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This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 7 years, 8 months ago.
July 24, 2010 at 1:51 am #36696
HELP! Im moving to New Brunswick in the spring, and I would like to convert a small house to off grid. Does anyone out there know any pros in NB who can help me? I know about the composting toilets, and am planning on living with well water and wood heat for the house…as for other power needs…has anyone ever done a solar/wind combo? How easy is it to convert an existing system from NB Power…any other thoughts??July 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm #40858
NB covers a lot of geography. Are you deep in the woods or close to shore?July 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm #40862
I’m looking to purchase along the highway from St Joh to St Andrews…looking for cleared propertyJuly 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm #40867
Back to your original question. You can convert an conventional house to living off grid. and yes it is possible to use a combination wind and solar. Question is how deep are your pockets? I only ask this by way of guiding you in making wise purchases. Ther are many start-up companies wanting to cash in on ‘going solar” their real concern is their wallets not yuor pocket book.
Since you are likely to get a property already connected to NB Power I have a strategy for you that could work while not leaving you stranded in the dark.
See further down.
Wood heat is good. If you have a wish for an unattended home you can safely leave overnight; a pellet burning stove is a good choice because it has a small electric control that automatically feeds more pellets as required. Outdoor boilers use whole pieces and typically can run 24 hours in between loads but they do have forced draft for better efficiency. This requires hydro and the circulating water pump runs 24/7 for best effect. The sssmall pumps draw 125 watts and the bigger model onsumers 173 watts. Over a 24 hour period this does add up.
Wind power is likely to be good unless you pick a property shelterred by trees and or hills. This would be less costly than solar on a dollar per watt bassis. Canadian tire sells a wind turbine so you can go look and see it for your self but a lower cost of the same or better model can be had by direct purchase from south West wond products. what you see in store is only one model from one reseller. A better choice looks exactly the same but is called the ‘Breeze’ and puts out 24V. Email me if you really want a technical explanation or browse South West Wind Power website for details and explanations. Solar is fine but in most cases cost more $$ per watt than aaany other form. It is possible to combine power into one battery bank but no one controller can do all jobs equally well.
If you get a place already connected to NB Power don’t throw out th ebaby with the bath water. Stay connected but you do not necessarily have to used it. Billing is by metered use so if you use very little you pay very little. There is a class of inverter that combines charging and inverting into one unit. It has an internal transfer switch so you can switch from your own generated power to utility power in the event you used up your own power and the wind died or its night time and sssolar simply doesn’t work.
The only modification needed in your electrical panel is the adddition of a double pole breaker to feed the inverter and of course a sub panel for all the loads you intend to power off grid. Depending on how handy you are and how confident you are about doing electrical work you could even do it yourself.
In preparation for going off grid get a Kill-a-Watt meter and learn how much power you actually use for each appliance you have.August 25, 2010 at 7:52 am #40962
Does this mean I win the book, Off Grid ? :)Can’t seem to find any info on where on Land Buddy to post for the book draw ? So I’ll start here
O.k..Back ground..I’m a hybrid as opposed to mongrel and we rock. Mixed race, two of which being aboriginal, Cree and Ojibwa.
From the first spring of my birth in 1948, I have enjoyed forest living. Camping in a tent. Running near naked in bathing suits as free as a kid could be in summers. It gets into ones blood. That sense of freedom and careless abandon, blissful happiness.
As the years passed by and ageing progresses we refine our approach to camping. It all plays a part in this evolutionary journey of man to simplicity.
I’m not going to cover all the ways of living off grid or sustainability. I expect to find that in the book you will send me, moderators. Time runs out. being the only poster can work for ya.(I was on the wrong site :)may STIll be, hint )
My trip is focused on the past 6 years. It’s not perfect nor for everyone. It works for me.
I’m disabled some what from long years of hard work, accidents, head and neck injuries, no fault arthritis, some days I am really ugly from the constant pain. I don’t use any analgesics.I found by accident, itself, that activity heals and relieves pain, now a dictum in many therapeutic circles and I say good one.
