May have to do Off-Grid system.

LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
New guy here and to off grid living, sort-of. We just bought land east of Sierra Vista, AZ, for retirement property. It’s vacant land with a well drilled to 250’ and water level at 115’. We are a quarter mile from SSVEC service, but our electric company is APS and the nearest access is over 6 miles away. APS can allow SSVEC to run a line to us, but there has been no response, so far, from APS. So, for the moment, I’m looking at an off-grid system.

The last couple of years we’ve been RVing and have a 45w solar system backed up by a Honda generator, so that is the extent of my solar experience.

I’ve been mining the great information on this site, but it’s like gold mining without a helmet…my head hurts.

Our well guy estimated $14,000 for solar so I think I’ll go with a generator and maybe solar for pressurizing the tanks.

The house will be between 1000 and 1200 sq ft. Here in Hermosa Beach, we use an average of less than 30 kWh a day in 2000 sq ft, but we don't need, or have, air conditioning. We will need it in AZ. We also will have an unobstructed southern exposure.

This is not going to be a DIY project, but I want to be armed with good info so that I’m not bamboozled.

I checked out the host’s sample systems, but they were grid-tie. I’m not sure how to adjust to our situation. Heck, I’m not sure if we’re small, medium, large, or XXL! :D

Thanks.

LS

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,805 admin
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    I will take a shot at giving you some answers--But be aware that these are pure guesswork and may be of limited use until you know what your true power budget is (or what you are willing to pay)... So, first the boiler plate answers:
    1. Conservation: Off Grid power is expensive--It probably works out to around $1-$2+ per kWHr--vs the $0.12 to $0.25 per kWH you are probably paying today for your home. Almost anything you do towards conservation will be a better investment than throwing Solar PV or Generator Fuel at your power needs.
    2. Lots of insulation, double pane windows, low power laptop instead of big desktop computers, turning printers/computers/entertainment centers off when not in use, etc... All will save you big bucks in building out your power system.
    3. Really push the issue with SSVEC and APS--At your current level of power usage (30kW a day without A/C)--It would be a huge change in lifestyle for a 1,200 sqft home to work on 3 kWH per day (a nice round number for enough power to run your computer, some lighting, a ceiling fan, water pressurization pump, etc.). Not to day you will opt. to pay for Grid Power--but it will give you something to compare and contrast against when you look at your off-grid power costs.
    4. Plan out your off-grid system carefully before spending money. In general, it is difficult to build out a cost effective system and do much more than double its capacity without ending up ripping out the old installation and installing 90% new parts for the larger system.
    5. If you do decide to bring utility power to your homestead--You can still use solar to reduce power power bill and/or provide emergency backup power (storms, unreliable / last to be fixed at the end of the utility line type service, etc.). There is pure grid tie system (solar panels + inverter connected to the utility grid--cheapest solar and simplest to run and maintain). There are also hybrid systems which do grid tied and off-grid for emergency power (add batteries and a genset). And full off-grid (by the way, the hybrid systems can do full off grid very nicely too and connect to utility power later if it ever comes).
    The above is just my personal opinion--So feel free to question or disagree.

    So, lets look at PV Watts for Tuscon AZ. Plan on off grid system with 0.52 derating and a fixed array. Use 1kW (1,000 watts) of solar panels for an even number:
    "Station Identification"
    "City:","Tucson"
    "State:","Arizona"
    "Lat (deg N):", 32.12
    "Long (deg W):", 110.93
    "Elev (m): ", 779
    "PV System Specifications"
    "DC Rating:"," 1.0 kW"
    "DC to AC Derate Factor:"," 0.520"
    "AC Rating:"," 0.5 kW"
    "Array Type: Fixed Tilt"
    "Array Tilt:"," 32.1"
    "Array Azimuth:","180.0"

    "Energy Specifications"
    "Cost of Electricity:"," 8.5 cents/kWh"

    "Results"
    "Month", "Solar Radiation (kWh/m^2/day)", "AC Energy (kWh)", "Energy Value ($)"
    1, 5.70, 85, 7.23
    2, 6.11, 80, 6.80
    3, 7.03, 103, 8.76
    4, 7.50, 104, 8.84
    5, 7.29, 100, 8.50
    6, 7.15, 94, 7.99
    7, 6.44, 87, 7.40
    8, 6.85, 93, 7.91
    9, 7.06, 95, 8.07
    10, 6.72, 96, 8.16
    11, 5.99, 86, 7.31
    12, 5.27, 80, 6.80
    "Year", 6.59, 1105, 93.92

    And lets plan that your system will supply your needed power for 9 months of the year, and the other 3 months you will use a genset to make for low winter production/cloudy/stormy season.

