So what is "off grid" ??? No phyical connection to outside services / utilities.
Cottage electricity is produced by the main house system and supplied via an underground cable from the tractor shed to the Cottage.
Power for the main house provided by our Photovoltaic array consists of 64solar panels totaling 10.06 kwatts.The brains of our system is an Outback system consisting of MX60 charger controllers and FX3048 Inverters. The charge controllers take the DC voltage from the PV array and charge our bank of 12 Rolls Surette batteries. These batteries provide 48vdc current to the inverters which output what most would call regular 120/240 AC voltage. This ac voltage is distributed to the house and powers regular electric lights and appliances. Backup to the sun on those cloudy days is provided by a 24KW, diesel generator. The generator is controlled by an autostart feature triggered by low battery levels. Quiet time is programmed from 9PM - 7AM and only an emergency situation will call for the generator to start. Most often, a generator demand is activated at the 7AM, end of quiet time period and will run a couple hours. Less often, the generator will self start a later times. At times, we will also manually start the system for special reasons.
Water is supplied by a rain catchment system that feeds into a 3000 gallon storage system. Water goes through a series of filter devices both leading into the storage and before use. The last filter is a carbon filter which is effective at removing remants of the chlorine treatment. Water supplied by an electric pump and pressure tank. Hot water is heated via a propane fired, on demand, tankless heater. It will supply hot water as long as demanded. Mixing too much cold at the faucet will reduce demand and possibly cut off the heater.
Sewer is your basic hole in the ground cesspool, very common here in rural Hawaii.
Phone service is strictly cell. We use ATT, but most major carriers are available. Your service may depend on your phone.
TV is by Dish, sattelite HD service. As such it is possibly affected by various weather situation and other factors beyond our control.
Broadband internet is via a radio relayed signal from the cable company. Our provider is quite good, but sometimes we are subject to events beyond control.
So....what does all this mean.
The cottage provides basic necessities for an outstanding visit. Sometimes, some people need to made lifestyle adjustments. Heat producing appliances, such as hair dryers are the biggest drain.The smallish electrical system will run everything provided -just not all at once. Judicious use of appliances and most may not even notice. Run too many, too long, especially at night might mean loss of power. Not a big problem, in that the generator can make it up.
So, be mindful, conserve. The Hawaii sun only shines in the daytime, so our PV don't produce at night. Turn things off when not using and enjoy your stay.
REMEMBER - any questions, just ask.