Media Workers and TV Researchers - Please seek permission before posting on this site or approaching individuals found here by phone or email - write to the Editor - mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Replies Created
July 18, 2012 at 12:00 am in reply to: How you design an off-grid home to deal with extreme heat #66518
It’s stone from our land.
I used pen and paper at first then once I’d got the solar panels up I used Sketchup to design the extension.
I’ll have a look at that other program, thanks.
IreneJuly 17, 2012 at 12:00 am in reply to: How you design an off-grid home to deal with extreme heat #66516
I don’t suppose 40°C (104°F) would be considered extreme heat by some of you but the house we built is nice and cool in the summer (And lovely and warm in the winter too !)
I have a set of photos in Flickr to show some of the principles we used to build the house.
Why not insulate your home better and introduce some shade on the south side of the house so that it become solar passive and you get the sun in the house in winter but not in summer ?
Have a look at these photos to see what I mean :
You could run some DC fans from a small solar array and you won’t need an inverter. The problem with wind generated power is that you probably don’t need a/c when the wind is blowing.
Salvor, have a look at some of these pages :
Herb, you’ve made a good start to your blog – you’re a good writer, keep blogging.
Best of luck !
HWHOctober 6, 2009 at 12:00 am in reply to: 12 Volt 2.5 amp South African medical freezer chest #64338
I don’t know the specific model (Why don’t you PM him and ask ?) At that consumption it sounds like a compression freezer a bit like these :
You can buy them all over the word but they’re expensive.
Matt, find out about the government scheme to give you a grant of 30% – probably only offered if you have your system supplied and fitted by a registered installer but check on this to find out if you can do it yourself !
Here’s one link :
Have a look on the ‘net for other suppliers and get an estimate from them within your budget.
Hi Matt – how exciting !
One thing you should consider if you have really strong winds is to get a dump load for the excess electricity from your wind generator. You can let the excess solar “float” but if you’re battery bank from the wind generator is full you risk a fire/explosion because the power has to go somewhere. The dump load can be electric water heating, space heating – anything logical really.
Have you worked out the output from solar and the output from wind over the year ? Try to balance the system so that you have contributions from both for cover you. Find a graph on the ‘net for the hours of sun over the year and the windspeeds over the year and superimpose them. That will help you (and us!) decide how you should spend your money.
Oh, just one thing, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are working on solar energy – contact them to find out if you could perhaps be part of their programme or get some sort of grant aid. They’ll also be able to help with data, suppliers and lots of other things. https://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=3068
Putting a well balanced system together can be complicated but it’s not difficult if you take one step at a time.
Good quality components are produced in northern Europe, but the Chinese can’t be beat for price and delivery. A lot of our equipment is Chinese and so far we’ve had no problems.
If you need practical help about sizes of cables, inverters, controllers etc. just ask.
The Steca is advertised as being very efficient and allegedly runs on 75 watts of solar:
Otherwise, why not try ways of keeping food fresh without electricity – using outside storage or a non insulated north wall, build yourself a cellar or salt or sterilise food ?
I use about twelve LEDs in out house but they’re not our main lighting source although they do help to make a room feel bigger and create a nice ambiance. You can use shades to soften the colour and I use red nail varnish – one thin coat to give a nice rosy glow and it wears well.
I wish we could post photos directly into this forum, but here are some links to give you some examples.
Here are some photos on my blog :
and some photos of LEDs lit with their wattage in the text mouseover in Flickr :
Why not start by putting an ad in the local farming press in Kentucky saying that you’re looking for a farm to share? Talk to local banks – they know when people are looking for outside investment or go and visit a few old-timers in farming areas and talk to them about your dream, they’ll know of people.
Have a look at this site for details of newspapers and journals:
There are people here from all over the world, so you’ll have to tell us where you live or where you want to relocate to.
We’re farming in France and from our experience, the sort of thing you’re looking for is possible with enough preparation and open discussion between the people involved.
“if you would be interested in helping us get a homesteader newspaper going we could sure use some articles and your place would be perfect for our featured front page homestead.”
I’m so sorry but I’ve already got far too much to do with the farm and building and gathering in all the veg to store for winter.
You’re very welcome to use anything in the blog – as long as you link back to it.
Yes, we live off grid too.
We built a small cabin and lived there for four year while we built the house where we live now. It seems to be a common theme that people who build cabins are off grid.
Our house isn’t finished yet, but it’s very comfortable and I try to add the details of our building projects, how we keep our animals, gardening and living off-grid updated in my blog.
We too are self-employed and have a small farm. We don’t make a “normal” living, people would laugh if they know what our income was! To be honest, we live really well thanks to our vegetable garden, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, foraging and hunting.
I try to share my knowledge too and I find the best way is to describe everyday living and develop “how to” sections in the blog. People are shy about asking for information but if you have it already on line they can dip in and help themselves when they’re ready.