Devin Lavign wrote:... When going off grid you do often need to think outside the box and look at alternatives to using power to do stuff, since it is no longer cheap and readily available. Hanging clothes outside/inside on a line rather than a drier for example saves a lot of power use. There are tons of little things you can do and big things you can do to reduce the need to use power to accomplish a goal. Being off grid you really need to access everything that uses power and figure out if there is another way. And if you can live with using the other way. Some will be fine opting for hand washing clothes, others will insist on powered washer. bneither is right or wrong, it depends on you and your family and what is best for you. A single guy washing clothes by hand is a lot easier than a family of 4.
A local group had a 'Solar home tours' event today and I agreed to open our farm for tours. We just finished giving a bunch of farm tours, and had to explain this.
A common theme among installers is to get prospective customers to calculate their monthly power usage, and then use various formulas to design a solar power system.
This builds a false narrative.
My home is on solar power. On most days my batteries are charging by 8am and somewhere between 10am and noon our batteries are at 100% SOC. We can run every home appliance and every power tool without consuming all the power that we generate. However if we were to use the above formula, it would say that our photovoltaic panels only generate about 80% of how much we 'need'.
In reality from noon everyday until 4pm we have surplus power that we can not use.
In light of this reality, my wife bought a dishwasher. It only runs during daylight hours. We have a clothes washing machine and a clothes dryer. We raise pigs and we market pork, as it turns out we raise pigs faster than what we can market pork. So we have a large surplus of pork. Which then drove us to buy more chest freezers. Today we have four chest freezers filled with pork.
To assume that using solar power means that you must handwash your dishes, or use a clothesline to dry your clothes is a false narrative.
I own a Prius Prime. It sits plugged-in right now. I can drive into town, do a couple errands and drive home again, all within the 25-mile EV driving radius that it provides. All without it's gas engine ever starting.
Living on Solar Power is a lifestyle. But you must make the shift to this lifestyle. Once that shift is made you can actually do a lot.
btw; our chest freezers are all on timers, so they can only run from 8am until 4pm. All other appliances stay off until after the sun is up each day. My wife loves her coffee percolator, but even that can only be used when the sun is out.