Blog Post

Prefab Modular Home Maintained Power When Grid Went Down

Beverly and Pierre moved to Ojai, CA, to build an eco-friendly home in which to spend their retirement. Pierre is an environmentalist and engineer, and Beverly is an affordable housing advocate and former property development asset manager, so they were committed to creating a sustainable living space.

The couple arrived in Ojai in August and lived in a camper while their custom, prefab modular home was built in a factory in only 25 days. Then, three trucks delivered the home to the land they’d purchased in a residential neighborhood.

Completely off-grid, the triple-insulated, energy efficient home is powered by a PV solar system that charges eight PHI 3.4 kWH batteries -- making available 27.5 kWh of power to both satisfy their home energy needs as well as charge an electric car. The solar+storage system also includes OutBack inverters and charge controllers and a Midnite solar combiner box. Heat and air conditioning are provided by a Goodman heat pump, and a natural gas generator supplies backup power when necessary.

The home was put to the test immediately when the Thomas Fires broke out in Ojai in December 2017. As the grid went down, Beverly and Pierre’s home was the only house in their neighborhood that maintained power. They were able to offer use of their refrigerator and charging stations to neighbors.

“We chose SimpliPhi storage because they are American-made and do not use toxic cobalt. Plus, their batteries are 98% efficient,” explains Pierre.

Beverly adds, “We wanted a brand new house designed to work specifically to meet our needs. Every day we have 24/7 home energy and EV car charging for free, and we know when emergencies happen, we have greater energy security. We’re thrilled with our solar+SimpliPhi-powered home and car.”