    In your case, there is not a huge difference between winter and summer production, and the 4th lowest month is July at 87 kWH per month per 1,000 watts of panels or:
    • 87 kWH per month * 1/30 days per month = 2.9 kWH per day for July per 1,000 watts of panels
    Now, we will look at two systems one that does 3.3 kWH per day (100 kWH per month) and another that does 33 kWH per day (1,000 kWH per month) based on July production:
    • 3.3 kWH per day * 1/2.9 kWH per day per 1,000 watts of panels = 1,138 Watts of solar panels for "small" system
    • 33 kWH per day * 1/2.9 kWH per day per 1,000 watts of panels = 11,380 Watts of solar panels for "large" system
    So, just from a solar panel point of view--That is the difference between $3,000 worth of solar panels vs $30,000 worth of solar panels (note the above numbers include solar panel derating, charge controller losses, flooded cell battery losses, and inverter losses).

    Next major cost is the battery bank... Basically, we recommend as a starting point to plan for 3 days of no sun and 50% maximum discharge for longer battery life. We also take into account that AC inverters are about 85% efficient:
    • 3,300 WH per day * 3 days of no sun * 1/0.50 max discharge * 1/0.85 inverter efficiency =23,400 WH of battery storage for small system
    • 33,000 WH per day * 3 days of no sun * 1/0.50 max discharge * 1/0.85 inverter efficiency =234,000 WH of battery storage for large system
    Now--We need to choose a battery bank voltage... For your small system (if the well pumping is kept small and efficient) you might get away with a DC pump and even a 300 Watt TSW inverter on a 12 volt battery bank.

    For the large system, you are most likely going to a 48 volt battery bank (voltage drop and high currents are very difficult to deal with on a 12 volt battery bank system).

    So, battery size in AH (remember, the Large battery bank is still 10x the size/cost of the small battery bank system--The AH rating does not show the 12 vs 48 volt bank capacity difference):
    • 23,400 WH / 12 volts = 1,941 AH of 12 volt battery bank
    • 234,000 WH / 48 volts = 4,875 AH of 48volt battery bank
    Using the middle of the road cost/quality Trojan batteries:

    Trojan L16RE-2V 1110 AH 2-Volt Deep Cycle Battery Price: $330.00

    For the 1,941 AH @ 12 volt bank... We are looking at two 6 cell series string (12 batteries) overall for $3,960 for the set (2,220 AH at 12 volt bank).

    For the 48 volt bank, looking at 4 strings of 24 cells (96 batteries) at $31,680 (4,440 AH at 48 volts).

    The above are just suggested starting points for costing/designing your system... Batteries are pretty much linear in pricing--10x larger battery bank costs about 10x more.

    Same with solar panels (although, buy enough, you may get a volume discount/save on shipping by the pre-packaged pallet full, etc.).

    Solar panels--Generally, the > 100 watt size are less expensive ($$$ per watt).

    >100 per watt solar panels also, generally, have Vmp that is not directly compatible with PWM type (less expensive) charge controllers... MorningStar, Xantrex, Outback, all make nice 60 Amp (Outback also make an 80 amp) 12/24/48 volt charge controller... The nice think with 48 volt battery banks, a single charge controller can handle 4x the array size at 48 volts vs 12 volts (fewer charge controllers needed for a large system).

    The above is estimated to support 3.3 or 33 kWH per day--If you really wanted to "go small", you can do it on ~1 kWH per day too (obviously, no A/C, minimal electric use, etc.).

    Inverters--there is also a wide choice here... We try to talk people into the much more expensive pure sine wave types... But there are are people here who are very happy with MSW or both (small True Sine Wave for computer, small appliances; and a large Modified Square Wave to run the well pump).

    Plan on replacing your battery bank every 4-8 years (some people get more, a few people get less). And the inverters/charge controllers are pretty much obsolete after 10 years (and will need repairs/replacements every 10-15 years or so).

    Power use is a very personal matter--There are folks who live off-grid that are at both ends of the spectrum here that can give you real life experiences (including at least one person whose generator caught fire and burned down his entire solar+genset station :cry:).

