Hello again friends, permit me to introduce myself. I’m a soon to be 42 year old single dad, of an 18 month old girl. Fate has recently landed me on a half acre on the outskirts of a small town, and I hope to double or triple the lot size. I have an ideal structure for chickens, and I’m thinking a self sufficient micro farm.
To me, off grid means just that, everything produced on site, no money going out for utilities. As for water it seems a good spot to sink a well, I’m just about where the river bottoms start rising to meet the hills. I’d also want to utilize water collection methods should we ever see the end of this drought. Being on sewer I’d either have to eat that bill or go septic tank, which having been a tank builder for a concrete contractor I’d have enough expertise to do.
I’d always had aspirations to build a straw bale house, but the home here is a fine little 2 bedroom bungalo, perfect for my daughter and I. Maybe I could encase it with bale walls eventually, but that’s for another day. So my primary concern is to generate my own power, via windmills and solar panels. This is an ideal location for both, there always being at the least a breeze, and it often being quite gusty. And even in times of no drought it seems sunny more often than not.
So that’s where the brain picking comes in. I’m wanting to know some affordable to free ways of getting a small windmill and solar panel system to generate enough juice to run the house. Like how many of each to power the home fully off grid, methods and plans for building them, or places to cheaply obtain them. I’d appreciate any input, and hope to hear from some fellow good souls.
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As for straw bale I feel that its not cheap unless you are producing your own straw bales. And in Missouri or Arkansas where I’m from you would want to be very careful about protecting the bales from moisture and water. Straw bales are better for an arid environment like the south west. I’m not saying that its not possible in our area though. Straw in our area might be better used in adobe or cob. Though you have to be very careful with those and water as well.
As for the cost of getting setup for off grid electric, dude its gonna cost you. You are better off getting on grid first and getting setup with backup generator (check http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com for two great generator pod cast recently) And then work your way into production of your own power as you go, starting with battery backup system, that your grid or generator can charge.
If you start off trying to power everything off grid with little money to invest you will be living very very primitive for a long time. If you want to do that then fine.
Good advice from caverdude. Just google for the do it yourself solar panel/wind generator making DVD with pamphlets. You can get the cost down to $37. They can be built(by someone with a few tools and sense) for as little as $1/watt when certified UL listed ones that will pass inspection are $1.85/watt on ebay–shipped.
I’ve seen pictures of good ones, and of garbage.
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