In this day and age of rising energy prices, environmental awareness and concerns about the wide availability of energy in the future it’s understandable why more and more people are looking to live off the grid or ‘wean’ themselves off the grid. There’s no doubt that in the future ‘on the grid’ energy will become less reliable and perhaps will even be used as a method of reigning in people to comply with rules and orders. Here you will find some tips and ideas on how to power your home off the grid under your own rules.
Solar (Photovoltaic) Panels
While solar panels aren’t that useful on cloudy days they are a great way to ease yourself into the off the grid lifestyle even if you’re not completely off the grid. In the past solar panels required high maintenance batteries that took up a lot of room but that isn’t as true anymore with the compactness of more reliable battery storage these days. With solar trackers you’ll be able to even get more electricity from the sun.
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
Some wind turbines, mainly those with a small footprint such as the vertical axis wind turbines, don’t require a permit to build in many places. Vertical axis wind turbines also have the advantage of not needing to pointed in the direction of the wind and the components, such as the generator and gearbox, can be placed closer to the ground making for easier access if needed. They can also be placed closer together due to their smaller size and are much quieter than horizontal axis wind turbines. Most of all they require less wind to generate power. The Giromill type is the best for residential use.
While living off the grid may seem a great thing to many it requires giving up a good portion of modern conveniences and the practice of frugality. If you’re one who can live with limited usage of electricity and are a do-it-yourself type then go for it. There is much information to be found online and in many handy books such as the one below. Living off the grid is much more than just ‘greening’ up your energy usage though. It’s a whole change of lifestyle involving every aspect of your life.