Going Off-Grid: Developing our off-grid power system

We live in the Pacific NW.  We are planning on solar power, which is definitely a risk in this weather.  We knew we were going to, eventually, add in a small hydro system.  We have a spring fed creek, it’s not big enough for any fish or anything, it’s spring fed and doesn’t change much throughout the year.  We’ve decided to start with the micro-hydro system and then add the solar a bit later.

By starting with the hydro set up, we can have power before we build our shop.  The PV panels were going to go on the roof of the building, which obviously means that we won’t have power until after the shop is built.

We found an AMAZING company, Backwoods Solar, who is helping walk us through this.  We are learning so much.  According to them, we can do our hydro system and wire to a temporary shed which holds the 8 batteries of our 48 V system.  It will also house (temporarily) our diversion controller and inverter and all the other parts of the system, excluding the PV (solar) panels. This will allow us to have power before we build!!!!  We won’t have as much power, it looks like the creek will give us about 2400 Watt Hours a day, so we will have to use the generator once in a while to bring the batteries up to 100%.

We are very excited about this, it’s going to be a great learning experience for our whole family.  We are trying to involve our 16-year-old in the whole process, he’s very interested, most of the time.  All the kids have come out with us to do the measuring of the creek, to find elevation fall and distance, and to measure the gallons per minute of the creek.

Our hydroelectric generator

Our hydroelectric generator

About carishumaker

We are trying to live The Good Life with our 3 kids out in the woods. We strive to be as self reliant as possible, with a great amount of leisure time to Live The Good Life as best as we can. We work hard so we can play hard and want to teach our kids to love life and love people and love learning. This is our journey.
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