Since my early teens, I have been interested in, first, gold panning, then built a small rocker box and it actually worked ! Finding gold is another matter and requires some reading and practical experience implementing ones knowledge, which evolves over years into instinctive knowing. a source of nearly free wealth makes things possible by lowering the cost factor. Thats a natural native way of being. True, there is no free ride I know of. But nearly free is acceptable and fun.
Subsistence is no less living than occupation or employment, just different. Energy is expended just getting out of bed every day. Foods are for me, usually best cooked but not always. Sushi, still needs to be caught and processed, labor=energy.
Flash forward to today a moment and I’ll outline where I’m at and how I got here. Which for honesty sake I will admit is a very nice 2 bedroom apartment in a city, for a while yet.
The city to me is death. I hate the city life. I don’t relate well to city people. Not hostile but, seldom able to relate on many levels to the neon and nylon way. Socially, I support our safety nets etc. Pensions and guaranteed income supplements for seniors etc. After all I contributed to them for a life time so enjoying the benefits is a right and earned. We don’t toss used up nation builders to the wolves as some under 35 idealogogues today would have it, very nasty and mercenary approach to human relations.
Situations are often unchangeable for many of us without a great deal of money and time, work, thought, planning, plain good luck etc.
SO we innovate, thats what a human being does, he innovates, adapts. Survives.
Given a small pittance to live on we must get maximum bang for our .94 cent CAD bucks.
Things like 40 years ago having a large family, I and my buds would go out cruising the bush roads and country roadson week ends away from the mad house and Mrs, for beer bottles and cans, pop bottles, and when we had enough to cash in and buy a couple cases of beer, a jug of wine and some pot, we’d then cruise around the bush roads getting completely smashed..go fishing, hunting, what ever our little hearts and minds desired, chasing women I’m talking stupid youth here dangerously so.
We acquire skills through our jobs, apprenticeships, personal study even hobbies like gold panning can lead to a seasonal careers in the industry later in life, we survive and grow. Placer miners make obscene pay.
My trip was resource industries, I’m guilty of clear cutting mountain sides for for my pay, grub and gas etc. I’m guilty of tearing at the guts of the earth 3,650 ft below ground. I’m guilty of oil spills and fossil fuel pillaging for my bacon and my families comfort. I refined my employment routine, switching from each resource as the seasons dictated and economies grew or faltered.
All part of the journey toward sustainability and awareness growing into a behavior changing evolution into a tree hugger and environmental activist way of being. Hold on, I smell fresh coffee brewing B.R.B.:0)
Yes, so, all things being equal, mm, great cuppa Joe, this is the path I followed becoming who I am today. Many native elders, over the years on reservations I frequented always provided good educations in sustainability. Lore, methodologies, how to gut moose etc. How to start a fire in the rain not using 5 gallons of gas :0) Where to get drinking water that won’t make one sick.
What foods to eat and how to prepare them. Practical things.
Kids grow up and leave home. Demands on time and finances dwindle. Then we pass through the who am I now phase of reinventing the self.
The first thing I did when my angst passed and a new vigor entered my being at the prospects opening up to me, was to go directly to gold panning again..I have some experience as a paid by the hour placer miner as well, learned a few tricks of the trade, it all fits together easily.
Today I have a couple note books filled with names of creeks that pay well.
I bought an older travel trailer, damaged and a steal of a deal. Renovated it, repaired the outer shell damage, new ceiling, tore off the busted grey water tank, rewired a bit, paint, roof repairs, it is my self sufficient palace now when I’m out there hunting up some color.
I added 3 pv panels from Canadian Tire at 99 bucks a pop..cheap and very efficient, the batteries cost a small fortune for 6, deep cycle models, a necessary evil :0)
Eventually over the 6 years of saving and spending wisely I have 3 generators from 6250 watts, 1500 watts, and 900 watts, it currently cooked.
I have a battery charger from CT, a metal detector from CT, G.P.S. from Pawn Shop Super Store tools, chain saw, couple computers I use to fly the creeks via Google files, very helpful in locating interesting geology.
