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Home Forums General Discussion Help me plan to live completely off the grid? Re: Help me plan to live completely off the grid?


what gordo said about battery voltage is correct put simply the higher the voltage means you need less current to do the same amount of work which means

less power loss in your wiring.when you go with lower voltage you will need

to use larger wiring (which is more costly) there are wire size calculators around places when the time gets close to you buying gear. but for your little home I would very much recomend 12 volt unless there is a very good reason to use otherwise like for example your wind turbine or solar panel are situated on a hill a long distance from where your battery bank and home will be.

before I go to far just want to tell you I dont like high voltage AC power

for many reasons health is one, radiation affecting low power radio signal

is another (i dont like CFL light bulbs either for same reasons)I use it when I need to but when I dont I shut down my inverters and run of low voltage DC this is also more efficient use of power.basically AC produces RF radiation

Im going to stick with 12 volt even after i have built my earthship and the reasons are these, price,availability and compatability

price for 12 volt gear is much cheaper than other gear that runs

of higher voltage DC simply because 12 volt gear is used in so many different

circumstances 48 volt for example is very specialised in its uses.

Availability almost anything you could ever want as an appliance you can get in

12 volt some i would not recomend using due to there high power needs like

toasters, micrcowaves coffee makers etc

all your bigbox stores like wallmart,target,harbor freight etc sell 12 volt gear as often as camp gear but somtimes they dont even realise the compatability to a off grid purpose look at the back of portable tvs and stereos if they have 12v inputs or battery slots that add to 12 you can run them of your home power.cordless battery operated power tools can almost always

be run directly from 12 volt as well (wired in without the battery) 9.6-18 volt

works well.

Autopart stores,truck stops,hardware stores,rv supply stores,junk yards

or junk cars,flea markets,camping outfitters,marine supply etc they all supply 12 volt gear.

Compatability i already mentioned some instances of compatability like the

stereo and power tools but if your doing this on a budget you may start

hitting garage sales and flea markets for all sorts of bits to build your

dream home often you will find inverters, batteries, solar panels and most will be 12 volt.if you pick up say a solar panel on the cheap you can add

it straight into your 12 volt system but if you have a 48 volt system you

will need 4 solar panels the same before they are usable.

try this experiment hit the garage sales and or fleamarket for the day

and keep track of how much gear you could pick up if you had a 12 volt system

as opposed to a 48 vlt system.

ill copy this post over into forum for its own discucsion as well