All Posts by Nick Meissner

Water System Example #5 - Dealing with Wells

Example:

The water source for the property is a well with a maximum static water level of 20 feet (Solution #1 ), 85 feet (Solution #2), 200 feet (Solutions #3 & #4), 300 feet (Solution #5), and 600 feet (Solution #6). Probably the most common water source one will encounter in the country is a well. While wells are generally the most protected type of water source from parasites, chemicals, etc, they have the disadvantage of necessitating a pump. But there are good ways to deal with this. Please be aware, though, the deeper the static water level of your well, the more expensive it will usually be to deliver pressurized water to your home.

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Water System Example #7 - Spring & Creek Combo

Example:

There is a spring present on the property that is less than 40 vertical feet above the building site, level with it, or perhaps even below it. There is also a creek with at least 5-10 (bare minimum) gallons per minute flow that falls at least 3-5 vertical feet while it is on your property. This creek is also below the building site and the spring.  This one might get a little complicated so be sure to look at the sketch.

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Choosing the Proper Backup Generator

Our goal for being off the grid has been to produce all of our power from renewable sources (solar, hydro, wind, wood gas, steam, hydrogen, etc) and not rely on fuel sources that must be purchased (gasoline, diesel, propane, etc).  But particularly in northern climates, it takes time to achieve that unless one has a bundle of money up front to invest in a very large renewable energy system.  Because of this, many people getting started with renewable energy begin with a small basic system and build up from there as budget allows.  Many times this initial system is not "renewable" energy but rather "alternative" energy as it involves the use of a fuel powered generator, to a greater or lesser extent.

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Best Kept Secret in Renewable Energy - Forklift Battery

In my years of experience living off the grid (since the late '90s), I have found batteries to be the most expensive and troublesome component of a renewable energy system over the long run.  With that in mind, I knew there must be a better solution than the standard "go-to" batteries such as Trojan L-16's and T-105's or even the high-end Surrette's or super high-end Solar One batteries.  While the high-end batteries mentioned often work very well, they are quite expensive.  So for years, I have kept my eyes open for a better solution.

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Review of Shurflo 9300 Submersible Water Pump

My Personal Experience

Even before I moved into my current temporary home, one of the early issues encountered was water.  The submersible pump was quite undersized and could hardly pump water to the surface, let alone pressurize the water system.  So I needed to make some changes, including the pump.  I decided to go with a Shurflow 9300 Submersible DC water pump for a number of reasons:

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Fine Tuning Battery Charge Settings

This last spring, we were away from home for a few months on a seminar trip.  In preparation for the trip, I pondered how best to prepare my battery for such a long period away from my watchful eye.  There were two main concerns I had about leaving it home alone for months and gaining an understanding of these has helped me in fine tuning my charging settings:

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