Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Off-Grid Power {Generators}...

1:00 pm - 81 degrees - scattered clouds and breezy...

We have been living off-grid for over three years now.  During that time, our only source of power has been our Honda EU 2000i generator.  Want to make a piece of toast...go turn on the generator.  Want to use the computer...go turn on the generator.  Want to charge the cell phones, turn on the lights, use a power tool...go turn on the generator.  We’re not any kind of generator experts; we’re just users and HUGE fans of what these machines have allowed us to do over the years.

We’re also not rich, we don’t have boatloads of cash, and we are not able to buy everything brand new.  We are just an average single income family.  And honestly, it’s expensive to set up your own power system from scratch, which is why we have been slowly piecing together our off-grid power system one piece at a time. 

Several months ago we were able to purchase the battery bank {click here}.  Battery banks are the best choice for renewable energy storage.  By using batteries to deliver energy captured from the sun and the wind (aka the power source) in a consistent and reliable form, you will not be left dependent on the whims of nature as you attempt to leave the electrical grid behind.

This month we are able to check off the last large item on our ‘Off-Grid Power Check List’ – the “power source” a Honda EM3500S generator.

The “power source” is whatever system will be creating the electricity – this can be anything from solar, wind, hydro or a generator {click here}.  Since we are still in the process of building our home, we are going to be using the new generator as our main power source.  Once our home is closer to completion then we will switch our main power source over to wind and hydro.

Now all we have to do is build the ‘power house’ and get all the wiring to hook everything together.  Our power system is almost done!
(A basic off-grid system is made up of nine components.)

  X  Power Source --- Solar, Wind, Hydro, and Generator – whatever system will be creating your electricity.

  X  DC Disconnect --- this is a breaker between the power source and the inverter.  This allows you to disconnect from the power source to troubleshoot errors.  (Housed in the Power Center – click here)

  X  Charge Controller --- this keeps the batteries from overcharging and from being discharged by the power source.  (Housed in the Power Center)

  X  Battery Bank --- stores excess electricity.

  X  System Meter --- this is like a small computer.  It describes how the various components in your system are behaving and allows you to program virtually every aspect of the system.  (Housed in the Power Center)

  X  Main DC Disconnect --- this is the breaker between the battery bank and the inverter.  (Housed in the Power Center)

  X  Pure Sine Wave Inverter ---this is the component that transforms the DC (direct current) electricity, which is yielded by the power source and stored in the battery bank, into the AC (alternating current) electricity that can be used on your appliances in the home.  (Housed in the Power Center)

  X  AC Breaker Panel --- this is the same breaker panel that is found in any home that is tied to the grid.

  X  Backup Generator --- an important source of backup power when the power system is insufficient for the demand.

     Hidden Expense --- all the wiring that is needed to connect everything together; conduit and fittings; small insulated shed aka ‘power house’ with two rooms, one room for the battery bank and one room for all the other electrical components.


  1. I am glad to read your post.Much interesting your sine inverter technology Really nice knowing about this, it's beneficial for me. I will search more about this. Keep sharing more.
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  2. You don't have electricity source in your locality?

    1. The closest power lines are about 7 miles away. It's to expensive to bring power lines out to our property, so we're creating our own power. I personally like it that way.

    2. Generating your power through gas generators is it not having expensive to your pockets than the electricity?
      The administration of your town should take step on this matter...

    3. I think the idea is not to rely on outside sources and then reap the rewards after the system pays for its self.
      That's why I would do it.

  3. Energy Independent is what it is.
    (from the top)

  4. I actually had never heard of people trying to live off-grid, probably because I've lived in the suburbs my entire life. I think that's great that you are working toward building your own generator power house! I would love to see how much everything cost and how much money you would save per month instead of using city utilities.

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