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For a conserving small home, the cost would be $2500-5000 for a 12 volt system (the price does not include a generator in any of these systems), TV, stereo, some lighting and appliances. For a conserving family home, the cost would be $7,000-11,000 for a 12 or 24volt system for 1-4 people. For an active family, the cost would be $11,000-15,000 for a 24volt system, which includes full power for a sunfrost refrigerator/freezer. For a large home, the cost would be $18,000-23,000 for additional appliances, computers etc. A true sine wave system costs $24,000-29,000 for a 24 or 48volt system.

For a furnace you may need a 240v transformer (about $350). Don't expect to have enough juice to run an electric only furnace or air conditioning. With a gas furnace there is also a company called Hi-Z Technology in San Diego that sells thermo electric systems to keep gas furnaces going in a power outtage. Unless you are on one of the bigger systems, an energy efficient sunfrost refrigerator/freezer would be the only frig option. A well pump assumes you would have a storage tank. Always have a hand pump for backup. The higher the voltage, the longer the distance, and a smaller diameter wire can be used without too much power loss.

For 30 Kw a day, plan on a bare minimum of $7,000+. Do not use auto batteries. Use at least golf cart, marine, or electric floor sweeper batteries. These will be the deep cycle or discharge type. With heavy usage car batteries will last a couple of weeks. The deep discharge will be good for atleast 3-5 years. The industrial or remote telephone station batteries will be good for 10-15 years. All depending on usage, don't go over an 80% discharge max and always try to fully charge if possible. Building a vented rack or battery box is always a good safety idea. The gassing during charging/equalizing as well as any acid (sulphuric) spills can be hazardous. You can buy preconfigured Trace and APT systems from just about any renewable energy dealer.

Most people doing renewable energy these days are those building new homes, usually outside of a power grid. It is not unusual for people building a mile or more from a grid to get a $30-40,000 quote from the power company to just hook up! If you carefully examine what is really needed, you will find you can get by with a lot less. Heating and air conditioning are the biggest energy hogs, followed by the washer/dryer and stove/oven. These items can easily consume 60-90% of your electric bill. Most appliances, i.e. coffee pot 10-20 minutes, shaver 2-3 minutes, etc., fall into the occasional use category. Even a small $1,000 self contained SunWise power system can handle these minimal items. Going with the next size up in power, a small bar fridge or better yet, a Sunfrost refrigerator with some minimal lighting, etc., can be easily handled. Either way, with $1-2,000 available, most people have found that they can be pretty innovative in their power needs. Preparing with a group can spread the cost around.

Offered by Steve.