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Thread: Solar Power for dummies...off grid hook up.

  1. #31
    LHBA Member Timber's Avatar
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    I asked but no answer
    http://www.wholesalesolar.com/brands/solarworld
    Looks like Solar Worlds main location is Germany. They have been making panels since 1988.
    Last edited by Timber; 02-08-2016 at 07:28 PM.

  2. #32
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    So I have a question for all the energy guru's amongst ya'll (frikin' 'merican speak).

    Given where i live, there's a fair number of low sun days. A generator is a given.

    Fuel costs aside, is there a downside to a small genset to charge a battery bank regularly (thinking possibly even a woodgas system) and foregoing solar, except for the summer time when plenty of sunlight is available?

    I've run camps strictly on a generator for power, but without batteries it seems like such a waste, so much unused energy when the unit is running without any load/demand.
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

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  3. #33
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
    So I have a question for all the energy guru's amongst ya'll (frikin' 'merican speak).

    Given where i live, there's a fair number of low sun days. A generator is a given.

    Fuel costs aside, is there a downside to a small genset to charge a battery bank regularly (thinking possibly even a woodgas system) and foregoing solar, except for the summer time when plenty of sunlight is available?

    I've run camps strictly on a generator for power, but without batteries it seems like such a waste, so much unused energy when the unit is running without any load/demand.
    In college I optimized a solar system for Iowa city. Turned out that you were ahead
    Running a generator, w/o any panels (or batteries) Panels have gotten a lot cheaper, batteries are about the same.

    Sent from my VS986 using Forum Runner

  4. #34
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    I actually run a generator a few hours daily, since my battery capacity is small on my temporary setup. Cost about $20 a week to run. It's a little on the big side, at 3250 watts, to handle the sewer pump if it needs to run. One of those 1800 watt Honda or Suzuki inverter generators would be way, way more fuel efficient. (and barely hear it when it is running)
    All my bad forum habits I learned from LHN

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  5. #35
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    Even At $20/week that's still less than what i pay for hydro every month!
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/parent.j...gHomeBuilding#

  6. #36
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    We have done that for over 20 years in our "other" house. Depending on how many people are here and charging their laptops, etc. we run the generator every other day or every third day for a couple of hours in the evening to charge up the (large) battery bank. It's a diesel generator and diesel is cheap where we are. Downsides are the noise and having to go out there and turn it on and off, fill up the tank... and the danger that if we are not here and someone else is using the house, they will run the batteries down too far. People who are not used to being off the grid have no conception of how much energy they are using. We're in the process of finally converting to solar, but this is a very sunny area and it makes the most sense. In the past we have only had one panel to top up the batteries when we are gone.

  7. #37
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    Now, here's a loaded question, what is a good target (realistic) monthly power consumption amount? 500Kwh? 1000Kwh? I know this is a hugely variable number. I'd like to get an idea based on current on-grid consumption, vs what can be produced between solar and generator supplement.
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/parent.j...gHomeBuilding#

  8. #38
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdart View Post
    We have done that for over 20 years in our "other" house. Depending on how many people are here and charging their laptops, etc. we run the generator every other day or every third day for a couple of hours in the evening to charge up the (large) battery bank. It's a diesel generator and diesel is cheap where we are. Downsides are the noise and having to go out there and turn it on and off, fill up the tank... and the danger that if we are not here and someone else is using the house, they will run the batteries down too far. People who are not used to being off the grid have no conception of how much energy they are using. We're in the process of finally converting to solar, but this is a very sunny area and it makes the most sense. In the past we have only had one panel to top up the batteries when we are gone.


    Our solution, in the old days, was a Honda 600w generator. Whisper quiet. It would run 4-1/2 hours on 1/2 gallon of gas (7.25 kg) and we'd fire it up to watch a movie tape and let it charge batteries til it ran out of gas.

    We had a big generator for washing clothes or running the table saw.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
    Now, here's a loaded question, what is a good target (realistic) monthly power consumption amount? 500Kwh? 1000Kwh? I know this is a hugely variable number. I'd like to get an idea based on current on-grid consumption, vs what can be produced between solar and generator supplement.
    You're right about the disclaimers.

    I (often) average 10 KWH per day, so times 30, that's 300 KWH per month.

    Now for my qualifiers:
    1 guy
    No AC
    No heat (that's gas now)
    Most light bulbs are LED (bought cheap, but good light)

    So 500 KWH per person is generous, under the same conditions as me.

    Have you checked you hydro bill? It should show you what you're paying for. Do be careful about meter readings. Numbers on the meter are often not KWH, but get multiplied by a "multiplier" (a scale factor) to tell you KWH. Also, you might get distracted by some of the billing figures. Specifically, in the US, many (all?) electric companies are now charging separately for energy and for distribution. This lowers the amount they pay for energy when a homeowner sells back, but it can also complicate the study of that bill. Just look for the KWH and ignore the rest of that distraction. You'll see what you're actually using already, with loads you already know.

    Also, it's good to get to know specifics on those loads. I'd recommend a Kill-A-Watt meter, or a competitor with better display viewing angle. It can tell you power in use right now, and total energy used since power on. You could plug it into your fridge outlet, and your fridge into the meter, and measure over the course of a week or month, or however long you like. I'd check the washer and dryer, too.
    Last edited by donjuedo; 02-19-2016 at 03:54 PM.

  10. #40
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donjuedo View Post
    You're right about the disclaimers.

    I (often) average 10 KWH per day, so times 30, that's 300 KWH per month.

    Now for my qualifiers:
    1 guy
    No AC
    No heat (that's gas now)
    Most light bulbs are LED (bought cheap, but good light)

    So 500 KWH per person is generous, under the same conditions as me.

    Have you checked you hydro bill? It should show you what you're paying for. Do be careful about meter readings. Numbers on the meter are often not KWH, but get multiplied by a "multiplier" (a scale factor) to tell you KWH. Also, you might get distracted by some of the billing figures. Specifically, in the US, many (all?) electric companies are now charging separately for energy and for distribution. This lowers the amount they pay for energy when a homeowner sells back, but it can also complicate the study of that bill. Just look for the KWH and ignore the rest of that distraction. You'll see what you're actually using already, with loads you already know.

    Also, it's good to get to know specifics on those loads. I'd recommend a Kill-A-Watt meter, or a competitor with better display viewing angle. It can tell you power in use right now, and total energy used since power on. You could plug it into your fridge outlet, and your fridge into the meter, and measure over the course of a week or month, or however long you like. I'd check the washer and dryer, too.
    Oh trust me, as an Ontarian, I've been studying my electric bill since i've been receiving one. And i own a kill-a-watt.

    2 months of usage = 1800Kwh.

    Cost of electricity: $196.15
    Delivery: $126.86
    Regulatory charges: $12.25
    Debit retirement charge: $0.00 (somehow qualified for an exemption this month, normally about $13)
    Tax: $43.58

    Total: $378.84
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/parent.j...gHomeBuilding#

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