Living off grid interview
by WRETHAOFFGRID on JANUARY 9, 2014 - 17 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, PEOPLE, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

03I watched this video just a few days ago, it shows how someone can live off grid without living in a primitive manner, of course this takes money, it’s a tradeoff, it’s possible to go off grid on the cheap, my hubby and I are proof that this possible. But if you do have some money to invest, you can live every bit as “normal” as anyone else who lives on grid.

02

I had to laugh when the lady doing the interview, Patty Kim from energyNOW! asked “How do you go from the sun, billions of miles away…”

Billions of miles??? I suppose she was absent in class the day they taught about our solar system, or perhaps it’s the “new math”. At any rate, it’s an interesting interview, showing some of the technology used, leaning more toward the household gadgets they use. I would be interested in seeing more about his setup, beyond the solar array outside, how many and what type of batteries does he use? How long do his batteries last? How many times has he changed them out…. things like that. Here is the video, enjoy!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgEpzWfrFyU

Thanks to markp1950 for bringing this video to my attention.



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17 comments

1 markp1950 { 01.10.14 at 12:03 am }

If you notice, some people have been doing that for 20 years. Those panels in the first part of the movie seem to be very old. Like 20 years old. If I would go off grid, it would almost certainly have to be that way. Heck, I’m 63 years old, and not in the mood for chopping wood. At 80 it would be a real pain. Reducing the size of the living space would reduce the costs considerably. And it seems that some new solar panels will be on the way soon, that will boost power considerably. If they come out with 500-700 watt panels, that would reduce the amount of roof real-estate. 8 panels x 500W x 4 sun hours=16 KWH. Now if I had a pot to piss in I would go out and do that… :-) Do a google search for luxury off grid homes.

2 markp1950 { 01.10.14 at 7:13 am }

How you can do it, really depends on where you live. People in California have it much easier. in LA they get 5.79 sun hours per day, and never below zero. Up northeast and north central it is entirely possible to have -20 for days, and sometimes have no sun days for a few days. I would be the crazy enough, not only want to power my house, I would want to power the car too. AND maybe a ATV. Habitat is creating net zero homes, which are 1 step from an off grid home.

3 markp1950 { 01.10.14 at 1:31 pm }

Back again… One of the houses there is a 20 year old set up… Here is a more modern kit.
This house
http://steamwebserver.com/~zeronrgp/zero-energy-home-plans-gallery-nrgrc-4.php
Add an off grid power kit
http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solarpowersystems/large-home-7-off-grid-solar-power-system.html
And add batteries….
And you have a nice off grid home……

4 Wretha { 01.10.14 at 1:54 pm }

Mark, I was with you until this, wow is it EXPENSIVE! I’m talking about the power kit, I don’t know of many people who have that kind of money to drop into a solar system…

5 markp1950 { 01.10.14 at 7:01 pm }

Yes, that is for the off grid kit. A regular solar system might be lower. It could be blended into the cost of the house & mortgage. I did list the bigger system. 24panels x 250W x 4 sun hours= 24KW hrs per day. With the cost of a house per sqft, knocking off 200sqft on the hose would pay for it. And remember the system will deliver 20 years and more down the road. In my inefficient house I had my usage mellow 18KW per day. But I would probably plane bigger than I need. Just for safety. And for now, you can get tax credits too, which will lower the price of the system.
This one would get you 15.9 KW per day.
http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solarpowersystems/large-home-2-off-grid-solar-power-system.html
Remember, before rebates.
For those that do have the money, the house with 36 full panels, delivering 36KW per day. Assuming using 18KW used per day, leaving 18KW for an electric car, 300W per mile, 60 miles per day, or 21,000+ miles per year.
And the cost is dropping.
It is still the best way to go off the grid, and the true independence. Now for me to win the lottery… :-) Or for my SLTD stock to come through….

6 markp1950 { 01.10.14 at 7:11 pm }

One other point, with those houses listed, you will be getting NO utility bills. That will help with the affordability. Just go through the options listed and find something affordable.

7 Wretha { 01.10.14 at 7:15 pm }

I can say, from experience that not having a utility bill is nice, more than nice, it allows me to live like I do and not have to earn a huge paycheck to do it… :)

8 markp1950 { 01.10.14 at 9:33 pm }

While I’m not off the grid yet, I have the knowledge to do it right. When I talked to my wife about living off the grid, from watching TV, all she imagined was peeing in a bucket or going to the outhouse. Not my style. :-) We live in an apartment right now, and all I pay is cable and electric. I have the power bill pretty great now. While the price of a power system might be high, compared to the price of real estate and housing. If I ever have a chance to be in a house again, I will be supplying my own power. If I am connected to the grid, I will produce more power than I get. For the price of my rent and utilities I could get a pretty nice place.
The first house/solar system iI showed was a higher end place. Which is what the video was about, living well off the grid. Imagine what they paid for the system 20 years ago.

9 Wretha { 01.10.14 at 9:42 pm }

LOL, I do pee in a bucket :) It’s not as terrible as one might think…

10 Ro { 01.11.14 at 8:19 am }

Have a look at Ben Laws house in England.

11 markp1950 { 01.11.14 at 10:44 am }

Peeing into a bucket might not be so bad, but getting rid of it is worse… :-)

12 Rod Borghese { 01.11.14 at 12:59 pm }

You could live in the black Pearl. It is for sale!

13 Wretha { 01.11.14 at 1:12 pm }

Not at all, when you have some acreage to spread it, actually urine from a healthy person is perfectly fine to use as a fertilizer, you just dilute it to about a 10% solution, it’s full of all the goodies that plants love. :) We have a “pee chute” in the shower area, it’s a PVC pipe with a larger funnel and a top, it goes out away from the sky castle a bit, we pee in a pitcher and pour it down the pee chute, every once in a while we pour some water down it to keep it rinsed… it goes to the same place where our shower water goes so the nearby plants and trees don’t get too much urine…

14 markp1950 { 01.13.14 at 12:57 am }

Here is one of the nicer OG places…
http://www.telegram.com/article/20140112/NEWS/301129990/1237

15 grizzly { 02.14.14 at 9:13 pm }

it’s good to see that there are many taking it upon them selves to be less dependent on the system ..something I have been working towards as well. I was in the trades for 30 years till my vision started failing and was left to go legally blind for lack of medical insurance..but I never gave up and started bartering with others to build my system and managed to acquire 18 used solar panels to get me started and my friends always are looking for battery’s that I can desulfate. its alway fun going through old junk to see if it can be re purposed or scavenged for parts..for the most part everything in my system was someone else’s throw away..a new addition was a home made hot water loop in our wood stove that cycles through an old truck radiator I fitted into a wood cabinet and with an old dual blade window fan mounted behind it..it puts out more heat than i’ll ever need..and on the return flow it also heats our hot water through a heat exchanger I made from forced hot water base board fitted in a 4 foot length of steel pipe pipe..it works quite well…when u dont have any money creativity is a virtue..lol..and when u can see worth crap…learning patients was the hardest..

16 Wretha { 02.15.14 at 2:11 am }

Grizzly, I shot you an email with a reply & question :)

Wretha

17 grizzly { 03.03.14 at 10:47 am }

sent ya a reply wretha, sry bout the delay..also sent ya some pic’s of my wood stove hot water system and answered ur questions on batterys

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