I added a common medium sized wood stove and insulated piping. I then lined the stove with heat tolerating conglomerate stone.. gold bearing to.
In fact its loaded with all sorts of interesting little goodies from the bowels of our earth, I hope to process it this fall, do more roof repairs, I go to rugged places, thats why the older tank model..tough.
I have sewer pipes for running to a septic sump.
I split my batteries into one system but on separate switching so always have 3 fully charged batteries for lights and any 12 volt appliances.
Also heavily insulated the ceiling too.
My stone lined hearth uses about 2 board feet of wood every 4 hours, basically two normal hand fulls of 1 or 2 inch twigs..a small burning chamber well controlled combustion. The rock heats quite quickly, for perspective 6 large candles will heat the place in mid winter in about 2 hours, 1/2 hour is shirt sleeves and sweater warm. Once the stone is hot I can crash early, about 9.30 pm and it is still toasty at 5 am.. so getting up is not a screaming ordeal. Warm floor, hot water for the wash up, tea, porridge etc. Generator for hot plate when in a hurry. Space heater too. TV OK OK get over it… not always able to pick up anything but one sided cell phone calls under the right conditions.. we pass the time.
I load on grub, enough for months, gas, oils, treat river water from mountains with vinegar and have yet to get sickened by it.
I don’t drive due to my injuries, momentary black out twice while driving, ran a red light and luckily no traffic or pedestrians. That did it. Shoulder checks are out, driving is finished for me. Which means another necessary evil, having my trailer towed to my chosen sites. beerocracies make sure I move every 14 days.. but I’m kinda cagey and have vays of dealing vis zem.
So, I’m getting to it
After I outfitted myself for comfort..toilet where i sit and giggling, do my business.. sorry, decades of crapping behind a tree have warped my sense of humor a tub and shower, cabinets, mirrors, wow.. luxury.! Kitchenn is big but not wasted space either.
I still have to vet my water system and do a complete electrical check once I am ..here it comes..able to go off grid.
That will be around March 2012. After a few years of searching out cheap lands in Canada, saving my dough, I found the perfect opportunity, I thought. It wasn’t. Red tape by the rolls dealing with alterations of wet lands. Permits and costs and intimidating fines told me to swap properties, a part of the long distance purchase plan, vendor finances, and is a top notch human being to deal with.
I swapped the offending property for a smaller but much more usable and easily developed home place. Has a creek, lots of trees, berries, and gold moose pass by and come when they are called like bad tempered big dogs. Deer too. Fowl. Wild life not found in downtown scenes until quite recently due to man’s encroaching ways.. and I’m guilty there too.. but not a hunter any more, very quiet, disturb as little as possible.
I’m about 629 ft above sea level. Previously, the swamp is in a flood plain. I had hopes of cranberry farming or blue berries, also wanted to buy and set up a solar concentration array to sell power back to the local power authority. Forget that. red tape. no indemnity for their damage to your sytem and ta kill ya demands for damage to theirs, low payouts, extreme costs and hardware on top of solar arrays costing about 800 bucks a square meter x 1400 meters.. call Bill Gates on that on, I’m a few million short.
Ill build my own roof top system and just enjoy the convenience of hot water heat and nearly free power.
There are smaller tube type solar collectors from a W.S.E. Saskatoon for about 400 bucks that will heat a work shop sized building, like my travel trailer and others a bit larger for a quonset building with fans at greater costs but viable for farmers so its a good deal at minus 60 degrees the temp is 68 indoors.
So..stay simple and keep costs down and efficiency high folks, its out there.
In 2 years I will have paid the mortgage off and will move my camp to the site., there’s a rough road I can fix by hand in a few hours, good sites for solar, continental weather and 40 minutes to an ocean.If the planet rolls over and the big wave comes, then I will be happy to be dyin there. :0) paradise.
You have guessed I’m not saying where I am. Nothing personal, I just want it that way for now, but New Brunswick is the Province.
