off grid home pictou county nova scotia using solar panels and wind turbines

hi my name is Reggie Brightman welcome to off the grid many people think off-grid is propane and candlelight how wrong they are the technology here today gives no one any reason why they can't create enough power to run their whole home from it today we visit a disclosed location in Pictou County Nova Scotia this location is off the grid and powered solely by solar panels and wind turbines there's enough power in fact to run this home there's an excessive amount over and above what's needed which has to be dumped into dump load and creates free hot water this solar array is a 1.6 kilowatt solar array these panels are a photovoltaic panel made in Japan there are 135 watt panel 12 of them together wired in series parallel each strength creating 48 bolt this 48 volt 3 string solar array charges directly into a battery bank it creates somewhere around 30 amps charging the battery these panels again are a photovoltaic panel there are many different kinds of panels you can purchase these are a higher-end panel the total amount of this array is 1.6 kilowatts or 1600 watts they are wired directly into the battery bank and simply charge this Bank in the heart of the operation directly to the batteries these panels are quite expensive and most people who purchase renewable energy products either net meter selling back their electricity to the utility or they simply go off the grid for two different reasons one of them may be independence and the other one may be cost effectiveness if you consider running the utility to your property knowing that you've chose this location to live to run the telephone poles may cost somewhere around $50,000 if it's a long run for well less than $50,000 you can put in a solar array wind turbines and take your home right off the grid giving you all the power needs and requirements that you and your family need to survive we all know you need power and water to survive without them will die this is a hybrid system this system is both wind turbines as well as solar panels making this system a hybrid system this wind turbine is made by southwest wind power it's a 900 watt wind turbine this turbine can create up to 20 Watts 20 amps rather and it too goes down into a charge controller from the charge controller directly into the battery bank this is a nine hundred Walt wind turbine across from it we have a three kilowatt wind turbine or 3000 watt wind turbine this wind turbine is also made by southwest wind power this is a very serious wind turbine and can create up to 500 kilowatt hours per month of electricity if it's flown properly to the proper height as well as placed in the proper area now Nova Scotia has an average of a five point five meters per second wind that converted is somewhere around 12 to 15 kilometers per hour this turbine in those wind speeds can create just that 500 kilowatt hours per month the average home uses somewhere around 900 kilowatt hours per month knowing that going in in order to reduce the costs of the energy system it needs to be downsized in order to be affordable what I mean by downsized simply put when you go off the grid houses with electricity with electric stoves and other electric equipment such as dryers they all need to be converted to propane if they're converted to propane the system sizing can be downsized by two-thirds the average home using 900 kilowatt hours per month compared to an off-grid home using somewhere around two-thirds less would be roughly 300 kilowatt hours per month each system is built and designed based around the amount of people living in the home in this home there's two adults and two small children they live in this home year-round all four seasons the system sizing is based on how many people are in the home how many kilowatt hours used to power the hole and of course eliminating two-thirds of the electrical bill by converting the propane in total with this solar array 1.6 kilowatt or 1600 watts 900 watt turbine and a three kilowatt turbine make power as of somewhere around a five kilowatt system are we a little bit larger when you consider the alternative in the case of this property the people choose our independence they didn't put this system in because they couldn't reach the electrical lines they put it in because they wanted to be independent other people who can't reach this cost-effectiveness may also consider putting one in because again the turret the turbine and solar array is well cheaper to install than it would be to put in power lines from the utility again it's not for everyone but for those who are off-gridders there are somewhere around 2 million North American wide many of them have all different reasons for going off the grid but these reasons for these people is independence and possibly a simple retirement plan if you can eliminate your mortgage you can eliminate a vehicle payment well now the technology is there you can eliminate your power belt there are other measures taken outside of going off the grid I don't recommend it but what I do recommend is everyone who reduces their carbon footprint is going to make for a better tomorrow the children of today have no choice as to what we do but we do have a choice as to what we do and a better tomorrow starts with us today this is one measure taken this is the most extreme measure off the grid this system powers this small mobile inside this small mobile they have all the amenities in life the hot water system is based off of a tankless on-demand propane hot water system it does not draw any electricity the propane cooktop stove has eliminated 220 in this mobile as well as the furnaces propane and the cooktop stove and the dryer all units eliminating 220 from the residents have reduced this energy bill by two-thirds by reducing it by two-thirds it reduces the cost of the solar array and wind turbines by two-thirds eliminating that cost is a huge savings so instead of buying a large five kilowatt system to go off grid you can buy one-third of that which would be on this case a 1.6 kilowatt solar array reducing the other 3.5 kilowatt costs for a solar array which may be very high and even unreachable for most but for some independence of ways for others the utility costs is too high they choose to live there this is one measure used