What Kind Of Power Inverter Do I need?
When you plan to be off the grid, there is an order to your planning that makes all the difference in your costs. There are a few steps in my mind that are critical to beginning the process.
- Insulation: The more insulated your home, the lower your costs of heating and cooling. Heating and cooling costs can be responsible for up to 90% of your electric bill! So handling heating and cooling up front in a passive method will cut the costs of your whole project.
- Use low-energy appliances. That could include using a wood stove instead of an electric heater!
- If you install Solar energy, you can save a lot of money on panels by installing a sun-tracking system for maximum solar collection.
- Installing efficient gadgets in the home is also critical such as LED light bulbs, automatic temperature controls systems, even ones that learn your habits and adjust accordingly.
- Consider the efficiency of the solar panels. A little more spent up front can make for much savings through the years.
- Getting a pure-sine power inverter can make your appliances last much longer. Be sure this is the one you get. Here's why:
- I could go on all day as to what is to be considered when establishing a system, but the above checklist will begin your path for you. When we were looking for land, there were so many things considered. Is there a local cable company for high-speed internet or will we need satellite? Are we on a side of a hill? Will that hill have satellite connection or will we have to wire it from way up the hill? Will solar work? Is there a creek for creek-based power? If you're in a valley, is there wind? There is a good chance that you buy a piece of land that's pretty cheap, and you find that in the end your only energy solution is propane or diesel generator. You want to make sure you have a clearing for the sun to penetrate for as long as possible for solar, that you have a hilltop to catch the wind for wind power, or that you have a river or creek for water power.
- I have often thought that if I had such a property, I might need an RV full of batteries as my energy box. Pull it up to the top of the hill to charge the batteries with wind and solar power, and bring it down to the house and plug in. This could be done with golf carts as well. Put a solar panel on top, utilize the 36 or 48v powered golf cart batteries as your energy for the home, and just keep swapping which cart is charging up the hill. There are lots of way to be creative. If wind is your energy, a storm might be your friend. If sun, you might have to sweep some snow. Wherever we choose to live, there will be challenges. The more knowledge we have, and the more we use that wisdom in planning, the more successful we will be!