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Old 01-23-15, 05:07 PM   #3
EET Ret. Eco Research
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
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Good day, Most modern houses only have a 100 Amp service panel.
My first house from the 50's had a 60 amp panel.
My current abode runs on one 15 amp breaker at 120 Volts.
The off-grid system to power my place has 4 250 Watt 30 Volt panels (used for grid tie systems but are the least expensive I can find at $285 each,
a charge controller (Morningstar), AC 15 amp breaker and DC disconnects,
a battery bank (4 marine 12 volt deep cycle again not perfect but cheap to start will have to replace)
and a 2200 Watt inverter (kijiji for $80 out of an oil field truck)
I have an old 4500 Watt Onan generator converted to propane. A cheap gas generator 3500 Watt as back up.
Furnace, hot water heater and stove are propane, wood stove as main heat source. Water pumps are 12 volt, Washer no dryer use clothesline.
1 desk top, TV, stereo, 3 laptops cell chargers and routers, power tools as needed. What else do you need?

What are you running that requires so much power?
First suggestion do an energy audit on the whole place. Get a
P3-Kill-A-Watt-Electricity-Load-Meter-and-Monitor seen them for under $20 on Ebay
Go through your last 6 months power bills (a year would be better)
You need to become the EXPERT on what everything draws for power.

Put everything into a spread sheet ( open office or Excel)
Figure out what every appliance costs to run every day/month/ year
Find out your top 3 energy hogs and seriously consider all alternatives.
Find someone local that has put in a solar PV system and have a couple of discussions.
ask lots of questions and listen to any problems that they have had.
Talk to the nearest PV installation company and discuss your needs and what you want to do.
Alway get more than one quote for anything from multiple suppliers ( wild mark ups on some of this stuff, shop around
be cautious lots of scams out there.)
Look at solar heating solutions.

Grid tie (cringe) you have to talk to your electric provider they will have a large document on THEIR requirements for you to
sell them power. Usually they also have a list of inspection requirements and a list of who can tie you into the grid.
Lots of legalese and cutoff/safety shutoff's, certified master electricians etc.
You are the producer/power company know your equipment and what requires maintenance.
Know what can and does go wrong with your system, corrosion, bad connections, water infiltration, rodent damage, bird poo/nests,
leaves, snow etc. Possible fires and how to prevent them or at least minimize damage to house and equipment.
A small list of resources in this forum to check out tons more out there & of course this forum.
Good luck
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