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I'd like to be completely off the grid


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A_Simple_Man
6 hours ago, Celestial Being said:

Just a house in the mountain

If that is the case the other posters may be steering you in the wrong direction.  You do not necessarily need solar or wind or batteries.

Try to find a good size pool of water about 30 or more meters above you on the mountain. (I contemplated digging a hole in a small stream to supply the system I envisioned but the typhoon came before I got to give it a try so this is something I planned and never completed.)

You run a good strong water pipe from that pool, down the hill to a spot near your house and you put in a micro-hydro electric plant.  You will likely have to import one but there is no need for storage as you will have power so long as there is water in the pool. You have to study the specs to see how much head and flow you will need but you could power up 30KW with a decent generator. (Head and flow means you need a larger volume of water flowing through the pipe if the pool is not very high above you and a smaller volume of water in the pipe if the head (height) is higher up the mountain.  Thus you will need either a short fat pipe or a long thin one.)

Here's a link to get you started

http://smallhydroturbines.sell.everychina.com/p-102804310-30kw-micro-water-turbine-generator-mini-hydro-turbines-ac-220v-or-400v.html

The water gravity feeds through the pipe, generates power, and then runs off wherever you direct it, likely back into the stream it came from.  Need for permits may come into play depending how far back in the sticks you are.

 

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@Celestial Being, It doesn't work that way. Well, it can. But, you would end up running over in costs, or possibly worse, under - what you need to purchase to power your home. Firstly, you start

If that is the case the other posters may be steering you in the wrong direction.  You do not necessarily need solar or wind or batteries. Try to find a good size pool of water about 30 or more m

A boat...

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Paul
7 hours ago, SkyMan said:

With a sufficient solar I don't have to be as anal about every electron in the room.

I'm not talking about grid-tied systems, TJ. I am talking about off-grid systems. You are not running batteries to supply your home on days without sun, are you?

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to_dave007

Geez..  if someone really wants to live off grid..  then take a habel habel into the mountain, and look for a falling apart nipa house with no electricity, and with kids pitching water from a km away, and go ask if they know an off grid mountain home you can rent for 1000 peso a month..  and you'll be good to go within days.. and you'll be REALLY off grid.

You could do the same in the mountains of Alaska and I'm sure elsewhere in the US if you really wanted..  Or in Northern Ontario Canada.

But if you want the comfort of knowing there's treated water handy, or an electric utility for backup, or cell phone towers nearby, or a shopping centre within 2 days walk, or a hospital, or phone booth, or internet, then are you REALLY off grid.

I think what OP wants is "some degree" of self sufficiency, without giving up all the conveniences of modern life.  So he needs to think which specific conveniences he would really hate to lose.. 

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SkyMan
1 hour ago, Paul said:

I'm not talking about grid-tied systems, TJ. I am talking about off-grid systems. You are not running batteries to supply your home on days without sun, are you?

No, but I'm speaking more hypothetically.  If I set up an off-grid system and then spent my days worried we were using too much electricity why bother?

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to_dave007
12 hours ago, SkyMan said:

No, but I'm speaking more hypothetically.  If I set up an off-grid system and then spent my days worried we were using too much electricity why bother?

If you set up an true off grid system you would not need calculations to know if you used too much.  If you don't run out, you ain't using too much.  Maybe you could measure how much you had left..  and then ration it.

Or run down the mountain and get some more.

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PhilsFan

I did 2 years off-grid on a sailboat in Key West. Not tough to do anymore. Heck I even ran A/C sometimes off a Honda 2k Genny.

For a House in the mountains? Use what the land gives you. Is it a Windy location? Add a wind generator or 2. Used ones abound and they last a very long time. If you have a decent stream nearby, make a water generator. And then of course, there is Solar. 

Personally, I would wait about 2 more years for a storage solution. prices should be around 3-4k USD for a smaller home by then utilizing Lithium batteries instead of the Lead-acid.

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Paul
8 hours ago, SkyMan said:

No, but I'm speaking more hypothetically.  If I set up an off-grid system and then spent my days worried we were using too much electricity why bother?

Hence the reason to know what your average use is. Off-grid is not like grid-tied. But, you will, at least, still have power when the mains are down. :D

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SkyMan
4 hours ago, Paul said:

Hence the reason to know what your average use is. Off-grid is not like grid-tied. But, you will, at least, still have power when the mains are down. :D

I agree with this and I think it applies to off-grid and to a lesser degree, grid-tied.  Again, my statement wasn't about grid-tied but off-grid as that is the OP's subject, I think.  The OP was a little vague and he hasn't added much to the thread since so who knows what it's really about.  We assume solar storage batteries but we could be way off.

Ok, so now we've come full circle back to where I said I thought going around measuring the power usage of each appliance and then trying guesstimate the number of hours, minutes, or times a particular appliance is used to come up with your usage would be difficult and rather inaccurate unless you only have a small number of appliances and fairly set schedule for using them.  It's much simpler and far more accurate to divide the number of KWH used on the last X number of bills by the days covered by those bills and then multiply that by number of days you want to be able to cover under battery power during a particularly cloudy period.  As for extra conservation efforts I would do that during cloudy periods to extend the stored battery life perhaps, but if I were really worried about using too much power during normal periods I would increase the solar/storage capacity until I wasn't worried about it any more.

