Tubes draw a lot of power. It might be less expensive to use SS and even better energy wise digital amp. There are formulas on line to calculate your power requirements.
Good luck with that
Off the Grid Listening-HELP!
In the next year, I am going to have to move my dedicated listening room to being off-the-grid. I would love to hear from anybody with experience in this area.I am just in the beginnings of doing research, but if anyone can accelerate this process I would appreciate it. I would need to power my turntable, a phono pre, tube pre amp, tube mono blocks and a couple of class D sub amps. I know that I need a pure sine wave inverter (how big, what brand?) and a couple of deep cycle batteries. Is there any easy way to calculate the size of the inverter and batteries needed? 12 or 24 volt system? Would something like a PS Audio regenerator be helpful too? This would only best used about 8 hours per week in four hour sessions. Thank you!
I have an off grid house and run my stereo easily off it. With that that said I was careful in choosing the electronics such that it all uses maybe 50 watts when running. But that figure is highly dependent on your gear and it could easily be 300 watts which is a huge difference in terms of load and the required gear. First thing is to compute the power you need with current gear and take things from there. Search for “clamp meter” and if that is too complicated best to hire someone.
I would by a Honda generator, plug a 2000-3000VA Pure Sine UPS and plug your equipment to the UPS.
Here is what I posted on a similar thread with regards to PS Audio power plants and a UPS.
All what I say is my experience, so I do not say if a product is better or not. 😊
In my home in the USA, the entire house was rewired when Covid-19 started because I needed very clean power for my instruments. So half of the house is in one panel the other in another. From the “lab” panel I have 2 5000va Apc and a 3000va connected, from the ups the 3000 and one 5000va go to the “lab” the other 5000 goes to the living-audio-room.
What comes out of the ups is in the 0.2thd and 119-120v, but not true/perfect sine but very very close despite the claim. So I tried an Isotek to lower the noise, which marginally did until the outlets rusted. My house is also temperature and humidity controlled, because for the work I do I need very stable environment to make sure that I have as little variation in my projects, so the Isotek rusted because cheap component in the plugs.
Then, I bought a PS15, and lowered the noise and gave me a very close, closer than the APC, sine wave, and 0.1thd. Did the sound benefited from the PS15? Yes but not enough, then I bought a p20 because I read that they are better.
in my system the P15 and P20 sound identical, maybe because my system does not load them much.
I called PS Audio and asked them if me running the PS from my 5000va Apc was a problem, they said no, but in the documentation it say do not do it. So I ran a 20Amp outlet and plugged the PS20 to it and there was absolutely no difference, in the output power metrics, the P20 was working harder but not sound difference.
the panel had ~1.9thd and the voltage fluctuation was around 6-7V, and rather jagged sine wave.
Are the PS worth it? It all depends if they make a difference in your system and you can hear it.
If you are in a budget, put a 2000-3000va UPS, there are many good brands, then see if you like the improvements, if you do then you can try the PS.
What I failed to mention, here is that I also have 2xHonda EM6500SX running as one and in the case of power failure on the house all I need is to start the generators and the bypass switch will go the generators as source.
Surprisingly enough, the power coming out of the UPSs is exactly the same as when they are connect to the mains.
BTW all this setup was for my instruments I use for work, not for music. I just add the audio system to the load.
Sorry for grammar and spelling errors, English is la late acquired language.
Mterle, it would help if you outline why you need off grid. It is more complicated but anything can be done with some homework and money.
As mentioned above a generator can work to supply power but if one of your main goals in this is audio experience generators outside are loud and add so much ambient noise I don’t even listen to the stereo if I have to use the generator. There are some ways to mitigate this but not to my satisfaction.
@jbs the generators are in little generator house, with lots of insulation, have the mufflers vented in the opposite direction of the house. I can't hear them at all.
Smart man, Astolfor. I figured you had done something like that as a well insulated enclosure is the only solution I know of. None of this is particularly cheap.
I figure OP needs to have other power (lights etc) in there which is why I was curious to the reason. Or it could be just wanting “clean” power.
Thanks so much for all the replies. I do have a clamp meter and will see if I can ascertain the amount of power drawn. Are the plug-in meters any better?
