Power in Alaska
by COLEYF on MARCH 16, 2013 - 10 Comments in post

I am retired military, and have bought land and built a place off grid outside of Wasilla. I have a 2 year degree from UAA in renewable energy and would gladly help anyone out that needs assistance setting up an off grid home. I built my place including the dirt work, and septic and well lines. I did the plumbing and electrical work to include a 4,500 watt inverter system a large battery bank and solar panels and a wind turbine. There is also a generator attached to the system.

If you need any help feel free to contact me.

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10 comments

1 BigB { 03.17.13 at 9:15 am }

Nice set up. What do you figure you have invested in this including the land purchase?

Does the wind generator supply that much to the general battery storage?

What is your storage situation look like. I did not see a container or anything big enough for long term food storage.

Living in a cold climate like you are how much attention has been paid to insulation of your water supply to keep from freezing and bursting of pipes?

2 San { 03.17.13 at 9:44 am }

Awesome work… thanks for sharing…

3 Robert Watkins { 03.17.13 at 11:13 am }

I noticed you had a Missouri wind and solar charge control board, but your wind turbine looked like an Air X. I bought an Air X some time ago, but never got it in the wind. I did buy a MW&S blade upgrade for it just recently. How does your Air X work for you?

4 Coleyf { 03.17.13 at 6:52 pm }

Land cost me 20k due to the phenomenal view of Denali. Its a semi remote area. I am 25 miles or so from any shopping other than gas stations, and the nearest gas station is 15 miles. The power system I have probably 15k invested in maybe more. I have purchased an additional 4 batteries since the video. I also plan on getting 2 more panels. The panels are just now starting to produce up here. Yesterday they made about 2KWH of power. my average daily usage is about 3 so in a month, I should be making more than I need until sept or so.

The cabin I am estimating at about 20k as well. I spent a little more than I had planned. but I will be living in it for a couple of years while I build my house.

One thing I did not point out, is that the cabin is built on “skids” so it can be moved easily once the house is done. I will then sell it or use it for a guest cabin.

The turbine controller is a Missouri Wind and Solar. It works well. The turbine itself is a Chinese “AirX” knock off. I got it on E bay for $200. I do not have a ammeter hooked up to it yet, so I am unsure what it is producing. I really need to get that done. I have a feeling it is not doing much. I am shopping for a good small 1-1.5 turbine. If anyone has any advice please let me know. I was looking ad the MW&S turbines, but have heard some bad reviews.

The well line has been run halfway to the cabin. The ground froze too hard to get it run 100% so I am still hauling water in. I moved the 65 gal storage tank inside my utility room. The water line is buried at 12 feet, with blue board insulation laid above it to keep the frost from being driven down into the water lines. Everyone up here says that’s a good way and I would have no problems. In addition, where the water line goes from horizontal, to vertical, to come UP out of the ground, it will be surrounded by 4″ pvc pipe that will come through the floor of the cabin, leaving an air space around the 1″ line. That and the heat trace wire going from the cabin to the 12′ deep level will allow for the vertical line not freezing.

As for storage, we have a WalMart here in Wasilla, and they sell #10 cans of freeze dried foods. everything from Diced carrots, to cheese powder. Every couple of weeks when I go shopping I buy 2-3 cans of various items and have acquired a pretty good stockpile. For me up here, my main concern is earthquakes. Everything in the stores here is flown or shipped in. With little over 700,000 people in Alaska, nearly half live in the Anchorage / Valley area. The stores would have empty shelves within hours. I am sitting on enough MREs from the Army days, and dehydrated stuff to keep me for a good amount of time. Soon as the ground thaws, I will have the water hooked up and until then if necessary I can pump water directly out of the well casing.

I kept a kind of blog that answered a lot of questions people tossed at me and posted a lot of photographs at another gun related web site I go to. Some of you might find it helpful or informative. Mods… If I am not supposed to put links to other sites in here, please edit and delete the link. Not meaning to cause problems!

It can be read at http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1233275_Bought_land_in_Alaska__building_a_cabin____NEW_video_12_Oct_page_17____.html

5 BigB { 03.18.13 at 8:47 am }

Thanks for all the great info. I will keep checking back in.

6 Joe { 03.19.13 at 11:17 am }

Hello & very nice set-up;
I know you must have your hands busy with your projects, but if you have some time, I would also like to set up a completetly off-grid system for my house. We live in SW Florida where sun is abundant & a bit of wind for nighttime wind turbine.
I have done some on-line reasearch but what I am finding is an overwhelming amount of info & I truly do not know which way to start off. Is it possible to receive some guidence from you toward this puropose? I thank you beforehand for any help.
Joe

7 Coleyf { 03.19.13 at 7:45 pm }

Fist thing you should probably do is spend the $200 or whatever it is now for a power predictor. You can get them at their web site (www.powerpredictor.com) and install it near where your panels or wind turbine would be. Most people way over estimate their wind source.

The power predictor will measure your wind and solar resource every few minutes and record it to a computer SD card. This data can then be uploaded to the internet and using their site you can pick panels and turbine and it will tell you exactly how much power you will make.

Next, decide if you want a grid-tied system or stand alone. With a stand alone, most people have to make some lifestyle changes in the amount of energy they use. With a grid tied, you will still be connected to the grid, but have the benefit of lowering your utility bill, and having power during outages.

Coley

8 Randy { 09.17.13 at 3:08 am }

I am in Houston temporarily, til I find my land as you did yours. I would like to come by sometime and check your place out if I could. I have many ideas I would lome to run by you. If possible, drop me an email. Thanks. Randy

9 Timothy { 11.10.13 at 6:24 pm }

All I know is loooonnnggg before the reality shows (since I was 12 years old and I am now much older) I wanted to live in Alaska. Of course at that age I did not know what “off grid” living was, but I knew I wanted to live in Alaska and have been working most of the last 20 years to move that direction. So a big thank you for your offer of help and your encouraging words. Many people on other sites probably are speaking the truth when they say it is not easy, but they are so negative and almost ridicule anyone who mentions moving to Alaska. It’s nice to see and hear the words you shared. Thanks. I’ll make it one day, and not too long from now :)

10 Logan Flores { 02.17.14 at 3:23 pm }

Hey, my partner and I have been training for this for a long time. We need an opportunity and advice. Logan.flores1@aim.com

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