DIY off grid living and working – A letter of thanks from France

Some of the most fun blogs I get to write are often about interesting individuals and their DIY installs, rather than some high end multi thousand Euro project.

Victron Energy is far more than the commercial professional end of the market. As such we love hearing from our individual customers about their projects too – particularly enthusiastic DIY’ers – who by their very nature become knowledgeable about Victron products through determination, research and simply doing it themselves.

Emmanuel Schneider from France is such a person and it is with delight we received the following letter from him.

Emmanuel building from the ground up

A letter from France

I would just like to thank you for all your products that you have developed.

Thanks to you and the sun, I was able to build my house.

I live in France in the Alsace region (by choice I live off-grid) and here there is a particular architecture that dates back 500 years or more. So I recovered an old house that dates back 1600 years and made it as comfortable as a 2019 house, with an ecological philosophy.

I created my off-grid renewable energy electrical installation from 6 x 250Wp photovoltaic panels with a BlueSolar MPPT 150A 24V solar charge controller and a MultiPlus 24V 3000A combined inverter/charger, as well as an Orion DC-DC converter 24V/12V and a BMV-700. I have 4 batteries of 6V totalling 600Ah.

What a pleasure to no longer have an electricity bill!

A little later on I added an AC inverter with an additional 12 x 250Wp photovoltaic panels, which thanks to the MultiPlus simulates an electric grid. I was able to set all this up with my computer and a MK3-USB Interface.

I have built a workshop too which I work from every day. I never run out of energy, to such an extent that I bought an electric boiler and I’m able to heat my domestic hot water with electricity in summer.

I am so happy with my installation, that I did the same for my parents.

My neighbours saw that my system was working well too and so I also made an installation for them – using an EasySolar, because his wife was afraid to leave the electricity grid.

For me, the future for energy must be like this. Each house having its own electricity supply, connected house by house, village by village.

I have many people who come to visit me and ask me to do the same electrical installation as my home. Little by little I have become an installer of the Victron brand, without intentionally meaning to do so!

I wish you a long life and congratulations again.

A bright day to you.

Emmanuel – a simple user of your products.

Powered by Victron Energy products

Emmanuel builds his off-grid home

It’s not just Justin Tyers (my fellow Victron blogger) that builds their own timber framed, straw bale insulated home.

From a solid base houses grow
The wooden frame begins to take shape
At last a roof
Topping out
Natural materials, earth and straw bales
Beautiful tiles
Home is where the heart is…. and the workshop!

Emmanuel’s off-grid workshop

Solar powered workshop
It couldn’t be a workshop without some Victron Blue…

Conclusion

Speaking to Emmanuel, now he’s installed his own and those few other Victron systems, he tells me he has “realised the future” and wants to deploy the “Victron electricity network” further afield. An example being that he and his neighbour are now connected and are able to share the energy that the sun is willing to give them.

In conclusion he says – “Perhaps, little by little, I will be able to convince the village, which is sometimes easier than convincing politicians.”

Maybe you are keen to get started with a DIY install using Victron Energy products, where nearly all the products you need are available under one roof?

If so, here are some resources to get you going:

John Rushworth

Credits

My thanks to Johannes Boonstra for making me aware of this project via Victron Sales Manager Emmanuel Mercier in France – and of course Emmanuel Schneider himself for the images and information used in this blog.

Emmanuel Schneider’s website