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Information - DO's & DON'Ts

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Off-Grid LIving DOs and DON'Ts:

DOs

Most household appliances and lights use only a little electricity, easily supplied by the sun, wind and, micro-hydro. Solar electric homes convert most of their power to 120 volt AC to use as needed for household appliances and lights. Most common are lights, water pump, TV-VCR-Satellite, computer, stereo, vacuum cleaner, kitchen appliances sewing machine, power tools and office equipment. Even high wattage appliances like microwave oven, hair drier, toaster and clothes washer consume little power because their actual running time is short. Various water pumps, including deep well pumps up to 1/2 horsepower, are used. Special design electric refrigerators and freezers save energy in a solar home; gas and small DC powered refrigerators are also used. Plug appliances into surge protectors that can be turned completely off. Many appliances draw electricity 24 hours a day as they sit unused in standby mode. Avoid most large refrigerators and freezers: standard, non-Energy Star rated refrigerators have poor insulation and run long hours every day. Most still use well over 1.5 kilowatt hours per day, over 450 kilowatt hours per year. Special electric refrigerators and freezers designed for solar powered homes use only half the power of conventional ones. Propane refrigerators and freezers require no electricity. Building homes with passive solar heat design saves heating fuel for the rest of the building's life. Useing passive or active solar such as south facing windows with mass floors, solar radiant in-floor heating, tankless gas or propane water heaters will make a big difference.

Dana Orzel Great Solar Works Tamera Culp Erik Larsen Roland Holzwarth Josh Whit

DON'T's

Don't use electric appliances with heat elements such as electric furnace, electric hot water, electric cook stove, electric heated clothes drier,or electric air conditioner. These types of appliances account for 80% of the typical household's electric bills. Other fuels produce heat at a much lower cost. Use wood or propane fueled furnaces; propane cook stoves and water heaters; use gas fired clothes dryers (or just a rope in the sun).

 

More information:

Grid-Tied PV
Batteries
Backup Generators
What it costs
How it works
Off-Grid Living Do's & Don'ts

 

Great Solar Works! designs and installs solar, wind and hydro on-site power generation systems and
energy efficient pumping and heating technologies for off-grid and grid-tied locations.
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