off the grid this solar array is anchored to a baby bird the baby barn we're going to call a power house the power house stores all of the batteries all of the components used such as solar charge controllers the wind turbine charge controllers inverters and batteries it's also a storage facility for the property all of this combined together is kept away from the dwelling because batteries that vent gas may cause harmful airflow in the home therefore they have to be eliminated so off-grid homes always usually come with a power house or a battery room whichever you may want to call it them hang around will win side check out what's inside right after these messages inside this power house is a large battery bank this battery bank consists of 32 batteries these batteries ain't just any battery these batteries are deep cycle battery these batteries are 32 batteries approximately the same size as a car battery however they are deep cycle it consists of 32 batteries wired in four strings of eight the six volt battery is wired in parallel series each string taking it from a six volt battery up to a 48 volt battery with four strings wired in series parallel each string is then wired in parallel keeping the 48 volt now each one of these batteries is a hundred and fifty amp hour battery when you wire these batteries at 150 amp hour in series parallel you increase the voltage but the amp pitch stays the same therefore each string is equal to 150 amp hour multiply for Strings by 150 amp power and the battery bank is wired as one big block of batteries equal to 600 amp hours these are the heart of the operation the brains of the operation is basically this inverter this inverter is a hybrid inverter it can be used as a off-grid inverter a grid-tied inverter or even a grid back inverter it's made by Xion tracks it's one of the most reliable vert inverters on the market this is a 6000 watt pure sine wave inverter that means this electricity that goes through this that converts the DC power from the battery back into AC sending it into the home this is cleaner electricity than you can buy from the utility it's pure sine-wave there's no spikes and no surges this unit will actually surge up to 12,000 watts for nine or ten seconds for heavy pump or motor starts and then regulate back down to 6,000 watts in an off-grid home you don't need that kind of power knowing you're only running 110 throughout the whole home there's no real need for that but it's always good to oversize just in case you do need it again this is as an tracks product it's a pure sine wave inverter for people who think they're going to go pick up and put in a modified sine and sine wave inverter modified sine wave is not as clean electricity that's required for an off-grid application most electronics don't like it and can in fact become damaged they're for your best bang for your buck is to pay a few more bucks now and then if you decide you want to run a TV or a laptop or some electronic component you don't damage it pure sine wave is the way to go especially off the grid this little fella he is a DC disconnect there's two edge busbars internally inside this DC disconnect and they are for the positive and the negative battery terminals everything connects from where they are to this DC disconnect again it is your based on your battery terminals each unit is fused individually so that if there's ever any issues then the fuses will break not causing any comp any complications with the initial component they're very expensive if you put the fuse in line it's just as easy it's a code requirement and it's a necessity because this stuff is very costly and if there is any problems you don't want to be replacing components as they can be very cost effective these two units on top of the DC disconnect are pulse width modulation controllers the one on the left is not in service as it's been updated by another charge controller that is more advanced will say because pulse width modulation is a surge of power that's a steady pulse as it explains a pulse width modulation it sends surges of power into the battery bank the one to the left isn't not an operation the one to the right is it's one of three things these charge controllers are both pulse width modulation made by Morningstar they can handle up to 60 amps and they do three different things they can be a charge controller for the solar array they can be a heavy pump load or motor start upload to soften it reducing the energy taken from the battery bank and the third is dump load or technical term diversion mode what diversion mode does is it converts the excess power when the battery bank is satisfied or fully charged to continue to overcharge the battery bank would cause problems with the batteries therefore you need to dump the power so that you don't damage the battery bank this is set up with dump load and it goes through this orange wire you see connected to the right side of it and goes back underground to the house into 2 48 volt water elements heating free hot water when the battery bank has been satisfied with enough power thus term diversion it diverts the excess power the other measure you can take is you can just have this charge controller for the solar array which continues charged to the battery bank if there should be an issue that it decides the battery bank is full it will drop the load meaning the power sent to the batteries is discontinued in the power excessive that's coming in is just dissipated into the air in this case this is an MPPT charge controller maximum power point tracking this is quite a bit more expensive than the pulse width modulation charge controllers but it has one special feature over and above all other charge controllers this charge controller will increase the size of the solar array or the charging abilities by one-third or 30% so if your system is capable of giving you 20 amps on a sunshiny day this system with this maximum power point tracking zan tracks charge controller it can convert the 20 amp up to the 30 amp free of charge and it's cheaper to put in the right charge controller than it is to increase the solar panels as they are more costly than what the charge controller would be this charge controller is a Cadillac in its field it's get to is made by zan tracks and zan tracks has been well known in the industry