Moving Off-Grid Locations

2803 Troy Road, Springfield Ohio

Location is Everything

2803 Troy Road Off-grid Homestead

Like snow flakes, no two off-grid systems are alike.

Having come from Florida to Ohio has been an un-anticipated difficult transition.

When I left Florida, I had presumed that I could just move any place in the country, place the solar panels and batteries, and resume the results I had become accostomed to (that the sun would shine every day).

Enter Ohio's less sun and less wind.

Not only was there a need for MORE solar panels to catch the ambient light of Ohio, but also more wire, more batteries, more connectors, and more cabling, more charge controllers, more labor, but along came more codes stipulations.

2803 Troy Road Off-grid Homestead

To compensate for the lack of sun and wind, there was also the revelation that the power bank is variable due to the extreme temperature changes from season to season!

*This new revelation that a battery in Florida is not the same as a battery in Ohio did not only include the inclement seasons of the Winter months; but as an overall "plus", I'd say there's less watering of the batteries in the North.

This 2020 year I will be experimenting with a test-battery left in a secure container with a minimum of insulation to find the limits on leaving a battery out in the Ohio cold.

It is not expected to be a positive result.

Whereas in Florida I could safely leave the battery banks outside, not-so with the unpredictable climates of Ohio.

Codes restrictions were a new obstacle I had never encountered before (and now we are learning through the tele-vision programming that a few States have passed a "SUN TAX", no joke).

Other new problems were popping up, like who knew snow would just completely cover the solar panels?

And then just sit there!?

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

Who knew that extreme cold would cause a lull in power supplied by the batteries? In other words, a battery in Ohio is not the same as a battery in Florida!

The effects of varying temperatures upon batteries, wire, solar panels, inverters, controllers, etc., probably should have been common knowledge to me. It wasn't.

Common knowledge would know that cold batteries are a problem to all vehicles, so why not an off-grid power-plant? Cold batteries will prevent an automobile from starting so naturally it would follow suit that energy fails due to extreme temperatures.

So in closing, give some thought to place your battery banks where the temperatures are somewhat controlled year-round. If you are located in Florida, perhaps under a shade tree, if in Ohio perhaps your bedroom!

Living with Batteries

Since 2015 I've been living within 3 feet of the battery banks.

There are battery banks on 3 of the 4 walls of this 3-car garage, and comprised into Five battery banks in this building as of Mar. 22 2018. And now it is 2022 and there are only two 48v battery banks and one 12v bank.

Each bank of batteries possesses their own solar panels, loads, and charge controllers. Being in close proximately has allowed an increase in learning of batteries in general, and has allowed for some level of creative testing.

Battery Bank

Although I still advocate that there be at least one 12v battery bank, powering 12v loads without the need for an inverter, the need for a larger voltage has proved to be equally important.

Since most items in any given home are 12v or within close proximity, it makes little sense to use an additional device (inverter) to step-up a 12v battery bank to 110v, only to step the voltage all the way back down to the very voltage you started with.

Snow on Solar Panels

The 48v inverter allows me to perform functions I hadn't formerly the privilege to enjoy, such as doing laundry at night, which I could not do with a 12v Battery-bank.

In retrospect however, I am not sure how I ever survived without a 48v battery bank.

Side Note Concerning Choice of Batteries

Reconfigure 48v to 12v, clean and sell!

1.) Connect Series Terminals

Connect Series Terminals

2.) Make any parallel connections

Connect Parallel Connections

3.) Connect Power Sources and Loads

Make connections to Loads


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