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    • Charlieford
    • By Charlieford 2nd Nov 19, 6:29 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Charlieford
    Help with off grid living please
    • #1
    • 2nd Nov 19, 6:29 PM
    Help with off grid living please 2nd Nov 19 at 6:29 PM
    ď
    Hi All,

    Very new to both forums and off grid. We just moved into a house that is completely off grid and foolishly I never researched this first! So I have zero understanding of what we have technically but I will list below what I know and maybe someone can point us into a better direction to improve things!

    We have a wind turbine which is great, but often we need to use the generator as our crappy old 6 solar panels do very little, and they are on a shaded west facing roof, which makes no sense as we have a massive S facing roof capable of holding 12 plus panels, so this is where I think things can be improved!

    We have use around 300 watts ph, based on Fridge/freezer and our water is a pumped system and is quite energy greedy! We have moved to a gas kettle and have oil fired heating!

    Wind turbine 2.5 kw (work really wells except in easterly wind as itís blocked by a building)
    1000 amp hour battery Deep Cycle batteries (I think these are L16) 2v x 24 units
    2x Out back inverters with a mate2 setup
    8 kw Stephill diesel generator
    6 rather old solar panels

    Please donít bombard me with Tecno stuff, I am just learning, but any help would be greatly appreciated
Page 1
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 2nd Nov 19, 7:09 PM
    • 9,769 Posts
    • 14,703 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    • #2
    • 2nd Nov 19, 7:09 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Nov 19, 7:09 PM
    Hiya Charlie. First off, you may not be in the best place. Loads of helpful people on here, but you might find another forums such as Navitron, or Green Building Forum better, as there will be people with off-grid wind knowledge.

    Purely as an interested bystander, I've followed with great interest the trials and tribulations of the off-gridders on Navitron, and can repeat 'stuff' I've heard, but without any depth of knowledge, if that makes sense.

    I've noticed this decade, that the off-gridders, who tend their WT's with unbridled TLC, have all been signing the praises of PV, and how much easier it is, so that seems to support your initial thoughts about installing more.

    South facing will be best, as you have batts (48kWh is that right, so around 24kWh useable?), and the steeper the better to max out winter gen.

    Adding a sizeable amount of PV to such a big WT, might put you in the pleasant situation, that some have now been reporting, of having diesel go off due to underuse of generators!!!!!!
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • markin
    • By markin 3rd Nov 19, 11:42 PM
    • 891 Posts
    • 739 Thanks
    markin
    • #3
    • 3rd Nov 19, 11:42 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Nov 19, 11:42 PM
    First thing is to make sure you have the tools to test and maintain the acid level in the batteries, if must be over the led plate in every cell. If you neglect them you could soon be looking at replacement that will cost £0000.

    The are plenty of videos on Youtube under "off grid battery maintenance"

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=off+grid+battery+maintenance
    • agentk
    • By agentk 14th Nov 19, 1:30 AM
    • 183 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    agentk
    • #4
    • 14th Nov 19, 1:30 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Nov 19, 1:30 AM
    Pumped water ? Do you mean cold water supply? if so tank in the loft and maybe a dedicated solar panel and battery or timed exsiting pv pumping up at midday. gravity down! Heating and kettle maybe some cooking/warming rayburn/aga. If pumped hot water maybe a pipe rejig and thermosyphon .Insulation first of course. Fridges and freezers are very power hungry am afraid.

    All the above will cost but maybe some long term savings .

    But i agree with martyn pv might be less expensive and distruptive but even 4kw won't cover your 300 watts some days.But with wt should. Divert excess in the summer to hot water tank.
    Last edited by agentk; 14-11-2019 at 1:43 AM.
    3.55kw 2 systems 2.3 se 1.25 sw installed may 2011 and oct 2011..

    I have never been mis sold anything but i have bought a few things i didnt need!
    • ABrass
    • By ABrass 14th Nov 19, 9:44 AM
    • 231 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    ABrass
    • #5
    • 14th Nov 19, 9:44 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Nov 19, 9:44 AM
    If you're off grid then there's a decent chance you've got enough space to let you install a ground based solar array. Which would let you go bigger. It might work out cheaper as well as there's no need for Building control or scaffolding.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 14th Nov 19, 11:10 AM
    • 2,578 Posts
    • 4,461 Thanks
    EricMears
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 19, 11:10 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 19, 11:10 AM
    If you're off grid then there's a decent chance you've got enough space to let you install a ground based solar array. Which would let you go bigger. It might work out cheaper as well as there's no need for Building control or scaffolding.
    Originally posted by ABrass
    Not the whole story though ! 'Permitted Development' may not allow an unlimited size of array - best to check with council before starting.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
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