September 26, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Bye Bye Hydro: An isolated chalet in the woods completely self-sufficient in energy

Bye Bye Hydro: An isolated chalet in the woods completely self-sufficient in energy

The octogenarian, who had to drive more than four hours into the woods and take his robot (or his snowmobile) to access his chalet, uses an autonomous system to meet all of his passive home’s energy needs.

“Hydro will never come here, no power, absolutely nothing,” said Joliet resident Michel Dudemain, who owns a chalet in the woods in the La Tuc sector. .

While his oven and fridge have always run on propane since buying his cottage in 2011, Michel Dudemain has pumps and water barrels for his water needs. However, he took it to the next level in 2012 by buying a tower (pre-cable tower with antennas) next to his chalet.

He mounted two 4-by-6-foot photovoltaic solar panels on the top of the tower so he could adjust and rotate them depending on the sun. His purchase kit also includes 4 12 volt batteries connected in series and an inverter. The total cost him about $7,000.

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“I met the solar panel vendor, explained to him my requirements, especially in terms of voltage,” Mr. Dudemain explained to us. He analyzed it and made a plan for me to connect and install the system.

Two photovoltaic solar panels sit atop a 4-foot-by-6-foot tower next to Michel Dudmain’s chalet.

Photo by Bobby Dudemain

black ice

However, a major problem arose two years ago when the batteries failed because the panels were covered in snow due to icy conditions.

“It cost us four batteries [environ 800 $]But we never put an extra penny into it,” said Mr Dudmain, who was very satisfied with his system.

“And I put the panels at about 90 degrees to make sure there’s snow and ice left when we go away in the winter,” added Mr Dudmain, adding that it gets very cold in that sector.

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Mr. Dudmain and his family would sometimes stay for a month, especially during the hunting season. “When it’s right to warm up in the chalet, we turn off the propane heating and heat with wood,” adds Mr. Dudmain. The chalet is well insulated, no issues.

Power Sources:

  • Propane for oven and fridge
  • 2 solar panels
  • Previously pumps and water barrels
  • firewood