Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Off Grid Living: Solar Edition

Many of the cabins we build are off the electrical grid so it only makes sense to discuss the inovations in Solar, Wind and Water power.
For most locations in Alaska, solar power will be the most practical for electrical needs. Wind power is a viable option in many areas and there are more and more practical wind power systems on the market.
The key to alternative power is learning to manage and maximize efficiency in your electrical use.
If you only need to run a few lights, TV, stereo, water pump and a computer, you can get by comfortably with a simple 12 volt system.
If you want to run more appliances and have all of the comforts of home, you will want an inverter that will convert 12 or 24 volts to 110 just like city power.
If you want to go all electric with 220v capability, electric fridge, electric oven, freezer etc. you are most likely going to need a 48 volt system with large batteries and a sizable inverter system. These applications are normally for lodge use and will require the use of a generator system as well.
You will want to get a couple of solar panels and batteries to start with and my advice is to keep it simple until you learn what your needs really are.
For all of your off grid living needs you can visit Kirk and his staff at Susitna Energy Systems in Anchorage. Kirk not only supplies alternative energy supplies to others, he uses them himself at his remote cabin.

2507 Fairbanks Street
Anchorage, AK 99503-2821
(907) 337-1300

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax”
Abraham Lincoln

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