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Author Topic: renewable virgin...off grid project  (Read 764 times)
philr
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« on: December 09, 2018, 10:42:57 AM »

hi everybody, this look like the place for me to be..

i am developing a horse livery yard in northamptonshire and have finally been given 3 years  permission to live at the yard, i intend to make that permenant.

 the accomodation will likely be a big static caravan or log cabin,  my yard has no mains electric or gas, only water.  the good news is that i have a barn with a 20 metre long south facing roof that is about 10 metres from where the accomodation will be.
the whole area of 10 acres is quite open, so we get quite a bit of wind usually coming from the south west.

so i'm hoping for advice as to a starting point for the project, it involves all the usual stuff, ie washing machine, heating etc, plus lighting for the barn( i think ive got the barn sussed ) and lighting for a horse menage that is about 50 metres from the barn.
 ive read suggestions to others on the forum not to invest too heavily on a generator, but i could do with some of your thoughts and pointers as where to start please.

i'm looking forward to starting the project early in march.   help

thank you
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todthedog
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 11:07:57 AM »

Hello Phil,and welcome to the forum. You will find very considerable expertise of the forum on off grid living, who would be pleased to advise. I would strongly suggest a trawl through old threads that should give you a clearer idea of what you might want and afford.
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kristen
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 11:20:20 AM »

renewable virgin

Interesting concept Smiley along with Virgin Airlines frequent-flyer club : "Frequent Virgins"

Some initial thoughts:

PV electricity generation in Winter is 10% of Summer. Of course Winter is the time that you need the most ... Same for Solar Thermal ... and basically, at UK latitudes, you get next-to-nothing in Winter.

For Wind I suggest you need to erect a skinny tower, and logging anemometer, and record your wind Smiley for 12 months before deciding that the site is worthwhile. Anything nearby - trees  / buildings - causes turbulence (unless tower is very high / expensive Sad to avoid it) and generally that kicks Wind into touch.

Batteries will smooth you over between times of supply and not.  Costwise that favours e.g. old forklift batteries, but there is some "boffin" effort in getting that up-and-running as a solution. You could just buy a Tesla PowerWall, but if you could easily afford that I doubt you would be starting a riding business in the middle of nowhere ... either way, you'll still need a generator for the sun-didn't-shine and wind-didn't-blow moments. Old Lister engines are an off-griders' favourite for that job

To get a broad-brush view on Wind there are websites that will give you approx Wind "quality" at your location. My guess is that it would be pretty borderline inland in Rural Northamptonshire. Couple that with "small wind" being a bit boy's-own, so perhaps hard to rely on for a new business.

I reckon all the advice you get will start with "reduce the energy you require".  Insulate the building (to the point where the heat from the people within it and a bit of lighting and cooking, and the Sun when its shining, is 99% of the energy you need), and minimum-power lighting etc. which, sadly, is likely to be a premium-price

However, as a business you are going to need Power - both "in the office" and presumably for flood-lighting the menage in Winter to extend the productive hours.  Jo Public will expect general stuff - like being able to boil a kettle for a cuppa; cheap eBay head-torches for young riders is probably not a viable option  facepalm , but I reckon plenty of off-gridders here would consider that absolutely fine at a personal level Smiley

If it costs you £10,000 to bring the grid in ... that might be your most cost effective route.

"'m looking forward to starting the project early in march"

Feed-in-Tarrif subsidies running out round about then. If you need to take advantage of that you will need to get the PV on the roof and commissioned before the deadline. (FiT is not a massive inducement, so doing PV without FiT may be fine (budget-wise)

You could heat by burning Wood, if you have any of that about? But if you are starting a business then drag on your time to Fell, Chop, Split, Stack, Cart, Stoke should not be underestimated. Buying in heating fuel is fine of course - that could be Wood Pellets if you like the idea of Eco/Biomass.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 11:23:53 AM by kristen » Logged
rogeriko
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 01:24:16 PM »

The most important thing to make it cost effective is your level of expertise.How good are you at basic DIY and electrics???     You can install a massive solar panel system yourself for a couple of grand, an installer would want 6 to 8 thousand for the same job. If its possible go on some basic training courses, that could make or break your project.
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philr
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 08:54:33 AM »

thanks for the replys

so this week ive had a chat with the local power distribution company,...to connect to the grid could be upwards of 35k...!!  hysteria 

i quite like the idea of the tesla powerwall, good depth of discharge, long life etc, but as far as i understand it's not possible to charge it via a generator..,? it can only charge via PV panels, is that the case? 
if i gathered a few lithium ion batteries together could they be charged by solar panels and topped up with a generator when needed via the appropriate equipment ?
as regards fitting the panels myself..i would love too, but at my grand old age i'll leave it to someone younger.


thanks
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kristen
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 09:32:30 AM »

i quite like the idea of the tesla powerwall, good depth of discharge, long life etc, but as far as i understand it's not possible to charge it via a generator..,? it can only charge via PV panels, is that the case? 

