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Author Topic: Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?  (Read 13787 times)

Offline Karen W.

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Hi.... I would like to know what kind of equipment Generators, batteries, solar panels, and such would I need to gt get my entire home off the grid.. and be completely sufficient free from power expenses other then maintenance on equipment to run my home..???   I will consider wind power...in the plan.
I would like to know if there are places to get these things discounted also..or used...you can message me any links for such things and not post prices and products in the forum..

 Lastly how much can one potentially expect to save over h course of a year..

Right now I spend 695.00 a month for gas and electric....my pump is down on my well.. and will have to finish repairing it also.. the bill would be much more expensive when we go back to powering that to.
household power is the idea... and a couple outdoor security lights I want to install... I have been having some late night prowlers... so I wish to illuminate the area and those things need alternative power also...

So what do I need to start purchasing?
« Last Edit: 13/09/2009 11:01:59 by Karen W. »


 

another_someone

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The trouble is that relying on wind power, although useful top up, is an erratic power source.  I cannot see you being able to store enough power in batteries to last you over a windless period.

Looking at my own recent bills, you probably need to budget for a continuous average power consumption of about 5KW.  Thus, you can probably keep going for 24 hours using about 17 12V 60Ah batteries.  Each windless day you need to allow for is the same number of batteries again.

http://www.reuk.co.uk/Calculation-of-Wind-Power.htm gives you some simple calculations for working out how much power you can get from a wind turbine, but the key point is knowing the wind speeds you are likely to get, and how many days you can operate the turbine (i.e. the number of days a year the wind is high enough to take power from the turbine, and not so high as to be dangerous to operate the turbine).

The most sensible thing is probably to run a diesel generator, and have a wind turbine running on those days when it can run.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Thanks George... do you know anything about photo voltaics?
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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I think the next naked scientists show is doing a thing on it actually
 

Offline techmind

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Right now I spend 695.00 a month for gaqas and electric...

I assume that figure is US dollars - but that's still an awful lot of energy. What's the climate (summer and winter) like where you are?

In our modest three-bedroom terraced house in the south of the UK, our total gas + electricity bill for the year is only 690. And I'm guessing energy costs more here than in the US.

Do you know your total energy usage in kWh?
You're going to need a very sizeable installation of any sort to provide $695 of energy per month!
 

lyner

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You are very unlikely to be able to produce your own power cheaper than you can buy it unless:
1. You live next to a fast moving river / hot springs / mountain top.
2. You can DIY all the equipment for your own generation (installers are a real rip off a the moment).
You would need at least three alternative resources, to be on the safe side. Small scale generation using fossil fuels would be necessary as
a backup and that tends to be more expensive per kWh.
If you want to pay less  then use less; thick jumpers and fewer long hot showers?
 

another_someone

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I would guess that one of the problems here is Karen's remote location, which means delivery of energy may not be as trivial as supplying a major metropolitan area.
 

another_someone

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http://www.greenenergy.org.uk/pvuk2/technology/generation.html
Quote
A system with a PV array tilted towards the south would generate approximately 750kWh/year per kWp installed. So a typical 2 kWp system (around 20 m2 of multicrystalline modules) would generate around 1500 kWh per year. Output will be reduced by shade or non-optimal orientations or tilt angles.

If my calculations are correct, it would suggest about 540m2 to run a typical domestic supply.  While the situation may be somewhat better in terms of sunlight in California than in the UK, that is still a lot of PV cells.

http://www.greenenergy.org.uk/pvuk2/technology/cost.html
Quote
A typical price for a grid connected, building integrated PV system is between 6 and 7 per Wp, this works out at 12 000 - 14 000 for a 2 kWp system for a house.

Again, subject to no glaring errors in my maths, it works out at a cost of around 350,000 (I don't know how this is split between labour and materials, and I suspect much of it is labour).

You might want to look at http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/OffGridRenewableEnergyPrimer.pdf (unfortunately, if is PDF rather than HTML - so no use viewing it on your mobile phone).

They regard 75KWh per day as high usage electricity, and my estimates above even exceed this - so maybe I am being overly conservative with the numbers - but even they suggest that the they only really can be self sufficient (with a complex hybrid system, including a generator) when they reduced their electricity usage to between 3KWh and 7 KWh per day.  The problem is that this not only requires installing the generating capacity, but making substantial changes to the house (not a problem when you are building the house from scratch, but will cost when you need to convert an existing house).
 

Offline Karen W.

