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Energy Options For Small Off The Grid Home Options
#1 Posted : Thursday, April 09, 2009 7:54:41 PM
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http://www.wirefreedirect.com/solarpanel_sizing.asp Here is a site I used to help me calculate my solar power needs. Since I'm just getting starting I can't say it is completely accurate, but it may be of help to you.



#2 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2009 2:47:28 AM
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You don't say how big your panels are(how many watts they output at max sunlight)but these days with the technology out there now,it really does'nt take much electrically speaking to make one quite comfortable.If he has 2- 55 watt solar panels with two good sized marine batteries(see the post above)thats 110 watt max output to 2 big 200 amp hour (if I remember right) batteries.He's going to need a charge controller sized to the output of the panels to charge the batteries correctly.Thats plenty of power to power a laptop,a few compact flourescent lights, tv, and maybe a small office type fridge for a day or two without sunlight.As far as water,consider a small rv water pump to pump the jugs,they dont cost much and supply house pressure to a shower and sink,most rv's come with them.If you are heating with a woodstove consider putting a hilkoil(www.hilkoil.com) in the back of it for hot water.They're pretty cheap and usually come with a small expansion tank.As far as induction tops,electric heat of any kind is out of the question if you're running panels.For consideration a *small*  2 burner cooktop with standard electric coils uses roughly 1500 to 2000 watts! 1000 watts of electricity = 3,413 BTU's of heat and is the reason why electric bills are so high.But the good thing is you'll have a woodstove,there's your cooktop.You don't say whether you'll be running @ 12 volts DC or 120 volts AC..does he have an inverter?

#3 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2009 2:47:28 AM
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Posts: 134,494

So after month of just day dreaming of living off the grid, an opportunity has arose that has landed my boyfriend and I a fixer-uper little camper. We have put our sweat and tears into renovating what would simply be a vacation home for some into a very livable space on a structural and esthetic level. However, as we move onto the next part of the journey I'm finding my confidence wavering a little bit

My boyfriend is no stranger to simple living off the grid. He spent a chunk of his life in a small solar powered tipi in AZ, where water was scarce. Being WI its a bit easier but we face other issues.  We have decided to bring in our own water from outside water sources for now via large jugs and I feel pretty good about this. We would be using an outhouse located not to far from the location and as for hygiene we would be visiting a house on the property for bi weekly showers. (A luxury most don’t have). But as for simple energy usage, right now Dan owns two solar panels and he intends to get them set up. Eventually it would be nice to hook up a wood stove for heat in the winter, but I still wonder how effectively two solar panels will power a home. It's not that I have too much of an attachment to electrical appliances but my work entails some computer work, cell phones, and refrigeration is a nice plus.

So do you think two solar panels is enough for a little fixed up Mobil home? Of course living off the grid is a dream of mine but one I still feel a little lost in the dark about.

Also dose anyone have any experiance with Induction cook tops?  I've been looking at some portable ones and think it might be a nice alternative to the current gas stove top.




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