Off Grid Energy Systems
An off grid system is not for everybody
An off grid energy system is for the individual who has no commercial electricity available or the commercial grid connected alternative simply costs to much. Typically $25,000 or less to get commercial grid connected energy system is the financial tipping point. Another words is you can get grid connected electricity for less than 25,000 probably should if you are basing your decision on money alone. Living off grid can be a satisfying experience and offers truce Sense of independence. Off grid living on the other hand ca can be a challenging proposition for the typical american. Although a non trained electrician should never attempt to install an off grid energy system it is very important that you stay closely involved with the entire process. There will come a time when what you learn during this process will be very important. The only way we can recommend an off grid energy system to a person already connected to the grid is if you have concerns about the future reliability of the electric grid and want to be prepared.
How an off grid energy system works
A properly designed and functioning off grid energy system starts of with a properly sized inverter and battery bank. Although it can theoretically be done with out a generators we feel a properly sized Diesel generator should be part of the initial system. Our designs are intended to cycle the batteries down to 30% discharge once per day. When installed and set up properly the generators starts automatically and recharges the batteries for 70 to 100%. Solar and wind can be added in order to reduce or even eliminate generator run times depending on where you live and how much money you are willing to spend.
Sizing your system
There should be no guess work when calculating off grid energy system size. If you can accurately predict what you will be using and how long you will be using it on a daily basis we can accurately chose or even customize a system that will meet or exceed you electrical off grid energy needs. Honestly if in doubt do your best and then add 20% for the things you may have forgotten.
Off grid energy system general rules
If there is a high consumption 240V ac appliance that can be run on gas do it. Examples of these are Electric dryers, electric stoves, electric heat and electric hot water heaters. The single biggest phalange when deciding how to live off grid is air conditioning. Here are some options concerning off grid air air condition. Consider a swamp of evaporative cooler. In non humid conditions they can be very effective alternative with a fraction of the energy consumption of an air conditioner. Another alternative would be to plan on running the generator when running air conditioning. One more alternative would be to size your battery band and system size so that it will seamlessly handle your air conditioning needs. Be aware that this option will be the most expensive one.