Fer fack’s sake. We’re back on researching power. Have I mentioned how much I hate researching off-grid systems? There’s a ton of information to take in. Generally I’d class myself as an intelligent person. I find after about 8 or so hours of this kind of study I feel like I have the intellectual capacity of a rock.
The other thing that bothers me about this field is that I am cheap by nature and there is no ‘cheap’ solution to going off-grid. Correction, there is no cheap solution to going off-grid and not living like a hobo. Alright, and by ‘hobo’ I mean person who lives without computers in addition to basics like refrigeration.
Having said that, I think we may be close to a solution. We are currently considering a 24 Volt system and 6 x 230 Watt solar panels. The specifics of said package would include:
The Outback Flexpower One
The Outback X240 transformer (so that we can power our 220 Volt Grundfos well)
6 x REC-230 solar panels
A 6 circuit solar combiner box
A 15 Amp DC breaker
2 x 70 foot radox solar cables
3 or 5 battery connection cables (see below)
and either: 6 x 4 Volt Surrette batteries or 4 x 6 Volt Surrette batteries
We’re not sure on the batteries. We’ve pretty much settled on Surrettes for a number of reasons (thicker plates, lead acid, longevity, excellent warranty, made in Canada, etc.) but can’t decide whether to go with 6 Volts or 4. The 6 Volt batteries are the 6CS17PS and the 4 Volt are the 4 CS17PS- both industrial (as opposed to commercial), so 10 year warranty and 3200 cycles rated at 50% depth.
For the whole system- from solar panels to batteries- we’re looking at about fifteen grand. I kind of feel like I’m going to puke just thinking about it. It helps a bit to consider that if we were to spend $100 a month, assuming prices on gas and electricity don’t go up in the next decade (hahahahahahahahaha!), we’re looking at about twelve and a half years to see a full return on our investment. Still, it’s a lot of money to plunk down- about three times the cost of the house itself. It’s going to hurt- no doubt about it.