for off-grid applications this is probably the best I've ever seen there are other companies out there such as Outback and Magnum they to make similar products very much the same but if you're buying this kind of equipment buy it the first time and eliminate any headaches or cost effectiveness later this is a wind turbine charge controller with a disconnect beside it should you want to work on the unit you can hit that switch or that breaker and the gray box beside the charge controller and it will shut down the turbine and allow you to do maintenance on the on the turbine or the charge controller disconnecting power and braking the turbine stopping it from turning the turbine goes directly down to this charge controller and from this charge controller it goes directly into the DC disconnect or the battery terminals this unit is the larger unit the three kilowatt unit and it tells you how much power it created in kilowatt hours and how much annually or monthly as you set this up you can decide those computer settings on your own as people get more familiar with this stuff they see that the value of these is incredible because these are used for battery charging knowing what kind of system you have meaning off the grid you need a battery charging unit there are different turbines out there so you know going in you have to purchase the proper term bind for your application in this case these are battery charging turbines and they're set to 48 volt inside these computer boxes you can set these turbines to 12 24 and 48 volt these are all set to 48 volt this is the 3 kilowatt charge controller below it is the 1 kilowatt wind turbine charge controller this 2 goes directly to the DC disconnect and both in harmony can create up to 4,000 watts it's rare to see in a high wind it's possible but these wind turbines I find all of them are a little overrated meaning well if you need in this case 4 kilowatts of power it's more reachable to say you can get 2 to be comfortable and then you're not overworking the but each one of these components is connected to a fusible switch which will break should there be issues any problems therefore it would eliminate any damage to the component here is the back-up generator in this off-grid application it's a 9,000 watt generator when sizing a generator you should always consider being 25 percent higher than the inverter in this case the inverter is a 6000 watt inverter therefore this nine thousand watt generator is a little larger than the 25 percent what that means is while this generator is charging the battery bank the remaining power that's there can be sent directly through the hole and not interfere with the charging now this system that's here in this off-grid home is the generator is not needed for three of the seasons for the spring fall and summer it's not needed it's normally to be stored outside but because of the time of year it's just coming off summer it's stored in here in the winter time you don't get enough Sun to fully function with the solar array with hopes that there will be wind and the wind turbines will complement the hybrid system sometimes if there's not enough wind and Sun this generator needs to be used and placed outside as vent gassing comes from battery banks this may cause a problem with explosion or explosive gases that are in the room therefore to place the generator outside is just a safe measure taken but again at this point in time in the summer coming off the end of the summer it's not needed until the winter now when the winter comes the time to use this generator may be I'm going to say somewhere around one to two hours every few days in order to keep the battery bank up to full if it's not kept up to full then the power will shut off therefore you don't get enough Sun hours and enough wind this is a backup generator that's just what it is used for we'll be back right after these messages hang around this small mobile powered by an off-grid garage or powerhouse has all the amenities in life if you look at the end of the mobile you'll see a stick like product sticking out of the top of the mobile that's the high-speed Internet that gives you wireless high-speed internet when you're off the grid there's no telephone poles or lines to connect to one of the things you need to consider is how are you going to get your high-speed Internet well in this case it's a wireless high-speed Internet and it travels without telephone poles obviously and gives you up to 2 megabytes per second below that is your satellite television the TV inside is a big-screen TV and it gives you all the same channels that you'd get if you were hooked to the utility through a satellite system as you can see all the amenities in life there is no sacrifice you live the exact same life you would normally live to some extremists to be off the grid maybe candlelight but it's not in this case the propane tanks are stored at the back of the mobile and they use somewhere around six hundred dollars a year in these hundred pound tanks there's four of them connected these feed the tankless water heater on-demand they feed the propane cooktop range they feed a propane fuel efficient furnace that is not the main source of heat but for a backup heat source should the family decide to leave for a week in the winter time they're not confined to the home or it won't freeze up should they go away on vacation or leave the property for any amount of time the main heat source is a pellet stove the pellet stove is a 30,000 BTU pellet stove which heats the whole home the cost for the generator for generator run time in the wintertime and the cost for the propane would not exceed $1,000 a year this appears to be very inviting considering a retirement plan most people in these case may not have so if you can pay for your property and you can pay for your vehicle and you can pay for your power system and eliminate your power bill you're well on your way towards the retirement do you or anyone else you know have a renewable energy home willing to share it with us if so you may get a visit based on your agreement to invite us into your home showing other Canadians educating them helping them if so we want to hear from you contact us at off-grid home at again that's off-grid home at my name is reg Bregman thanks for watching off the grid

You May Also Like