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Off Grid Solar and Wind Power Houses

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posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 07:48 PM
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This thread is started for the ultimate in self sufficiency.


Ok I am going to be building a house I have my land 17 acres in the middle of no where. The nearest town is a small town and that is 20 miles away. I want to be completely self sufficient for either winter storms or any other phenomena that causes everyone to lose power. Im doing my garden which will cover about 1/4 acre. I have my fuel efficient cars and and now I am debated doing an off grid solar and wind system and I need opinions and suggestions because Im not the most knowledgeable.

My house will be 1800 heated square feet and Im looking to get this for my wind power

www.hardysolar.com...

www.wholesalesolar.com...

and this one the medium 150 KWH a month for $10 grand to supplement the wind for when its not windy and Im getting the wind to supplement the solar when its not sunny. Im figuring about 20k total with all the parts and crap. I figure at an average of $200 a month electric I will save it will pay for itself in 8 years. Is this to big of a system you think or not big enough give me some insite and overall what you guys think about these methods.

Remember I am building this place for total self reliance for if the crap hits the fan I dont need ANYONE no government systems or cronies to keep me and my family alive. I have bought a ton of canned food and other non perishables and when the house is done I will have 2 deep freezes full of enough food to last me a year to add to the non perishables plus my garden.

Suggestions?

[edit on 3-6-2008 by mybigunit]




posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by mybigunit
 


Depends on where you are...

InTexas in the Summer... it can get to 120 in the shade.

It was 102 in West Texas today.

Your AC and HEAT will take a lot of your energy. Also Pumping water will be a bigggie as well.

Everything else is just lights, and radio and Tv and computer, fridge, freezers. Pretty easy to deal with those.

Just 2 1/2 cents worth.

AC and HEAT will be your biggies.

I'm running about 300 KWh per month now, and I'm trying to be effecient.

I forgot Laundry and Drying.... I'm sure that runs my bill up as well.

More Later..

Blitzkreigen



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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Ok I did the Math..

Your looking at 650KWh per month... at MAX output with 100% full wind and sun.

De-rate that by at least 50%.

Your at 325 KWh per month.

I personally KNOW that this is enough power for comfortable living.

Thats without unplugging VCR's, and leaving TV's and Computers plugged in ( Phantom Loads) running 2000 watts PLUS of Security Lighting, Security Cameras, FANS, Garage lights, ceiling fans and lights in every room, fridge, laundry and dryer. I do have a large Fish tank, running 24 /7. Microwave mostly, Coffee Pot in the Mornings.< and Afternoons >
Stereo runs about 4 hours a day for Coast to Coast am.

The only issue that you may have is HEAT in the Winter.

If you go Wood Heat, like a Franklin stove, your "in like Flynn".

In a SIT-X, you can unplug everything and save your batteries. ( phantom Loads, no need for TV or Internet cause they are not working )

( I'm assuming a battery bank and inverters )

What I dont use is Hair dryers, space heaters, I dont cook a lot, and dont have a lot of dishes to wash. I dont have a freezer. I dont have a pool or hot tub, no yard lighting ( 110volt ), and I dont entertain large groups. I dont pump well water, or feed and water livestock. I vacuume once a week.

Water heater is GAS, Central Heat is GAS and Dryer is GAS.

I actually think you have a good system there on the first casual ( but educated ) glance.

The only issue that you may face is DUST, or ASH in the air causing your Solar to output at about 25 % for who knows how long.

I personally could be very comfortable and economical with your system de-trated to 50 % ( 325 KWH per month ) in a SIT-X.

Add a Wife or Girlfriend, and Kids and try to live normally... you will be nervous about runnin' out of juice.

You will just have to explain that a SIT-X has occured, and there will be no 'Charmed' tonight, or "Webkins" or Curlers, or flat irons, or ironing clothes, or 500 watts of Makeup lights, and no partial loads of Laundry, and you might all have to sleep in one room to maintain temperature.

