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off grid appliances

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by cuchulain, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. cuchulain

    cuchulain vancouver, wa New Member

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    So I have an off grid cabin with a small solar setup

    I am looking for small 12 volt appliance idea..

    I have lighting codvered but air conditioning would be a big one for me, not looking to add lots of solar panels so looking for maybe a small 12 volt ac idea.

    And any other 12 volt appliance ideas

    Thanks
     
  2. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Off grid and air conditioning?
    I must be missing something here.
    Air takes lots of energy to run, Lots of stuff going on in there. I would say some good fans are in order.Off grid living usually doesn't come with AC
     
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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  4. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Only thing to come to mind so far is a tailgate blender. If you google 12 volt off grid appliances there are several others, including AC!
     
  5. thebaddog

    thebaddog clackamas county New Member

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    have you looked at RV appliances?
     
  6. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Yep - even a standard RV roof unit takes approx. 3000 continuous watts - and is 110 VAC. Off grid electricity even with the best solar systems, batteries and inverters is still a diminishing return proposition and should only be considered supplemental and not a primary power source. You mention you have a cabin with with a small solar system? Just curious what are the components of your system and your output and storage capacities?
     
  7. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    Dig a basement.

    It will be cheaper in the long run than trying to air condition a cabin in LaPine.

    Even in the heat of the summer the temperature is much cooler in a basement. Then a small DC fan will do the trick.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  8. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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  9. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I once visited a custom log cabin in the Black Butte area that had an underground 36" galvanized pipe buried 6' deep that ran for over 150' behind the cabin.
    It had a covered screened opening in the woods and a large fan built over where the pipe came up in the basement.
    It provided a lot of cool air for cheap and also provided a secure secondary exit from the cabin.
     
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  10. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Uh, I am not trying to air condition a cabin in LaPine - I was replying to the OP from Vancouver request for info.
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    There are really not a lot of good options for appliances that run on 12V and for good reason, a 3000W appliance is going to be pulling 300A while operating. This means you need cables the size of your wrist to not melt down carrying that current for any length of time. One of the huge deficits with most "off grid" planning, including solar is that the voltages most people run is too low, however that may be a good thing as high voltage DC can be quite dangerous (much more dangerous than AC). One of the things I've done in the past was use battery banks that run at 240V, which are then inverted (turned to AC) using an APC UPS inverter stage, one I installed is rated for 5kW.

    However, this was for a serious off-grid system, and the panels were wired in series to produce about 300V open circuit, it was about 16 panels, with each producing about 8A. The nice thing about this system was we overbuilt it and only had to use 10ga wire to connect the panels to the charge controller. At that voltage it was literally impossible to pull too much current, and it was enough to run nearly every household appliance you could imagine. Certain things we bypassed the inverter to run (like lighting) but it worked great. You could even run the dishwasher. The dryer and water heater were both run on propane though.

    IIRC, we used 6V deep cycle batteries, each one was about 200Ah, this gave the whole system a whopping 8kAh for a total of 48kVA. It was nearly impossible to even drive the batteries down more than about 10% in a weekend, and since it's a vacation cabin/party house it got to recharge all week.
     
  12. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    people have lived for a long time without AC.....it all comes down to prudent planning and knowledge of how the seasons affect your home.. what kind of appliances are you looking at for your home that's off grid?
    I would go for gas based appliances (gas stove/oven and heating), if you have a mean of acquiring propane... or wood fired stove/heater/oven...which also could generate electricity by way of using thermal induction; or to boil water which could be used for showers/baths, and possibly provide a way to generate electricity by way of steam turbine; crude yes but very effective, of course all this is going to be rather expensive to engineer that it would last a long time..

    what kind of appliances could you live without?

    yes it means a lot of work, hard work...and patience....but it also means being self sufficient...if you're already growing your own foods and hunting; then it is not that much more hard work....

    I see you say you already have small solar system and an off-grid cabin...any reason for wanting more appliances? I assume your cabin already has a gas system for heating? or a wood based one?
     
  13. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    just get a couple cleanable air filters the plastic type and run water drops down it with a small fan behind blowing through it almost like ac just check out a swamp cooler but it's homemade and cheap
     
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  14. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Hey cuchulain, have you ever tried DIY swamp coolers or an evaporative cooled refrigerator? There is much literature on the net. My folks used an evaporator fridge in rural Nevada when I was a kid. It actually worked well! Check them out on Off The Grid News. Just google it.
     
  15. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    I would also look into making the cabin more energy efficient. The less cooling needed the better. I think "A/C" for a cabin is a waste of resources personally. The other ways mentioned or a outdoor area with water misters might do the trick. Is this or are you planning on full time living at this cabin or just a retreat? If the former I would really consider sucking it up and dealing with a bit of heat as that will be one of many luxuries you will learn to do without.
     
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  16. PopsBdog

    PopsBdog Southern Oregon Active Member

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    My wife and me lived off grid for eight years 1995 to 2004. In the end we had 800 watts of panels and 1600 amp hours of storage in batteries with a 4000 watt trace sinewave inverter. I consider that a medium-small system. We had to use a generator to charge the batteries in winter, we had all the power we needed in summer. Our refrigerator and stove ran on propane.The inverter allowed me to use a toaster, a microwave, guitar amp, PA and powertools like a skillsaw, tablesaw etc. Our gravity water (5400 gal) came from the creek using a water pressure powered pump called a Highlifter. We heated with wood (I cut 5 cords a year). Air Conditioning was less clothes and wetting down. We hung out in the creek and our firewater storage pool (20,000 gal) a lot. We never had a swamp cooler, motors running all the time take power. A wind powered swamp cooler may work depending on location.

    Wind power was not feasible in our location. I was working on a Hydro system near the end.
    Power creation, storage and economy is all.

    Since this sounds like a vacation type place, a quick and dirty solution would be a modern quiet generator for power. You can have a normal conversation sitting near some.

    Asking here is trying to reinvent the wheel.
    Most of this stuff has been figured out in great detail by others.
    There are books, magazines and Alternative Energy forums on line.

    I miss the lifestyle. I don't miss the work.
     
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