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Sizing Your MicroGrid Power System (Step 1)

A few questions one will inevitably ask when considering their own Microgrid power installation are:

  1. How big should the system be?
  2. How much will an off grid power system cost?
  3. Will installing a MicroGrid system payoff in the long run?

These are all important questions to answer, and a little time invested up front will go a long ways to making sure your MicroGrid power installation is right for you.

Since the upfront cost is directly linked to the size of the installation, it is important to buy enough equipment which will satisfy your needs.  Going overboard with the initial design will cause unnecessary costs without added benefit, and so for those on a tight budget this will be the most important phase of your project.

We recommend that at as a first step toward energy independence, people pay closer attention to their energy use and needs.  How much energy do you use on a monthly basis?  What power devices would you expect to run with your system?  How much energy could you save with a few simple lifestyle adjustments? 

These are question which most of us are not accustomed to thinking about on a regular basis, and so one should spend a few weeks making notes.  Write down the power ratings of the various devices you plan to use, and how often you use them.  Dig through some old bills from the power company and make a chart of how many kilowatt-hours you tend to use on a monthly basis, and how this varies between the seasons.

Since most people have been connected to the Grid for most of their lives, they tend to take their energy consumption for granted.  The Grid in the United States has been remarkably reliable when compared to other countries, and the electrical rates have been reasonable for most locations.  This story will change dramatically when converting to a life off the grid.  Although MicroGrid power systems can be extremely reliable, no longer will you have an infinite source of energy.  Energy conservation will be a necessary ingredient to your new living strategy, and you should start asking yourself “how much of these gizmos and gadgets do we really need?”

For some easy lifestyle adjustments which can go a long ways to ensuring your energy independence, please read our articles on energy conservation strategies, running on DC electricity, and things to think about when living off the grid.

MicroGrid Living

- MicroGrid Power Systems
- Benefits of the MicroGrid
- Running on DC Electricity
- Things to Think About
- Sizing Your Microgrid Power System
- Energy Conservation Strategies
- Hybrid Power Systems

MicroGrid Solar Power

- Solar Power Applications
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels
- Increasing Solar Panel Performance
- Mounting PV Solar Panels
- Solar Power Tracking Systems
- One Axis Solar Panel Tracking (Passive)
- Solar Power Cost & Payback
- Sizing your Solar Power System

MicroGrid Power Devices

- Wind Turbines
- Wood Burner Systems
- Thermal Power Systems
- DC Thermal Generators
- Hydro Turbines

MicroGrid History

- Nikola Tesla Source of Human Energy
- Nikola Tesla Energy from the Medium
- James Watt & the Steam Engine
- Marcellus Jacob Wind Turbine

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