Going Off Grid

by Glen Parkinson
(Clackline WA)

Hey People

I was browsing the web looking for others that are doing what I am doing and that is enjoying the homesteading lifestyle. Anyway I came across this website and thought I would add a quick intro of myself to you all.

I live on my own, well and the dogs, on a 1 acre property in Clackline WA. I have been slowly building my property to be as independent from the grid as possible. Although I am still connected to the grid I try to be as self sufficient as I can.

For power I have two solar systems. The first is the grid connect that generates power back to the grid and the second is a self built off grid system that feeds a set of batteries. I run about 80% of my electrical needs from my off grid solar system.

For my off grid system I have ten 190 watt solar panels on the roof of my workshop that feed a 60 amp charge controller then to a bank of Surrette batteries "24 volts". From there it goes to a Latronics 1800 watt pure sine wave inverter then out to my breaker panel. This system runs all my workshop and everything in my house with the exception of the big load appliances.

I harvest my own rain water which gets stored in water tanks about 40,000 litres of storage which gives me enough water to supply 100% of my garden needs all year round. I also run a simple self built grey water system to help water my ornamental plants in summer time.

For livestock I have chooks, ducks and a bee hive which is enough to keep me going. For food I try to grow as much as I can in the veggie garden but our harsh environment makes it hard in summer time.

Anyway that's a little about myself, my lifestyle and my alternative energy story. Hope this helps others to start or continue on their journey of self sufficiency.

Oh, I did make a simple website of my property. It is a simple one as I am no web designer but you are welcome to have a browse through it if you like. www.aussiehomestead.com

Glen

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Jul 21, 2016
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Substantially Off-Grid
by: Tony Clark

21/7/2016
We upgraded from the lead-acid batteries to a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
It has a capacity of 360AH which can supply over 18KWH of power, enough for 2 days of normal use without solar input. We still have the 1KWp Grid connect system, which has now exceeded 11MWH of power generation in the 8 years it has been installed, most of which was exported to the grid.

We retained the 4.2KVA inverter and 60A MPPT charger, but plan to add another 1KWp of solar panels, to improve our winter solar contribution.

I will update from time to time.
Tony

Jul 06, 2014
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Substantially Off-Grid
by: Tony Clark

Glen, Congratulations on your decision to take control of your power needs.
We also have made the same decision, having installed 3.6KWp of solar panels, a large 48v bank of second hand Lead-Acid batteries and a 4.2 KVA inverter.
Our grid feed installation is only 1KWp, but over the last 5 years has generated over 8MWH of power.
Our heating is from biomass (wood fire), hot water is Solar with auxiliary heating from a wood fire. The Stove is gas and the over electric.

In the last 5 years we have has $1200 of grid feed generation refunded to us.

During winter,if the forecast is for overcast, we switch to Mains, starting with Off-Peak (9pm - 7am), then if the batteries are below 70% charge, we then switch to mains for Off-Peak and Shoulder charging periods. We almost never draw power from the grid during Peak charging times.
When the batteries are over 80% charged, we stay on our power.
When the mains is down, we have the ability to maintain our lifestyle for up to 5 days of no mains with cloudy conditions, before we need to use a generator to charge the batteries.

I would have liked to have a look at your website but the link does not work.


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