Hybrid Off Grid Power Systems


We are setting up an agroforestry homestead in a totally off-grid tropical location. No power, no Internet and no cellphone service. And on the other side of the river with no bridge. Low water construction of a ford is a must.

We do have a unique hillside with a small year-round stream and river frontage with flow that varies with the season. I don’t have accurate seasonal flow records for the stream yet, but it should be enough for a pico-hydro generator. There’s not enough drop in the river for a conventional small turbine but a run-of-river turbine may work.

We will integrate solar panels and will lastly evaluate after we set up residence whether we have enough wind to make a wind turbine of some design feasible.

Comments from those with experience with hybrid power systems, especially pico-hydro are welcome.


Hi have you thought of integrating power supply with small scale anaerobic digestion? If you keep any type of animal their waste will produce the gas need to drive a power unit. And be great at environmentally and hygenically managing their wate. Furthermore you can still use their waste as fertiliser for your crops after the gas has been used up. So it would be a win win for you.

A little further research will keep fired up all year round ( please excuse the pun)!

I’m happy to help you with more information I was considering small scale for my masters dissertation so have quite a bit I can forward to you if it helps.


Ps we are in the UK, where are you located?


@tropicalbear - I’m really looking forward to seeing how you progress with this. Sounds like an awesome, challenging, but very rewarding project. Good luck and keep us up to date.


Hi Derek, I’m in Central Luzon in the Philippines. Thank you, I am interested in your biogas research.

I’ve previously set up several small systems at a different location using hog manure and they work well, especially with our warm ambient temperatures. I won’t have enough animals for a few years to use local manure in a biodigester. Initially, what manure I can accumulate will be fed to my vermi.


Another thought, is are there other people and farms etc living near by? You could collect their animal waste (which would be a benefit to them) and use it in your AD system.

You’d be making things more sanitary for them, you use the bio gas and return the substrate as fertiliser to be used on crops and cultivation. It’s a win win senario…

Loads of stuff about various AD systems on YouTube.



I’m in a fairly remote location and must walk in almost a mile down a very rugged track and cross a river, with no bridge, to get to our land. Many things we take for granted simply aren’t options for this project.

Transportation costs are high. I prefer to establish ADs at the point of manure generation and transport the dewatered digestate.

We’ve had 300mm of rain in the past four days, so visiting the farmsite this month is not an option.



Sounds like using a water turbine on the river is a great opportunity???


The in-river trubine will be part of the total hybrid system.

We’re nearing the end of the local monsoon season, so access to the river will become easier.



@tropicalbear have you seen this one bro?

…maybe not the most efficient (not sure) but cool ;-0