Not sure about your appliances but I was able to run the washer, dryer(gas), fridge and furnace(gas) on a single Honda EU2000i generator. That unit produces 2000 continuous watts with up to 4000 surge. The caveat was the dryer had to be started first, then everything else could be plugged in.
Originally Posted by X-cop
I have a 2kw inverter and was able to power my fridge only for 2 days off my 560 watt solar array with 4 deep-cycle Trojan batteries before the deficit became unsustainable. That's four 140w 12v panels. You can find online calculators if you can determine how much load in kw-hours you need to run. Get a Kill-O-Watt meter and plug your devices into it for a few days, that should give you an accurate picture. In my opinion you'd be looking at at least twice that to power the fridge-only on an ongoing basis, but to get a real answer you will have to measure your load, and run the numbers.
If you are talking about running those loads reliably on an indefinite basis (true off-grid) you're going to need a lot of panels and a lot of batteries to cover overnight and overcast situations which will be frequent. You can suplement by having a battery charger (such as IOTA) to replenish batteries if they start to get low on you. Best way to do this IMHO is to get up before sunrise, run the generator for a few hours to bulk-charge the batteries, and let the sun top them off. This is because the first 75-80% of battery charging goes quick, the last 20-25% just requires the voltage over time (several hours) to get back up to fully charged status.
A laptop or tablet computer will use a lot less electricity than a desktop. A Mr. Buddy portable propane heater will warm up a small room nicely and uses zero electricity. These days McMansions have these huge great rooms that are expensive to heat and cool. We live in a 1300 sqft older home with 8' ceilings and is about 10x20 footprint. Put a curtain (or tack a bedsheet) across the doorway, and we can warm it up pretty nice in there, at least to where it's not uncomfortable in a sweater or lap-blanket. If your object is to keep plumbing from freezing set the thermostat on some low temp like 50 degrees and it will run your fan a lot less - then heat up your "warm room" with Mr. Buddy to 60-65 degrees. On a recent camping trip we used electric blankets that were run off my solar/battery combo and were cozy in our beds even though it got down to 40 degrees overnight. Those blankets don't have to be set very high if covered with a quilt/comforter, we had them set on level 2 and were plenty warm.
We get in the habit of thinking "just like normal" and want it to be just like the grid - the reality is, we can get by on a lot less by thinking smaller. Does the whole house need to be 72 degrees around the clock? Or can we get by with sweaters and a space heater by day, and an electric blanket by night? Heat just the person or area needed? How about a mini-fridge or chest freezer (with thermostat modified to chill rather than freeze) to keep milk, meat and leftovers cool, rather than a whole fridge full of stuff that not all needs to be kept cold? How about an ice maker and a cooler? We start changing our thinking about things and suddenly new possibilities open up and things get easier.
Last edited by bruss01; 10-14-2016 at 02:13 PM.
In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.