Thursday, 6 June 2013

The luxury of electricity.

When we bought our place all it had to run our off grid house  were two car batteries hooked to a few 20 year old 30 watt solar panels which only ran the lights on a 12 volt system.. All other power usage was via a small generator.
Since then we have added  8x 200 watt panels,new batteries and a big new power inverter and some other bits and bobs. We now  run the house  on a 24 volt system and rarely have to back up with a generator.The cost of having mains power was ridiculous so we opted to stay with the solar off grid stand alone and are very happy with our decision. We cannot run air conditioning but that's not a major problem. I have two stoves, one  gas and the other wood. We also heat with a wood fire in the lounge.The photos below  show the existing system  with a few changes before it was relocated and upgraded,the battery bank and the new inverter,. Also a pic of the new panels.

We are in constant upgrade mode, there is always something we choose to add or improve and that will probably always be the case.
The current system seems to be working well, and if i can give any advice on this it is to buy the best(or better) than you can afford, it will save replacements down the track and wasting money.(Especially when it comes to inverters and batteries)
So until next time, everyone take care,


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  2. Hi I am very interested in your solar power as we are building a small house where there is no electricity available. we have been told the system we are interested in will be enough to power the house, we will have gas stove and hot water heater, the cost is approx 20,000. this is a large investment and we are hoping it will be okay. you seem to know a lot about solar, did ou buy new or second hand? the company we are looking at buying from are going to install it. any advice would be appreciated before we commit thanks Ann

  3. Hi Ann, when we first came up here we purchased a set of second hand (ex telstra) batteries and a couple of new solar panels.This was fine for about the 11 years that we were only living here part time.
    Once we moved permanantly we upgraded the system.
    We purchased a new battery bank 24 volt 1340 amphrs (cost approx $8, 700) a new set of 8 250 watt solar panels (cost $2000), a new 4000 watt sinewave inverter (cost $4000) this now runs our entire home and we use the existing set up to run our cool room. My husband did tge installation, abd saved us money.
    We run, fridge, freezer, lights, tv, dvd, computer, chargers, mixmaster, microwave ect.
    We have gas stove and solar hot water and at this point a wood cook stove also.
    On good sunny days we even use the electric jug.
    We just have to be careful if we have a few continuos cloudy days,.
    Hope this is of some help Ann,

    1. Hi Jane, thanks for the info and prices, we were quoted 19,900 for 12 solar panels 48V/3Kwp solar 2kWh battery/3 Kw inverter fully installed. we have been told that is enough to power house for up to 3 days without sun. I guess that depends on how much is used, we will have generator backup. how important is it to keep batteries 50% charged.I heard not to let them get below 50%.
      sounds like you are really enjoying your retirement and I can't believe your pantry.I am unsure about canning as I am worried I might not seal jars properly or something and poison everybody. It certainly looks beautiful and must give you satisfaction knowing you have such a wonderful stockpile. You certainly keep yourself busy. I have 7 grandchildren and absolutely love them all. thanks Ann

    2. Hi Ann,
      Sounds like you will be fine, Brian said that rather than letting it get down to 50 % he prefers to only roughly use about 33 %, unless you are using lithium iron batteries and then you can draw more.
      Hope it goes well,
      Enjoy those grandkids.