Living off the Grid: A Beginning


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Categories: Building Methods

Getting off the grid is a dream that many homeowners would love to achieve. Who wouldn’t want to produce their own electricity and be completely independent from the municipal power grid? Now thanks to modern technology, this dream is now a distinct possibility. If you’ve ever thought about living off the grid, there are some things you should consider. The two most popular methods that people use to get off grid power is solar power and wind power.

Homeowners can harness the infinite amount of energy produced by the sun by using pv solar panels. Multiple photovoltaic cells inside of the solar panel catch absorbs the suns light energy and convert it into usable electricity that can be used to power your homes energy needs such as electrical lighting and appliances. Any extra electricity can be stored in batteries to be used later to sufficiently power your home at night when there is no sun to create energy.

The power of the wind can also be used to produce viable electricity by the use of wind turbines. Wind turbines catch the wind using rotating fan blades which then turns the generator inside it to produce electricity. Like solar power, the electricity produced through wind power can also be stored in batteries for future use.

Difficulties of Off Grid Living

Cost

Solar panels and wind turbines are not cheap. The basic models of each type costs thousands of dollars if you want to power your entire home. This is quite a hefty initial investment. You will also require additional electrical wiring in your house so that it can be powered using these alternative sources of energy. Adding up all the costs, it is clear to see why everyone is still not living completely off the grid yet.


Maintenance

Solar panels need to be perfectly clean for them to be efficient and properly absorb the suns energy and turn it into usable electricity. This means you will often be on the roof of your house cleaning and polishing your solar panels to a perfect shine. Wind turbines on the other hand are not very high maintenance, but they are prone to heavy damage when winds get too strong, especially during storms, and repairs can be expensive.

Reliability

Your solar panels may not produce enough electricity on cloudy or overcast days, and with wind turbines you may only get an hour or so of good wind every day. The goal is to be as efficient as possible with your power usage and to save on electricity as much as you can.

Off the grid living is definitely possible, though you will need a lot of patience, responsibility, and a bit of savings for the equipment. After all is said and done, you will find that living off the grid can be a rewarding experience and save you money in the long run by not paying huge electric bills in the future.

via:  Maximum Survival

Here's a simple starter kit for small beginnings.  I recommend doing something like this to learn about solar:

When you're ready to get a big setup, you can email us, and we'll gladly point you in the right direction in your area:  [email protected]   Solar businesses, feel free to check out our growing  OffgridDirectories.com and list your company there!

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