This off-grid project was unique in that the customer had the ability to get power from the grid, but they chose not to. Their goal was to be completely self-sufficient and have energy independence along with doing their part for the planet.
This project was featured on DIY Network's Building Off the Grid: Yellowstone River show, which aired in March of 2017. Because of multiple contractors and deadlines and TV crews, we worked closely with the homeowners and their entire team to get the project completed on time and ahead of schedule.
The Lighthisers should be commended for their commitment to clean, sustainable energy and choosing to go off-grid. From this experience they are learning how energy works and appreciate how energy is used.
Because this was a new construction, we had to build the off-grid system as the home was being built. We met with the client to go over their daily habits and energy usage to determine what system size would be appropriate. Designing an accurate system size is important so that the generator only needs to be run very minimally.
All off-grid systems in Montana should have an emergency backup generator. This system has an automatic generator start which allows for more of a hands-off type of system. The generator will automatically fire and charge the batteries when there is no sun available.
System Size: 3.1kW of Solar
System Specs: A magnum 4024 inverter; 2 Midnight Solar Classic Charge controllers; one 8kW Kohler generator equipped with automatic generator start; 8 Roll Suretts L16 batteries
Location: Yellowstone River, Livingston, Montana
Install Date: Summer 2016