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EA was contacted in 2004 by a developer who was building a luxury vacation home in an off-grid location. The client had no previous experience with off-grid and had no experience with energy efficiency. These buildings were constructed as if they were tapped into an unlimited energy supply with all the conventional appliances - and then some. With two homes, many appliances were duplicated.

A partial list of loads:

  • Two propane furnaces.
  • Three dishwashers.
  • Two washer/dryers.
  • Three refrigerators, two full, one bar.
  • One deep freeze.
  • Every electrical kitchen gadget that exists and then some.
  • Significant quantity of lighting, indoor and outdoor.
  • Satellite Internet & wireless computer network.
  • 2 HP effluent pump.
  • Well pump.
  • Security system.

This was a significant project which has evolved over time. Here's a summary of the system as it stands today:

Inverter: 4 x 5.5 kW inverters give 22 kW continuous inverter power, loads split into two power panels. Original inverters Xantrex SWII5548. Expanded inverter capacity with SWPlus5548 panel.

Batteries: 24 x Global Yuasa 85T21's give 70 kWh of total storage. A battery watering system facilitates refilling of battery.

Charge Controllers: Morningstar TriStar 60's regulate the PV array.

PV array: 8 x Sharp 185 modules (1.5 kW) on first array and 12 x Sharp 175 modules (2.1 kW) provide the bulk of summer power needed.

Generator: Dual onan RS12000 propane generators, for redundancy.

Monitoring System: This site has an extensive remote monitoring system. The client or EA techs can remotely monitor system performance (PV1, PV2, Gen1, Gen2, demand), can modify inverter programming as needed, start/stop generator, restart satellite internet, restart router.


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