When we started planning our off grid solar system for our home, we began planning what electrical appliances we wanted and weighing that against what we could afford. The following video are our non-negotiables. We determined what we wanted for our home and planned the size or our solar system and battery bank accordingly.
My wife and I literally sat down and determined what were essential for our lives and what could go. Unfortunately, some items had to go because the electricity demands would be too great for an off grid system. The number one would be electrical heat. We could not afford to use electrical heaters within our home. A space heater uses around 1500 Watts of power per hour. Not an option.
Another appliance we rapidly kicked to the curb was the clothes dryer. The clothes dryer on average takes around 3500 Watts a load. Our battery bank only 675 amp hours at 24 Volts =16,200 Watts of stored power yet to use the power all the way to zero will rapidly murder the battery bank. So, I only really have about 11,340 Watts of usable power. Three and half loads of laundry and our battery bank would done until the next sunny day. We hang dry all our clothes on either the outside line or indoor lines I built. Anyone who would like to make a dent in their electricity bill could begin by hang drying their clothes, easy-peasy.
The other appliance we said an automatic no to was the dishwasher because it not only took electricity, but also water. In the future, we probably could renegotiate this one depending on the water and power usage, but we will wait for something more efficient.
My wife and I love to cook and eat at home, but we knew right away that an electric oven and range would never work. They take too much electricity. Our friends found a gas oven and stove top at a garage sale for $50.00 and during the warmer months of the year, we cook our food on the propane stove. As I stated in the video, the electric oven is by far the largest use of electricity. It uses almost 5,000 Watts per hour! That is almost half of our stored power.
We also ditched the microwave, due to studies on how microwaves can hurt people over long periods of time. We decided long before moving off grid to no longer microwave our food.
What has our life been like without these modern conveniences? No clothes dryer, electric range, microwave, electric heaters, how do we survive? Quite easily, really.