Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We almost have power!

The first holes drilled through my brand new walls. This is the inside and outside of where power will come into the battery bank from the solar panel and generator if needed. The batteries are here, and they are huge! Hopefully they do a good job and last a really long time. There will be a small couch built in this corner to contain my batteries, charger, controller, inverter, etc. and provide a comfy nook for relaxing or reading.

We are getting very close to having power all set up, running, and the heating triple backed up. I've very thankful for the knowledgeable help I've had with setting this up and don't think I could have done it on my own. Now we just need some cables and connectors to arrive that are in the mail. Kinda makes me wish there  wasn't a holiday this week, so we could get them a little faster. Either way, I'll be living there full time by Friday. Almost the only things not moved in at this point are my houseplants which need it to stay nice and cozy to survive. 


  1. Wow very exciting that you're almost all set up. It seems like you are way off the grid up in the hills are you worried about getting to work during harsh winter storms? One of the hardest aspects/ideas to get over when my wife and I are considering a tiny house is the heat and electricity aspect. Also I would really like to be able to have internet so where we are we would not be off the grid per say. That and finding a spot to park

  2. I was wondering if you were planning any water/sewer connections and if so, how were you planning on protecting them in the cold. Richard B in Colorado.

  3. Kyle - I am not too worried about getting to work. I drive an Astro van with all wheel drive, good tires, and a lift job on it. Seems to do pretty well in almost any conditions. And, my friend who's letting me park at his place has a plow truck and two giant tractors with snow blowers. Oh, and even though I'm kinda far up in the hills, work is actually only about three miles away for me.

    I do have internet via a plan that allows me to use my phone as a hotspot for my laptop. And my location happens to normally get a decent Verizon signal. I've mostly just tested it out so far, but it seems to work at least as well as the cable I used to have and I've been able to stream music and watch movie clips with no problems. It is pricier than cable was however, but I think it's worth it to me as I find the internet handy for so many things. I still think of that as off grid since I'm not wired to anything, but it does mean I'm still connected in some manner.

    I want to do a detailed post on all the power systems once we get them set up, but the general idea goes like this. I have 4 100 watt solar panels that should provide most of the power. I have a small 1000 watt generator and two cans of gas to back them up if I get extended periods of cloudy/snowy weather which is pretty likely here in the winter. Both of these feed into a battery bank which then runs everything electric in the house. All of the electrical stuff is pretty low use and efficient, (small fridge, LED lights, 700 watt microwave, etc) and the cooking and heating are both running on propane. The heater does have an electric ignition which I didn't realize so it does need power to kick on, but then uses very little electricity. But, just in case my solar panels, generator, propane tanks, battery bank, and everything else fails for some reason, I have a little space heater that feeds off it's own small bottle of propane and requires no connection to anything else. That's my emergency back up but should really never be needed. And, just in case even that fails, I camp a lot so I have enough warm clothes and sleeping bags and dehydrated food around to be fine for a while. If I realized the place was going to freeze up I'd just dump all the water out of my system to avoid blowing out the plumbing, and then plan on having to buy new house plants. ;)

  4. Richard - I don't have any sewer connection to worry about as I have a composting toilet. It's a Nature's Head and so far I am very pleased with it. Once I've had a little more time to use it, I am sure I'll do a post with more details on that.

    My plumbing is all in one small corner of the house and self contained. I have an internal water tank that I fill manually as needed with big water jugs. Even though all of the plumbing is inside other than the grey water drain, I had it all heat wrapped so unless I loose power (see my comment above about the power setup) that should keep it from freezing. I'll also do an update with how this is working after some more time to learn about it.