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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Off grid power for 1000 sf cabin
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Huntr Pat
# Posted: 14 Jun 2010 16:34

Where would the best place for me to start looking for diy power requirments. I 'd like to run a standard size fridge and chest freezer, basic lighting. I'll wood and propane heating, because of the area I need to have 2 heating source. The we are at is full of pines and would be able to ge at leas 7 hours of full sun light. I'd like to find out how many battery banks I will require. Wind power may be out of the question. my email

# Posted: 14 Jun 2010 17:12

Hi Huntr

The first step is to calculate the electrical requirements/hours of use for the above mentioned items plus any tv's, coffee makers etc. Then find an online calculator (there are tons out there) plug in these numbers plus the amount of normal sunlight expected (depends on lat, season and shading etc) and the recovery time you want. And presto the magic number of solar panels plus batteries will appear. Methinks you will need quite a system to meet your requirements.

Good luck with this.

Cabin Owl
# Posted: 11 Sep 2010 00:59

If you want to run a standard fridge and freezer, as well as an electric heater,(if I read this right) you will need to get a decent diesel genset and run it for 5 hours a day. I have been doing just that for two years without a problem.
I have a 10K watt, three cylinder diesel that is more than enough power and it only uses less than 1/3 of a gallon per hour.
Most folks don't know that your fridge and freezer really only run for 5 or 6 hours a day anyway.

# Posted: 12 Sep 2010 02:45

You might want a propane fridge and freezer. If you go that route and have no electric heat, then your power requirements will be quite minimal. That is, unless you want some other electrical appliances (stuff like toasters, kettles, microwaves, etc, all draw a LOT of juice when running, just generally they only go a couple minutes).

You could probably run a setup that was primarily solar without breaking the bank, then get a small genset (something like a honda EU2000i, or maybe two of them) for backup if you have a period of little sun, or such.

# Posted: 13 Sep 2010 11:58

In Short, anything that creates or moves heat uses far to much energy for any renewable system at a reasonable cost. If you insist on such things, then yes, expect to run a generator a lot.

But no matter what, still use a battery bank and use the generator to charge the batteries. A good charger will even stop/start a genny automatically and can be a great convenience and will allow you to run your genny only for 3 or 5 hours a day instead of all waking 16.

However, there are numerious off grid fridges and freezers which are initially expensive, but run off of far less power. Given the cost of desiel, you can quickly off set the cost of the fridge for the fuel savings. Look at SunDanzer for an example.

Cabin Owl
# Posted: 13 Sep 2010 22:12

When we run our genset for 5 or 6 hours a day, it is also recharging the 5 deep cycle batteries that allow for us to watch TV, have water pressure, and run our 12v lighting for the other 19 hours.
Cooking is propane or solar. Heating is propane (vented wall), and three oil filled 1500wt electric when the genset is running.
Works perfect

# Posted: 26 Sep 2010 00:59

Check these guys out, really helpful, and try to answer right away. A great source for almost anything you need.

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