How does the Dacha get energy?

From 2008 Р2014 we were off-grid, using solar and veggie power to make our electricity. Currently, we are on grid, using very old batteries that are charged by solar panels and grid power.

This video was made right before we hooked up to the grid and shows what we were up to back then.

We have 9 solar panels on the roof, a 2kw system in all, as well as a solar hot water heater. We convert the DC into AC with a pure sine wave inverter. We are hoping to get more solar panels soon.

During the cloudier, colder months we used to rely on our diesel generator for power. It’s a Lister engine that we converted to run on veggie oil. Running the genny for an hour or so a day charged the batteries, pumped our well water and pre-heated our domestic hot water.

Lister Engine

With these systems we are able to have lap top fun, charge all our various phones and cameras and doohickeys. We can cook on an induction stove top, we can run fans, lights, a washing machine and play electric guitar. We don’t have a refrigerator but we have a chest freezer which we turn on for a few hours to keep things fridge temperature.

From 2008 to 2014 the Dacha had been an off-grid home. In the winter of 2014 we decided to connect to the grid instead of purchasing an expensive battery bank. Our new goal is to get more solar panels and begin producing a surplus of energy to feed back to the grid. For more info on why we made our decision check out this video.