Did I forget to mention 45 minute showers, and everyone helping themselves to the kitchen at all hours cooking for ONE? Hanging on the fridge door for 10 minues looking for something Chocolate and FAST?

All that has to stop... but you will still be comfortable.

Sounds GREAT to me.... Just lay down the law about energy useage, and get as efficient appliances as possible. ( Sunfrost for example )

Best Regards,

Blitzkreigen


[edit on 4-6-2008 by Blitzkreigen fer spellink']

[edit on 4-6-2008 by Blitzkreigen]



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 10:47 PM
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I thought about the whole energy problem. I had the same idea. I'm in Canada and I want to buy a 50 acres property in the north.

The solution for summer heat and cold winters is: an underground house.

You can design it so you have the solar light coming in, heating the house at all time... during the day of course. Then when it's night, you close the window with something that absorb heat.

Earth around the house will keep the temperatures nearly the same without much help. Of course you could build a fireplace and take the wood around the house... but you obviously want to keep that for later when you're whole equipment is broken and it's -30C outside and you're frozen to death.



AC and HEAT will be your biggies.

Solved.



I'm running about 300 KWh per month now, and I'm trying to be effecient.

No way you can make that amount of electricity in the middle of nowhere without some kind of fuel burning generator... at a decent cost. (under 10.000)

From the prices I have, a wind turbine providing 900W is 2.200$. A 400W wind turbine, 1.300. And for solar power, 125W 800$.



I forgot Laundry and Drying.... I'm sure that runs my bill up as well.

In a all-goes-to-hell world, you don't really need that. If you need it, you can do it manually, but you've got to either learn it before hand or have books and the equipment on hand.


I dont pump well water

In a outside of town house, I would advise a well.



Water heater is GAS, Central Heat is GAS

For water heating, you must isolate the water tank, then do a system you can turn it on 1 hour before you take a shower so you maximize the electricity or you install a little pump connected to the water tank and you make the water go on the roof throught a black tube so that the sunlight can heat the water.

[edit on 3-6-2008 by Vitchilo]



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 11:19 PM
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The Turbine Alone is rated at 500 KWh per month.

Add 150 KWh per month for the solar...

= 650 KWh per month with perfect conditions.

De-Rate that by 50 % to be realistic.

=325 KWh per month with his system as advertized and de-rated.


I agree about burying the house, and the laundry...

Blitzkreigen

edited late night math error

[edit on 3-6-2008 by Blitzkreigen]



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 12:49 AM
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Originally posted by mybigunit
This thread is started for the ultimate in self sufficiency.

[edit on 3-6-2008 by mybigunit]


I just became aware of a video produced by a person that has his 5,000 sf. house off the grind. It details all the work he did (by himself) to get the job accomplished.

www.alternativepowervideo.com

My experience in general is that batteries are the bust of the system. They are the only current feasible way to store energy for dark or no-wind use. But they are also expensive, relatively short-lived and require a dedication to maintenance.

Most states have some sort of wind or solar incentives. However, after almost investing in something recently, I get the feeling that (since in most/all cases the installation requires a "blessed" installer) installers are adding in a comfy profit margin since they know that the overall cost will appear lower.

For example, on basically a $20K grid-tied system (an ~2KW system), I could have saved over $2K just by buying the same components over the internet and having them delivered to me, rather than having the installer (worse in my case, because the installer has a "retail" outlet) supply them. And then of course the installer said, "We can't install [the exact same products] or support these if we don't provide them". Yea, right.

And on this $20K grid-tied system, the addition of a 2-3 battery backup system would have added around $8K to the final costs.

Since I don't trust Bush not to start WW3, thus nuking me and anything above ground into radioactive snot, I decided to save some money and am having a 17KW standby generator installed with a fuel tank large enough to last about a week for around $6K installed.