    Doing lots of planning up front can help save you uncounted issues and money in the future.

    Questions? Suggestions? The above is intended to be educational--Not a hard and fixed design for your system/needs. There are still many decisions to be made.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    Welcome to the forum!

    I think you should rethink your plans. Your 30kW hours per day usage estimate is more than ten times what we use off-grid. Our system, with me doing the work, cost $10,000. Now that's CDN$, but even so ... scale up. To supply 30kW hours per day is massive. It is bound to be cheaper to get the utility lines run even 6 miles.

    Or you can re-examine your whole usage issue and trim, cut, conserve. Start by eliminating all electric heating. Air conditioning is a big consumer, so you might want to look at that very carefully.

    It's possible to supply 30kW hours per day, but it is definitely XXL - with a price tag to match.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :cry:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place as it will be very expensive for you no matter what way you go with this. i don't think it will be as cheap to run 6 miles worth of utility lines as cariboocoot indicates, but it does vary widely around the country as to the costs in running it. have you heard from the utility as to what they would want to lay such a run for you?
    a generator will deliver, but constant wear and tear along with gas costs still make this an expensive route and noisy too. of course solar is also expensive, especially in delivering 30kwh/day. if you average 5hrs of full sun per day this is a 6kw system without taking into account losses and efficiency factors that can add up to another 50% of pv capacity. it isn't just the pv costs either as you'll need a huge battery bank to provide that much power reliably every day and that is a huge expense all by itself that will need replacing every so many years.
    i believe a battery backed gt system to provide power for your evenings and nights and would allow gt connection should that come to pass with a genny providing the daytime power would be what i'd do in addition to conservation efforts to reduce requirements.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    Just a shot in the dark, but I'll bet LS's 30kwhr per day supports electric hot water, electric clothes dryer, coffee maker (just kidding). The conservation mantra...conserve, conserve, conserve...will do you well.

    I started with loads (meter readings) of 22kwhr per day, conserved (power bars, cfl bulbs etc) down to 13kwhr per day, then dropped the electric hot water and hit about 7kwhr per day (solar hot water and propane). At that point we cut loose from the grid with 2.1kw pv, a 1kw wind turbine and diesel generator. It can be done on 6-7kwhr per day...I have great respect for those who live on 3, but a fridge, chest freezer and household goodies do add up the consumption.

    My 2 cents...propane for cooking and or space heating, clotheslines for laundry, solar domestic hot water and propane for hot water (in Az this is a no-brainer), and make sure any grandkids shut off lights, computers and such when visiting.

    Once you drop the big loads like hot water, cooking and clothes drying you are well on your way to living off grid easily.

    Good luck

    Ralph
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    LS,

    First thing is it is not that difficult these days.
    Second, Sierra Vista is a great place!

    There is no reason to pay 10K$ a pole for utility power in Arizona! In Wyoming it would have to be a serious consideration because of solar weather.

    You can do this with solar and only need a generator for the construction phase!

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

  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Just a shot in the dark, but I'll bet LS's 30kwhr per day supports electric hot water, electric clothes dryer, coffee maker (just kidding). The conservation mantra...conserve, conserve, conserve...will do you well.

    Good luck

    Ralph

    You are correct, sir. The 30 kWh (27 actually) was the highest in the last 2 years here at Hermosa Beach. Since our son left for college, we are now using an average of 16 kWh over the last 4 months. We do not have an electric water heater, but we do have a hot tub with a 3/4 hp motor that runs 1 hour every day and we run the dishwasher whether it's full or not.

    Here in Hermosa, we are making no conscious effort to conserve. The planning for the AZ house will certainly be focused on energy conservation.

    Also, I have no reason to believe that APS will not grant permission to SSV to run a line to us. I'm just planning for the worst case scenario. In fact, I'm not sure that totally off-grid IS the worst case scenario. ;)

    Thanks to all for the responses. I at least have a woolly knit cap covering my noggin now.

    LS

    ETA: Bill, I've had time to read through your post a couple of times and it defiantly gives me a better idea of how to approach this. As RVers and sailors, we know how to use and manage energy wisely, we just don't when we get home. :D Thanks!
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,490 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    I see your largest summer load would be air conditioning. Or are you going to skip that, and build without? Maybe make provisions for a small unit for master bed, or swamp cooler.
    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 ,

  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    mike90045 wrote: »
    I see your largest summer load would be air conditioning. Or are you going to skip that, and build without? Maybe make provisions for a small unit for master bed, or swamp cooler.

