Not sure what type of alternative energy you want to use for your home, then why not use a model to try them out before you make the final decision.
We found Power House:Experiments in Future Technics at Edmund Scientific’s Scientifics.This kit allows you to build a model home complete with solar panels, windmill, desalination system ,train , solar cooker and even a greenhouse. It also includes dozens of other solar experiments , an experiment manual for 90 activities.
Use the model to see how each of these alternatives functions is your homes environment to see which is ideal for where you are. Also it’s a great way to introduce your friends and neighbors to what you are planning to do. Being able to show a model of what is being planned helps others to understand them.
Edmund Scientific’s Scientifics also have a solar section that has everything from solar beads to panels, to cells, to workshops that help you understand and use solar power for yourself. Nothing here is large enough to power a home, but if you want to use this alternative energy getting to know it first is a plus.
If you are in the planning and research stage of making your home more self-sufficient then getting practical experience before making final decisions can be a great help. Paying for an alternative energy source that doesn’t fit well into your environment can cost you. Not only installation and parts, but if it cannot function up to your needs you will still be using energy off the grid, so you will be paying for both.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
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