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DISCOVER

Nicki on Shutterstock

Nicki's Journey

LEARN

Self Sustaining 

Let's sustain ourselves, shall we!! Most of the fear from living goes away when you can make your own shelter, grow or hunt your own food, and utilize natural resources . 

Don't be cheap with your personal development. Invest in tools that empower you!

Having extreme confidence in one's own resources!

FREE ENERGY

Instructables is an excellent site for learning how to do things yourself!

WonderHowTo.com also has a pretty informative section on solar HERE!

Enroll in their online 'Solar' course here! It is FREE!

Solar powered everything!!!

Its time to harvest the sun and get your electricity for free.

Solar Pros

  • Method That’s Proven To Work

  • No Moving Parts So Relatively Low Maintenance

  • Plenty of Sizing Options – Start Small and Expand Over Time

  • Works Great In Abundant Sun Regions

Solar Cons

  • Depends on Sunny Region

  • Requires Battery System

  • Costs Can Be Expensive (especially if hired out)

  • Takes Electrical Knowledge If DIY

Wind Turbines

Wind power is another proven natural energy source!!

 

The Wind comes, and it goes, so it’s not a consistent source of power. Hence, again, you’ll need to pair it with a bank of batteries.

Wind turbines require occasional maintenance, so the higher you mount it, the more difficult it is to access for regular maintenance. It’s a significant tradeoff you’ll want to be aware of before you install one on your off grid property. They are rotating mechanical devices that require regular maintenance and repair. So there will be ongoing costs related to this or if you plan to DIY the maintenance, you’ll need to spend some time educating yourself on your turbine.

Wind Turbine Pros

  • Plenty of Sizing Options

  • Method That’s Proven To Work

  • Works Well In Windy Locations

Wind Turbine Cons

  • Depends On Windy Region

  • Needs Battery System

  • Moving Parts Require Maintenance and Repair

 

Build a wind turbine for $30.00 HERE!

Off Grid Battery Systems

 

Battery Technology

 

Battery technology has come a long way in recent years, and I foresee it making more leaps and bounds in the coming years. One of the latest iterations is the Tesla Power Wall. It’s a first step in making large, safe and simple battery bank systems available to the masses.

 

Sure, dedicated DIY’er have been stringing deep cycle batteries together for years. And this is still the best option today for your money. But sooner or later, battery technology will advance, allowing the masses to start getting off the power grid. And the sooner, the better because it’s a technology that helps increase our society’s self-reliance instead of reducing it.

 

The Deep Cycle Battery Bank

But for now, the traditionally connected bank of deep cycle batteries is tried and true, and works just fine. This setup will effectively store your excess off grid energy production. The biggest downside is the chemicals and safety issues related to storing these chemicals in or near your off grid home.

Water Wheel

And now we come to the water turbine, and it’s one my favorite options. The reason it’s my favorite is due to its continuous, reliable power producing nature.

If you can find the right flowing water source, this option is wonderfull, plus I love the look of it.. For a water turbine to work, there are a few requirements: You need a steady and reliable flow of natural water (think rivers, streams, large creeks, waterfalls, etc.) Stagnate water won’t work and seasonal flows won’t work for continuous power either. If a drought can dry up the river every summer, you’ll lose your source of energy during those dry seasons.

Nowadays, instead of having to use mechanical energy (water wheels and gears) to create power, we can use a modern water turbine design.

Water turbines are much smaller than water wheels and convert the water flowing energy into electricity. Then you can use wires to transport that electrical power to your home.

The largest advantage of the water turbine is the constant flow of energy. Assuming the water flow is strong and reliable, you may be able to get away without energy storage (battery systems).

Rainwater Collection

In a few hours you can quickly establish a rain water collection system. One inch of rain will give you .6 gallons of water per square foot of roof space. Depending on your space and average rain fall you can build a simple 50 gallon system up to several thousand gallons. Use your rainwater for watering the garden and animals and it costs you nothing more than the initial cost of the system.

Here the EPA describes how to build your own aquifer.

DIY Network has a great section on Eco friendly housing and sustainable living!

 Make your own soaps:

Hand soap. dish detergent and laundry detergent can be made for pennies on the dollar compared to the mass produced product available on the market today. There was a news report recently where Tide is becoming a hot commodity for theft by shoplifting because of the rise in prices.

Start a worm farm :

Worms are another little helper around the homestead that are worth their weight in gold. They help compost and is one of the best ways to help enrich your soil. You can use them to create a fertilizer tea that is one of the best organic fertilizers you can use in your backyard. You could also start a worm business to sell to sporting good stores and  fisherman to create a little extra cash flow.

Build a smoker :

Smoking meats, vegetables and cheeses is a great hobby and adds a tremendous amount of flavor for next to nothing that will be a welcome addition to your recipes and meals.

Heating An Off Grid Home

Thus far we’ve only focused on off grid electrical energy solutions but what about heat? Unless you live in a year-round mild climate (San Diego or Hawaii), then you’ll need a to generate heat in the cooler months.

 

There are several options to heat your off grid home but using traditional electric heaters is not a viable one. At first glance it would seem like using electricity would make the most sense, right? Since we just covered the topic of how to generate our own off grid electrical power, why not just use this electricity to warm your home?

The reason is that it takes a massive amount of electrical energy to convert enough of it into heat.

Lets cover three non-electrical heating options and let you decided from there.

The main options I’m going to cover to produce heat are a firewood rocket stove, a geothermal system, and a compost heating system.

Rocket Stove

If firewood is abundant at your off grid property, then you should take advantage of that. But chopping firewood for a traditional fireplace is a brutal never-ending chore. For the time being, you can pay someone else to do the work. Find a local landscaper selling firewood and get a several cords each year for winter.

Rocket stoves use firewood much more efficiently. You will get more BTU’s out of each log than a traditional fireplace. This means you need less firewood for the winter. Less wood means less work.

Learn to hunt and fish 

Wild game is a great way to add a healthy protein option into your home for not a lot of money. There is nothing I like better than a nice lean venison steak or a cornmeal battered catfish fish fry. You can easily can wild game as well in a pressure canner to make it shelf stable.

Up Next: Farmacy