Off-Grid with Cam: Part 2

believe that all right carrying on them you need or maybe a generator depending on what your system is set up like I've got a little 3500 wat protein power generator but if you get a really long stretch of cloudy weather and your batteries are getting getting low then you'll need power generator I noticed that in the last three years I've used 14 kilowatts of electricity from the generator I've got my generator running through a little power meter in 14 kilowatts isn't very much that's less than the average house uses any day so over for 33 years I've used less than most houses with using the day from the generator do you find out more efficient than the gas property owner no I find it I find it easier to maintain because the gas power generators the Gascon skunky if you don't yes don't fit so you have to either have to use them or you have to fill it with the gas that thing's pretty easy to start and and the propane never goes bad and since i rarely use it i didn't haven't used that in two years i think so since i rarely use it that that's a you know it's badehr sort of as an emergency backup type of thing what's the relative cost I've compared to a gas generator that was about seven hundred dollars I suspect that number again you could probably get a gas generator for you know a 3500 wats not a big generator you know probably get a 3500 watt generator for probably half that for gas um if you go for grid tied without storage you're still connected to the power company and they're still sending power your house but you've got renewable energy sources an inverter which is supplying your house when it can if your house isn't drawing very much power you can sell that power back to the power company although they don't pay you very much for my assumption is that you don't have to deal with them well I usually how did I have no relationship with Nova Scotia Power other than so I thought they were the people that did the inspection because they're the inspection authority that says a little assess uist but but but beyond the fact that had to meet the electrical specifications because you can electrocute yourself to burn yourself down in an off-grid house just as well as you can in turn on gronau so matt has to meet it but no I have no relationship within his power and I'm gonna build I don't don't do anything with nice yeah yeah Andy nice um did you find they give you any hassle with return know the effect inspector seemed a little what's the word fourplex with us with the stuff that was off British you know a regular stay on because the comes in goes here the inverter and then it's just regular stuff and that was he was fine with he was a little perplexed with it I don't think he dealt with many of those previously released not many but no there was I saw no attempts to hassle me about it okay he was trying to do his job the best of his ability and I could not complain about that so grateful get done I got past and no issues but the in the electric the electrician's I worked with have done this sort of thing before so they were familiar with it and at the time that I did it it all went smoothly all right it's okay the one advantage of the without storage is you don't have the battery bank yeah the only cost saving on the battery you have you don't have to pay for the battery bank but the bad thing is of course is if the power goes out at night and you go out yeah so so you and you have some of them and that's actually quite a popular thing in Australia that's tremendously popular see that going on over the place my daughter lives in Australia so I got some familiarity of that but it's not and I know people that have that it's not a bad way to do it but it doesn't give you the independence that you might have grid-tied wit storage is very similar except we've added a battery pack here so that your renewable energy charges up a battery pack from there goes to the inverter from there it goes to your house and really the power company here is only serving as a backup if you use more power than you can generate more or your matters are getting level so that's that's a handy way to go as well and it does mean that if power company goes out you are still fine you're running off the battery pack there then there's full off-grid this is my situation the only change there is everything is the same except over here instead of having the power company I have a generator so if something goes wrong here in the this system here or the battery bank just gets low then I can fire up the generator you can charge up the batteries through it through the inverter and I can power the house from yes you want a plan for energy efficiency from from the beginning one of the things you want to do is avoid phantom loads can anybody tell me with phantom load is all little blocks on your knees here yeah the TV's that don't really shut off in here any anything that takes power when it's not doing anything useful and there's a remarkable number of these things these days you don't think about it that much but they're all over the place there's a list of some of the things they're gonna let draw power when they're not doing anything useful certainly in our case with things like the TV the microwave a satellite box the garage door open we've got them on such as we're not using we flipped them off some things we just do without I don't have an answering machine if you don't get the phone back later and for computers I've been computed the laptop that I'm using to run this display as my main computer those things are much more efficient because they've been designed for portable operation than a desktop type computer which choose a lot more power so those are good margin so you want to think about yeah i rewired my doorbell so that it's a rather mouth usually a little transformer this is their drawing five watts just so that when somebody presses it you know every few days it can go Bing bong line runs off the battery so it's not doing anything if nobody's Preston so at the door knocker yeah my doorbell anyway mangala do it but now this doesn't these times waste power nobody nobody thinks about it there's a lot of choices in trade-offs what you're talking about off-grid energy usage is the first one because it's reducing your energy uses way less expensive and building a big big off-grid power system so that's that's the first the first trick you need to generate if you're looking at this you probably want to do an energy budget based on either your current electric bill would you tell you how much you're using now or you can get spreadsheets that's will you can say well alright I'm going to be using the TV for so many hours a day and it takes so much and you can go through and add up all the stuff that you're using it's easy to forget stuff or leave things out but i did a energy budget like that before building the housing was pleased to discover that my energy use is a little less than the budget had predicted so that that wasn't bad okay you renewable power source that's one of the things you there's number of fact is how big is your renewable power source your panels if you're going for photovoltaic how big is the battery how much you going to use and how often you is the generator these are all interrelated because if you have a very small battery it doesn't cost you very much but you're going to likely having to be running generator a lot because the battery is going to run down and also you're pushing the battery hard so it's not going to last as long you can put in a really big battery that costs more but then you need how quickly can you charge this battery up you may need a bigger bigger solar array to charge it up so there's a whole lot of things that are interrelated and relate back to cost so it's it really need to sit down with somebody that's knowledgeable and talk to it about it again top batteries are part of this equation the generator is part of the equation alright let's talk about some example of photovoltaic packages these prices were from about a year ago so it may have changed a little bit but they're they're reasonably current these are representative ballpark figures your mileage may vary depends on you get to do the installation but at least this gives you some idea of what's going on this was for a grid-tied system 5,000 watts installed floor 16,500 again that's with the the price of these panels is come down dramatically you want to get a little bigger this is a grid-tied system with a small battery or above twenty thousand dollars and this is a good size system 5,000 watts with a big battery that's essentially the system I've got and that comes out to around twenty six thousand installed and I know some people works at home goodness I couldn't afford to be off grid and yet they're in fairly big houses my theory is but make your house smaller but but the moment in the off-grid stuff you don't need a house the THX for that's so that's that's my theory um it's not about off good living it's not that different direct that many things that we do differently other than the things I've talked about what saving things up for for sunny days and being a bit cautious there are the two distinct modes of living that I talked about the power conservation mode where we're being careful and not not using a lot of power and the go hog wild Power abundance mode I use wood then I've got an electric wood splitter that I use for its and I pick sunny days in the fall to split my good if it's not sunny they don't do it it works fine we've got me my wife use uses a I don't drink coffee but she does we use a stovetop coffeepot rather than an electric coffeemaker clothes line versus dryer the laptop computers and and work with against work with and not against nature so so don't don't try to be doing power-hungry things at night or in 30 days they've there the money when you can if possible and tiny houses are ideal for off-grid because their their their power consumption is inherently relatively small and you can add an offering system to go without that much difficulty they are their abuse pecially theory that's been designed for that from the get-go it's a great way to do it and that's it any other questions you

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