• Is there an off grid thread on here already that I’ve missed? We’re building our dream off grid home on an outer Orkney island this year and looking for input on fully speccing the system. Been two years getting through planning and building control and groundworks should be started by the end of the month.
    Going to be timber frame with detached workshop, powered by around 4kw of solar and a 6kw wind turbine (mean wind speed at site 7.2m/s). We’re installing a 6kw air to water air source heat pump for our wet underfloor heating system and also our domestic hot water. We are putting in a 20kW battery storage system with a 15kva microgrid and inverter to keep us going in times of low production and are putting in an indirect water tank with integrated thermal store. Think the main issue we’re coming across is different installers for each aspect and working out how to fully integrate them with each other.. any help would be greatly appreciated on this!!

    Here’s our house plans and our field! (The one with the shipping container on the left in the aerial shot)


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  • I have zero practical advice, but am 100% here to live the vicarious dream.

  • Not able to help, subbed though as sounds like a dream!
    GLWBuild

  • +1

  • Thank you sir! We’re both in our mid 30s and just sick of the city so took the chance!
    I work in social care and have my truck licence and my partner works in renewables (currently working on the new O2 tidal turbine up here for orbital) so figured we’d find work and get by up here. We’ve been up here for the last couple years and it couldn’t have been a better decision for us.

  • @DethBeard @Tijmen Cheers, will make sure to update with progress photos as things start moving

  • All aboard the vicarious dream wagon!

  • Trying to think of other useful stuff for anyone looking at the system,
    SAP rating of 132 including the renewables, only running cold water to the workshop to save heat loss from running a hot water pipe out to it and just putting an electric panel heater in the workshop rather than UFH.
    Vaulted ceiling in the central space and installing a wood stove with the ability to cook on it for days where there hasn’t been sun or wind and we’ve burned through the batteries.

    Also, I'm just trying to get my head around what would be the best way to distribute the generated power to maximise it's efficiency and use in the best way possible and was looking for your ideas or recommendations of what would be best.

    We don't want to isolate either renewable to one specific task and want the turbine and the pv to feed in to the same system purely so if it's windy but not sunny, or sunny but not windy that we can still use the whole system. We're hoping to get both the turbine and the solar pv to feed directly into the microgrid and then prioritise the immediate demand of what we're needing in the house. Once that's been covered we want any production to go into the battery storage and when that's full we want to dump either into a buffer tank or to the ASHP so it can work on both hot water and heating. I'm still trying to determine which would be best or the most viable, would you have any idea? With going fully off grid there's very little info out there on how best to do it.

    This is a very simplistic idea of kind of what we're thinking
    Turbine & Solar -> Microgrid -> House need -> Battery storage -> ASHP or Buffer/Thermal store -> Electric panel heater in workshop -> Ground dump
    We know this won't be happening all the time, but just want to take advantage of as much as we can in times of overproduction so there is hot water or power in times of lower production.

  • Looks gorgeous.

    Would love to get the ferry up to Orkney from here in Aberdeen. 8 years and I'm yet to visit.

    Looks amazing and would love to have a place like that up there!

  • This looks interesting!

    Why are you going for air source rather than ground source for the heating?

  • Subbed. And Jealous.

  • Ahhh you need to get up here at some point, it’s amazing

  • Going for air source was purely installation and cost determined. Think ground source would have been good with the northerly gales we get here but we’re looking at at least another ten grand for that and stretched already with the turbine going in..

  • Which island are you on?

  • We’re on Shapinsay, around 300 people and 3000 cattle haha. Delivered food boxes during the lockdown so got to meet most of the island through that. 25 minute ferry ride to Kirkwall so we can get into the office if needed for work and still get back home the same day

  • So far the only build on the field is this planticru we made from beach rocks last year to keep the wind off some veggies. Getting a polytunnel this summer, cheap one at first but hoping to upgrade to a polycrub in time


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  • Jeally. Good luck!

  • Wow. Brave and awesome move. Looking forward to seeing how this goes.

  • Amazing. My favourite part of this story is that despite living in the middle of nowhere you're still riding a silly fixed gear with a 55t chainring!

  • Thanks so much, really appreciate it!

    @furious_tiles thank you, that’s actually our neighbour’s dog called pal, he’s brilliant! We’re renting in the farmhouse beside the field and he does not miss the opportunity for a walk! :)

    @Dogtemple cheers mate, pretty intimidating at first but feeling very much at home here now. No idea how long the build will take but thinking we won’t be in until the spring.

  • Hahaha, I can see that changing with time and age but not just yet..

  • Awesome, look forward to following along

  • Following!

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Off grid house build orkney - looking for help with system spec

Posted by Avatar for Creek_Tebsin @Creek_Tebsin

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