As we’ve mentioned in the past, Peperty is completely off the grid. There were a few reasons for our choice and being a technical nerd and the exorbitant cost of connecting to the grid in the first place.
Many years ago I met a welcoming couple in South Australia who had over a number of years taken their house off the grid. They salvaged a hand full of batteries from a decommissioned Telecom exchange, a little wind turbine and a bunch of solar panels from the 90s, they were able to power a car fridge, water pump, lights and a TV for a couple of hours a night.
This absolutely fascinated me. What could be more exciting in life than to combine the love of building, sustainability and technology into everyday living? Living sustainably, saving the world for our children and saving money are all great things, but I’ll be honest, the geek in me just wanted to give this a try. This was the seed that grew into that beginning of our family’s off grid adventures at Peperty.
Let’s talk sizing… This is the first thing we did when looking for an off grid system was try to size up the batteries. The aim was to have enough power to live comfortably without watching all appliances with a stop watch. We took a couple of sample electricity bills from our apartment as a starting point. Then we accounted for additional usage for cooking, heating and frivolous extravagance adding up to 1.21 jigowatts. We then quickly decided to simply find a system equating to what we’d expect to pay to connect to the grid.
A year’s research and income later and here we are…
- 2 banks of 48V Carbon Lead batteries totaling 46Kwh
- 5.3Kw solar panels
- 6Kw AC coupled inverter
- Connected to our old 6Kw generator
- Gas stove top and hot water