Now if I could just get the govt. to provide incentives for fallout shelters...



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 01:58 AM
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Even without Sit X its great for the environment.

Several things to ponder:

Batteries. You are going to need easy to maintain and have spares if you want overnight power. I have a few friends that have gone this route and they are big pain for the most part but needed if you are truly off grid.

The other major issue is one of visability. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere a wind turbine will be visable or quite a distance and the use of lights at night may attract attention. You need to be able to conceal these systems and black out the house at night so as to not attract attention etc.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 03:14 AM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Yeah that's the major problem I see with wind power. Concealment. With solar power you can, but your installation will be expensive if you want over 1kw of energy. And of course the whole battery thingee... that really is bad.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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Ok if your running 300 kwh approx what size is your house and Im talking heated square feet? Mine is going to be 1800. The reason why I ask is because that will affect how much power is used.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Yeah I want to get a lot of batteries so in situations when its windy and sunny I can have a lot of back up power. Is there any good suggestions for batteries that would lets say give me 2 days worth of power if its not windy or sunny.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:56 AM
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The first thing I would do is look at how to reduce my power needs. As a previous poster noted, heat and cooling will affect your comfort the most. I would look at insulating the heck out of your house and consider hay bale, underground, stucco and traditional modern insulation or any combination of those. Keep in mind passive solar as well. You can orient windows to collect winter sun but shade out summer glare.

Freezers and refridgerators are going to need power and or lots of ice and super insullation. They used to cut ice out of ponds and store it well into summer with a ice cellar and lots of hay.

When people walk in my house in the summer they frequently ask if i have AC but i tell them nope, its just super insulated. My wood stove keeps me quite comfortable in the summer but i would love to get off the grid. Super solar is on its way.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by mybigunit
reply to post by FredT
 


Yeah I want to get a lot of batteries so in situations when its windy and sunny I can have a lot of back up power. Is there any good suggestions for batteries that would lets say give me 2 days worth of power if its not windy or sunny.


Then you might need something to harness the rain. Maybe you copuld collect rain water and run a turbine off of the gravity feed.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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you need to be thinking away from ordinary batteries if your depending on having quality life expectancy from the batteries something like this




East Penn makes batteries like this we use them all over the Us for both Central office backup power and some wireless (cell site) installs they are very spendy but last about 10 years with very little maintenance (proper maintenance is critical)

like I said these are spendy but if properly sized they will run an office for up to 24 hours and we are not talking energy saving stuff when we are talking telecommunications..

Oh yeah these things are HEAVY about 450 pounds each we use engine hoists to install them... you can figure for the stack in the picture about 2500 pounds worth of batteries..

one last edit or add don't forget that you will most likely want to use a 48 volt configuration as it is more efficient when up converting and inverting to 110 and 220 volts..
[edit on 6/4/2008 by geocom]

[edit on 6/4/2008 by geocom]

[edit on 6/4/2008 by geocom]



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 09:17 AM
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is that 24 hours for each battery in the stack or 24 hours for the whole damn stack? I really want 2 days worth of backup just in case we get 2 days no wind or sun. The house is going in Iowa which usually has some sort of wind every day thats why my main power will be my wind energy with the solar kinda being my back up.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by mybigunit
Ok if your running 300 kwh approx what size is your house and Im talking heated square feet? Mine is going to be 1800. The reason why I ask is because that will affect how much power is used.


My House is 1300 Square feet , n/inc. the garage.

I live in Texas where it gets Really Really HOT!

The house was built in 1958, and is NOT insulated very well at all!

I have two large dogs, and I leave the back door open for them to come and go while I'm home. < yes I'm a Carbon Footprint Menace >

FYI, I used to kill the main breaker to the house when I left to go to work.

I did this for several months. At one Point I had a 12.00 electric bill.

Of course this was NOT in the Summer, and there were no kids or other adults here during the day...

On the Batteries.....

