Most solar panel installers follow conventional wisdom handed down from architects, which holds that in the northern hemisphere, windows and solar panels should face south.
This makes intuitive sense since it would seem to maximize the amount of sunlight a panel will get as the sun tracks from one horizon to the other. But it isn’t true, at least according to a single study of homes in Austin, Texas. The Pecan Street Research Institute found that homeowners who aimed their panels toward the west, instead of the south, generated 2% more electricity over the course of a day. (more…)
From what I have read, the underground house is often considered the holy grail of off grid living, it’s known to be warm in winter, cool in summer, making life more self sufficient for the occupants of the home. I ran across this video recently about a family creating an underground home, taking advantage of a former sandstone quarry, most of the “hole” their home would go in was already there. (more…)
Imagine taking a dip in your outdoor swimming pool in late October, even November as the ground hardens and the frost thickens. The steam is coming off of your heated pool, and its not costing you a cent – apart from considerable installation costs that is.
There are some design factors to be considered, including proper sizing and location. But there are many web sites to help you, as well as the off-grid technical forum for advice. It’s not imperative to have your solar pool heater configured and installed by experts. (more…)
Ever see an off grid pyramid? Well you are about to. This is the video story of Greg Grant, who began his off grid existence slow and small.
He didn’t put a lot of money into his project. What he had was land, lots of natural materials, a great bunch of talented and helpful friends, and a unique vision. He chose to make his off grid home out of short straw-bale walls, but with a steeply pitched, pyramid shaped roof. (more…)
Recent data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows that nearly 460,000 homes across the UK have solar panels installed, and that does not include off-grid homes, since these do not show up in official stats.
The data was released recently by DECC and published on the website of the Solar Trade Association (STA). It represents a combined peak capacity of 1.3GW, making domestic solar the largest sub-sector of the solar market.
The popularity of solar in the UK has largely resulted from huge subsidies that have now been scaled back. The result of intensive lobbying by the green movement, it has made a few companies super-profits and further enriched some wealthy householders, but done little to decarbonise Britain. (more…)
Ted Turner’s hunting and fishing resort, Vermejo Park Ranch, has installed a new $1 million solar system that will take the lodge off the power grid.
Turner, the 239th richest man in the US with a fortune of $2bn bought the 578,000 acre ranch in New Mexico in 1996. It stretches into Colorado and reportedly is one of the largest privately owned ranches in the country.
In 2007 Turner partnered with New Jersey-based Dome Tech Solar to create DT Solar, a renewable energy company focusing on solar power. (more…)
MANILA, Philippines – A hole-in-the-wall establishment in coastal Dumaguete City has a new come-on for its local and foreign tourist-diners, aside from food and brightly colored seats.
“You wanna take a look?” goes Mifune Japanese Restaurant’s teaser on its website. “Feel free to ask our waitresses to have a look in our back kitchen! Picture-taking is allowed. School classes, students, (and) researchers are welcome…. ”
The attraction? Three 1.5-liter plastic soft-drink bottles, filled with water and a little bleach, poke out of the restaurant’s back kitchen roof, illuminating the whole room without using electricity from morning till sundown.
The not-so-secret ingredient: The upper-half part of each plastic bottle juts out above the restaurant’s metal roof and catches sun light; the water’s refractive property then disperses the light 360 degrees inside the restaurant’s back kitchen, (more…)
Perhaps its because of the political structure, with powerful local government, but Germany’d centralised energy system is quickly dissolving.
Germany’s power companies are closing power plants and scrapping plans for new ones. The nation had a freak-out after the Fukushima disaster and decided to abolish nuclear power by 2023. Meanwhile, energy prices continue to sink, and solar installation continues to grow. By decentralizing power generation, the renewables boom could do to the power industry what the internet did to the media: put power in the hands of the little guy, and force power companies to rethink how they do business.
As soon as the sun comes out, that is. (more…)
Whether you live off grid or in a regular home, you need light. With the right number and position of windows, you can get along just fine during the day, but once the sun goes down, you start needing some sort of lighting. Fortunately today there are lots of options for those of us who live off grid. (more…)
Have you decided to go off the grid and looking to make the move?
We can help you find the ideal off-grid community and want to film you as you make the transition.
If you’re interested, submit a short video (3 minutes) .here: http://www.off-grid.net/videos/ - in the video give answers to the questions below:
Can you tell us about yourself - work, home etc?
Where you live now – city and country – and where you want to live? Why you want to make this move now?
What will be hardest to leave behind?
What you most look forward to leaving behind?
Who will be making the move – just you/ friends/ family etc?
What could you offer your off the grid community i.e. special skills/ resources?
If you are already off the grid, would you like to host a family of newbies as we film them beginning their off-grid life? Can you write up your own experiences and contact us? Or can you handle a video camera?Please send us your videos and photos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site.
Do you rely on your own healing powers when you are ill? Or is there an unqualified nurse in your local community?
We want to hear from people who do their own doctoring - using their own herbs and remedies, setting their own broken bones, dealing with their own bodies.
Why do you do it? How do you do it? Contact email@example.com
Off-Grid.net is investigating the Utility companies --power, water and waste.
Do the water companies conceal their knowledge of the pollution of the water supply? Do the power companies conceal the wasted energy inside the system, and their excessive profits?
We need help to find the smoking guns: memos, SEC filings,confidential legal advice internal emails..... send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity guaranteed
Can you handle a video camera? Or a cellphone camera that can upload to our youtube channel?
We are looking for people who currently live off-grid anywhere in the world, and for people who want to live off-grid and are about to do so. This might be in a community or an individual situation
Please send us your videos and photos - you can upload videos on off-grid.net/videos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site. Contact email@example.com
An interactive map showing who wants to go off-grid , and where they are, and who has land on offer.
How it works