Friday, February 12, 2010

We just threw the switch!

Batter meter We did it! We are off the grid!! Wow, this is cool!

I wired the battery meter (Bogart Engineering Trimetric 2020 – pictured to the left displaying battery voltage) and connected the power line from the inverter to our house wiring. In the disconnect box outside on the pole, I pulled the house wires loose and wrapped their ends with electrical tape.

The wire from the inverter (Exeltec XP1100) comes through the kitchen floor behind the electric stove (which is unplugged). I connected the neutral wire to the neutral in the outlet and the ground to the ground. Then, based upon a suggestion from Ramiah, I connected both existing hot wires in the outlet and the inverter hot wire to the same terminal. Ramiah suggestion was that I could just flip the breaker for the stove in the box. I was going to reroute the wires to the mains at the top. His suggestion helped clarify how unnecessary and complicated that was going to be. With the 240 volt 50 amp breaker the power would already be connected to both poles inside the box. So, I took his suggestion, and then flipped the switch.

Things are working well. The refrigerator came on right away and ran for about 5 minutes (see my post about our energy efficient refrigerator). The lights work (they’re not on now – it’s not dark enough). The computer works. In fact, at this moment, the power coming from the panels is enough to power the laptop I’m working on (it’s 3:36pm Central Time). Very cool!

We’re all excited!



A day to remember! I am excited for you.

Happy sabbath.


Thanks, Darryl! It is indeed a day to remember. And a happy Sabbath it is!

small farm girl

Congrats! You are living my dream. Keep it up!


I am so happy for you guys! I know you have wanted to do this for a long time and now you get to be off the grid! :)


That must be an awesome feeling! Just reading the words "We are off the grid!!" made my heart skip a beat!


Yeah, it is a pretty cool feeling! We're really enjoying it. We're in touch with our electrical needs and use a lot more than before. Today was the first clear sunny day we've had in the last 3 or 4. We harvested 137 amp hours (3.79 kilowatt hours) and now have fully charged batteries again.

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