    Probably A/C and evap. I've never had much luck with swamp coolers, though. We'll have a gennie if needed.

    LS
  • BajaGringoBajaGringo Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    We built off-grid down here in Baja California, Mexico as we are currently about 8 miles from the nearest power pole. When we were living up north on the grid we were averaging about 10 - 12 kW per day electrical use, varying from winter to summer. Here is what I can share about what I have learned along the way after building our off-grid home:

    1 - There are lots of ways to conserve in lighting, appliances, hot water and heating-cooling. We now use less than 3 kW per day and we feel no big change in our lifestyle vs when we lived on the grid. Planning with a focus on conservation will be your biggest area where you can save $$$.

    2 - By conserving on your water you will lower your pumping capacity needs which may make some solar/wind operated low volume flow pumps feasible.

    3 - Plan the design of your home to make the most of the natural elements to aid in heating, cooling and natural lighting.

    4 - Don't ask for advice from friends who are grid-tied. That is a completely different world / application.

    Just my two cents...

    (and good luck!)

    :D
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,490 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    LenSatic wrote: »
    Probably A/C and evap. I've never had much luck with swamp coolers, though. We'll have a gennie if needed.

    LS

    Evap & swamp coolers are the same, AFIK.
    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 ,

  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Evap & swamp coolers are the same, AFIK.


    I know. I lived in Tucson many moons ago and had both that shared ducting. The evap was never effective. I'll probably do a similar install this time, though. I imagine (hope) they've improved over the last 35 years. That said...my heat tolerance has improved in that time period. My knees like it better now. ;) Also, Tucson is much hotter than Sierra Vista.

    BajaGringo,

    Thanks. I enjoyed your site. I've bookmarked it. It seems I've popped in there before, though. It's hard to forget your mug sho..., uh, avatar. I think I was researching something concerning RVing.

    LS
  • BajaGringoBajaGringo Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    LenSatic wrote: »
    BajaGringo,

    Thanks. I enjoyed your site. I've bookmarked it. It seems I've popped in there before, though. It's hard to forget your mug sho..., uh, avatar. I think I was researching something concerning RVing.

    LS

    Shhhh.... Don't tell anybody. I'm trying to stay incognito...

    :p
  • myhouse07myhouse07 Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    Just my two cents.

    I would build with 2x6" walls use HD R22 in the walls with 2" xpd closed cell foam board on the out side with stucco siding over spry and R48 blown fiberglass in the attic with a steel roof.

    I would cool the home with evaporative cooling with a good one should only use 800wh a day.

    I would over size my pv to 5kw at that size you can save big on a pallet of solar panels.

    I would also use forklift batteries you can find then all over and they last up to 20 years.

    Good lucky
  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    BajaGringo wrote:
    Shhhh.... Don't tell anybody. I'm trying to stay incognito..

    Then I’d suggest shades, mi amigo. Or, in your case, a dew rag! ;)
    myhouse07 wrote:
    Just my two cents.

    I would build with 2x6" walls use HD R22 in the walls with 2" xpd closed cell foam board on the out side with stucco siding over spry and R48 blown fiberglass in the attic with a steel roof.

    I would cool the home with evaporative cooling with a good one should only use 800wh a day.

    I would over size my pv to 5kw at that size you can save big on a pallet of solar panels.

    I would also use forklift batteries you can find then all over and they last up to 20 years.

    Good luck

    We're doing a custom Modular and that first paragraph is covered except that we will have vaulted ceiling without an attic unless you guys suggest otherwise.

    I have to look into the forklift batteries, though. Interesting idea but I have no experience with them.

    Thanks.

    LS
  • BajaGringoBajaGringo Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    Thick, insulated walls are great. Attics with floor and ceiling insulation are a huge help in conservation for warmer weather climates - especially with one of these:

    solar_powered_attic_vent_fan.jpg
  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    BajaGringo wrote: »
    Thick, insulated walls are great. Attics with floor and ceiling insulation are a huge help in conservation for warmer weather climates - especially with one of these:

    solar_powered_attic_vent_fan.jpg

    We'll be at 4200'. It's pretty mild in Cochise County. It gets a taste of all 4 seasons. Here, at the L.A. Beach Cities, we only have 2 seasons...Day and Night. :D

    I want that gizmo on the RV!

