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Home Forums General Discussion Off Grid, but keeping all mod cons??? Re: Off Grid, but keeping all mod cons???



I design systems like you are contemplating. However there are some glaring inconsistencies in your description that could cause you a lot of expense and grief.

“the site is fairly windy” is a very subjective observation as in how much is ‘fairly” windy. You need to know exact speeds and duration of wind. Might I suggest two smaller wind turbines instead of one big one. Every wind turbine has a minimum start speed and bigger units have a higher start speed than smaller ones. This way you are more likelty to generate power in light winds that would not be sufficient to turn the big model.

You did not say where you are located. Latitude and amount of insolation in terms of annual hours of usable sunlight is critical. Solar is the most expensive method and if you indeed have lots of wind this could be a lot more cost effective.

Be careful of used batteries. If they are free then you only incur the cost of hauling around a lot of hazardous material but these batteries wer taken out of service for a reason. Why? You need to determine the internal condition of these usd batteries before you expend time, money, and effort to set them up.

Many people do not understand this but you can have too much battery bank for a given system. I have been salvaging batteries and designing systems for a decade now so I have a little bit of experience with it.

Your comment that you think a 32 A supply for a grid tied home is about average makes me wonder where in the world you are located. Is this a 230V 50Hz country? Your question makes me wonder how much product research you have done. Yes it is possible to do all these things and the hardware is available off the shelf. In fact my wife’s uncle lives off the grid and has all the things you want. Begin by looking into Victron products. Also look at their section advertising installations of resorts in Africa among other places. Look at the battery houses needed to support such an installation. It can be done but it will be expensive.

Using the mass of an indoor swimming pool is fine except you overlook the loss of efficiencies if you plan to use the pool for swimming. The system would work much better if the temperature was hotter but that would render the pool unsuited for swimming unless you like to boil yourself to death. your solar heated water will reach 160F or higher and water than is only 70F – 80F is not going to give you an effecient and comfortable heat transfer for heating the house. The increased size of the radiators needed to work with such low temp medium is going to make them very expensive compared to a system designed properly.