Off Grid Solar

Hi Fellow Farmsteaders,
As I am writing this blog post the laptop is powered off our off-grid solar system. All the lights are powered completely off our solar panels on the shed roof. We have learnt a few things about solar power and how to manage living with solar so hopefully you will find some useful information here.

Why we went with it

IMG_20180326_082104
Our 50 solar panels on the shed roof

When we were investigating getting electricity onto our block of land we found out it was almost $30,000 simply toget power. Then we would have to pay constantly for power bills. That was when we started to get interested in solar. We have never had solar power before but had always been interested (mainly because it is a lot of electricity bills to pay for a household of 9).  After getting a recommendation off a friend we were excited to have our solar panels being installed.

Installation and Technical Specs

Because we needed power as soon as possible we had the solar panels installed on our shed. Now we think that it is a good decision as it keeps our house looking pretty (very important). It only took 2-3 days to install and we had lights without a noisy generator roaring away. It was so peaceful.

IMG_20180320_090751
Our Inverters inside the shed.

Our system has 50 panels sitting on our shed roof capable of producing 16kw and we have 12kw of battery storage. There are 3 inverters and a control module inside the shed attached to a control board. There is a reading located in the shed and in the house that we must monitor. If we run the batteries completely flat then they would need replacing so the system automatically cuts off if it gets too low.

Adapting Our Habits to Solar

IMG_20180320_090801

Because the solar is off-grid we have had to adapt a few habits but it mostly has been an easy transition. Mainly we have had to make sure our energy-heavy consumption is in the middle of the day. A hot water system (if it’s a storage tank sort) can be installed on a timer so that they, like ours, turn on at 11am-3pm. If you have an instantaneous water heater then I don’t know how that would work on a solar system, but you could always switch it over to something like gas or even a Rocket Stove Heater (an idea we would still love to install).

Our Problems with our solar power

One of the main problems we’ve had is when it not sunny is our batteries tend to decline quickly. As soon as it goes cloudy then we can’t turn on our hot water and have to rely on

IMG_20180220_062449
These clouds aren’t too good for our solar

our generator or have cold showers. We would like to eventually either have an alternative hot water system or increase our battery storage so we could possibly run our hot water system anytime. We still do have air-conditioning installed in our house for cooling. As it generally sunny when we need cooling we don’t generally have problems with problems but most air-conditioners have a dry mode which sucks the moisture out of the air and this uses a lot less power.

Why we enjoy our solar

What we enjoy most about our solar system is no power bills. We are also completely reliant on ourselves for our power and whenever the neighborhood has a blackout we never hear about it until one of neighbours complain. It also means we are always cool in the heat of the summer.

Farewell Fellow Farmsteaders

Hi Fellow Farmsteaders,
As I am writing this blog post the laptop is powered off our off-grid solar system. All the lights are powered completely off our solar panels on the shed roof. We have learnt a few things about solar power and how to manage living with solar so hopefully you will find some useful information here.

Why we went with it
 
 

Our 50 solar panels on the shed roof
When we were investigating getting electricity onto our block of land we found out it was almost $30,000 simply toget power. Then we would have to pay constantly for power bills. That was when we started to get interested in solar. We have never had solar power before but had always been interested (mainly because it is a lot of electricity bills to pay for a household of 9).  After getting a recommendation off a friend we were excited to have our solar panels being installed.
Installation and Technical Specs
Because we needed power as soon as possible we had the solar panels installed on our shed. Now we think that it is a good decision as it keeps our house looking pretty (very important). It only took 2-3 days to install and we had lights without a noisy generator roaring away. It was so peaceful.

Our Inverters inside the shed.
Our system has 50 panels sitting on our shed roof capable of producing 16kw and we have 12kw of battery storage. There are 3 inverters and a control module inside the shed attached to a control board. There is a reading located in the shed and in the house that we must monitor. If we run the batteries completely flat then they would need replacing so the system automatically cuts off if it gets too low.
Adapting Our Habits to Solar
Because the solar is off-grid we have had to adapt a few habits but it mostly has been an easy transition. Mainly we have had to make sure our energy-heavy consumption is in the middle of the day. A hot water system (if it’s a storage tank sort) can be installed on a timer so that they, like ours, turn on at 11am-3pm. If you have an instantaneous water heater then I don’t know how that would work on a solar system, but you could always switch it over to something like gas or even a Rocket Stove Heater (an idea we would still love to install).
Our Problems with our solar power
One of the main problems we’ve had is when it not sunny is our batteries tend to decline quickly. As soon as it goes cloudy then we can’t turn on our hot water and have to rely on

These clouds aren’t too good for our solar
our generator or have cold showers. We would like to eventually either have an alternative hot water system or increase our battery storage so we could possibly run our hot water system anytime. We still do have air-conditioning installed in our house for cooling. As it generally sunny when we need cooling we don’t generally have problems with problems but most air-conditioners have a dry mode which sucks the moisture out of the air and this uses a lot less power.
Why we enjoy our solar
What we enjoy most about our solar system is no power bills. We are also completely reliant on ourselves for our power and whenever the neighborhood has a blackout we never hear about it until one of neighbours complain. It also means we are always cool in the heat of the summer.
 
Farewell Fellow Farmsteaders

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s