Going Off Grid Increases Independence and Confidence

Living off grid means living a self-sufficient and independent lifestyle. 

It means disconnecting from the local power grid, and generating your own electricity via solar panels, and other alternative energies. 

Photovoltaic energy, wind, cisterns, ect... can be used to operate everything in your home; rather it’s your lights, or your hot water heater, or anything else.

But, living off the grid takes some serious commitment. 

It’s a life style change.

Changes such as:

  • Monitoring your power usage levels very closely
  • Conserving water usage

And most importantly:

  • Increasing your level of self reliance
  • Saying good bye to utility bills
  • Lowering your nation's dependace on oil and coal

What Off the Grid Living Requires

Full House PV System

To truly be off the grid means you have to disconnect yourself from the electric grid.  To do so you need a photovoltaic system that will be powerful enough to supply all your electricity needs. 

This can be accomplished by having a professional come out and give you an idea about your solar resource potential. 

Unless of course you are the diy type!

Rather its you or a contractor, you will need to know if you need to mount solar panels on your roof or on the ground, or both to reach your full solar potential.

Since you are off the grid, you will need to store surplus energy into battery backup systems. 

You would normally use lead acid batteries for this purpose.  

Due to the problems involved with disposing of lead acid batteries, some see this as a draw back. 

Just be responsible and dispose of them properly, and you should be fine. 

Solar Hot Water Heater

Living off the grid also means disconnecting from the water system. 

Now this can be next to impossible for many homes, so in most cases you may need to use the public water utility as a backup source. 

But, if your needs are small enough, you may be able to go completely off grid with it.  It has a great deal to do with where you live, and what type of climate you have around you.

In cooler climates the need to use a grid connected solar hot water heater system increases.  But, in mild climates, you will probably be able to go completely off grid.

Image above is of a solar hot water heater

Water Well

There are 17 million homes that get their water from private wells in the United States. 

They range in price from about 3000 dollars to 15,000 dollars, depending on how deep you dig. 

The deeper the well, the better your odds are of getting the cleanest water.

Image above is of a water well

Rain Cistern

A rain cistern is a method of catching water from rain fall, then pumping it into a tank. 

The tanks can either be above ground or underground. 

The water is normally caught in your gutters, and then channeled into the tank for filtering, then sent to your home as needed.

Image above is of a Rain Cistern

Septic Tank

Going off grid also means disconnecting from the sewer lines.   So you will need a septic tank to store your waste.  

A septic system consists of one or more tanks that are connected to an inlet waste water pipe at one end, and a septic drain field at the other.

In general, these pipe connections are made via a T pipe, which allows liquid entry and exit without disturbing any crust on the surface.

Today, the design of the tank usually incorporates two chambers (each of which is equipped with a manhole cover), which are separated by means of a dividing wall that has openings located about midway between the floor and roof of the tank.

Image above is of a septic tank

Wind Power

Another alternative energy that you will want to utilize when going off grid, is wind energy. 

Most homes can support a decent sized wind turbine on their roof. 

They normally resemble airplane propellers, and can range in size from small enough for your average roof, to enormous ground mounted wind turbines.  

If you have a lot of land to use, then wind turbines are an excellent alternative energy option. 

Image above is of a small, residential wind turbine

Energy Efficient home appliances

If you are going to live off grid then you are going to want to have all the latest energy saving appliances. 

You want them to have the highest energy star rating available. 

That includes your microwave, washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner, stove, and so on…

Pros of Going Off Grid

  •          Incredible sense of freedom and self sufficiency
  •          Removes strain from the power grid
  •          No more utility bills
  •          Kind to the environment
  •          After  the initial purchase of equipment and installation, the alternative energy system pays for itself overtime

Cons of Going Off The Grid

  •          The cost of the equipment needed can be costly
  •          The cost of installation can be costly
  •          Lead acid batteries are normally used to store unused solar power, or wind power

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