off-grid system :: overview


Since this is the first post, I thought I would provide an overview of the current off-grid system using some of the photos I’ve taken at various times during the project.

This is the current heart of the off-grid system. Later, a fused 12V LED system was added to provide security and motion lights to the camp.

This is the solar array consisting of six 135 watt Kyocera panels mounted atop a 6″ schedule 40 pole.

Mounted inside the cabin is our system control panel.

UPDATED 8/1/2011:



6 thoughts on “off-grid system :: overview

  1. janet glime

    Hey, Sam: a note here from your old school nurse. What amazing talent you have, not only in working in the out doors (like father, like son!) but in photography as well. And, have you ever considered writing? For, you do tell a good story. Anyway, I was cruising the internet for a cottage and found this site. Looks like you and Dad have done some fantastic work and you should be very proud of it. Best wishes to you in your pharmaceutical career and in your vacations away in this cabin. Jan Glime

  2. Charity Knauff

    Hi Sam,
    Working with a builder right now to build a cabin in Wisconsin, possible home if our house sells in Minnesota but more so our retirement home. Thinking into the future and living on a fixed income into retirement would love to build this home off the grid. But I have to say I have no idea where to start any advice?


    1. offgridcabin Post author

      Hi Charity,

      The first thing that comes to mind is my Dad saying “get lean waivers on all building supplies from the building supplier (lumbar yards, etc)!” This has saved us in the past from contractors getting paid and then telling the supplier that we have yet to pay them. This is a good step to take regardless of reputation. As for the off grid component – how much time do you have? Some options that come to mind are my blog (it’s a good place to start – it’s more of a story than a how to, but I keep track of every penny), look for instructional classes on solar offered near you, and absolutely read, search, and post questions over at

  3. Pingback: battery monitor installation | offgridcabin

  4. schwinghamerproject

    I would like to know why you went with the Kyocera solar panels? It seems they are substantially more money than other brands. Better warranty, more efficient, reliability are some things Im thinking with your panels.

    1. offgridcabin Post author

      At the time of purchase the Kyocera panels were one of the larger 12V models and the 25 year warranty and build quality were deciding factors. I was more ready to overbuild our system than to under build it and have to redo or replace parts later. If I had prior experience with solar I may have selected different panels and saved some money.


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