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Old 12-05-2009, 06:20 AM   #16
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Solutions for being "off grid"


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Originally Posted by justgreenhomes View Post
I'm with Scuba_Dave on the soalr air heater and pyper, except I'd go with a pellet stove.
That's cause you live in Ohio and I live in South Carolina I can generally get enough wood for free just from downed trees and so forth.

Built a fire yesterday and it was nice and warm. There's something about being warm when it's cold outside that's really satisfying.

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Old 12-05-2009, 07:39 AM   #17
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Solutions for being "off grid"


I see the Hurricanes down South & all the downed trees
Send me the wood
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:32 AM   #18
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Solutions for being "off grid"


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
That's good to know, I've always wondered if I can find a way to turn rain into electricity. In summer it rains non stop here, but certainly not 15k gal /minute! LOL

I was doing research for kicks to see how much power can be generated by a human pedling a bike attached to a generator, and it's way less then I figured. Never really realized how much it takes to get a usable amount of electricity.
If you can run upstairs, 6 flights in 20 seconds, you have put out about 1 hp over this interval.
Hit the steps running.

I tried several times to do 2 hp on a cardio machine before I finally realized that the display does not go over 900w.
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:48 PM   #19
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Solutions for being "off grid"


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Assuming 100% efficiency, 1 Therm of energy can be had from 14,000 gal/min of water falling 10' for one hour.
But the efficiency goes way up (disproportionally) as the size of the turbines is increased. Or they wouldn't be such big believers of Hydro-power in Canada where they have an abundance of (natural) waterfalls. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:26 PM   #20
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Solutions for being "off grid"


Here in the UK there was a really good programme about power this last week.

It was called 'The Human Power Station' and it involved connecting bicycles to generators to power a house. At full pelt, they needed 80 cyclists to provide power for one four bedroom family home

Its available to watch online, but I'm not sure if you'll be able to see it outside of the UK. Here is the link to the BBC web site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bang/

Follow the link half way down the page to 'The Human Power Station'.

Edit: Just noticed, it's also available on YouTube:
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:03 PM   #21
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Solutions for being "off grid"


Current solar power production is approximately 10 watts per square foot, using commercially available panels. A common house service is 100A at 220V, meaning the maximum power draw would be about 22,000 watts. To service that wattage would require a 2200 square foot solar installation, and of course it would not generate any power at night, and the power output would be substantially reduced on cloudy or rainy days. Also, solar power is DC, so you need direct current devices, unless you install an inverter, which reduces overall efficiency.

One solution is to reduce the amount of power you need. In MA where I live in an 1800 sf house, my average bill is about $120 per month, at 18 cents per kwh (very expensive state for electricity), this means that I use a total of about 670kwh per month, or about 22kwh per day, which averages out to about 1000 watts. My peak use is probably about 4000 watts. To meet my peak use, you would need about 400 sf of solar panels.

With more energy efficiency, you could probably get down to 250 sf of solar panels. Unfortunately, with no cost effective way to store the excessive electrical energy you create, there is no simple way to compensate for the lack of power at night, when you need it the most (lighting, cooking, heating etc.). Plus the relatively high cost per kw for installed panels. Solar panels are simply not cost effective at this time.

The folks I know who live off grid heat with wood (very cost effective), and have a small generator for lights, television, computers, and small appliances. They cook with propane. As for hydropower, the cost to install and the complexity make it beyond the average homeowner, not to mention that you need a stream with decent drop to make it work.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:15 PM   #22
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Solutions for being "off grid"


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBoxwell View Post
Here in the UK there was a really good programme about power this last week.

It was called 'The Human Power Station' and it involved connecting bicycles to generators to power a house. At full pelt, they needed 80 cyclists to provide power for one four bedroom family home

Its available to watch online, but I'm not sure if you'll be able to see it outside of the UK. Here is the link to the BBC web site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bang/

Follow the link half way down the page to 'The Human Power Station'.

Edit: Just noticed, it's also available on YouTube:
The trick is to get cost-effective, clean power. That, it seems is next-to-impossible to achieve!
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:30 PM   #23
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Solutions for being "off grid"


Solar panels can be a cost effective way of producing electric
Especially on a DIY installation
A guy in NY installed his own panels & dropped his monthly bill $100-120 a month
He expects to break even in 2.5 years
Currently there is a 30% Govt Tax Credit on the cost thru 2016
There may also be State sponsored programs

Not a solution for being off-grid, but pretty good way of decreasing your electric bill long term

Reducing power usage should be the 1st step
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:26 AM   #24
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Solutions for being "off grid"


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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post

My peak use is probably about 4000 watts. To meet my peak use, you would need about 400 sf of solar panels.

Or you could install the panels for the baseline needs and run a generator for the peak. The trick would be getting it to fire up as needed.

A person could run a separate system for lighting, storing the output of the solar panels in SLA batteries. Then use a power inverter to make it 120v and run compact flourescents. Supposedly the inverter/cfl option is fairly efficient from the standpoint of how much light you get for how much power is consumed.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:29 AM   #25
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Local person has a 5kw system for sale for $10k
That's $7k after Govt Tax credit, wish I had the $$
Take less then 6 years to break even
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:02 AM   #26
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Solutions for being "off grid"


Living off grid is a good idea, but by far you had better to choose partly live off grid ideas. Before i build my homemade wind turbines, i am also look forward to find this solutions.but there were no practical alternatives at present. i use my homemade wind turbines as support of current home energy system, it not only reduce power bills by 60%-70% but also protect enviroment. it is also a good idea.


Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 12-24-2009 at 08:27 AM. Reason: removed links
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