Friday, 13 January 2017

What do I need to live off the Grid ?

It depends on where you live. It is one thing to live off the grid in Costa Rica, it is quite another to live off the Grid in Northern Canada. The Technology is constantly changing, constantly improving.

The Basics are shelter from the elements, clean drinking water, food and power ....

We will cover each Topic in the coming days but starting with Power you will need to know how much energy you currently use and how much energy you will need to operate the critical appliances you use on a  daily basis. Lights, Fridge, Heating, computer  etc.....


Take a look at your current Hydro / Electricity Bill. Do you use 500 KWhr per month ? More ? Less ?  You will need to learn how to use less.


There are many sources for off-grid Power, but as you can see form the running poll on the right the best value is Solar. You need to know how many hours of sunlight you get each day? 5 hours ? More / less?  If you can capture 5 hours of sunlight each day, with a 280 Watt Solar panel you should be able to generate about 1,000 watt hours per day. - 1 KW hr....  so 30 KWhrs per month.  If you are using 500 kwhr per month  you would need 500/30 of these panels. 


So 17 - 280 watt Solar Panels + Controllers, Inverters and Batteries.


But you would also need a gas generator Back-up Power for the days where there is no sunshine.

We found this 400 Watt Kit that includes Solar Panels,Controllers, Inverter for $805 (Does not include 12 Volt battery) ....
WindyNation Complete 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit with 1500 Watt VertaMax Power Inverter RV, Boat, for Off-Grid 12 Volt Battery :


Complete kit includes: (4pcs) 100 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel, 30-amp P30L Solar Charge Controller (w/ LCD Display and user adjustable settings), 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors, all necessary solar mounting hardware + 1500 Watt (3000 Watt surge) VertaMax DC to AC Power Inverter, 2 pcs of 2 AWG Battery Cables for connecting the inverter to a 12V battery
  • Solar charging will provide on average 1600 Watt Hours (Wh) or 135 Amp hours of charge per day (depends on sunlight availability)
  • Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
  • Bundle and save! Purchase all the components together and save time and money!
  • Perfect kit for a off-grid 12 volt battery system. 1500 Watt VertaMax Inverter provides plenty of AC power to run your household appliances !


  • The best part about this kit is that it shows you in one diagram all the parts and pieces you will need to actually run something using Solar Power (except the 12 Volt battery) . Before you can decide what to buy though you really need to understand what you will be using Off the Grid.  A Computer ? 10 LED Lights ? a small fridge ?  (To be continued)

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