Is going off Grid highly expensive?

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12 years 2 weeks ago #23435 by secoff
Is going off grid or at least having alternitve poerr more expensive if your on a small budget.?
Our property has, rain water supply and we cook our food on a gas Stove. But we rely on Main grid power for almost everything else Apart from the Wood Burner..
Looking at Other means of power is really expensive, to setup and Buy. Wind or Solar power can be if your on a one income or on a small budget.

Anyone got any suggestions on how to go about it? As we would like to learn a bit more about it.

Grant, Janna, Bill, Robyn, Belinda,Logan. Alpine(dog), Gizmo (dog) Tigger(cat)

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12 years 2 weeks ago #333950 by Organix
Plenty of data on this thread . Also worth considering net metering (i.e. feeding excess generation onto the national grid) if you already have a connection.

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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12 years 2 weeks ago #333961 by arnie.m
If you have grid power to the site already it would not be worth going off the grid as pay back would probably be too long.

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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12 years 2 weeks ago #334051 by lizard
Try limiting your self to one plug in the house for the night, so when someone want to do something like, shave, use the playstation/computer etc the TV has to be turned off... It's not real but can show you some limits on being on solar power - I know I live on it, and unless your going to spend 20-30K then you are limited if you go off the grid and that trial shows best how hard it could be. Remember you may have a fridge and/or freezer going, they take up a reasonable amount of power, so saying you'll go solar is not as easy as having a couple of batteries and a panel and only having one light on at night. Also you would need solar or wet back hot water, the costs just go on and on.... Stay on the grid, well until the lines get old and they don't want to renew them.

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12 years 2 weeks ago #334113 by OakhengeFarm
One thing a lot of people forget, is that grid ties (or net metering as Organix calls it) always assume the lines are working! The main incentive for us to go off-grid is because of the number and duration of power cuts here. My husband relies on computers and internet for his livelihood, so power outages are a royal pain in the ****.
If we were to sell all our spare power to the National Grid, how would we get it back if the lines were down??? No, sorry, we will have a big battery bank and keep all our own power on-site.

Having said that, we're probably due for another one - haven't had a blackout in a couple of weeks now.

11 acres (4 in QEII Covenanted native bush), 15 sheep, 2 beefies, large vege gardens and a goat, and still no dog!:(

Oh, and uncountable wild birds - including fantails, swallows, yellowhammers, morepork, magpies, hawks, pukekos, and even quaill, pheasants and rainbow lorikeets [:D][:D] Not to mention possums, hares, rabbits, rats...

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12 years 2 weeks ago #334116 by Organix
Oakhenge, as far as computer continuity during power outages go how about investing in a UPS (Uninterupted Power Supply)?

We have a relatively small one to run our router (as we're on Primowireless broadband) so we have the best part of 3 hours of computer capability in the case of an outage dependant on whether the laptop or UPS batteries fail first :)

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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12 years 2 weeks ago #334119 by OakhengeFarm
Nice thought Organix, but our power cuts last, on average, about 5 - 6 hours. You must have a pretty impressive UPS! They usually happen during a late night thunderstorm and nothing gets fixed until morning.

11 acres (4 in QEII Covenanted native bush), 15 sheep, 2 beefies, large vege gardens and a goat, and still no dog!:(

Oh, and uncountable wild birds - including fantails, swallows, yellowhammers, morepork, magpies, hawks, pukekos, and even quaill, pheasants and rainbow lorikeets [:D][:D] Not to mention possums, hares, rabbits, rats...

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12 years 2 weeks ago #334122 by Organix

OakhengeFarm;321278 wrote: Nice thought Organix, but our power cuts last, on average, about 5 - 6 hours. You must have a pretty impressive UPS! They usually happen during a late night thunderstorm and nothing gets fixed until morning.

3 hours of draw from a router is minimal. It's usually the laptop that gives up first, or the wireless provider's UPS on the site we house. I'm usually over tapping away on the lappy by candle light by then anyway :rolleyes:

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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12 years 1 week ago #334370 by emumad
we looked at going off grid or being fairly independent of it, and wound up with gas hot water and cooking, composting toilet to save water, a growing battery bank with solar charging , inverter and generator to provide emergency back up for freezer etc. wind is an option where we are but these things happen slowly as the buget allows and we try to minimise mains use untill we have a stand alone system working.
hope you can find a system to meet your needs (you always seem to use more power than you think) and there are some helpful people on this site to point out any pitfalls.
good luck,
craig.

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12 years 1 week ago #334371 by GrantK

emumad;321550 wrote: ...you always seem to use more power than you think...

This was the key point in my analysis as detailed in the other thread referenced by Organix above.

When I stopped to think about the 17 - 20kWh per day that we use now, and realised what it would take to replace it with Solar/Battery power, the capital cost started mounting up rapidly.

Then there are some extra luxuries that we want to have in our new place such as Ceiling Fans because it gets too hot up here in summer without them. When running on mains, the extra cost is minimal, but when off-grid, using that extra power at night means more batteries and so it goes on...

Unless you have at least $30k to spend (and preferably more like $50k), I would suggest forgetting about the off-grid idea unless you are prepared to accept major lifestyle changes, affecting things that you simply take for granted when living on-grid.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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12 years 1 week ago #334441 by secoff
Going Off Grid, Totally, is probably out of the question for Most people. But You can elimate the amount of power you use, like convert to Solar water, etc. But Yes I agree, Looking at it cost wise, Its just not worth it. Also Most Forms of Alternative power, is still Unreliable at Best, liker wind power or Solar, If the sun is Overcast. I Know of 1 or two people Who have gone Totally Off Grid, But Mind you they live where its too expensive to Route power to there property.

Grant, Janna, Bill, Robyn, Belinda,Logan. Alpine(dog), Gizmo (dog) Tigger(cat)

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11 years 8 months ago #350672 by sgroom

secoff;321629 wrote: Going Off Grid, Totally, is probably out of the question for Most people. But You can elimate the amount of power you use, like convert to Solar water, etc. But Yes I agree, Looking at it cost wise, Its just not worth it. Also Most Forms of Alternative power, is still Unreliable at Best, liker wind power or Solar, If the sun is Overcast. I Know of 1 or two people Who have gone Totally Off Grid, But Mind you they live where its too expensive to Route power to there property.


Hi - why out of the question? or unreliable? - it only added 10% to the cost of my new off-grid home ... admittedly in NZ going grid connect is a great second option to off-grid being low carbon generation here (approx 65%)

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11 years 8 months ago #350808 by igor
Is going off-grid cost effective if the supply is already available at your site? A couple I know up North did it because the cost of getting a line in to their site was three times the cost of the private system they ended up building.

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11 years 8 months ago #350948 by sgroom
Hi,

To add to my last post - are have a large family home (320M^2) on 5 acres here in ChCh, we have power to our driveway but went off grid because we wanted to. The driveway is only 130metres so it wasnt a cost issue.

I imported my own batteries 300Ah 51.2V (Lithium) and 1/2 of my panels from a provider in China to my spec (I am an electronics engineer) - these batteries are far superior to Lead Acid from what I have seen on paper, but it seem I am all alone in using them in this application, so far.

We have a 7kW inverter and a 60A charge regulator, 4kW of Panels.

We use all non-gas appliances to cook (induction cooktop + oven) we have a fireplace to cook off in winter - solar hot water and wetback.

I thought for a 10% adder (actually less) it was not prohibitive ...

Waiting for electric cars to become available so we can add more panels and enjoy free transport - like Nissan Leaf

Anyone wants to know more - please feel free to ask.

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