This decision will come about because I will be losing use of the property where I have the dedicated listening room. The current room is only a quarter of a mile from my home. It's room inside a shop that was purpose built. I can listen to orchestra crescendos or music with driving bass rhythms and nobody knows. I happen to live on the hill on the edge of town and the new listening room is about the same distance from my house in a finished cabin up the hill from my house that I own. It is a slightly smaller space (more power!). I typically listen with a friends once or twice a week for three to four hours. I could build a generator house for either real time use or charging, bit was thinking to have an all DC to inverter system. Solar may work to charge but I'm in a canyon with Redwoods. The cabin has propane lights currently, but that may change. Not to undermine anyone's faith, but sit down listening to all manner of music is my church. I will have to make this transition. Again, thanks to everybody who has replied. Keep the thoughts and suggestions coming!
astolfor, your English is outstanding!
I would hate to give up any of the gear I have right now. I know class D amps have come along ways, and I am not anti-state, (hey I ditched the A/B sub amps) and even have a SS phono stage. But it sounds incredible now so I don't want to change things up with gear. The tube pre-amps and monoblocks draw about 600 watts. Throw in the sub amp and the turntable phono-pre. I'm guessing 1,000 tops, but I will take some real time measurements listening loud and will see where I am at.
mterle, This is tricky. Here are some rough numbers from :
A 12 volt 100Ah deep-cycle battery with regular depth of discharge 50% would run a fully-loaded 1000 watt inverter for 34 minutes. This calculation takes into account average pure sine wave inverter efficiency of 95%.
The easiest way to calculate 100Ah 12 volt deep-cycle run-time is to convert the amp-hours to watt-hours. Simply multiply available Ah by the battery voltage to find its watt-hours capacity:
Battery watt-hours = amp-hour capacity x battery volts
Battery watt-hours = 100Ah x 12V = 1200 watt-hours
If you are using 1000W you'll really need a full on system of some sort with likely at least 4 12V deep cycle batteries just to run things for a couple hours. Then you'll have to charge them with panels or a generator.
I'd opt for the low power route and make that tradeoff but that's just me. Big loads are expensive and get complicated to build in that capacity unless money and space don't matter.
jbs, thanks for the link and the formulas. I think I will need 400Ah worth of battery in a 24 volt system to start. Charging may be rough. I will need to see what solar can accomplish with the light I have, but it may be that I need to use solar and a generator. Much appreciate your input. I feel like I have some direction. Now, after buying a new Lyra phono cartridge, new phono pre (PS Audio), Audioquest Niagra and a few other items in the last year I need to save up some pennies for this!
jbs, wouild you please clarify what you meant by, "I'd opt for the low power route and make that tradeoff but that's just me. Big loads are expensive and get complicated to build in that capacity unless money and space don't matter."
Thanks in advance. Also, any reason not to go with lead acid batteries here since weight and space aren't issues?
You have a great idea going. You have isolated the listening room entirely, and have been very good at planning this whole idea. Having had some experience with batteries and converters, I would say that as long as you have what you need in battery power to begin with, the only other concern would be a decent sine wave converter. Most of what I have heard is that these devices usually provide an inferior (spikey) sine wave compared to commercial power. It might be a thought (and yes, more power needed) to run a PS Audio regenerator to make right that which will be imperfect from your AC power source.
“jbs, wouild you please clarify what you meant by, "I'd opt for the low power route and make that tradeoff but that's just me. Big loads are expensive and get complicated to build in that capacity unless money and space don't matter."
Thanks in advance. Also, any reason not to go with lead acid batteries here since weight and space aren't issues?”
sorry for not explaining. I was just noting my personal preference to utilize low power gear as the system design is simpler. Fewer batteries, smaller inverters, less wiring, much easier to power and charge batteries. But that is me.
lead acid are what I have but they are specialized for off grid (ie. not the regular RV or deep cycle auto batteries which are the most cost effective) use. AGM Matt so they do not require water and have minimal gassing off. If you get old school lead acid batteries be sure you are good with adding water and inquire about gassing off. You don’t want the batteries in same airspace you would stay in for long periods of time. Ventilation can address this.
I have never measured the cleanliness of what my inverter puts out. Audio System is dead quiet so that works for me and no fired electronics to date. Brand is Schneider but many good brands depending on exact sizing and needs. I can run a 220v generator into the system to charge the batteries if needed. If you want that type of flexibility gotta inquire on the exact gear early. Solar can run everything for me but have an easy line of sight to the sun and do not need tons of power either. 3000w or 9 panels runs a small house including well water.
if you do get power working there LED lighting is super easy and very low power to add.
From ten years of running big AGM , diesel genset and inverter on a 47’ loa boat, i was profoundly disappointed with AGM performance and longevity Lifeline cost me a bunch of $$$$, Eventually i went back to lead acid low tech reliable with some noted constraints. absolutely nail down the system design and warranty. If it were me, i would put the genset in a hush house with auto start / off.
Best to you !