The Country Life Forum

Discuss all aspects of country living, from farming and animal welfare, to sustainable living, organic farming, and fishing.


Solar panels, wind, hydro for off grid?

Hi,

Wondering if anyone has managed to get fully independent off grid in Ireland?
And what did people use?
Combination of different power sources or one for easy maintenance?

Has anyone used trina solars bifacial monocrystalline 132 cell 665W panels? Product number TSM-DEG21C.20
Dimensions: 2384 x1303 x35mm
Weight: 38.7kg
What are your experiences?
Thanks in advance for any help/ advice.

Cork Wyandotte
Monday, February 14th, 2022

You do ask the most interesting of questions C.W.I am currently looking into the possibility of off grid myself.
Because of the weather in Ireland a hybrid system of solar, wind turbine and off grid storage battery is what i am thinking of. Hybrid kits or combination kits can be got.For example
https://www.windandsun.ie/product/turbine-solar-panel-kit/

But educate your self first. This is what I am doing so please do the same as it is something you want to get it right the first time.
I am getting great info on solar panels here.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdihWWSNXWmO-MYtVx5bx-A

It's great place to start.
I will post updates here aswell.

roostercroweburn
Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

I'm thinking a combination of solar and hydro (maybe rain or stream). I don't think I can get kinetic to work effectively out here.
I was told turbine blades break easy in gusts, they need a steady wind and get turned off if wind is too low or excessive in a storm. So I've put that idea out of my head as maintenance is hard to get to and costly.
The Trina panel above would be 600W in one panel so it might be easier than 6 100W, I've emailed the company for a price but I'm still waiting on a quote. Trina panel is supposed to work in low light conditions.
I'm looking to get the whole house and outhouse off grid so I'm looking at 6000w needed, more if we are forced over to inefficient electric cars that need 9 hours charging every night to drive 3 hours next day, not to mention battery degradation increase.

Cork Wyandotte
Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Hi. CW
I checked out the solar panel you mentioned and from what I can see it's made for the utility sector.This is the one you see in places like deserts ground mounted with hundreds more beside it to provide energy to the masses.Mounting this on a roof is a two or three man job.
Now you could go with 2 350w-400w panels.This way would be simpler.But it may be not be enough for what you need.You will probably need to fill out the side of the roof with panels to start. As for low light it seems all good monocrystalline panels preform well in low light nowdays.
You were right in in what you mentioned about the wind turbine and I too have scrapped that idea.
So after a bit more research I came across this Irish site

https://solartricity.ie/
They are a wholesale supplier of solar kits and if you contact them they will quote you a price on a high quality solar diy kit suited to your needs and pick the Recom Mono 390W solar panel. Spec and warranty and price are on par with Trina.

https://solartricity.ie/module-recom-390w/
You will need the size of the roof area you want yo put panels on.
If you still want Trina
https://midsummerwholesale.co.uk/buy/trina

best option:) As many solar panels as you can on the side of the roof that gets the sun, A 6kw (6000w) hybrid inverter and add storage batteries as needed.
I am looking at 18 or 19 390w myself to ensure good winter charge
The most expensive part of off grid are the storage batteries.
The upside
It seems to be the lowest maintenance option and the probability of no bills and will eventually pay for it self
The downside
It costs lot to setup.
Collecting rain water for a hydro system may also cost a lot and will require maintenance. But if you have access to a stream or river look at A Micro Hydro Pelton Turbine System.These can be very low cost to make (some are built by diy enthusiasts using 3D printers) .But again a bit if maintenance required but still low cost.
And a cold winter will cause you some problems and you will have frozen pipes,
Oh and one more thing a good backup generator connected to any off grid operation is an important thing to have for piece of mind especially in winter.
I know I typed out a bit of an essay and I hope you don't get bored reading it. I do hope the info helps though.

roostercroweburn
Thursday, February 17th, 2022

Here is is what a diy pelton system looks like and probably can be adapted to a simple rainwater collection as well.
https://youtu.be/cOgO8z71D0o

Also there are self running generators which is an other great idea for off grid
https://youtu.be/PB4w_fH4hgg

roostercroweburn
Thursday, February 17th, 2022

They don't have a 600W panel for residential so I have to choose from utility models.
They still haven't replied with a price so they've lost business from me.
Residential need more than 100W panels when annual consumption is averaged at 4800kwh.
In light of the recent storms, panels also need to be stronger, utility models provide 5400 pa wind loads so not unbreakable but more durable and cost effective than buying new residential panels when they break more frequently.
According to Google, a static load test to 2400 Pa (50 lbf ft-2) is used to simulate wind loads on both module surfaces corresponding to a wind speed of 58 m s-1 (130 mph).
So 5400pa should take a wind speed of around 292mph on panels.
My thinking is the higher the power of a panel, the less have to be bought and replaced when the time comes. Less to maintain also.
Means bigger battery and inverter capacity also but less components to buy.
Maybe less carbon footprint in making, I haven't thought much about that though.
Less leads and connectors to buy and possibly loosen and need fixing in storm's.
Yes, monocrystalline are better as shading moves with sun and if the panel are partially shaded or damaged by hailstones for example, they still generate power. Polycrystalline stop generating power in similar situations entirely.

