Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The First Winter

I think it is safe to say we have officially survived the first winter here in between trees. It wasn't as tough as i expected, mostly due to the mild winter the 802 had this year. Although its wasn't tough, it didn't go smoothly either.

Our system is designed to power the house for three days with no sunshine. Due to some unforeseen problems the generator ran almost every day. Translation: We went through a lot more propane than anticipated, plus the addition wear and tear on our battery bank and generator.

I know what you are thinking, but "we" weren't the problem. Our daily electricity use was actually much lower than we predicted. The house, or more the systems to run the house, are the watt hogs.

I will be going through each problem in separate posts as we hopefully find solutions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Facts

This picture was taken last June when we first saw the house. Currently it is snowing and we have an accumulation of about four inches.

The House: It is a 2500 square foot kit log cabin that was planned to be grid tied. The power lines end about a 1/2 mile from the house, also the location of our nearest neighbor. We don't want to pay the man so we are attempting to live off the grid in a house that wasn't designed for it.

The System (a brief summary):
We have a 2800 watt off grid system with a 1050 amp hour battery bank (two large arrays in back) and a backup generator (tan box in center). We also have a solar hot water system ( horizontal array in foreground) that heats our hot water and dumps excess into our radiant floors once both storage tanks are heated to maximum temperature.