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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Going off grid for 3 season cabin
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Rickant
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 07:03
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So we finally found another property (third times a charm) and have a conditional agreement. It has a smallish cabin (600 sq ft) with hydro, lake water supply and septic. All appliances are electric. In anticipation that this deal goes through we are thinking ahead to going off grid. There is a treasure trove of info here, but I have a few seemingly basic questions and ideas.

1. The cabin is in a hilly area so we are thinking that we would use gravity feed water supply by placing a ubc tote or tank up the hill and filling it with lake water. We have lots of elevation I think to make this work and would pump water to fill it up occasionally. Would there be issues with storing lakes water in terms of algae etc. It would not be for eating or drinking.

2. So I imagine calling hydro and having it disconnected. We would need power for lights, fans, possibly some sort of refrigerator. I see that a system would need to be sized and it would involve panels, a controller, inverter, batteries. So my question (very silly I know) how does that get hooked up? Does that feed into the existing panel?

3. I have read about using a chest freezer and temp controller. Does hst work well? Is it safe?

4. How would a generator work if we wanted it as a backup option to feed the cabin? Is that a costly backup? Presumably I would just use I to charge the batteries as needed or is it something that would also be able to connect to the cabin electrical system?

I'm sure that I have many more questions but these are top of mind.... Thanks.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 08:48
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Please create a thread for each subject, such as Rickant Cabin Water, Rickant Cabin Electric. A multi-subject thread will get responses for all the subjects at different intervals and make it difficult to follow.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 09:25 - Edited by: DaveBell
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https://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-information/start-here/offgrid-calculator

There is a lot of things to consider creating an off grid solar power system for house 120V use.

It might be a good idea to start some of these calculations and we all can fill in as it develops.

What are all the appliances. Current for each. Etc.

Your needs may not be the same as another persons.

Because there are so many variables, best to take it step by step so you don't waste money or start a fire.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 12:50
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Unless your electric rates are abnormally high, it's almost always cheaper to stay on grid power than to rely on batteries.

KelVarnsen
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 12:53
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Quoting: Rickant
So I imagine calling hydro and having it disconnected.


I seem to remember reading that if hydro is available in some municipalities it is illegal to disconnect. I can't seem to find the article again.

Here is a short document that may be relevant to you: Off grid and the Ontario Building Code

Rickant
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 13:12
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It's for a seasonal cottage on an island. According to the locals the hydro is like 150 a month during the winter even when. No hydro is being used. We like the idea of being self sufficient too.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 13:15
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Quoting: Rickant
It's for a seasonal cottage on an island. According to the locals the hydro is like 150 a month during the winter even when. No hydro is being used. We like the idea of being self sufficient too.


Ouch. $150 a month even when you are not using any power? In that case it might make sense to go off grid, but it really depends on how much power you use when there.

creeky
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 18:12
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Thx kelvarnsen. The specifications outlined are pretty easy to do. And make good sense.

Of grid solar is pretty easy. Lithium batteries last. And the equipment is reliable. Have fun with it.

Rickant
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 18:46
Reply 


Thanks creecky I'm looking forward to investigating further!

ICC
Member
# Posted: 13 May 2017 20:22
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If you go for off grid keep in mind that all lead acid batteries need to be removed over the winter if they are not connected to a reliable solar charger. Lithium does not have that issue; but will cost you more up front. How many days/weeks of use are envisioned per year? If very occasional that can be an expensive system when counted on a per day of use basis.

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