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Goodbye Hydro: an isolated chalet in the forest that is completely energy self-sufficient

Goodbye Hydro: an isolated chalet in the forest that is completely energy self-sufficient

An octogenarian who has to drive more than four hours into the forest and take his rowboat (or snowmobile) to get to his chalet meets all of his passive house’s energy needs with a stand-alone system.

“Hydroelectricity will never come here, there is no electricity, there is nothing at all,” says Joliette resident Michel Dudimin, owner of a chalet in the forest, in the Latok sector.

While his furnace and refrigerator have always run on propane since purchasing his cabin in 2011, Michel Dudemin has had pumps and water drums to meet his water needs. However, he took it to another level in 2012 by purchasing a tower (like one with antennas before there were cables) to install next to his chalet.

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

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“I met with a solar panel seller and explained my needs, especially regarding voltage,” Mr. Dodimin explained to us. He analyzed it and came up with a plan for me to connect and install the system.”

The two 4-foot by 6-foot solar photovoltaic panels are at the top of the tower next to Michel Dudemin’s chalet.

Photo courtesy of Bobby Dudemin

Black ice

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

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

“And when we leave in the winter, I put the boards at about 90 degrees to make sure there is no snow or ice,” Mr. Dudemin added, while it can be very cold in this sector.

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Mr. Dodimin and his family can sometimes live in the chalet for a month, especially during the hunting season. “When the heating is correct in the chalet, we turn off the propane heating and heat only with wood,” adds Mr. Dodimin. The chalet is well insulated and has no problems.”

power source :

  • Propane for oven and refrigerator
  • 2 solar panels
  • Previously pumps and barrels of water
  • Heating wood