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In need of some stove/boiler / off grid power advice please
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ricardodba



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 8
Location: West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 9:35 pm    Post subject: In need of some stove/boiler / off grid power advice please  Reply with quote    

Hi,

Just signed up - so, Hello guys, pleased to meet you!

Im about to purchase a house which is off grid.

So im currently planning my heating and power requirements.

House needs central heating installing and i'll need a boiler - planning on going with a boiler stove - will be used for hot water too.
looking for a stove which can heat 8 rads of medium /small size and would like one which will allow for long burning (if there is such thing!)...eg if we go out for the day and want to come home to central heating on.


Power system is going to be carried out in 2 stages:

1. New diesel genny to inverter charge + battery bank. With as minimum genny running time as possible.
2. Once can afford it - Install a Wind turbine.

i dont want solar panels on my new stone tiled roof and with kids about not sure solar on the ground is wise - so solar is out for the time being!...possibly put some panels on a large shed roof once i get a shed.

So any advice on heating and power will be gratefully received ..and any other off grid tips.

Cheers.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41954
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Welcome aboard. RichardW is your man for off grid stuff and I'm sure he'll be along in a bit. It's prolly worth having a browse of some of the older threads for relevant advice too.

Last edited by sean on Wed Feb 18, 15 9:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4354
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Perhaps don't discount ground solar, there is a bank of panels near me and there will soon be sheep in that field (i.e. they are pretty sturdy and I don't see any delicate wiring etc in a vulnerable place)

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35096
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

hello

until the long term heating ,leccy etc is installed and running a moderate size pv panel will charge a phone ,run led lights etc ,heating and cooking can be as simple as burning wood

if long term off grid is the aim planning for using as little energy as possible is sensible so insulation etc should be considered before you start building stuff

i have done off grid a few times and keeping electric consumption as low as possible is the best advice i can think of

heating ,cooking ,hot water etc are easy to do just by setting stuff on fire ,a "fridge "can be a evaporation cloth in a shady windy place .

do the washing in a wheel barrow of water heater over a fire ,wring it out around a post and dry it on a bush etc etc

living off grid is best done by planning to live off grid

a combo of bushcraft and mad max can be very comfortable (with a bit of hi tech for interweb ,leccy lights etc )

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35096
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ps wind is

dependent on wind
requires a smooth wind ,ie no hills ,trees ,buildings etc nearby
only give about 40% of rated power when running as well as it can
aint cheap for decent kit

is there any moving water ? can any water be persuaded to move ? even a metre of drop on a small stream or a small tidal range will provide a far better yield than most windy hills and a big propeller and it is often a more constant supply .

water needs a different way of thinking to "buy a windmill,plug in the fridge "but water is a thousand times as dense as air and if it moves at the same velocity a thousand times as much energy can be extracted .

Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 787
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Welcome.
we too live off grid.
have you considered a duel fuel bolier?
we have recently brought a diesel wood combi boiler. we will be able to set the timer for the heating then start chucking in wood when we get up. it even starts the wood going for us. it isn't pretty but it will take big knarly bits of wood and kick in the diesel if the wood burns down when we are out.
we have solar heated water panels which get things started on sunny days. PV array for electric with a diesel genie to charge the batteries when its dull and especially on the shorter days. we have a wind turbine to trickle in charge 24/7.
but you need a back up plan for your plan. when its dead calm and dull, when the genie goes wrong and your waiting for a part, when a pump gets left running by mistake, or the batteries are low for no reason. or lightning takes out your solar controller!
LEDs, low power everything, hot feed the washing machine as the element is greedy.
its the day to day stuff that can drive you mad but exhilarate you too.
my OH is the one with all the technical wizardry. but if you have any questions I can pass them on. he dabbles in navatron but gets fed up with it every now and then. its really friendly here. enjoy yourself.
Bon courage

ricardodba



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 8
Location: West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks for the replies.

Im considering a biomass boiler...but dont understand the difference between them and a normal solid fuel boiler stove?!?!

If the genny and batteries both stopped working then id be out of power...so may need to think of purchasing a small backup genny to start with.

