When you live off-grid, your home functions independently, without relying on national supply. This includes electricity from the national grid, gas from mains pipelines for heat, and even water sources that are from non-public utility supply.

I think living off-grid appeals to people who want to be completely self-sufficient. I care passionately about our own impact on the environment, and I do want to be free of energy bills for life.

Picture of my off-grid cottage.

My solution is based on being partly off-grid since I use gas for water heating and for the kitchen oven. But all the electricity is solar-based, and the heating is based on wood from my own propriety. I have my own water supply. All the water is pumped from 120 meters below ground.

My battery bank number 2.

My complete infrastructure

The sketch below shows the complete infrastructure.

Infrastructure (battery, inverters, regulators and solar panel).

My batteries

I have three different battery banks (1, 2, and 3).

Bank 1NARDA (valve regulated lead acid) – 12NDT190 x 12
Bank 2 GNB (valve regulated lead acid) – M12V155 x 12
Bank 3 Monbat VRLA battery – 12MONBAT200 x 4
The different battery brands.
TemperaturEqualization voltage
Battery specifications for bank 3.
TemperaturEqualization voltage
Battery specifications for bank 2.
TemperaturEqualization voltage
Battery specifications for bank 3.
  • Total number of batteries: 12+12+4=28
  • Total number of Ah: (12 x 190 + 12 x 155 + 4 x 200)= 2280 + 1860 + 800 =4940 Ah
  • Total number of kWh: 4940 x 12/1000 = 60 KWh
  • Total numbers of solar panel: 16
  • Peak input (16 x 300 watt): 4800 watt

My solar panels and solar charge controller

My solar panel has a capacity of 250–320 watts, with an average of 300 watts.

Solar panel placed on the veranda.

The solar panels are placed south-west.

Solar panel placed on the wall.
Solar panels on the roof (using butyltape and asphalt board)

All the solar panels are connected to a solar charge controller, also known as a solar regulator, which is essentially a solar battery charger connected between the solar panels and the battery. Its job is to regulate the battery charging process and ensure the battery is charged correctly, or more importantly, not over-charged. In the picture below, you can see different types of solar charge controllers connected to the battery bank 1.

Different solar charge controller
Morningstar TS-60, solcelleregulator 60A
Morningstar 60 A
SRNE MPPT ML4860, laderegulator 60A
MPPT Solar Charge Controller (EPSolar)

My different inverters

The inverter converts the direct current voltage to alternating current voltage. In most cases, the input DC voltage (12, 24, or 48) is usually lower while the output AC is equal to the grid supply (230 V). In the picture below, you see one of my inverters (Victron).

Victron inverter

You will find the manual for the Victron product here.

Clean Sinus inverter

My on-grid-soultion

An On-Grid solution is connected to the public electricity grid. This means that any excess energy produced by the system is fed to the grid, and now with the inclusion of ‘Net-Metering’, I as a consumer receive compensation for the excess electricity they generate. I get my compensation from Elvia.

The layout on my garage:

  • 24 x Jinko Solar JKM395M-54HL4-B (1.72 m x 1.13 m)
  • 1 x Solis Inv 10kW 3 fas IT_4G
  • 1 x Solis PLUGIN WIFI stick
  • 24 x Alu skinne SORT 2200
  • 16 x Skinne skjøt
  • 88 x Shingel, monteringskit 4 Horisontal
  • 56 x Klemmer Ende/Mellom 30-46 SVART
  • 5 x MC4 konnektor hann/hunn
  • 100 x Kabel for solcelle 1 x 6mmm2 sort
  • 1 x Merkeark Solcelleanlegg
  • 1 x Merkeskilt bygg
  • 1 x Endelokk sort

Specification on my solar panels:

Horizontal solution
Vertical solution

My on-grid inverter converts solar power DC which is constantly varying and feed it into the house mains power supply (230 volt). It synchronises its output voltage and frequency to the mains power supply it is connected to. As the power of the solar increases, so does the output.

Solis 10kW 3 fas inverter