Solar: A great solar power system is cost effective and cutting edge. Our system features 500w or more in solar panel power, a battery controller/charger and 200Ah in solar battery storage. You can also upgrade to over 1KW of solar panel power and 400 Ah of battery storage. Located on the roof of your unit are solar panels (500w total or more) that connect directly to the Solar Energy Control System which feeds the batteries & 12v items in the unit. Solar power is designed to feed Off Grid items which are 12v items in our units such as the lights, furnace, solar fridge etc....hence the term Off Grid. On Grid items are those that use 120v and, if you plan to be Off Grid but want all kinds of On Grid items, you should have additional solar panels to generate more power plus additional batteries and an inverter. Please note: solar radiation is quite variable from location to location (click here for US map showing the potential solar resource) plus you must position your unit correctly to receive maximum solar radiation. While our units are very energy efficient, be careful if you choose for your unit a lot of On Grid items as it is possible to run any solar power system dead. You can order an inverter to produce On Grid 120v power BUT we strongly urge you to always have a back-up power source for dark days and when solar power is at a minimum. The good news is that our system sees solar power first then back-up power so even if you have your unit plugged into the grid or any other back-up source, you are always using solar power first. Click here for a list of options & prices. Water and Waste: We use the Separett Villa 9215 composting toilet which gives the user options as to how they use liquids vs. solids and has odor control. Just as impressive and perhaps even better is the Laveo by Dry Flush. It is a very impressive toilet we do recommend if you need or want to avoid a black water system. You can choose a traditional toilet if you have a waste system attached to your ESCAPE. For gray water we provide a direct outlet for connecting to an irrigation system or to empty into an appropriate drywell or septic system. In addition, we offer portable gray tanks for your unit. For fresh water you can select an on board tank with an on board pump providing water pressure. Click here for a list of options & prices.
Appliances & LP: If you want a stove in your unit, we recommend an LP unit due to its small power draw and high efficiency. See pricing on the options sheet. In addition, we use on demand LP water heaters in each unit which are much more energy efficient than standard tank heaters. For Off Grid, we do have a 12v/LP water heater available. You can also select solar appliances including a refrigerator. Two 20 gallon LP tanks are standard on most units. Click here for a list of options & prices.
Windows: Windows are extremely important to energy efficiency and off-grid living. We believe in using many windows to expand living space which let’s one feel much more connected to the surrounding environment. All of our windows are Low-E, argon-filled thermopane and built to handle extreme weather of all kinds. Most windows open for plenty of ventilation. You can add ceiling fans…also a great idea.
Insulation: Having great insulation is critical to an efficient living environment no matter the size. While there is a fixation on R value, air penetration is equally, if not more, important. For this reason we use closed cell insulation. Besides providing a 7.4 R value per inch and using recycled products as part of the foam, the foam hardens and forms a terrific air penetration barrier. We have seen too many buildings with fiberglass or blown cellulose insulation that have high R values but have air penetration issues that negate much of the R value.