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If your site is remote, off-grid, beyond the reach of utility lines that most North American's enjoy, you have a different situation altogether. You initially have two choices - live without power or become your own power provider. Most of us do not want to go without the comforts of electricity. Rest assured, EA will help you design a system to suit your needs..

The old school of thought was to buy a generator and run it whenever you needed electricity. No generator, no power. While fossil-fuel generators do play an important role in alternative energy systems, generator-only situations are inefficient, expensive and a thing to be avoided whenever possible. Don't be fooled by the low initial costs!

Modern remote power systems are hybrid in nature. Yes, we have all heard the buzzword lately. It simply means more than one source.

An off-grid renewable energy system most commonly consists of the following components:

battery bank, which is the energy repository of your system.
• renewable energy generation such as solar, wind or microhydro.
• control system to prevent overcharge from renewable sources.
inverter, which converts stored DC energy into AC household, works as a battery charger, and functions as the overall brains of the system - ie starts a generator when required.
• fossil fuel generator, Diesel, Propane or Gasoline to provide a top-up of energy.
• monitoring system to keep track of system performance.

The system that will work for your needs can be determined with answers to the following:

• what are your specific electrical requirements?
• what is your budget?
• full-time or part-time use?
• location and weather conditions.

To do this right will take some time. It's the most critically important first step, so it's worthwhile investing some efforts.

The system design section of our printed catalogue is a great starting point. It walks you through the decisions to be made and options available to you.

The excel spreadsheets allow for interactive calculations of your power requirements through use of a Energy Budget form. Microsoft Excel Format Adobe Acrobat Format

Consider selecting one of EA's packaged system kits. These are designed from our many years experience and customer feedback.

The System Design section of the EA website takes you step-by-step through the process of evaluating your site's potential. You can also download our catalogue.

Article: Starting Smart: Calculating Your Energy Appetite.
Every renewable energy system should begin with a load analysis. This analysis is an assessment
of your site’s electrical use—your electrical load profile. You’ll need to ponder and juggle a lot of numbers in the process of selecting, sizing, and installing a solar-electric system. A reliable load analysis is essential to get your calculations off on the right foot.

We hope you have found the information you are looking for. Once you have a rough idea what type of system is most appropriate for your needs, contact us and we will be pleased to assist in the system design and implementation.

Customer Profiles

Zensible Living. Saltspring Island, BC. Off-grid, low impact and truly non-toxic and environmentally friendly home project.

Containerized Power System. 100 mile house, BC. Client wanted a secure housing for his power system, allowing him to develop his existing site using renewable energy.

Off-grid eco-homes. Nelson, BC. Two homes, two systems, Powerlines nearby, but client wanted to be off-grid. Dual Outback inverters, 12 kW diesel generator, large PV array, super efficient low EMF household wiring design.

Primary Power 3 system. Quadra Island, BC. Full-time, few miles away from BC Hydro service, client chose EA for a quality installation.

Cottage system. Sidney Island, BC. A Modified primary power system was installed to meet the demands of the client today, and allow room to expand in the future.

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