This blog is about the design and construction of an off-grid system in Upper Michigan. The purpose of the offgridcabin is to contribute to the off-grid community by basically saying, “well, that worked out pretty well” or, “well, that wasn’t such a good idea. I think next time I’d… ”
The quick statistics on the system (as of July 2011)
- 3000 Watt Xantrex MS3000 inverter with control panel
- 14 x 225 Ah deep cycle lead-acid batteries (Johnson Controls)
- 810 Watts of solar (6 x 135 Kyocera LPU 12V panels)
- 3000 Watt Honda EU3000 generator with RF remote starter
- 4 x 350 Lumen 12V LED security lights with motion sensor
- Victron BMV 600s battery monitor (meter 103′ from shunt)
- Liquid propane refrigerator
- Gas heater in garage and cabin
- Free-standing wood burner in cabin
And one more thing…
My parents are retired Wisconsin elementary teachers. They are both very intelligent and quite sharp. My mom is well read and the ol’ man has the patience of a saint. So when I was given the task of building an off-grid system I was a bit surprised – at the time my collegiate background was in chemistry, with some physics… and though I knew battery chemistry pretty well, I was out of my league with off-grid system design. I read everything I could find, took notes, and took my time.
And yet another thing (2014)…
I’m now an alumni of UW Oshkosh and UW Madison. I have two kiddo’s separated by 15 months (boy and girl), and spend 40 hours each week at a certain corner drug store attempting to pay back the debt incurred by my education and fund my hobbies of photography, wood working, and camping.