Going off-grid doesn't mean you have to move into a little shack with a single LED to read by.  My version of going off-grid would be totally unnoticeable to anyone in the household or any visitors except the VECO delivery boy who wouldn't show up anymore.

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Paul
2 minutes ago, SkyMan said:

As for extra conservation efforts I would do that during cloudy periods to extend the stored battery life perhaps, but if I were really worried about using too much power during normal periods I would increase the solar/storage capacity until I wasn't worried about it any more.

You may want to price batteries before saying that. :D

You must account for days of autonomy. Also, you can't go by kWh's per month, due to dry season being MUCH different from rainy season, regarding sun hours gained / lost. 

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Paul
4 minutes ago, SkyMan said:

Ok, so now we've come full circle back to where I said I thought going around measuring the power usage of each appliance and then trying guesstimate the number of hours, minutes, or times a particular appliance is used to come up with your usage would be difficult and rather inaccurate unless you only have a small number of appliances and fairly set schedule for using them.

That's why we don't guesstimate. Calculation is the only way to be accurate. Well, it's worked for us while being entirely off-grid at the farms, until we had mains connected anyway. But, even now, we run off-grid, with mains as the backup. We will continue to do so until the current batteries need to be replaced. At that time, I will see what we will do and make the appropriate decision at that time. 

But, with batteries being as costly as they are, you don't guesstimate anything. Well, we don't. 

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SkyMan
11 minutes ago, Paul said:

You may want to price batteries before saying that. :D

When I started pricing batteries is when I decided to go grid-tied for the foreseeable future.  In fact, if I can get net metering setup I might never bother going off-grid except for having enough battery power to get through maybe 12 hours of blackout and due to their infrequent use I'd probably just charge those with a trickle charger.

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Paul
2 minutes ago, SkyMan said:

When I started pricing batteries is when I decided to go grid-tied for the foreseeable future.  In fact, if I can get net metering setup I might never bother going off-grid except for having enough battery power to get through maybe 12 hours of blackout and due to their infrequent use I'd probably just charge those with a trickle charger.

In these countries, I would definitely agree with having something to carry you over, for an extended power cut. At the moment, all our food will be kept cold, during an undetermined power cut length. If the solar fails, then go to generator.

Next month, I will be working on an extended run time solution for the genset. Considering a 20 liters fuel tank. That would be more than enough to run the little gal. We had a 2 hour power cut today. This was only the second time since I bought the generator in March, that I had refill it. It took almost 3 liters. Of course, I run it on econo mode and only power lights, fans and food preservation, from it.

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SkyMan

A small genset would also work.  The grid-tied microinverters will supply whatever power they are supplied with (within reason) so when there's a blackout they supply nothing because they receive nothing.  But in that situation, you can turn off the mains breaker and on the off-grid power breaker connected to a genset or a battery powered inverter, and if there's sun you grid-tied solar would augment the alternate power source.

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Celestial Being
On 16/06/2017 at 4:52 PM, A_Simple_Man said:

If that is the case the other posters may be steering you in the wrong direction.  You do not necessarily need solar or wind or batteries.

Try to find a good size pool of water about 30 or more meters above you on the mountain. (I contemplated digging a hole in a small stream to supply the system I envisioned but the typhoon came before I got to give it a try so this is something I planned and never completed.)

You run a good strong water pipe from that pool, down the hill to a spot near your house and you put in a micro-hydro electric plant.  You will likely have to import one but there is no need for storage as you will have power so long as there is water in the pool. You have to study the specs to see how much head and flow you will need but you could power up 30KW with a decent generator. (Head and flow means you need a larger volume of water flowing through the pipe if the pool is not very high above you and a smaller volume of water in the pipe if the head (height) is higher up the mountain.  Thus you will need either a short fat pipe or a long thin one.)

Here's a link to get you started

http://smallhydroturbines.sell.everychina.com/p-102804310-30kw-micro-water-turbine-generator-mini-hydro-turbines-ac-220v-or-400v.html

The water gravity feeds through the pipe, generates power, and then runs off wherever you direct it, likely back into the stream it came from.  Need for permits may come into play depending how far back in the sticks you are.

 

I like the idea very much but where I am planning to build the house, the whole town don't even have a river. We have to dig quite deep in the ground to get to the source of the water.

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Celestial Being

A couple of years ago there was a storage solution called Ultra Capacitors. There are like 5kw storage you can buy. One day Tesla motors used them for their cars and you can never find Ultra Capacitors anymore. How I loved to have copied the Schematics of that. Now Bosch have a power storage but you can only buy them in Europe. Its a bit pricey but it could be the best investment to get off the grid permanently. I think they even have a 10 kw storage now.

http://www.bosch-solarenergy.com/media/bosch_se_serviceorganisation/kundendienst/speicherloesungen_1/en_5/bpts5_folder-EN-1410.pdf

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