    LS
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,490 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    LenSatic wrote: »
    I want that gizmo on the RV!

    It may not take the freeway at 60 mph for 6 hours !!
    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 ,

  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    mike90045 wrote: »
    It may not take the freeway at 60 mph for 6 hours !!

    Oh, well...we still have A/C. ;)

    LS
  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    LenSatic wrote: »
    Also, I have no reason to believe that APS will not grant permission to SSV to run a line to us. I'm just planning for the worst case scenario. In fact, I'm not sure that totally off-grid IS the worst case scenario. ;)

    I was wrong. APS will not grant permission to SSVEC and their closest access point is 10 miles away at $10,000 a mile.

    So, "I'll Follow the Sun". ;)

    LS
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    myhouse07 wrote: »
    Just my two cents.

    I would build with 2x6" walls use HD R22 in the walls with 2" xpd closed cell foam board on the out side with stucco siding over spry and R48 blown fiberglass in the attic with a steel roof.

    I would cool the home with evaporative cooling with a good one should only use 800wh a day.

    I would over size my pv to 5kw at that size you can save big on a pallet of solar panels.

    I would also use forklift batteries you can find then all over and they last up to 20 years.

    Good lucky

    The OP may not be happy with evaporative during monsoon season. It takes a special love of the desert atitude during this period. I have a buddy who is very close to the OP and he just leaves for the northwest during monsoon season.

    Another client just uses the technique I outlined in the Sanyo mini split. It can be done !
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    The OP may not be happy with evaporative during monsoon season. It takes a special love of the desert atitude during this period. I have a buddy who is very close to the OP and he just leaves for the northwest during monsoon season.

    Another client just uses the technique I outlined in the Sanyo mini split. It can be done !

    Fortunately, at 4200', the Monsoon season is very pleasant.

    LS
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    mike90045 wrote: »
    I see your largest summer load would be air conditioning. Or are you going to skip that, and build without? Maybe make provisions for a small unit for master bed, or swamp cooler.

    He could try a mini-split (see Use and Conservation forum here) with the all-day-on-low technique discussed there. Cool house all summer and no swamp cooler.

    edit: I see Dave already jumped on here this morning with the same suggestion. :blush:
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.

    Even at 4200 you will have years that are tough. How many years have you been there? The years are different! What do the locals do? There may not be many who are offgrid right? My friend is a spec home builder and he tells me that you would be crazy not to build or plan for monsoon! I have spent time down there near Tombstone (not 4200) and an evaporative is a wonderful thing! But, you do have to like the maintenance, have the water, and deal with the scale that builds up continuously and the "insect opening to the home" Spring in the desert is still one of the wonders of the world!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • LenSaticLenSatic Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    Even at 4200 you will have years that are tough. How many years have you been there? The years are different! What do the locals do? There may not be many who are offgrid right? My friend is a spec home builder and he tells me that you would be crazy not to build or plan for monsoon! I have spent time down there near Tombstone (not 4200) and an evaporative is a wonderful thing! But, you do have to like the maintenance, have the water, and deal with the scale that builds up continuously and the "insect opening to the home" Spring in the desert is still one of the wonders of the world!

    I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca in '68-'69 and I lived in Tucson from 1970 until 1976. I grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle and have never been a fan of evaperative coolers.

    I liked that thread on the mini-split system you recommended. Thanks. My wife doesn't like the wall units, though. We were planning on vaulted ceilings but if we put in a ceiling it looks like we could put in recessed units. It would also limit the area that we would have to heat/cool.

    There are a couple of off-grid neighbors, but I haven't met them yet.

    I'm still learning. ;)

    LS
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: May have to do Off-Grid system.
    LenSatic wrote: »
    I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca in '68-'69 and I lived in Tucson from 1970 until 1976. I grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle and have never been a fan of evaperative coolers.

    I liked that thread on the mini-split system you recommended. Thanks. My wife doesn't like the wall units, though. We were planning on vaulted ceilings but if we put in a ceiling it looks like we could put in recessed units. It would also limit the area that we would have to heat/cool.

    There are a couple of off-grid neighbors, but I haven't met them yet.

    I'm still learning. ;)

    LS

    The multi-mini splits are available in ceiling and floor mount versions for new construction. There are nuances of getting the design right when using them!
    Go meet the neighbors! They will tell you some very valuable information!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

Sign In or Register to comment.