Historically Tesla have produced products that meet the needs of users at the premium-end of the spectrum.  Forget standing in line to get an early reservation ... when the product is actually launched just be prepared to buy the highest price/profit premium model.  If you want anything else do NOT believe any promised delivery date ... wait until it exists.

I don't know for sure, but almost certain you are right. Solar-timeshift-Battery and UPS are mutually exclusive choices, and as such so is generator-charged, but you'd need an answer from someone competent to be sure.  That said, I'm pretty sure there are other Brands, maybe less Cool and less-bang-for-buck, that will do that.

Would it be cost-effective to run a generator 24/7 instead?  Maybe you can use all the Solar that you could reasonably produce (even in mid-summer) ... you can always run an immersion heater to use-up excess power ... the maths for that may work out better than a battery.

Either way, do all you can to reduce usage, and thus reduce both generation and storage capacity.
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Fintray
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 12:54:07 PM »

The Tesla Powerwall 2 is AC connected so could in theory be connected to a generator.
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 01:37:29 PM »

The Tesla will cost 6500 pounds, all you need is some lead acid batteries an inverter and a generator. Probably around 2000 pounds. You can add your own solar panels in the future to cut down on generator run time. This system means you can run the generator for 2 to 3 hours every other day but you will have instant electric anytime.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/48-Volt-Solar-Battery-400amps-giving-19-2-KiloWatt/253687144922?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5kVA-VOLTACON-5000w-48v-Off-Grid-Solar-Inverter-MPPT-Bluetooth-Parallel-Option/223190329042?epid=3020229585&hash=item33f72e26d2:g:hGQAAOSwBURb4YsQ:rk:11:pf:0

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lister-3kw-Genarator/173684442537?_trkparms=aid%3D888007%26algo%3DDISC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140328180637%26meid%3D56c07019cfd541ac95c54fc2300ca135%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D283301368521%26itm%3D173684442537&_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982
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billi
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 01:46:58 PM »

Oh Roger was here before Smiley


How much is the powerwall costing ?  about 8000 GBP installed ?

Personaly i  would not go that route off grid  and  use that amout  for a complete idea  including a 5 kW  PV  , 5000 watt inverter and a 40 kWh  battery  that will last 10 years plus

Organize it myself , cause  its important to learn as one goes to be able to understand

Install it with a friend,  that knows about electrics

A single average house with clever usage  , can live without a generator  for most of the year

Billi



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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 04:01:13 PM »

can live without a generator  for most of the year

Billi





Just like a ship with careful use can manage without a lifeboat.

You NEED a generator so buy a good one, fit it properly, service it regularly and use it seldom. We have 4.75kW of solar here and have harvested 10kWh this month sure you will get more than that in Northampton but you will still have pretty dark Christmas without a generator. Not that we’ll be using ours, but then we have 246kWh from a 3kW wind turbine too.
Good luck, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'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,
kristen
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 04:11:30 PM »

A single average house with clever usage  , can live without a generator  for most of the year

Except that the requirement is for a business, and the Punters won't be hair-shirt types I'm afraid ...
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billi
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 04:36:40 PM »

one can see the production from PV from forum members here   in November its about 5 kWh a day  roughly on can expect from a 5 kW PV install https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,30130.15.html
 Thats my experience too , that from mid November to start of March my PV needed support

 and i did not say  one does not need anything else than PV  whistlie
 Just tying to make a point  to not understimate costs of Generators and  their running / maintenance costs , 

First of all , one needs to know how much power per day is required 

Billi

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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
camillitech
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 06:12:14 PM »



 and i did not say  one does not need anything else than PV  whistlie

Billi



No you didn't Billi, but you usually do  Grin
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'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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