Cork Wyandotte
Friday, February 18th, 2022

Yes, the pelton is a good idea.
There are plenty of options to get power from various hydro options.
I don't know why they don't use the 'snake' pelamis device in oceans off coast to generate power instead of offshore wind turbine farms break down easy, costly and hard to repair and kill birds when the get caught in blades or blown into them in storm's.
They could also use water powered ground turbines on coast like the one in this video instead of wind turbines.
If I could I'd use hydro and kinetic instead of solar or wind devices.

Cork Wyandotte
Friday, February 18th, 2022

I'm going to work with the idea that I don't have access to petrol or diesel or any fuel to run a generator in the future.

I need to be independent not just from the grid but in life too.

There shouldn't be any issue with water freezing as it doesn't when constantly in motion in a hydro turbine.

I don't find this conversation boring :)

Cork Wyandotte
Friday, February 18th, 2022

Hope everyone survived the storms with minimal damage.

Thoughts are with the people who lost their lives and their families.

Cork Wyandotte
Friday, February 18th, 2022

https://youtu.be/buF8ASmwXt4

Cork Wyandotte
Friday, February 18th, 2022

You seem to have done a lot of research and have good knowledge all ready.Trina are seen as the the best Chinese brand.
You can install up to 6kw (6000watts) of solar panels paired with a 6kw inverter (Island hybrid inverter for off grid) and battery storage as needed on a residential property and non residential, there is no limit.
I had a conversation with a solar installation contractor and he said that a feed in tariff had finally been agreed with the utility companies which is expected to be announced in March.So this might make it worth staying on the grid. We will just have to wait and see.
I did a little more research on Trina and found the distribution page for Europe. I don't know if you know about it but here it is
https://www.trinasolar.com/eu-en/product/where-to-buy
The Irish Trina supplier.019697687
Might be worth a call.
You do seem to know what you want and you seem very strongly independent so here is a diy solar panel installation video that might be of some use to you
https://youtu.be/jSa1tvrrFZg
It was very sad to hear about people dying in the storm.

roostercroweburn
Sunday, February 20th, 2022

His one year solar panel update
https://youtu.be/vBquse_KAdI

roostercroweburn
Sunday, February 20th, 2022

I also found this interesting
https://youtu.be/UnTJScmSLYs

roostercroweburn
Sunday, February 20th, 2022

Watched the first video where he installed the panels on the roof, and I literally cringed at every hole he had to punch into it to secure the system on. I think I'll put my panels on the ground or top of chickens coops instead.
His barn looks so clean, a small DIY job makes my place look like a building site lol
Thank you for Dublin number for Trina panels, I did not find that.
I'll give them a call to get an idea of price.
I still like hydro and kinetic options better over wind and solar so I'm going to research them abit more before going solar route
https://youtu.be/gY3p2e1-kN4

Cork Wyandotte
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

I don't think I'll sell to grid, I prefer to be independent.

Cork Wyandotte
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

https://youtu.be/VD15-2Uriyc
Footpath power generation

https://youtu.be/1ubksiMvCvg
Road power generation

https://youtu.be/mmrwdTGZxGk
A form of kinetic energy, there are other more efficient options if people think outside the box aka kites

Cork Wyandotte
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

Kite:
https://youtu.be/FQJ8rfoRyUQ

Cork Wyandotte
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

https://youtu.be/BKrOZ6OogmQ
Solar panel manufacturing

https://youtu.be/5Zy3ELxwdtE
DIY joining solar cells to make a panel

Does anyone know where to buy monocrystalline cells with a high wattage per cell in Ireland?

Cork Wyandotte
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

https:// www.enfsolar.com/pv/cell?gclid=Cj0KCQiA09eQBhCxARIsAAYRiymlK...

5 watt monocrystalline cell X 132 cells soldered together = 660 watt solar panel, dimensions of cell: 156.75 X 156.75 mm
Cell price 13.3 cent X 132 cells = Ä17.56 per solar panel
Cells come from China, customs, delivery fees taxes?

Flux pen price ?
Solder gun ?
Solder?
Busbar wire?
Tapping wire?

Cork Wyandotte
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

Oops that's me trying to work out something, I suppose it's handy for people

Cork Wyandotte
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

aliexpress You will find anything here even stuff you never kenw existed or you didn't know needed.I get odds and ends from here all the time. If you take the cheap post option you will be waiting a few weeks which is what I usually do .NEVER EVER USE DHL!Trust me when i say take the cheap post option which is usually standard delivery or something like that .This is usually not more than 3 or 4 weeks delivery time
solar cell kit. If you search a bit more you will find a lot more
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32808793841.html?spm=a2g0o.p...
soldering kits
https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=A...

roostercroweburn
Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Alibaba as well.If your vat registered.It makes it easier to get stuff from here. Businesses and the self employed across the world get their stock here all the time. Everything and anything probably has a new meaning for you here
https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product...

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Chicken-Coop-Heater-1...

this one is probably the OMG moment

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003511327720.html?spm=a2...

roostercroweburn
Thursday, February 24th, 2022

alibaba owns ailexpress or they are the same company or something like that

roostercroweburn
Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Aliexpress standard delivery is now aliexpress saver shipping .Choose this shipping method if ordering something.I never have paid on more than what I had to pay at checkout when choosing saver shipping But if you use ups or dhl you will pay them taxes and duties and a fee as well for paying on your behalf.I know from experience.

roostercroweburn
Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Wow, yes, there is stuff I never realized existed lol
The tiny helmets for chickens is a new one :)

Cork Wyandotte
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022


You must have an account to comment here.

You must be registered with an email address to comment.

Click here to create an account. It only takes a few seconds.