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Home Forums General Discussion please advise solar needs for offgrid house in france

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    hi Rebecca its hard to realy give you any advice on what you need

    as lights and computer does not realy tell anyone the usage.

    and besides it sounds like your budget is going to dictate what you can afford anyway

    just for fun

    here are some rough prices

    45 watt solar panel kit i can buy from harbour freight here in the

    USA about 150 dollars on special comes with 2 lights,regulator

    and mounting hardware.

    then you need battery storage dont try using car batteries minumun you

    want for a very small system is a marine deep cycle maybee 70-100 dollars.

    then to run the computer you will also need a inverter to convert the

    power stored in the battery from 12 volts to the voltage that your computer needs.

    maybee like this one.

    so for about 350-400 with extra cables and fittings you can get lights and computer but you will likely be disapointed in how long you can run your computer daily.

    here is what i did when i first moved out here the same can be done with

    any vehical if you are doing some daily driving it might be a better choice

    for a first system.or even a small generator that you can run for an hour

    or 2 each night to charge batteries.

    depending on the topography and the flow of the river and any legal

    issues you may have hydro may be the best choice for you anyway

    you will find water power to be the best by far if you have the right

    conditions for it

    here is my little waterwheel project


    for your water pumping you’ll need to find out the vertical lift required to move from point a to point be. this will determine the size pump and required power.

    pic up led xmas lights on sale after the holidays. the cheepest form of low volt lighting. read each box carefully some strands use about 3.8-4-5 watts(still very low) other strands use 1.5

    cheers g

    also chowan is right on if you will have any commuting definate add abattery or two to the car. and charge while commuting. spend the extra 60$(us) for isolator and circit breaker to protect you from draining your starter battery.


    just wanted to add forget about your mircrowave and electric kettle

    if your on a tight alternate energy budget.

    there is much better more efficient ways to boil water and cook food


    hello. im hoping someone could give me some advice for my current situation – im english and living in france with patner and 18 month old son, and about to move into a beautiful house in a remote valley. its off grid and we need to get a minimal solar system installed straight away. minimal as we wont have much money left at all after moving at the end of december. we’ll be able to upgrade ina 6-12 months when our agricultural grant comes through.

    its a small two room house, 8 by 5 metres on two levels, and will have wood stove heating and gas fridge and cooker. the main things we need to power by electricity are light bulbs and computer and occasional use of microwave and kettle. also ideally a pump to pump water from the spring into a raised tank for heating.

    could you advise what amps, wattage, no of battries we’d need as the resarch my partner has done so far has just totally confused him. we are hoping for extremely basic technical advice, ie number of solar panels needed and their power, number of battries and their power and anythind else necessary! please keep it as non technical as possible

    we also have access to two rivers and would like to put in some sort of homemade waterwheel to charge battries as well if you have any ideas on that

    thanks very much, rebecca

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