Saturday, 2 November 2013

The progression of Power.

Ten years have passed  since we decided that we would buy our off grid property.
We had no idea what that would really entail. We knew what was already set up there would not  be appropriate for what we  would need power wise in the future,and that we would have to in reality start from scratch.

The only solar panels  on the house were 6 x30 watt old 1970's  solarex  brand. This was combined with 2 x car 12 volt batteries without an inverter or any other safety equipment. On taking possession of the house  Our Uncle ,who was a retired electrician came with us and quickly modified the setup to get us through the first year  so that we could assess what we would need.
We then purchased after time 8 X 200 watt solar panels ,an  inverter and a controller and 12 X 2 volt ,1000 amp hour batteries to give us a reasonably good 12 volt system.These were all chinese produced bought on ebay..

We kept the original 6 small panels and  set up the  older  batteries as a separate small grid to run our back-up12 volt  lighting system that is installed  throughout the house.
As time when on, and we needed to upgrade even more we decided with advice from our local solar place that we would change our system over to  24 volt instead of 12 volt.
 One day,we had arrived up at the farm  to  find our fridge and freezer  shut down and all the contents spoiled  as our wonderful chinese inverter had died. ,Oh what a smell and mess, took ages to be rid of it,e buried the meat in a big  hole and had to spend weeks de-smelling the appliances.
We invested in a good quality 2400 watt xtender brand inverter, and changed things over.
Best move we ever made, everything has been running like a dream ever since.
We have since purchased 6 more of the big blue batteries, but need still another 6  so that we will have two 24 volt battery banks.

The photo above shows my husband and his beautiful Uncle Ernie ,who was such a wonderful help to us, and teaching my husband  how to  work with the solar power.
Sadly  Uncle Ernie passed away last year after a very long battle with prostate cancer. He is greatly missed. RIP Ernie.
While we were on a roll with the solar stuff, we decided to add a solar panel to the roof ,controller inside and batteries under the seat of our caravan so that we can travel and be independent  of caravan parks and electricity.This works brilliantly.

I am sure  there will be many more modifications to the house solar system  as time goes by.
We intend to add a cool room later on,which will probably require  a seperate inverter and battery bank of it's own, so that it is isolated from the house grid .
We find that living off the grid is wonderful, our battery bank allows us to run, fridge ,freezer,tv, dvd,computer,lights,microwave,washing machine  ect.
If we want to run heavier power draw items like irons, toaster, hairdryers,vacumn cleaners and other things like that, we start up our back up generator for these.
Living off grid is wonderful, it is great knowing  that we are producing all our own power are are not reliant on the electricity  grid for anything.
So if you are sitting on the fence trying to decide wether  to try off grid living  or not ,then all I can say is do it !! you will never be sorry.
So folks, until we meet again,
Cheers to everyone,

P.S. Just wanted to add an update to this. Since writing this  blog entry we have  added again to our battery bank. We Travelled to Sydney last week and purchased 7 more batteries to add to our grid.(6 plus a spare)

Brian spent the best part of the day rearranging all the batteries and re-connecting  them up to run this as a 1000 amphours.  A huge job as each of these big blue batteries weighs about 75 kilograms.
Every little step we take now will make a huge difference to our lifestyle down the line.
Must move on.
Cheers to everyone once again,

1 comment:

  1. I like this blog...I think that it would be fun to get into investing...... solar panels cost