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Old 12-15-2008, 02:26 PM
 
Location: rural east coast Australia
46 posts, read 102,934 times
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...anyone else do this? I've been on solar ( and propane for hot water and cooking) since 1988.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:33 PM
 
24,839 posts, read 33,053,028 times
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It is not very sunny in Michigan.
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Way up north :-)
3,031 posts, read 5,363,614 times
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fourx, my partner wants to set up an off-grid house on our property. When I say 'house' I mean underground launch pad for gawd knows what.
Have you seen YoungLisa7's thread? I think it's Rural Living..but she's done a fantastic diary of her home-building adventures. She is very much off-grid and self-sufficent.
Our place would be solar, wind and water powered. (We have a creek running thru' the property which Future-Man plans to dam.)
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,521 posts, read 26,837,615 times
Reputation: 88575
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacq63 View Post
fourx, my partner wants to set up an off-grid house on our property. When I say 'house' I mean underground launch pad for gawd knows what.
Have you seen YoungLisa7's thread? I think it's Rural Living..but she's done a fantastic diary of her home-building adventures. She is very much off-grid and self-sufficent.
Our place would be solar, wind and water powered. (We have a creek running thru' the property which Future-Man plans to dam.)
Hey lady,
I like the underground launch pad. It sounds like our roof.

Here is our link for anyone interested. We just finished building(well almost) our off grid house and moved in in October.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/tenne...tennessee.html


I love not having to rely on anyone else for our electric. We also use wind in addition to solar.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:07 PM
 
3,853 posts, read 11,796,371 times
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I'd say eventually we will get to the point where every roof will be a hybrid roof with solar panel material embedded. For the most part, most people don't do it because right now solar panels are very expensive. Like 3$/watt lowest I've seen. Either the price of electricity needs to go up or the price of solar panels needs to come down.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:05 AM
 
Location: rural east coast Australia
46 posts, read 102,934 times
Reputation: 32
...or the output needs to go way, way up. Unless you are prepared to shell out big bucks be prepared to do without blenders, microwaves, vac cleaners and desk-top computers. I don't miss any of them.
Younglisa7, looks fantastic.I only have 21/2 acres, but it's between a 500 acre and a 800 acre grazing propertie with no-one living on them...just the sound of the river over the rapids, and the wind in the trees. Did you design the home yourself?
Jacq, I drew out the design of my passive-solar home in chalk on the parking lot of my office in Adelaide, and even though the climate here, NSW mid-north coast, is far different, it works like a charm. We use a gas heater maybe one day each winter, and some mornings- the rest of the time North facing windows and a slate-faced brick heatsink eliminate the need for heating. In the summer, french doors and shutters combined with a twenty-foot ceiling and siteing to allow the through-flow of south easterly breezes mean no fans or other cooling is required. It very easy to live well and cheaply in a solar home ( I work 14 hours a week, my wife works twelve) with a little thought and an alert bull**** antenna.
Any info you and your partner need, just ask away.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:44 PM
 
357 posts, read 895,116 times
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tell us how do it, and if knowing what you know now, what would do it differently.
where you get your stuff, are those stuff you start out 20 years ago are the same what you have now.
you are at the other side of the world from the USA, you have do any things different down there.
are those panels, batteries and inverters and some other stuff that need to generate electricity available in this the US.
if 20 years in working is too much to post in this forum, just give me links, i would like to see how you do it, cost and complicity to maintain those elements.

thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fourx View Post
...or the output needs to go way, way up. Unless you are prepared to shell out big bucks be prepared to do without blenders, microwaves, vac cleaners and desk-top computers. I don't miss any of them.
Younglisa7, looks fantastic.I only have 21/2 acres, but it's between a 500 acre and a 800 acre grazing propertie with no-one living on them...just the sound of the river over the rapids, and the wind in the trees. Did you design the home yourself?
Jacq, I drew out the design of my passive-solar home in chalk on the parking lot of my office in Adelaide, and even though the climate here, NSW mid-north coast, is far different, it works like a charm. We use a gas heater maybe one day each winter, and some mornings- the rest of the time North facing windows and a slate-faced brick heatsink eliminate the need for heating. In the summer, french doors and shutters combined with a twenty-foot ceiling and siteing to allow the through-flow of south easterly breezes mean no fans or other cooling is required. It very easy to live well and cheaply in a solar home ( I work 14 hours a week, my wife works twelve) with a little thought and an alert bull**** antenna.
Any info you and your partner need, just ask away.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: rural east coast Australia
46 posts, read 102,934 times
Reputation: 32
Wabanaki, I still use the original four panels, they work fine, and a battery-bank of four heavy-duty marine batteries, which last around five years a set. Everything is 12 volt including lights, and a Johnson bilge pump gives water pressure for the house and garden. Inverter is a cheap 350 watt from an electrical store. If we had kids we would have needed to expand the system, maybe, although there are plenty of folk around with large families who run on the same size cheap system. Really, there is nothing I would do different, and most parts for solar here are US sourced.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:50 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,631 posts, read 15,814,543 times
Reputation: 10155
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourx View Post
...or the output needs to go way, way up. Unless you are prepared to shell out big bucks be prepared to do without blenders, microwaves, vac cleaners and desk-top computers. I don't miss any of them.
While solar PV panels have been around along time, it's still a relatively young industry. The efficiency of the solar wattage to electric wattage conversion needs to come way up. The price of the panels needs to come down. The price of appliances and equipment designed for 12V needs to come down. Right now, IF you are in a position to be grid-tied, it just doesn't make financial sense to take yourself off-grid.

Solar thermal, on the other hand, is practical NOW in at least 60-70% of the US. Our solar thermal panels are nearly 80% efficient (yes, depends on air temps and other factors) at turning solar energy into hot water and at a far cheaper panel price (we used flat panels instead of evacuated tubes). Our system to run the domestic hot water and radiant floors was self-installed and ran about $5000. Leaving aside the utility, state and federal rebates, we calculate a 10 year payback on a system life of at least 25 years. Granted, we still have electric back-up for the wintery sunless days, so the system doesn't supply 100% of our needs.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: AZ
77 posts, read 371,423 times
Reputation: 27
PNW- very well put. Are you in the industry or just a well informed consumer?
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