I am going to apoligize now if this post gets a little long, so far we have learned lots, and had quite the adventure in the process.
We looked at this off grid paradise in December, covered in snow we went home that evening knowing 2 things.
1) We had to have it, it was the perfect mix of highlands rocks, flat fields and an abundance of water. The cozy house would accomadate our family of 5, and it was already off grid so we didn’t need to try and convert it.
2) We knew the 3500 watt generator wouldn’t meet the things we knew we needed for ourselves and we would need to upgrade to constant power and still maintain our desire of being self sufficient and thus produce our own.
This story our dear friends is the start of our journey for point 2.
We researched some and then some more and then lots more. We talked to people who are living off grid, we talked to people with solar micro fit attached to the grid. We talked to Haliburton Solar and Wind(HSW) the solar guy himself.
HSW sent us a plethora of information the most important being how on earth to complete the dreaded load analysis. ( I will warn all you wanna be and future off griders this is at least a solid 2 week task)
Step one you make a list of everything you own that uses power and I really mean everything even the things you don’t use often or forget you have ( your sons remote control recharging truck that you had safely packed away until spring). Then you make a list of all the things you may possibly want in the future ( because let’s face it spending thousands of dollars on power to then find out it won’t run the fun new gadget you just picked up is going to suck)…don’t forget every light bulb you use!
Step 2 figure out how many hours per day you run each item ( like when was the last time you notice your fridge kicks on approx every 1.5 hours for 13.574 minutes?)
Step 3 figure out how many running watts each item uses which has about 3 different mathematical ways I will allow you to Google yourself ( math isn’t my thing)
4. Does it surge? If so how many watts does it surge at? And how long? ….more math.
We complete this project and luckily enough for us the wonderful team at HSW sent us a fancy little excel sheet that totalled all our running watt, surge watt, daily running watt hour math stuffs for us. I send the fancy sheet back and presto that part was easy.
HSW worked out a beautiful system for us and it came with a beautifully unattainable price tag….. Back to the drawing board. After cutting everything we could cut good bye lava lamps, hair dryer, 2 light bulbs in 1 room, and forgoing the actual solar panels for now, We have a system design that fit our budget and our needs.
It’s a simple little plug and play kind of system, 8 batteries holding 21 kilowatt hours of power a tiny 3500 watt inverter and the current generator we already own.
Our plan early spring installation…….