From the go i want to reduce my running costs as much as possible...also looked at the hybrid generators

the water is spring fed...but its not very quick...not sure if this can be used ...unless i dig a meter waterfall of some kind...maybe a small dam? (the spring goes through my field!

the diesel wood stove sounds interesting...but would it be cheaper to use a coal / wood stove - use coal overnight or if go out for day and just use wood rest of time. Which is cheaper red diesel or coal?

Im in West Yorkshire so any specialist electricians in the area to string up my inverter and battery bank system please let me know.

Thanks

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35096
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 15 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if you have a drop even a small flow can still be useful

and you can still drink it even if it has turned a wheel

a big drop is best but any drop has potential

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10535

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There are three basic ways of burning wood.

The simplest is logs. Easy to get hold of and if you get a tree, branch or whatever, possible to process yourself.

The next two, woodchip and pellet, are usually called biomass. They can be automated so that there is a constant feed in.

Woodchip is the next simplest. You need to match the size of the chips to the boiler or it will clog. They must be stored dry or they will clog. You either have a suitable chipper yourself, which is rather expensive, or more usually get someone in for a day or so a year.

Pellet. The pellets have to be produced by fairly hefty machinery, although you could probably make some sort of heath robinson set up yourself if you really tried. You buy them in by the plastic sack or lorry load and have to store them. They usually go into a hopper and gravity feed into the boiler.

Logs use the least energy to produce, are easy to deal with and you can do them yourself. Woodchip is the next, and pellets are the worst for energy use to produce and you are tied into a supplier. Watch where they come from too as some are imported from the Far East.

Hope that helps. Any other questions on logs or biomass, just ask.

ricardodba



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 8
Location: West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
There are three basic ways of burning wood.

The simplest is logs. Easy to get hold of and if you get a tree, branch or whatever, possible to process yourself.

The next two, woodchip and pellet, are usually called biomass. They can be automated so that there is a constant feed in.

Woodchip is the next simplest. You need to match the size of the chips to the boiler or it will clog. They must be stored dry or they will clog. You either have a suitable chipper yourself, which is rather expensive, or more usually get someone in for a day or so a year.

Pellet. The pellets have to be produced by fairly hefty machinery, although you could probably make some sort of heath robinson set up yourself if you really tried. You buy them in by the plastic sack or lorry load and have to store them. They usually go into a hopper and gravity feed into the boiler.

Logs use the least energy to produce, are easy to deal with and you can do them yourself. Woodchip is the next, and pellets are the worst for energy use to produce and you are tied into a supplier. Watch where they come from too as some are imported from the Far East.

Hope that helps. Any other questions on logs or biomass, just ask.



What should go with for CH and heating water - Multi fuel Boiler stove or Bios mass boiler?

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Consider the passive elements such as insulation before diving into technical solutions especially when it comes to heating.

ricardodba



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 8
Location: West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

vegplot wrote:
Consider the passive elements such as insulation before diving into technical solutions especially when it comes to heating.


Due to age of the house the walls arnt eligible for cavity filling. The roof will be and I will do this at the same time as re-roof (which will be getting done more or less straight away when i move in house).

Once i can afford to start decorating i'll insulate the rooms with insulating plasterboard...but that wont be for a while yet and i need CH in place for next winter and 24/7 power as soon as i move in (i have a young family).

I guess at the minute i need to know which boiler stove to get...so many to choose from!


Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33988
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ricardodba wrote:


Im in West Yorkshire so any specialist electricians in the area to string up my inverter and battery bank system please let me know.

Thanks


Geography and electrical knowledge not my main strong point, but, sounds like a job for Otleylad?

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4196
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Either will do the job,biomass needs more space,usually installed outside the main house,ie.adjoining building.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 15 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ricardodba wrote:
vegplot wrote:
Consider the passive elements such as insulation before diving into technical solutions especially when it comes to heating.


Due to age of the house the walls arnt eligible for cavity filling. The roof will be and I will do this at the same time as re-roof (which will be getting done more or less straight away when i move in house).

Once i can afford to start decorating i'll insulate the rooms with insulating plasterboard...but that wont be for a while yet and i need CH in place for next winter and 24/7 power as soon as i move in (i have a young family).

I guess at the minute i need to know which boiler stove to get...so many to choose from!



We have just had our house insulated from the outside. It has solid stone walls. It is already warmer. The roof space has been done as well.

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