Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in new england and was wondering if anybody has done anything with solar besides the hot water system. Theoretically I would like to be able to run my freezer and fridge off solar power, so mostly during the summer months as in the winter we do not have nearly the difficulty in keeping stuff cold, there might be some help needed but it would certainly be far less than the summer months. Which considering the daylight shortage should work itself out. So any ideas, or suggestions on how or if I can make this idea work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,373 Posts
Scott is right. I would not imagine using solar in your location for anything but emergency lighting and even with that - LED's that don't take much juice.
Even if you had a roof line with nothing blocking it on a perfect 185 azimuth to the sun I doubt you would enjoy a reasonable return on investment. Now
if you have that very situation - perfect direction to sun, zero shade overing the panels, then maybe watch for a panel deal (ebay's not bad), buy an
inverter and do a direct connection to your home yourself. Still I think 4k is probably the right budget figure - and for what - to replace .12 a kilowatt
hour from the grid? It will cost you .25 or more over 20 years to do this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good point, the fridge would be nice but not a necessity, the freezer on the other hand I would do just about anything to keep. The land Im on is family land on a lake and my grandparents atleast occasionally had an ice house for the summer, so that is plan B. A chest freezer kept in the basement( for steady temp) and a high effiency wouldn't make a difference? I believe my current model is around 150 watts. I cannot abandon the freezer, all of my meat and most of my fruit and veggie preps are in there. I dont know of a better method to put up such a large quantity of meat that we put up, my deer, our pig, the meat birds and any excess fish caught during the summer. Smoking could be supplemental as well as dehydrating but still not as important as freezing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,373 Posts
I'd study making jerky out of the meats, and deyhdrating or jarring the fruits and veggies?

What temperature is the lake water? Have you studied it? What would happen if you put a
container that kept its temperature at the bottom of the like with a line to pull it up? I hope
someone might know because its an option for me - just not one I've studied or tried yet
myself. My part should be big enough we can chow down an animal without having to need
storage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Take a ride around northern Vermont sometime... there's a LOT of solar power being used there year 'round and on a significant scale. It is viable, but not inexpensive to spin up for primary power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I looked at my current freezer and it says 294 Kwh per year estimated use. Is that a day? That is obscene if true or is that over the course of a year? The lake would not keep a good temp it is spring fed and the springs change on a regular basis. Canning reduces the nutritional density of foods and smoking, I could not do, small doses are fine but the levels of carcinogines is too much for me. ( geeze I sound like a food snob, thats not how I mean it. I have a total family history of cancer and have 2 small children with another on the way, I am working really hard to eat `clean` so the nutrional value is currently top on my list) Dehydrating is fine, I have done my share of jerky but I am a fan of diversity. Small power failures are fine, my freezer stays frozen if I leave it alone for 3-4 days and I could supplement with my generator, I was just looking for a long time fix for living off the grid. Maybe an ice house is my only option...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
I live in new england and was wondering if anybody has done anything with solar besides the hot water system. Theoretically I would like to be able to run my freezer and fridge off solar power, so mostly during the summer months as in the winter we do not have nearly the difficulty in keeping stuff cold, there might be some help needed but it would certainly be far less than the summer months. Which considering the daylight shortage should work itself out. So any ideas, or suggestions on how or if I can make this idea work?
Here is some real life info
First if you do solar move your freezers outside to an uninsulated outbuilding. In the winter they will run less (when your solar system gets less sun) and in the summer who cares as your solar system will keep up.

For instance I have 2 chest freezers in the 20cf size one is new and one is 15 years old but still energy star rated. In my basement they used 3 kw of power a day. Outside they use 1.2 kw a day in the winter, almost a third. You can get a "Kill-a-watt" meter at Home Depot for about $30 that can tell you what your appliances use.

I have 2 chest freezers because I need the storage but also as I empty the first one, I plan on running it on a external thermostat and turning it into my refrigerator...

External thermostat turns a 120v AC freezer into a refrigerator. No modification needed. Energy consumed as a refrigerator is roughly 1/3rd less then that consumed by the freezer. Your freezer's plug simply plugs into this thermostat's corded outlet and the thermostat's corded plug inserts into your 120v AC wall outlet. Temperature range: -30 to 100 degrees F.

With this set up your "rechesterator" uses about 400 watts a day and does all your refrigerator needs but no auto defrost or humidity control.

Ok now for the cost, I am putting a solar system in next month to run these critical systems and my water well so I know what stuff is worth and how much capacity i will need. If you do it right with the Trojan L16 RE 6v batteries that last 8-10 years and a 48 volt system you will be in the $8000 range minimum for cost if you do all the work yourself. If you hire it out probably $15k. Stay away from the typical deep cycle batteries or "golf cart batteries" as the normal life is 2-3 years.

This isn't a piece meal experiment, this is the full Mounty as it should be done with MPPT charge controllers, pure sign wave inverters and the appropriate breakers and junctions. Keep in mind DC power will kill you faster than a Black Friday stampede so make sure you do your homework if you DIY.

Ok good news now, if you grid tie your system, you can get a federal tax CREDIT for 40% of the cost, unless this dies this year in budget cuts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
I live in new england and was wondering if anybody has done anything with solar besides the hot water system. Theoretically I would like to be able to run my freezer and fridge off solar power, so mostly during the summer months as in the winter we do not have nearly the difficulty in keeping stuff cold, there might be some help needed but it would certainly be far less than the summer months. Which considering the daylight shortage should work itself out. So any ideas, or suggestions on how or if I can make this idea work?
Depending on where in NE, I'd consider wind instead. I hear some areas up there are great for wind power... especially on the coast...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,373 Posts
That is about an 800 watt freezer.

By the way - OT - but on Gizmo.com they were talking about a patent given to a couple of guys in Australia this past week for a wind turbine that is suppose to cost 1/2 as much as the current turbines and produce 2x as much juice (that's innovation). Sad thing is they said it will be 2 years until market - damn it.

So I looked at my current freezer and it says 294 Kwh per year estimated use. Is that a day? That is obscene if true or is that over the course of a year? The lake would not keep a good temp it is spring fed and the springs change on a regular basis. Canning reduces the nutritional density of foods and smoking, I could not do, small doses are fine but the levels of carcinogines is too much for me. ( geeze I sound like a food snob, thats not how I mean it. I have a total family history of cancer and have 2 small children with another on the way, I am working really hard to eat `clean` so the nutrional value is currently top on my list) Dehydrating is fine, I have done my share of jerky but I am a fan of diversity. Small power failures are fine, my freezer stays frozen if I leave it alone for 3-4 days and I could supplement with my generator, I was just looking for a long time fix for living off the grid. Maybe an ice house is my only option...
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top