Introduction to Renewable Energy Systems

off grid power Nov 10, 2020

Before jumping into this post on renewable energy systems,  first read a related post on 35 Ways to Save Electricity .  Most importantly this previous post will help you to first learn about saving energy. Because that concept is vital in your quest to produce your own electricity. That post emphasizes a very important concept.

It is far easier to save energy than it is to produce it. 

After you read that post, it is time to move on to the topic of renewable energy systems. Realize that this post is simply a very basic introduction. This is a very in depth topic.  However, I hope this will get your creative mind moving. There are several ways to produce your own electricity. Hence, if you decide to do so, you will take one more step toward being self reliance. But first, let’s discuss the topic of fossil fuels. 

Are Fossil Fuels a Sustainable Source of Energy?

Big business and governments are uneasy about the concept of transitioning away...

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Micro Hydro Power

off grid power Nov 10, 2020

If you have the desire to live off the grid, one of the first considerations should be how you plan on powering your life. Even if you have no desire to live off the grid, you should still consider having an alternative source of power. When it comes to homesteaders and off grid folks, most settle on some sort of renewable energy system. As you probably already know, there are several potential options for powering your home.  The most common options are solar, wind, and micro hydro.  

At first the concept of renewable energy my seem very simple.  After all, how difficult can it be to put up a few solar panels and charge some batteries? Right? The truth of the matter is that it depends. If you want to power a few lights, then the whole process is very simple. However, if you want to power an entire home, that is a different story altogether. 

I use to think along these same lines until I took some advanced classes on renewable energy. As a result, I then returned...

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35 Ways to Save Electricity

Uncategorized Nov 10, 2020
Electricity or not? That is the question.  I lived without it for about 16 years at my off-grid cabin. Hence, I know from personal experience that it is very possible to do so and at the same time be very comfortable. I also know from personal experience how happy I was when my solar electric system went online. All of a sudden I found myself thinking of ways to save electricity. 
 

The cost of renewable energy has continued to decline over the past decade. It has become so affordable that is just makes good sense to invest in it and give yourself a little more security. In fact, the long term outlook is that the cost of energy provided by power plants driven by fossil fuels is expected to far out pace the cost of renewable energy.  Therefore, if you truly want to establish some level of self sufficiency and personal security, then take the time to learn something about renewable energy and the many benefits.  

But before we get started on this topic,...

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14 Ways to Cook Without Using Your Kitchen Stove

Imagine a scenario where a major storm comes through your area and the utility grid is non-functional for days to weeks. Numerous trees are down and blocking the road. It is impossible to make it to a supermarket. In fact, you cannot even make it out of your driveway.  

How do you think you would manage?

Some people relish the idea of going off grid. Others would never even think about it.  However, when a major storm rolls through your area and cuts off all basic utilities, you are now off grid whether you like it or not. 

Learn From My Experience of Cooking Without My Stove

I have experienced such a scenario multiple times in my life. This is because I’ve lived in several areas that are prone to severe weather.  But, because I was prepared for such events, being off grid was only a minor inconvenience. Each time it was similar to having a camping trip except for the fact that I was still at home.  It was good practice for what I call “camp...

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Rain Water Collection

water supply Nov 10, 2020

Being in control of your water supply is imperative. There are multiple ways that this can be accomplished. For some great examples, read some of my other posts.  In addition,  rain water collection is a fantastic way to accomplish this even if you live in the the city.  As you will learn from the information below, there is a lot more to this than simply putting out a rain barrel, that is if you are serious about collecting water.  There is a lot of information here to digest.  Enjoy!

Table of Contents

1) A SHORT HISTORY OF RAIN WATER COLLECTION
2) WHAT IS RAIN WATER COLLECTION?
3) BENEFITS OF RAIN WATER COLLECTION
4) DISADVANTAGES OF RAIN WATER COLLECTION
5) HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR RAIN WATER COLLECTION
6) LEGALITIES OF RAIN WATER COLLECTION
7) METHODS OF RAIN WATER COLLECTION
8) GENERAL TIPS FOR SETTING UP A RAIN WATER COLLECTION SYSTEM
9) COMPONENTS OF A RAIN WATER COLLECTION SYSTEM
10) FINAL WORDS ON RAIN WATER COLLECTION

A Short History of Rain Water...

