Off-grid self-reliance & survivalism in Australia's outback (Video)
When he was a teen, Link Knight saw his uncle go bankrupt and vowed to stay out of debt. Years later he moved into what was left of his uncle's old home (a family home from the mid-19th century) in rural southwestern Victoria, Australia. The building was missing walls, filled with junk (his uncle was a hoarder) and not connected to the grid ("Since the power system was privatized in Victoria in the early 90s, it would have cost "over 43,000 dollars to get the power connected").
Link eschewed the large generator that his uncle could never afford to run for a self-installed mix of photovoltaics, propane appliances and low-consuming fixtures (e.g. LED lights). Comparing installing solar to "hanging a picture", he used - for his main system- two 120-watt panels on star pickets connected to a 30 amp charge controller and 2 batteries (for 200 amp hours). He setup a dedicated system for his solar fridge: one 120-watt panel running off 100 amp hours of batteries.
The system is minimal, affordable and, Link argues, proof that there's an alternative to buying your way off-grid. "There's this myth going around that you can't go off the grid cheap, that you need to put in more than 50,000 dollars worth of solar panels in order to live off the grid. I can tell you for a fact it is cheap to set up off grid".
Not all appliances feed off his PV setup. He uses a propane freezer, a camping stove (also propane), a wood-burning stove for heat (in his bedroom) and once a week he turns on his small generator for laundry day.