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Home Forums General Discussion How to get started in going off grid

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  elnav 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #36684

    elnav
    Member

    All too often people begin with a vision but without any real sense of what is involved. This leads to early disillusionment, but if they had understood the elements of required planning steps, the disappointment could be avoided. The geographic characteristics of the intended area must be understood. For exampl: here it is mid June and the last two nights had frost which would be a killer for many food crops and a disaster for anyone intending to depend on self grown food. Our latitude also plays a part. Solar panels will not yield as much power as places much further south. Apart from the fact we have 16 hours of darness in winter, we do have long daylight hours in summer. However here the sun rises in the north east and sets in the north west. A fixed solar panel would have its back to the sun for many daylight hours if it was oriented pointing due south as per most recommendation. Now that is not something mentioned in any of the solar power books I have looked at.

    In other words anyone planning to go solar should be careful and do their homework first.

    #40814

    ReBoot2009
    Participant

    Agreed! Way too many people buy the solar panels first, then try to figure out what to do with them. This is “ass-backwards”! I recommend that you first calculate your current energy usage. Then you start to figure out how to drop that current number as low as you can. This is critical. Sustainable living is about reducing energy dependence, then figuring out how to generate the power you need, NOT the power you want. The geography has a lot to do with your planning. For example: Where I live we depend more on wind and hydro kinetic generation than solar. Yet I see people (too often) who move up here and invest several thousand dollars on solar collectors just to find their investment is largely wasted. They usually don’t admit it but we know how often we here their gasoline generator fired up.

    #40815

    elnav
    Member

    Reboot wrote: I see people (too often) who move up here and invest several thousand dollars on solar collectors just to find their investment is largely wasted. They usually don’t admit it but we know how often we here their gasoline generator fired up.

    Comment:

    While speaking to a battery dealer in Dawson in the Yukon I learned that solar and gasoline generators were the preferred off grid power sources. Nobody used wind. I asked why and he said. Have you looked at our geography? Oooh yeah.Right! The rivers carved deep canyons into the land and people put their houses down in the canyon close to the water. Makes sense. but these same canyons block the natural prevailing winds. This leaves most homesteads windless except for when hurricane force winds get funneled by the canyons. This too much for the wind turbines.

    Now I find myself living in the same situation. High hill to the east block the sun for the first three hours of daylight and thee hills block almost all winds. Meanwhile the only water course is designated fish habitat and the wildlife protection officers will not permit any isort of hydro-electric installations. Even those that do not block fish movement because current regulations for bid ANY sort of development. I cringe whenever I see all those kilowatt hours go rushing by untapped.

    Even when using gasoline generators ther is a smart way and a dumb way to use them. But most people are not interested in saving money on fuel it seems. At least that is the conclusion I have reached when I see then ignoring good advice. I do have one client in Turkey who is listening. Ae will see how well it works.

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