Want to go off grid, but not too sure if it’s right for you? Well why not make your own small off-grid power supply and supplement your grid connected system by putting it to work in your garden or garage?
That, my green friends, is exactly what I did some time ago. Here is a schematic of the system.
It is pretty simple, mainly because solar is simple to put together. I’m not an electrician, so if I can make a very low voltage off grid system (12 vdc), then anyone can.
The two 110 watt panels that supply the system was the prize for winning the Renew magazine Sustainable Living Blog award. I made my own brackets, and mounted it on the arbor where my grape vines are growing.
It has two 105 amp hour AGM (absorbent glass mat) 12 volt batteries that supply energy to my water pump for the irrigation system and to this small 240 vac inverter. I use this to charge my electric bike and low-wattage power tools when I am doing some woodwork in the garage.
It’s a handy little system that can also be disconnected and wheeled inside in case of a blackout. It would run our fridge for a couple of days if push came to shove. Great in emergencies and does away with the need for an emergency petrol generator.
Anyway, if you want to learn more, my system was just featured on the popular One Step Off The Grid blog, written by fellow Climate Reality Leader and friend Emma Sutcliffe.
The post is titled Greening a grid-connect suburban home with small scale energy storage. It is a great overview of the system, and our lifestyle.
Wait until you get to the end of the article as Kim drops a clanger. It’s worth a laugh for sure!