks of that last summer. More to come! It is the new winter design goal, Summer in the dry west!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mountainmanmountainman Registered Users Posts: 439 ✭✭
    Weather forecast is saying 2 days of sun next week. Finally.
    My poco is sending the workers to help out in Texas.
    Normally in winter on sunny days we get strong Winds.
    The ground is saturated.
     the fields and woods are now ponds
    If its windy down come the trees and power lines.
    While our workers are away in Texas.
    2 years ago power was out 3 weeks
    With a full crew working.
    Oh well it is what it is.
    Time to tune up the generator.

    2kw array 6 345 q cells  make sky blue 60 cc
     6 230ah GC @36 volts 
    18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion 
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