Learning to Live Off-Grid

Learning to Live on all Solar

We’ve been living at the new Hennick Homestead for going on 3 weeks now and we LOVE IT; although it is definitely an adjustment. We continue to move things from our old house into the new tiny space which is a challenge. We have definitely learned that we have to be completely thoughtful about what we actually NEED. The very first hard learned lesson was hot water. Originally we chose an on-demand small water heater. In the chaos of trying to get the homestead ready for us to move in, I didn’t fully “do the math”. The on-demand heater requires 18000 watts of electricity to heat the water and maintain that temperature. Our off-grid solar power system will only produce 8800 continuous watts at any given time. The water heater would throw the system into a fault status because of the massive draw. So, we had to change to a 38 gallon short tank that has 2 elements at 3800 watts each for a total of 7600 watts to heat the water. It is still a huge draw and we are testing to see how we can set the temperature of the 2 elements so we can produce enough hot water to have when we need it.

On a day like today when Nathan and I are both off work for Mardi Gras, we take the opportunity to clean the house and cook for the upcoming week. Today is a somewhat overcast day, though it wasn’t supposed to be. Instead of using the oven and stove to cook, Nathan decided to use the wood stove top to do all of our cooking today in an effort to make sure our battery bank is fully charged for tonight.

Off-grid cooking while the cat enjoys the warmth

We still have quite a bit to do inside an outside, but it is coming along. We have gotten it to a point inside where it is definitely livable and just needs some cosmetic things done.

As we continue to learn how to live off-grid and tiny we keep in mind that the point of this is to live a simpler life, a thoughtful life, and a life filled with meaning. Though our goal is to live more minimalistic, we aim to prove that we can do all of this and still live comfortably.

Stay tuned for our next update, I will try to update more often now that we are living at the homestead.


5 thoughts on “Learning to Live Off-Grid

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  1. Each time I’ve read about your house I got a tad claustrophobic. Seeing today’s pictures made me realize it’s quite nice sized and definitely livable. I’m loving what you boys are doing both inside and out! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  2. Electrical water heating is horribly inefficient. Did you do this to be renewable instead of gas or propane? Likewise, have you considered a solar pre-heater? Solar thermal is really inexpensive to do and is just as renewable, it will save you a lot of kwh of battery usage.

    1. Yes, the purpose of electric water heat is to be renewable. We have plans to add a solar water heater to preheat the water to save kWh

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