I bought gold and silver and diamonds too for easily converted assets and barter if the hyper inflation hits or depression worsens.. yes depression.. we in it now.. govt/corporate or corporate/govt, political jargon is designed to deceive.
Add a compound bow and bleeders for pest control or hunting if the economy collapses, pensions evaporate etc etc. Also a few propeller wind driven generators to supplement the p.v., small type..low wattage/amperage..my power use is minimal.
I can say I’m so comfy in my palace in the trees that I am agonizing over the next 2 years just layin low and payin down the small mortgage, 14 acres for under 18 grand, breath taking views, great like minded neighbors, close to several centers providing all one needs.
Add a quad for transport, I’m home.
No gas bills, minimal gasoline expenses offset by the no gas and power and water bills etc..taxes 50 to 100 buck a year..close to other geological areas of great interest to me. Great resource sites of govt., its a blast.
I will build a log home, ranch style. A root cellar. Dig a well, put up fencing for a milker and a fatted steer, bring in a horse or 2 for company smarter than most people.:0) Have my Tom Cat Mr Boots too. Ol Maw may join me, she’s ok here in our seniors apartment with home care available so I can get away summers. Do my thing.
Mother Earth News is online and great source of cost effective ways to get off grid..check out soil block homes, methane stills for fuel. Home built roof top solar arrays for hot water heat.. 160 * in winter/ summer..
Log homes have surplus R values and can’t be beat.. naturally fire resistant..strong..last a century. Poplar is best for that. Hardens up like iron and has nice coloration, finding straight ones takes keen eye.
can be adapted using chain saw techniques.
I think thats about it in a nut shell..no not my trailer
Go for it. Be happy. Be free-ish..live the dream. Screw the energy giants. Get crafty. Produce and consume your own goods, sell or barter the excess. Move to the country, eat a lot of peaches, try’n find Jesus on yer own.. go John. I’m spiritual not religious..
Ok look forward to readin that book
peace out.. WillAugust 25, 2010 at 7:58 am #40963
OK. I decided to take a chance..this is the site for the very good land deals and vendor financing..have a look at New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, Canada. If you find some thing you like and will be doable then follow contact instructions and give Steve a call or email. Compared to banks he’s a better deal.
http://www.wolterlands.com Enjoy. WillAugust 25, 2010 at 8:07 am #40964
AnonymousAugust 25, 2010 at 9:11 am #40965
Well, I’m a night owl. old age thing Now I’m thinkin about ways to get off grid..I have one workable way..staking placer gold claim..any mineral claim, rare earth elements etc.. going to be a valuable holding, used in electronics..is big land holding..about 500 ft by 1000 ft both sides of claim..differs province to province..is not expensive deal.. See NB Sustainable resources mines or some such..where ever you are working from..see the schedule of fees etc.. cheap..
requires a minimal amount of work per year to legitimize the claim..study up on mining act won’t kill ya might put you to sleep. :)Read up on placer gold prospecting.. go out and pan around.. license is like 10 bucks I think in NB. Put the new knowledge to work..not about getting rich here, is about getting free..maybe supplementing the income with a little color.. might make you rich but that usually just makes us miserable worrying about all that dough.. enough is always best.
Ok so you locate property that is open for staking.. read assessment reports for area.. can be very interesting read, even historical info there..
then you go out physically put your posts up.. the initial steps are all easily completed on line with credit cards or money orders in NB.. time is always a factor..get the license..more people all the time getting the idea too. Corporate pillagers tie up thousands of acres.. which chokes me up..greed is so ugly.
I’m guilty of hoping for this deep depression to arrive.. I’m ready.. I do commiserate with the people tho..might be good tho to lose then rediscover values.. like freedom, no stress living and healthful home grown foods etc.. new beginnings are exciting..material is just stuff. Money will be worthless after North American Union hits us between the eyes..savings wiped out.. it’s the NWO plan of corporate governance.. our politicians are shyster owned.