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Well I Live at approximately 250ft. to 300ft. I am in between. I am surrouned by trees ad big hills around in the mad river valley area . we get wind on most day even when its hot.....I just want to ease my home from the grid but still enjoy my computer appliances etc. some lights when necessary. we have natural gas normally.. but it is crazy expensive.. I will find out the kilowatt usage.
 I want to start purchaseing componant now as I can.. and want to be ready to switch it over within the year sooner If I can.. i want it to be ready... this year... I hope...
thanks you guys and I have more questions.. I already bundle up..... but me has to have a long shower... thats my relax to sleep thing.....Lol...
 

lyner

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How much do they charge you per kWh unit? You seem to be spending a fantastically high amount in total.
I can't help thinking that you have a major item of consumption which could be addressed but which you have not 'noticed' yet.
Unless you can get some significant help from the government (grant etc.) it is unlikely that you will be able to undercut the cost of your present supply. Pay-back times tend to be very long; 20 years or more.
Look at your consumption in detail and try to identify all major items.
Share a bath with a friend, for instance!?
 

Offline Karen W.

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How much do they charge you per kWh unit? You seem to be spending a fantastically high amount in total.
I can't help thinking that you have a major item of consumption which could be addressed but which you have not 'noticed' yet.
Unless you can get some significant help from the government (grant etc.) it is unlikely that you will be able to undercut the cost of your present supply. Pay-back times tend to be very long; 20 years or more.
Look at your consumption in detail and try to identify all major items.
Share a bath with a friend, for instance!?
well... maybe I could hve one delivered on Tuesday???..Lol...

Neil seems to be good at having things delivered.... on Tuesday's, perhaps thats a good delivery day! I should try my hand at it too!!
 

Offline McQueen

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All you actually need to get off the grid, if you live near a power line is a transformer. You raise it up close to the power lines, taking due precautions, and voila, you can draw power straight off the grid without being actually on it. Is this true or false? I think I have a reference somewhere, which I will try to root out, written by an electrical engineer. 
 

lyner

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The magnetic circuit  of a good transformer actually excludes external fields  and leakage of its own field ('hum'), so it wouldn't work too well.
A laminated iron bar with a coil around it (as a secondary winding) could work, if brought close to the  cable. The conductors in the coil should be parallel to the cable.
There is a problem with three phase distribution. You would need to be quite close to one conductor to avoid the partial cancellation of the stray field by  magnetic fields from the other two cables.
« Last Edit: 03/05/2008 11:04:44 by sophiecentaur »
 

another_someone

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Still regarded as stealing electricity - so it is still illegal.
 

lyner

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Yes - don't try this at home!
 

Offline turnipsock

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If you could run you your whole house on a UPS, then you pick how you charge the batteries.

I have seen the price of windmills to generate electricity. Why not just attach a prop to a car alternator and charge a battery from that?

When I sailed across the Atlantic, we had a generator powered from an impeler draged behind the boat. What is to stop us droping the same impelers into the nearest river?
 

Offline Karen W.

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Yeah I can see it now me climbing a pole to steel the power from the power company don't forget the black and white stripes across my bum when they catch me.. or the bits of hair you will see burned here and there after I am electrocuted by the wire... LOL Whoops its and an orange suit here in prison in California...
 

Offline Karen W.

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Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?
« Reply #17 on: 13/09/2009 11:16:05 »
A lot of people here use solar power and batteries one fellow showed me his set up 15 years ago and it cost him 10,000 dollars to get off the grid but these days who knows..  he had a small shed with batteries stacked inside and he said he had and used every convenience that I did and could use it all at once if needed..but    i need to just start buying components ..Nichol and dimming it first!
What should I buy 1RST,PANELS, BATTERIES, WIND TURBINE KITS ETC...WHAT DO YOU THINK...?
 

Offline syhprum

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Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?
« Reply #18 on: 14/09/2009 06:51:03 »
In Iraq where the power grid is in a poor state paddle type generators floating on small barges on the river are a popular form of generation but I am sure they will soon be abandoned if they ever get the grid sorted out.
 

Offline syhprum

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Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?
« Reply #19 on: 14/09/2009 11:07:00 »
Karen

There seem to be two approaches to havesting power from the grid lines, mine to use capacitive coupling and that of Sophiecentaur to couple to the stray magnetic field.
I think experiments are required to settle the matter.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?
« Reply #20 on: 14/09/2009 12:38:39 »
They would never allow us to do that on the river.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?
« Reply #21 on: 14/09/2009 12:39:41 »
Are you going to do an experiment for me!!
 

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Please tell me if you will, what I need to get off the grid?
« Reply #21 on: 14/09/2009 12:39:41 »

 

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