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Off grid power systems


joecool911

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I don't think one could get a meaingful system on a Fire Service Tower.  There's one just over a miles from me, (as my location is surronded by the biggest wildlife area in the smallest state (LOL)).  From what I've read with high tech & cameras many forest service towers are being used remotely for fire purposes.  The days of manned towers is pretty much over.  The cameras can see better than the eye & can zoom in on any suspicious indicator.  The solar power panels would be used to power the remote electronics.   

I heard with these capabilities they needed fewer locations because of the increased range.  

 

I'm sure someone with more knowledge will chime in.

Edited by flagmanruss
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the panels have dropped in price in the past 5 or so years. if you want totally off grid get batteries. else you'll charge the grid and they'll pay you .0002 cents per KwH and charge you much more.

a guy i work with has 15 panels, no batters and his sumer time electric bill is around 8$ (we live in northern Arizona) built a log house that was 100 % off grid and it has 30 panels and 10 batteries.

price wise, i have no idea, but i'd sure as heck do it if i could.

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That's a normal summer in the picture this summer its bare trickling over the top board and its only two 2x6 board now compared to 3 2x6 board in the photo. I'm being nice about the water and insuring my neighbor below me get some flow too. I'm still holding 116-120 PSI. I've seen days where the system is spitting air from the sprinklers because of low water. If I had time I would head up and shot a picture now and you'd be shocked. This is same system that feeds my 1 1/2 fire hydrant in the yard too. Making me a bit worried about water for fire suppression.

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As for my hair its not changed. Still blonde and long. I've had long hair since 1984. As for the color I started the bleaching back about 4-5 years ago and still do it.

 

I'm on the grid but sell my extra power back. So my normal daytime load is about 3-15 Amp @ 120 VAC. I can only have a maximum load of 33 Amp period. So any produced power is used first before city. During the summer I'm most on my own power but come winter the hours of daylight are very limited so not enough for winter use. Then the hydro is shut down in the winter which would have freeze issues. So that's why I'm still grid tied. Now if a winter storm knocks out the power I just keep on living normally. The canyon is black but I'm still working on computers. Inverter is typically quick enough to switch over that neither computer drops and we just keep working.

 

I can live a normal life with no city tie for at least 24 hours without recharging at all from solar or hydro. I still have a back up 6,500w generator too.

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Mike you took me up and showed me that water source. Nice place you got.

 

I agree that a hydraulic power source would work well. A hydraulic engineer that worked for Portland General Electric company I spoke with, said that he once calculated what a 4 inch ABS pipeline laying in the creek, 150 feet long and dropping just 50 feet with the correct turbine generator could power as many as three homes. I hope I remember that correctly.

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Some water sources are less apt to freeze. I think depending on how fast the water is moving.

We are remodeling and old cabin that has an old water wheel and spillway behind it only about 14 feet away. It was designed to power the surrounding homes in the early days.

Joe you are welcome to come visit and check how it was designed so it regulated the rpms to never go into an over spin situation.

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Until the water freezes. I think the best solution is a bigger solar panel system. 6-10kw..

 

Still not enough really. I've only got 4 hours of daylight (10am to 2pm) in direct contact to the panels in the winter. The only way to fix that is to move the panels to the top of the mountain ridge. Its about nice slow long charging periods not fast and hard which is very hard on batteries.Again this why I get 15 years from batteries on the house. My inverter is shut down to 1 AC amp charge rate (120 watts) and the solar tops out at 16-18 Amp charge rate (400 watts). I need more time not amps...

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It is not exactly off the grid but can allow you to live off grid for a long time.  I bought a 1,000 propane tank and got a deal for buying it for $1850, the first fill was 99 cents a gallon and any propane I bought before the end of that year I got for 99 cents a gallon.  I bought a Generac 20K propane whole house generator system and had it installed.  If the power goes out for more than 15 seconds, the generator fires up.  It runs once a week for 10 minutes at half throttle to keep the system ready to go.  The generator I got at Lowes on sale for $3999 plus a military discount for about $3700.  The install cost me about $800 plus about $300 for various supplies like wire, conduit, a battery, etc. 

 

The generator can run everything pretty much including the heat pump but not everything at once but not everything at once is on rarely if ever.  It is a great standby for power outages during storms or just outages and can keep food in the fridge and freezer from spoiling for a LONG time if you don't run the generator continuously........something you would or SHOULD NOT do in the event of an emergency anyway as you will stick out like a sore thumb if you have power when everyone around you does not.  The free loaders and looters will find you in a hurry if you do. 

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