You might want to look into "Glass Jars" that are HUGE... about 500 LBS each and only 2 volts. they are used in LARGE telecom backup systems, and Railroad Locomotives.

it will take 6 to make 12 volts, but the amp hours on them are outrageous.. like over 2000 amp hours each...

They are about 2 1/2 feet tall, 2 feet square, clear sides so you can see the plates.. Definately require a forklift to move, but sometimes you can get them USED for about 150.00 each!

Your Run time will depend on your LOAD.

EDIT: I also agree that going 24 to 48 bolts in a sytem makes a LOT of sense. You can use smaller cable to run your system, and COPPER cable is sky high now. I have MCM and 4/0 in a system that I built for mobile applications, and I could NOT aford to buy that cable again today. 300 AMPS 12 volt system, 4000 + watts RUN, 7000 watts START. Full 30 AMPS "pass through" power supply for large Pumps, after converting to 110 volt. If I 'stacked' inverters I could go 220 volts, and cut the AMPS in half.

This system needs updating, but finances seem to rule the day.

I would HAVE to convert to 24 or 48 volts to stack inverters and get 220 volts.

All my batteries are USED, but have been "equalized' with a 40 amp smart 4 stage charger from Stat Power.

Best regards,

Blitzkreigen


[edit on 4-6-2008 by Blitzkreigen]



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by mybigunit
is that 24 hours for each battery in the stack or 24 hours for the whole damn stack? I really want 2 days worth of backup just in case we get 2 days no wind or sun. The house is going in Iowa which usually has some sort of wind every day thats why my main power will be my wind energy with the solar kinda being my back up.


keep in mind you need to calculate what you usage will be and plan around that i give you facts and figures all day long and it wouldn't pertain to you..

That stack and another just like it would power a Phone office for about 24 hours in a smaller office or cell site we only use one stack of four rows about 1800 pounds + - and that lasts 16-24 hours

In a home setting (my home) a stack like in the picture would give me about 2 days worth of power depending on inverter conversion efficiency

also keep in mind a stack the size in the picture will cost about 5-7 thousand dollars..



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 11:11 AM
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If your going to do somthing like this and be off the grid....

I suggest like another has......use the GROUND for help


I have been looking and designing different ways from Yurts to Underground homes. My conclusion is built with multi-types of homes...meaning build part this and part that......maybe part underground and part Yurts (or similar) to deal with all the variables involved (hot weather/cold weather) etc. etc.

If you look on the internet you will see MANY people are doing similar things with many pictures showing the construction progress (may help you and give you some cool ideas).

The other area you may want to look into is the insulation of the home and the many types availaible from natural means with much better values then what you can buy.

I do have a web site for construction/design and have added an area for this sort of stuff....
ca.geocities.com...@rogers.com/CAD-DESIGN-LINKS.html

If you go to Architecural links, I have an area for GREEN building...the mechanical and electrical link sections could help to.

The other item you may want to consider for cold times....is a Masonry Stove/Fireplace you can also hook up a coil and hot water tank for the domestic hot water use plus they are very attractive piece to add to any home...and not to mention the pizza/bread stove you can include


Hope it helps,
Your Canadian friend,
Sven



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 11:14 AM
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I will try again to add this link......may need to add the http:// to the link below

ca.geocities.com/cad-design@rogers.com/CAD-DESIGN-LINKS.html

Hope this works....if not send me a U2U and can send you the the link,

Sven



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 11:26 AM
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Im thinking of using in line water heaters sven that way Im only using energy when I need it as far as the water heating. I cant do the underground because of the layout of the land and not only that I have got my brick house plans already but I will insulate the hell out of it. What do you guys think of in line water heaters also. Remember self sufficiency.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 11:46 AM
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little confused as "in-line water heater"?

You mean an instant water heater?
My site has some under the mechanical section, good thing is they have both domestic and a heating in one unit and can use natural gas and/or propane,
Sven




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