Multi parties one head.. one agenda.. pad their existence at the cost of our country and freedoms.. the people sleep..well some maybe most..
get out of the cities.. what happens when stores are empty and no one is eating for days.. riots.. looting worse..Harpers prison planet under the republican tutors.,financed and trained by Bush Neocons to gut the country piece by piece and said as much after Kelowna Accord.. on the corporate media..then he shut them up..we in deep doodoo.. he gets majority govt it’s all over. he’s running a scam to appear the benevolent leader..he’s a traitorous dangerous dictator.. taking orders from corporate towers . I’m done.
SO it’s important to know the facts, see the trends and predict the future.. easy with Gerald Celente’s site, Trends Research Foundation.. he’s on it.
Don’t let fear set you up for night mares..take action get out of the city..as far as is possible in groups if possible.. lay low let the zombies devour each other not you and yours, getting to your food supplies and what ever else the want..it’s a serious threat, among many serious threats.
Once you have your claim then you are set for about 14 years i alberta and is similar every where, you can park a trailer.. build a cabin or home but no permanent foundations..shoot moose, fish..use trees.. build 2 or 3 holding ponds and recycle your water..keep it small and simple avoid big deposits for completions.. thats putting it all back as it was at your expense..so small.. small minimal water usage.. have to check the actual size of machinery allowed etc.. no oil spills etc.. care.. riparian areas protected..so study up..make a simple plan and do it. You are good for a long time and can have garden. Produce products from trees..use in operation.
I have 3 mining acts clogging up my brain and serious head injury 2 years ago too, but healing pretty good.
All this mainstream slavery is going down.. the it will be a corporate global govt… more lost saving from global currency.. 2o cents on a dollar.. serious business enslaving people..then a chip implanted and no cash society.. already using in parts of USA.. get ready.it’s even uglier but that’s the gist.
Mineral maps online to view..seems the outer edge of NB is best bet. Check it out..you can always have a neighbor miner punch a hole for couple hundred bucks with his small or large cat, takes 5 minutes..assessment done for the year. and sluice that in small outfit.. high banker etc.. its a good bet.
Good luck.. WillAugust 25, 2010 at 9:45 am #40966
Float house..sheltered cove.. lake..earth shelter excellent..only need make up 26 degrees approx as down about ? 5 to 8 ft stays at 48 degrees all year..small fire place heats the home..half dozen candles work. Trom walls..concrete wall in front of large insulated windows..emanates heat all night absorbed during the day. painted black..It’s more money but if you got it spend it.
Converted 40 ft boat. The container house.. lots of innovative ways to stay warm and safe..
Have fun with it..it’s a very fulfilling walk to secure a future in uncertain times and end up laughing while the world goes to Himmel in a hand basket.
Just knowing I have a home no matter what happens, that don’t kill ya, it’s a very nice feeling. No bridge work home for this ol dog :0)
Self defense is also a serious need in hard times. Take care of that any way you can.
Not goin there
I have 14 acres, and I am not afraid to open it up for a select small group to call home..to be family and act like family.. we do not feed on each other.
We are a co operative group or no group. I do have sons and daughters too will need a home possibly. But I would consider in native fashion, adopting a few people into my family if they are gentle spirited yet warriors when needed. It’s a lot of work too and compromise is important while elders rule benevolently, just as in past days when native culture was not a blight as we are on the planet. Hardly a foot print.NO drugs or booze beyond sensible usage. That can result in disaster and will not wash. Reason guides us.
I don’t like the majority of intentional communities i have checked out..seem to be simply opportunists trying to make money off the participants and are sketchy about details and legal protections. I doubt i have seen them all certainly but saw enough to cause me to go my own way.
2012 is my tentative jump off point..Start now and be ready to move then..I have no concrete ideas or plans for community but open to discussion. Or simply continue alone with hopes for family to see the light, which seems to be happening lately
I think ideally for me at least one mature lady with skills and a big love for me would be a cherished addition here.. Not gettin any younger .:0)
Divorced 22 years now. Gets a little lonely out there gals.
Anyways.. seems like a great site..things are happening faster every day in the off grid ideal. Good one !
peace out.. Will
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