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Author Topic: living off-grid in Ireland  (Read 5866 times)
billi
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« on: June 27, 2016, 11:11:54 AM »

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/fight-the-power-living-off-grid-in-ireland-1.2685684

Hey Biff , we are not alone Smiley
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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
MR GUS
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 12:50:14 PM »

Sounds like someone nearby really ought to take a look at the old ladies inverter situation.
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biff
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 02:37:38 PM »

Someone already has Gus,
              And he posted on here about it. He then traveled from south Down back and forth a few times to fix it for her. I was asked to see what i could do ,,sadly, i was totally under qualified and had to retreat and leave the job to Woodie.
     I do not want to sound picky or grumpy but some of these are not good examples of Off grid living. I am sorry to have to say that. if we want to encourage people to go offgrid,then you have to show them installations that deliver the goods and that are self repairable. We do not have to live like hermits. We certainly have to watch the usage and pick the right days to use the washing machine,,(sunny and windy) but you soon get used to that. We have been off grid here since 2003 and as time went by,,things got better and better. Navitron was a massive boost to us. I was never stuck and now we have a system that uses minimal amount of fossil fuel, less than 25-50ltrs of diesel a year.
 I started off with a small 2.2kw petrol honda generator and 3 x 130ah truck batts,+ 12 volt charger, then 160watt x 12v solar PV which cost an arm and a leg. (2 x 80watt x 12v) then a small 450watt  Y/S W/t. It was the success with these things that drove me on to bigger installations. I was able to prove that it worked and I got to learn what it would take to live off grid fossil fuel free. Most people who visit out house think that we are On-Grid.
  Aye Billi, They are out there, somewhere , Grin
                                                   Biff
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An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
brackwell
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 03:14:42 PM »

I have a feeling that people make a virtue out of living off grid because the grid is not there for them. If not i struggle to understand how people would not live on grid, but make very little/not use it.
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billi
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 04:07:48 PM »

Sure Biff , the article partial  left an impression of a life in asceticism....

When i started ,  without any knowledge , 10 years back ,   my  aim was to supply  a joe average house  with renewable power

Still sad  to have close to nil beneFiT  in Ireland  , when one would like to charge the neighborhood puplic grid  with surplus  green power



 
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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
biff
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 07:30:50 PM »

Hi Ken,
      In my case, I could have had a connection for 1138.00 euros/punt. I had all the wiring and big red pipe installed to carry the power to the house. The Problem was..I did not live here full time back then. So I was quite happy spending weeks and weekends running the Mobile home , then the house off the little honda+the recharged Batts. That triggered my interest in renewables. Then I got the solar panels and the 450watt Y/S and realised that it might be possible to actually run the place with a bigger Turbine and PV.
  As you know, i do not have a background in electronics and if I can do it,,anyone can.
  I like being off grid and generating our own electricity,The original controller packed up in the first year but the second one is still performing perfectly alongside 2 others. The Old Chinese low frequency ,iron core inverter could be a bit tired by now. it has been running non stop for some 8 years or so.I even use it for grass cutting and our electric chainsaw.
 I would not take a free connection if I was offered it. Like AG, I make sure I have plenty of spare parts and If something wrong, I am positive I can have everything up and running within an hour.
 A lightening strike might take a little longer , but not much longer.
                                                                       Biff
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 07:00:16 AM »

If not i struggle to understand how people would not live on grid, but make very little/not use it.

Hi Ken,
You probably struggle to understand it cos you've never tried it. Me, I moved to a job in 1985 and was provided with a cottage, Tilley lamps, gas fridge, water supply full of eels, no phone and no generator. Prior to that I guess I never saw the attraction, four years of that in a tied cottage I'd had enough, not of being 'off grid' but being shackled to an employer. The making your own power and self reliance I loved so started looking for an 'off grid' property of my own. Twenty seven years and lots of experience on I live in a luxury 'off grid' property I helped build that is totally powered by wind, water and the sun. Horses for courses I guess, wouldn't take a grid connection now for free.

Cheers, Paul
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2016, 12:01:17 PM »

Biff, yes I recall seing that thread now!

The miners helmet lamp does not make for a great image, just good print copy  whistlie ..& yes there are many folks who do not (bother) to understand the basics  restrictions of small ill thought solar set ups.. it does nothing for progress & image of low consumption / off grid.
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Austroflamm stove & lot's of Lowe alpine fleeces, A "finger" of Solar Sad
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biff
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2016, 02:10:21 PM »

Life is funny sometimes,
                 If someone had told me,when I was 40, that I would be living off-grid. I would have answered, "Well I better make sure I pay my ESB bills then" I had no intention of going off-grid.
  However, I did buy the honda and the batts to keep the fuel bill down while living in the mobile and building the house. Once the house was closed off, i was off working in the country and based at a different address for a couple of years, so I avoided paying standing charges. I also intended selling this place but then i liked it so much, i sold my other place instead.
  I just kind of fell into really. I saw that there was a possibility that it would work and I blundered about with 2 x 450 watt W/Ts and the solar for a year, on a 12volt x 400watt system which was OK but not great. I calculated, (wrongly) that  2KW W/T would be the answer to my prayers. My first lesson in electronics was from a neighbour who popped in to see me when our 2kw x 120volt Turbine arrived on a pallet, He explained the triangle to me,,Amps x Volts = Watts, etc. I think he was amused by my efforts..
  There were all kinds of problems to overcome but one by one they retreated into the background and our system became more reliable and productive as the years went by.
  I have to say that the present availability of all kinds of new equipment ,makes it much more easy for the newcomer to off-grid living to get up and running.
 On the other hand, the availability of good quality Chinese W/Ts is shrinking and a lot of the stuff for sale at present is absolute rubbish.
 I am no off-grid Guru, who knows it all and when I give talks on the subject I tell my listeners exactly that. Then I plug a grinder or a power drill into the front of an inverter and show then the Wind Turbine taking off like a rocket, or the amps and Volts on the dash. That is the big one for all concerned. You can talk and babble till the cows come home but once you show how it works in reality, it really gets their interest .
  Pv was the big surprise. I paid a lot of money for my 165watt panels, but then I ran the mixer off them and learned how they behaved, i also found out very quickly how much juice they actually produced I had 330watt of pv producing 56volts x 8.5amps  just under 500watt and still blowing air on the controller because the mixer was only 400watt.
 I was lucky that the controllers,,the 48 volt and the house controller@ 120volt were all very reliable and very forgiving.
 This is not a rant about clever Biff, If i were anyway clever, i would have had it all sorted in the first 2 years, instead I am over 10 years at it and only felt happy these past 2 years. But We do have loads of piping hot water,,free heating for spring. summer and autumn.
 If a persons lives out in the country and has good access to Wind, Solar and Hydro,, They just need to get their heads around it and get cracking. Off-Grid is the way to go.
                                                               Biff
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An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
guydewdney
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2016, 09:35:04 PM »


am i the only one who sees the irony in the person who becomes interested in off grid living due to the tv programme 'grizzly adams'...... and then that person not having a  tv......
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