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58 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead

money matters Nov 10, 2020
Many people have the desire to get away from the rat race of society. Along with that desire, many people also want to  live a more calm and peaceful life and perhaps have a homestead. Despite that desire, you still have to have a way to earn a living. Fortunately, modern technology provides us with many ways to work remotely. Additionally, there are also many ways to make money on the homestead. The focus of this post is how to make money on the homestead and be self employed. There is a lot of material here so I have provided clickable links so you can view the material that is of more interest to your personal situation.

 

Table of Contents:

1) IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
2) CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SELF EMPLOYED
3) ADVANTAGES to being self employed
4)DISADVANTAGES TO BEING SELF EMPLOYED
5) WHAT I DID AND HOW I GOT STARTED
6) MAKING MONEY ON THE HOMESTEAD
7) STARTING A COTTAGE INDUSTRY
8) SELLING FOOD PRODUCTS TO MAKE MONEY ON THE HOMESTEAD
9) VALUE ADDED...
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How to Choose the Best Water Filter

survival water supply Nov 10, 2020
Having pure drinking water is critical whether you live off the grid or not.   In fact, having an available water source will be a critical factor in choosing an off grid property. In some cases, you may be able to connect to city water. If you can drill a well then you have an independent water source. Whatever your availability of water may be, there is always the possibility of that water source becoming contaminated. This is why it is important to have a backup system in place. That back up system is as simple as having an alternative means of producing potable water. This is where choosing a water filter becomes important. But how do you choose the best water filter for your particular situation? 
 

With so many products on the market, how can you possibly know which one is the best water filter? How do you choose a water filter that suits your situation?  In this post, I will outline the primary factors involved in evaluating the different products on the...

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Waterless Toilet: A Great Off Grid Toilet Option

Living off grid is a great adventure. However, it is not without challenges. When I first branched off into this lifestyle, simply taking care of basic necessities was a chore and sometimes not very pleasant. For example, it took me some time to figure out my best option for an off grid toilet. My first thought was a basic septic system. But with further investigation I learned that my best option was simply a waterless toilet.  It was easy, economical, and efficient. 

 What is a waterless toilet? 

Approximately 20% of the world’s potable water is used to simply flush toilets. On average, each person uses over 1200 gallons per year by flushing the toilet. When you think of it this way, a waterless toilet makes a lot of sense. However, the thought of a waterless toilet likely brings to mind the old fashioned outhouse. But the modern waterless toilet is actually a common household appliance that is both economical and environmentally friendly. Besides, if...

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The Ten Essentials Needed for Survival

essential skills survival Nov 10, 2020
There is a lot of talk in mountaineering circles about the “Ten Essentials”. This was a list that first appeared in the 3rd edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, released in 1974. The 9th edition was released in November 2017. The purpose of the Ten Essentials is to answer two basic questions:
 
  1. Can you respond positively to an accident or emergency?
  2. Can you safely spend a night (or more) outside? 

First and foremost, this blog is not about outdoor survival, camping, hiking, and mountaineering.  It is about living a simple life off the grid. But many of us who live off the grid, myself included, do so in an isolated area with few if any neighbors.  Consequently, you have to know how to deal with the unexpected and make certain you always have the basics that are necessary for survival.  For this reason, I just want to do a quick post on the Ten Essentials.  

If you have read my post on the 100 Best Homestead Tools, then...

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The Importance of Learning Basic First Aid

Whether you live in the city, in a rural area, on or off the grid, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn basic first aid and CPR. Emergency situations often require quick decisions. With proper training, you can successfully manage minor injuries and also help to stabilize someone during an emergency until medical personnel arrive. Proper training and knowledge will give you the confidence to go into action when other people are in a panic. It can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. It is not difficult to learn basic first aid.  You just have to be motivated. 
 

I have a long history of working in search and rescue, the fire department, and over 20 years as a medical professional. After all that time of dealing with medical emergencies, lots of things are second nature to me, including basic first aid.  However, the average person in our culture is unprepared to deal with medical emergencies even in their own home, much...

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