View Single Post
Old Sep 29, 2012, 11:35 AM
electroman7 is offline
Find More Posts by electroman7
Government is a fearful master
electroman7's Avatar
United States, TX, Farwell
Joined Feb 2001
157 Posts
I've been researching producing electrical power on my own also. My findings are that wind and solar power are expensive and unreliable. You can invest in modest systems that will keep a small capacity battery bank charged. This is only good for a few lights and maybe a high effeciency refrigerator.
Using a generator means you have to make the same decisions as when using the other power sources. How much you can operate depends on what you can afford. A generator running full time to power a whole house will be expenxsive to operate. I need a 10,000 watt generator to keep my house fully operational. I use natural gas to power my stove, heater and hot water heater. The AC naturally is electric. I did discover that these smaller generators can be fairly cheaply converted to propane or natural gas fuel. By far the cheapest fuel here is natural gas. I can justify using generator power only by gonverting to gas and using power management for my house. I also need a fairly large battery bank to operate my off grid property. I will need to install a large water tank to store water in so my well only needs to be run for a time then shut down while I use the water in the tank. Also, I will have to cycle my continuously running appliances ( refrigerator, freezer, TV, computer). Only running some of these at any given time. I will have to stop using my central AC and convert to a swamp cooler. I can do this because I live in a dry climate. Wet climates don't offer that option. In winter, I don't have a large problem keeping the house warm as the heater is gas fired. I will only riun the generator as battery power is drained which calculates to about 1/2 the time. Thats better than full time. Using natural gas as a fuel will help increase generator life as will using methods to help keep from running it full time.
Self generation of power will never be cheaper than the grid. You will always be less efficient in generation and you will bear the full brunt of repair costs as well as your time spent maintaining the system. With the grid, you don't have to maintain the system and the power generation on a large scale is cheaper for individuals.
Living off the grid should be all about energy independence, not reduced costs.
electroman7 is offline Find More Posts by electroman7
Reply With Quote