Ethan Brush said:
> @SupraLance said:
> I love the idea of stepping voltage up and back down to bring in utilities cheaper, but a 2400v line buried only 7" down over 1900' sounds very dangerous. Would not want to hit that with a shovel....
If the utility was running the line in, they would not even put it in conduit and it would generally be 7200 volts. Granted they would put it (usually) 36 " down, but here is the thing with burial depths - this is a pet peeve of mine- I don't see that going deeper makes it safer. Actually maybe even the opposite. When you are digging with a machine, , the deeper you go the harder it is to see down to the bottom. I think you are more likely to see and catch a conduit buried 12" than 36" . Regarding hand digging, I just don't think it is very likely that one would be hand digging and hit and damage , let alone not even see a shallow buried line. I mean there is some common sense that needs to happen here, I wouldn't run it through the garden for example. One can certainly go deeper if it makes you sleep at night, but my point was that 7" bed edger machine can go through trees where nothing else can get to. In my case, it was 1900 feet through the woods. Clear cutting a swath for the tractor to get through was absolutely out of the question. Even if I could slither the tractor through the trees, I love my trees and wouldn't want to do all that damage digging a deep trench. Of course trenching down the driveway makes sense, but for me much of my driveway is ledge and It wold be twice as far following the driveway.
For full code compliance, one could use IMC (intermediate metallic conduit) which would only need to be 6" deep. It's a big cost jump from schedule 40 pvc though from 20 cents a foot for the pvc to about 1.20 for the IMC. I guess in the scheme of things, that's only $2500 premium for a half mile run and better for the environment.
We're leaning toward going completely off-grid, but are still exploring all of our options. Any system will be somewhat expensive, but we don't necessarily want to pay a monthly bill on top of it. Safety and reliability are also concerns. I have lived in (and preferred) homes with gas appliances and wood stoves and fireplaces, but my wife hasn't. She seems willing to make the necessary adjustments, as she is falling in love with this scenic property.
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, 540 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.
Ethan Brush said:
I don't understand where this obsession with living off grid comes from.. practically everyone who lives off grid still has cars and internet. There are many aspects to "homesteading": building your own house, harvesting your own wood, building/improving/maintaining a road, digging a well or developing a spring, growing your own food.....I don't know why everyone jumps to electricity as THE THING to do. I would put growing my own food at the top and making my own electricity pretty much at the bottom of the self sufficiency wish list.
It's more about location than WANTING to go off grid. If grid power is available it's 99% of the time cheaper to stay grid tied. OTOH, for whatever reason people chose a remote piece of land to develop and live on, the grid may not be available or cost effective to bring in. I doubt anybody would willingly pay 5 times the grid price for electricity along with the maintenance involved with an off grid set up.
We chose our property knowing the grid was 5 miles away. We have a 3.8 kW system and we do laundry when we want to. We have a microwave, a toaster oven and an electric Mr. Coffee. My backup generator has only kicked in about 10 days a year, mostly in January, but also a couple days in June when the whole clan shows up, which means blow dryers also.We love being off the grid. I firmly believe the grid is a ticking bomb and will start experiencing problems one of these days. Read Lights Out by Ted Koppell.I say go for it, and don’t ruin that view.