An example of off-grid power production and use

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by Smithy, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    I have a motorcycling associate in Arizona who's built a "bunkhouse" for traveling bikers. They live 3 miles off the main line, and decided not to tie in, but run a closed system.

    Rather than direct you to a thread on another forum, filled with all sorts of other junk, I'm clipping the relevant part here...

  2. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith


    Taken from (Independant Power Production - Page 3 - ADVrider), and Dean is one cool son of a gun. His description offers a good view of just what's involved in setting up a self-sufficient place, and if you follow his Motorcyclist Cafe link you can see the rest of the build process, which he did himself, with minimal pro gear.

  3. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Wow... Nice setup and beautiful locations. I'm very jealous. Thanks for the pics.
  4. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    Beautiful! I'm kinda jealous.:p
  5. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    What blew me away the most, is that it doesn't seem all that hard to do. And he's not running "survival" level off-grid, but "profitable". With a modest outlay, and a grid tie-in at first, working up a battery bank later, I think it's something that most people can achieve if they make it a priority. It is not cheap, but it's not exactly prohibitive either, given the will. The only outside resource he's consuming now, is propane, which he gets filled once a year (timed to the lowest prices, summer, in his own tank). Get a couple tanks, top 'em off, and you're set for quite some time at normal consumption levels. Pull it back to survival levels, and you're set for a rather long time, as far as your power needs go.

    All that said, this requires some considerable property where you can install the panels with out shadow interference, and in his case for heating, an adequate supply of wood you already own and a means to reduce it to stove-size. But if the grid goes down, Dean will be enjoying his DVD collection on his big-screen a lot longer than most people.
  6. 10101

    10101 Guest

    very nice setup!
  7. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    15-20 thousand dollars is a drop in the bucket when you consider how much it would cost to run power to that house. Add a well and misc. stuff necessary to support it and you're in high cotton.
  8. NYPrepper

    NYPrepper Survivalist

    I always wondered what the lifespan of those batteries are, and how much they cost to replace. I would imagine frequent inspection of electrolyte levels is a must.
  9. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

    Wow that really is an amazing house. Someday.. someday
  10. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

    How do you spin the panels?

    Do you use a photo cell and a micro controller or do you just have it set to a timer?

    Does it rotate with a chain/belt or does it have a bar + actuator?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm setting up a simple thing in the backyard for a grid-tie in set up.
  11. edmondsonpr

    edmondsonpr Member

    How long will the batteries hold a charge before they run out? I mean, how many sunless days could go by before you are out of luck?
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I believe that the answers can be found at - another forum that is dedicated to Adventure Motorcycle riding .. the OP was just cross-posting the information for us to see as well.
  13. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member


    Unfortunately there are too many variables to that question, my system will last for a couple of days without wind or solar, just by conserving we can make it last longer. After that the propane genset will come on and take up the slack. In just over two years my generator has accumulated only 340 hours, its automatic, will come on as needed, run, then shut itself off.
  14. gamuddawg151

    gamuddawg151 New Member

    informative it got me thinkin :woohoo:
  15. kenny

    kenny Member

    Very nice thank you for sharing this information I am now starting the overwhelming process of alternative power no that my food stores are in decent shape. It is very confusing
  16. hank2222

    hank2222 Active Member

    you and i are not that far apart there my friend .. i find it funny that a people tend to think that Az does not get snow or cold weather in the upper parts of the state ..when i show my friends pictures of snow up there they go so you really do get snow up there.. they think it all sand and not a treee in site..