Our house is 100% off-grid, relying entirely on renewable power. Solar makes up the majority of our power source, with wind making up the rest.
Our house was one of the last houses in WA to be eligible for the Remote Area Power Supply scheme rebate, which covered 50% of the costs of the system where connecting to the grid was classified as “economically unfeasible”. We’re delighted that we were eligible, due to the distance our house is from the existing network!
Our solar power system was installed by Switched On Electrical. It consists of eighteen 175W solar panels on the north-facing roof, charging a bank of twentyfour 48 volt 1080 amp hour gel-cell batteries which are located in our garage. Two 3 KVA inverters feed the electricity into the house.
The house is wired as per a ‘standard’ 240V house, and we use all standard appliances – fridge, freezer, computer, toaster, kettle, TV, lights, power tools etc etc. The solar power system has never given us a blackout, never given us a power bill and has always provided far more electricity than we needed – until we bought the electric car…
In winter 2016, we added a 1kW wind turbine to our system to provide the extra electricity in winter needed to charge the car. This has been a useful addition, and looks great! In summer, the system can support the car as well as the house.
Advances in solar power technology are flying, and our solar equipment is already ‘outdated’. However, we expect to get at least 15 years from it and are extremely happy with living off-grid. In fact, it’s far more reliable and we are much happier with the supply than we were when connected to the grid in our previous houses. We have a good chuckle to ourselves when town has a blackout and we’ve still got all our power!