How to go about setting up an off grid site.

Here I am going to explain what I believe is the cheapest way to set up a building off grid.  This is going to be called the Off Grid Chicken Coop. 

We have a 20' x 20' Chicken Coop we want to have power in, but it is a long way from the grid.... The best way to do it is an off grid system.

We are going to light this Chicken Coop up like a church house and have enough power for you to have some tunes to listen to when you are out there gathering eggs or whatever else there may be to do in a Chicken Coop.

First install all florescent lights. They don't cost that much and they use very little power.

Lets say we have 10 bulbs as 15 watts each, that is 150 watts with every one of them burning....  ( I did say it was going to be lit up like a church house).  This many lights will allow you to ware your sunglasses and look cool while gathering eggs.

Lets say the stereo draws 75 watts.
150 watts plus 75 watts = 225 watts.
That means our total power needed at peak demand would be 225 watts of AC 120 volt power.

Now that we know the amount of draw we have we can go buy a very inexpensive inverter from a discount house that can handle 225 watts constant load, likely a 250/500 or a 300/600 watt inverter for less than 50 bucks....

Read the data supplied on the inverter and see how many amps it draws at the rated output.  This will help you decide how long you could run this setup on one battery.  Also take a look at the no load amps..  That rating means how much it draws while doing nothing.  The way to avoid the no load draw is when it is not in use unhook it or turn it off....
I will take a stab at the amp draw and say it will draw 8 amps with every light burning and the stereo jamming (to the Chicken Dance of course). ;)

Some deep cycle batteries are rated in amp hours...  Lets say the battery you find is rated at 100 Amp hours.  Since you never want to drain a deep cycle battery down below around 40% of its capacity you actually have 60 Amp hours of dependable power.
Note:  It tends to damage the plates if you discharge below 40% of charge.

So now that we know we have 60 Amp hours (meaning in theory this battery could run a one amp load for 60 hours.) we are now ready to figure how long this system can run on this one battery.

The inverter is going to draw 8 amps at full output, so divide 60 amp hours by 8 and you have 7.5 hours (meaning this setup would run full out for seven and a half hours without any charge input at all).
Seven and a half hours of light for this should last a long time.

Next we need to consider how much the system will not be in use and not drawing any amps at all.
Down time in the system will do a couple of things for you.  It will allow the battery to do its own version of bounce back charging, and allow even a very low output generator to put back a bunch of power into the battery.

Now how do we maintain this battery is the next step.

In my experience if you put 1 to 2 amps of charge into the battery for about 10 hours per day you should be able to maintain this system and use it rather moderately.

So for a setup like this you need to consider the amount of wind you have on average to help figure the amount of average charge you would be producing into your battery bank.  Chances are you will find that you can have a lot of down time or charge time for most of the smaller remote systems like this one.
Add up the amount of power you would be using and the amount you figure you would be making...  That will give you a base line for what all you could run off the system.

It is really that simple.

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