One of the many issues with rural properties is that grid-based services are often not available – or only available at an implementation cost that is excruciating to look at. For example, electricty connectivity could be between $7,000 to $24,000 depending on above or below ground cabling and the length of connection. That, by the way, is only up to the front gate – you still need to then run cables across your property – and all of it must meet public roadway standards … so suffice to say, it can be an attrociously expensive exercise.
I have been running a number of simulations for solar and wind power systems, and decided that there were definite advantages to remaining off-grid.
So, over the weekend, we took the first step towards this off-grid path and implemented a two by two metre shed, along with a 3m pole, near the central dam.
An 80w Solar panel will be mounte onto the top of the pole to collect those wonderful rays and convert them into 12v electricity that will fill up two 100Ah Marine batteries. They in turn, will be parrallelled to provide a 24v connection to a 1200w inverter which will produce 240v required to power a new submersible pump and an electric fence energiser.
The pump will initially be used to help water the seedlings but will take up permanent residence as the provider of water to a supertrough for cattle so as to offer them clean water and keep them out of the dam.
The energiser will allow us to reinstate the electric fencing system. The fences need a good deal of repair work and as part of the process, we will slowly remove barbed wire, and replace it with an offset based hotwire that will deter cattle from using the current fencing as a mere inconvenience and will also give the wallabies a new reason to re-consider their passageway through our regen zones.
Solar panel, inverter, energiser, pump and batteries should all arrive this week, so we may have it all up an running by next weekend.