There are a number of reasons why people consider living off the grid. Where I live (Great Barrier Island, NZL), there is no grid. No reticulated electricity nor water. If you want to live here, you have no other choice than living off-grid. For ecological and economical reasons, it makes sense to establish a power system for your home that is based on renewables like solar, wind and hydro.
In January of this year I wrote an article about ‘long-term plans and incentives‘ after experiencing first hand the magnitude of already installed renewable energy systems throughout Germany within the private and public sector. Stating that the dimension and the extent of what Germany has been doing in this respect is incredible in this country is certainly no exaggeration. I was talking to a local board member about solar, wind and hydro power and whether there are any (comprehensive) plans from the Auckland Council and/or the Great Barrier Island Local Board regarding a pathway toward renewable energy sustainability for this Island (you may exchange ‘Island’ with whichever city you live in).
In part one I wrote about some practical properties of electricity and energy, in this part I write briefly about realistic ways of generating electricity for off grid home use. Focusing on costs of setups and on quantifying how much power is generated. Part III will be about storing electricity, maintaining batteries, charge controllers and DC-AC inverters.
This is a comment I added to the previous post (Off Grid Power Systems I – Electricity):
- To gain a better understanding of quantities like power, voltage, current, charge, etc., it is helpful to consider the analogy to flowing water.
There are basically five realistic ways to generate electricity: Continue reading Off Grid Power Systems II – Generating Power
I mentioned in a previous post (39 Hour Trip to Germany) about the roof tops of houses and publicly owned buildings in Germany being fully covered with solar panels. While most houses in Germany don’t have photo voltaic panels installed I like to note that it isn’t rare either. When you’re driving on the Autobahn, you’ll notice in most parts of Germany that farm buildings have them installed and moreover you will see many gigantic windmill farms, too.
Well, it certainly took a while, but I’m finally running on solar power. Bought, or as they say in New Zealand, brought a 190W 24V mono-crystalline solar panel and a 30 A MPPT solar controller last week, when I was in town, and hooked it up the other day. So far, so good. Panels are getting quite affordable these days and you can get a good deal for your buck. Prices are between 3-4 NZD per Watt. My 190 W (24V) panel had a price tag of 551 NZD and the MPPT solar controller was 330 NZD (rated at 30 Ampere; on 12V it can run two of these panels, on 24V it can handle almost 4. Continue reading Solar Power Baby