Home Renewable Energy Systems

336 Views | 1 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by SODucks
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I'm in the early stages of trying to convert my home to being off-grid (or at least substantially less dependent on it) over the next couple years and am interested in others first hand experiences with doing their own setup. Or, if there are folks who work in the field and have suggestions on where to start or things to avoid.

I've done some basic research here and there and plan to have a couple local companies do an energy assessment for me later this summer, and will eventually have to have an electrician do the majority of the setup, but would like to do as much of the prep work as I can and won't be able to afford a whole system all at once so will have to piecemeal it together as I can.

I live at the top of the bluff in the Columbia River Gorge, so am looking at a dual source system of wind and solar. My solar panels will need to be ground mounted as I have very little south facing roof, plus it will make it much easier for snow removal.

Specifically, I am interested in hearing what brand of panels, wind turbines, inverters, and batteries you have had good experiences with and would recommend and which products you would suggest avoiding if you've had poor experiences with them.

In time, I would also like to add a permanent, whole-home, propane generator to the system as a last resort back up, so would welcome any suggestions on brands for those as well. Is there anything out there that can compare to Generac?

Any suggestions or resources would be greatly appreciated....thanks.
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16 year vet of the industry here, and for the last seven and a half I've been running my own RE company mostly focused on residential solar installations.

I don't have a ton of time, cuz I'm about to head out for the afternoon, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you have in the future.

The first bit of advice I give you a, is don't scrimp where it counts. Specifically your power inverter, and charge controllers. I'm partial to Outback Power Systems myself, though there are other good brands out there. I don't recommend Magnum, as they are functionally very limited

Panels or a little less important, although we stick to American-made modules. mostly all the panels I've ever had fail came out of China or Southeast Asia. There is a Canadian company called silfab that actually manufacturers in Washington which is quite good, and we're currently installing Mission solar panels which are made in Texas.

4 ground Mount racking I'm partial 2 snapnrack, and they have Oregon stamped engineering available for free on their website which will help you get past your local Building Department

When it comes to generators, I've had nothing but problems with Generac. I would recommend looking at Kohler if you want to go gas, or Northern Lights if you want to do diesel.

Batteries, there's a ton of options. Your best bang for the buck no question is conventional flooded lead-acid acid Style. Rolls surette is my preferred brand there. But nowadays you can buy lithium-ion packs, if you want to spend the money. I'm not convinced they're worth it though.

Overall, I would not recommend trying to go completely off the grid. You will have freedom from the power company, but you will pay more for your power, by a considerable margin. Also, when the power system you install Does fail, in a snow storm over Christmas, there's no one coming to help.
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