Living and Working Off Grid

Living and Working Off Grid
Off-Grid – Complete System
Watagan Mountains (Darkinung Country), NSW
June 2017
Victron, PowerPlus, Battery Energy, Trina Solar, Fronius



After purchasing their dream Watagan Mountains acreage in 2005, power supply was just one of many items Damien Griffith and his wife Charly had to consider.

“Why should we hand over so much money, only for the network to own the infrastructure, with the added bonus of us having to pay them for power. That was the obvious question. And going off grid was the obvious answer”

They installed a robust little off grid system and began living their off-grid dream.

When Off-Grid Energy Australia started in 2011, Damien joined the team – bringing all his expertise and first-hand experience. “I have tried really hard to not let my customers make the same mistakes I made. I learned a lot and realized how crucial energy load profiling is,”

“Going off-grid can be so easy and seamless if you get it right, but really stressful if you make the wrong choices.”

By 2017, Damien’s family had grown to 5, and power dropouts were becoming a bit too regular. So it was time to upgrade.

Site Considerations:

Damien needed a system that would integrate with some of his existing equipment and have the ability to keep expanding as his family’s needs grew.

The new solar array would need to be ground mounted – next to his old solar array.

Load Analysis:

Average summer demand: 29.98kWh
Average winter demand: 21.22kWh

System Design:

  • Existing off grid system (Lead acid batteries & thin film solar PV)
  • Victron Quattro 10kW Inverter Charger
  • Fronius Primo 6kW solar inverter
  • Victron BMV & Colour Control Monitoring
  • 20 x Trina Solar 300W Solar Modules
  • 3 x Powerplus Lithium Batteries

Project Outcome

“We would never go back to being on grid now that we have lived this way for so long; it just becomes part of who you are.”

Damien’s passion for the off grid lifestyle is so strong that he has created the online community ‘Off-Grid Earth’ (, to uncover and share the stories of those who live an off-grid lifestyle. Topics range from the specific renewable energy technology choices people have made, through to housing design, work life and hobbies. On Off-Grid Earth you can also follow Damien and his family as they travel around Australia looking for new off-grid stories and adventures.

*Photos courtesy of Off-Grid Earth

Article in Hunter Homes