Things to Know about Off Grid Living by Eric Moore

Recently, a variety of reasons influence people to go off the grid. Cabin life or fully off-grid RV, which in turn results in freestyle everyday life, are often preferred by most people. Others are rural livers, ranchers or farmers who do not like to spend the large sums of money needed to run utilities to their residence. Others are seasonal, spending just summers or winters in an off-grid cabin or second home. Everything comes down to one point – off-grid living and freedom somehow go together.

Every off grid home has clean energy source as their hub. The key to a truly sustainable off-grid life is alternative power sources such as hydro power, wind or even sunlight. It does not matter whether you are living off grid in the suburbs or out in the open country.

There are four most common types of off-grid power resource. These are wind, solar, natural gas (or propane) and biodiesel. We can also include hydro as a resource but for it to be possible, it requires very particular things. But for now, we’re only going to concentrate on all renewable sources like solar, wind, biodiesel and hyrdo power.

Off-grid living is most prevalent rampant in the western states nowadays. And because wind is the most often accessible, it is also the most common off-grid power source. Depending on your needs and situation, a typical wind turbine setup to power a home (without batteries) can be obtained for about $5,000-$10,000 dollars. Adding half again to that will provide batteries for more constant power availability.

The second most common off grid power source is solar, which is frequently combined with wind power.Solar may also be used to heat water ( with solar thermal units), which is usually more efficient. Oftentimes, wind and solar are combined and utilized to feed a power storage bank (usually batteries) for round the clock power availability. A usual solar power setup will cost from $6,000 to $12,000, depending on your place and its size. A much cheaper option would be the solar thermal type.

On those estates with a naturally running water source that moves at a speed enough to power a hydrodynamic generator may have hydro power as their source of energy. These “micro hydro” units may be set up for $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the installation necessities and its size. However, several federal and state policies may forbid their use in some areas, especially in those homes that need fast-running water.

And now for biodiesel. Diesel generators as off-grid power sources are regularly used by lots homes. It has the capacity to run purely on biodiesel (petroleum additives are not included) and they are quite low-cost. Units run from $5,000 and up to power an entire house. For backups to wind and solar systems, smaller units are often utilized to provide 24/7/365 availability of electricity. It cost about $4,000 for the biodiesel generators and about $0.70/ gallon to manufacture the fuel.

Other alternatives for off-grid living power sources include biomass incinerators or boilers (commonly burning wood, wood chips, or practically any biological stuff that may be combusted). Some are very “off grid” and less realistic than others. If you can cut trees, you may go for wood units. However, the availability of the trees are limited and it depends on how many you’re prepared to cut. Pellet, corn, and similar units require that you buy the fuel.

While homemade solar panels can look expensive, they are cheaper build them yourself. You might see that the dollar might start to look much smaller when you realize that you will never pay another utility bill once you build solar panels.

For more info about homemade solar panels, you may check out build solar panels

About the Author

Eric Moore became interested in renewable energy after building an electric powered bike. Shortly after he began riding the bike to work, he thought, why not recharge the bike’s batteries with solar power and commute to work completely free and totally pollution free. He then created a website to share his experience and knowledge with others.

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