Off Grid Cooling Options
Summary: Off Grid Cooling
In certain climates, off grid cooling is not a luxury, but is a necessity for the health of you and your family. When choosing to live off the grid, whether you’re generating electricity from wind, solar, or even a geothermal source, there will be certain sacrifices that you need to make to keep your energy requirements to a minimum.
Living off the grid doesn’t mean that you don’t have options for off grid cooling, but you will need to plan your cooling solution carefully, taking all of the available options into consideration.
Off Grid Cooling
Your cooling requirements could range from climate control, to electric fans, and even fridges and freezers for food storage. As with heating, cooling is a major drain on any electrical system.
It should be fairly obvious that in an off grid home, you will need to reduce the size of your cooling devices. This could mean downsizing an air conditioning system or your refrigeration units. You will also need to choose the most energy efficient devices possible.
Do You Have to Give up the Appliances That You're Used To?
If you’re generating enough electricity through solar power, or any other off grid method, then it is possible that you won’t have trouble keeping cool off the grid. However, it is important to understand that many off grid homes aim for an electrical consumption figure of just 10 kW/hr per day.
This is around one third of the average household in developed countries. Using typical air conditioners and large cooling appliances would not be possible within such a low energy household.
One solution would be to use kerosene refrigeration for food storage. Clean burning kerosene is environmentally friendly, but it can introduce the additional expense and inconvenience of obtaining kerosene.
For most off grid households, a highly efficient refrigerator is a better solution, as long as the seals are well maintained, and the unit should be used only for essential perishables.
For cooling the air, specialized off grid cooling systems, such as a DC air conditioner, may be a possibility. Although a significant investment, a DC system doesn’t rely on an inverter, and a split type unit will prove to be highly efficient.
Even an inverter unit is still a possibility for keeping cool off the grid, as long as you have a large solar array or other electricity generation system that can provide the required power.
Living off the grid doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up on the devices that you’re used to. In many cases, you will only need to reduce your reliance on appliances, and possibly reinvest in highly efficient cooling appliances that will reduce the strain on your electricity generation system.
Every home is different, so make sure that you’re able to find a solution that meets your unique needs, and don’t be afraid to think outside of conventional solutions when it comes to off grid cooling .
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