Woman-hood and Off Grid living... Most people I meet think those two words don't belong in the same sentence. As a woman living off the grid I'm often asked what its like 'roughing' this kind of living (with two little ones, no less!). Well, let me tell you...
It's the middle of March, the sun is rising higher in the sky each day. That means we can do our bi-annual adjustment of the solar panels to get the maximum amount of power possible.
If you have been reading this website for some time, you are most likely aware of EMPs (electromagnetic pulse). They have a far reaching implications on any modern nation, such as impacting the power grid among many other things. For those of you who are not familiar with this, click here for an educational press conference on the topic that aired on C-SPAN, featuring US Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.
The next question that begs an answer is "How do I calculate my battery's state of charge?" There are 3 main methods that you can use. 1. Voltmeter; 2. Charge Meter; 3. Hydrometer
In the next two articles I will be focusing on the use of a forklift battery in off-grid renewable energy systems. However, much of the information also applies to other deep cycle batteries that are commonly used off the grid. For more information about using a forklift battery, see our blog post "The best kept secret in renewable energy."
Please note: The following article was written a little while ago by Ralph Lewis, a principle at Power Research Inc. We have personally used their products for fuel storage with excellent success for over 15 years (in one case successfully storing gasoline for 6 years). We thought you might be interested in some details about fuel storage he reveals here, reprinted with permission of Power Research Inc. While we have carried PRI's products at events, we do not currently sell them online. We just want to share this information with you.
One of the most important factors that has encouraged dependence in our society is drum-roll...
Before everyone started using it, people were much less reliant on “the system”. However, in it's favor, life sure has gotten a lot easier!
Just think for a minute of all the different things you use electricity for. Can you name them?
Honestly, if we follow the trail of dependence for almost any item we use or need, it leads to electricity--with very few exceptions.
When you move off the grid, you naturally want to have appliances that will use the least amount of power, get the job done, do it well, and be durable. This is the same for a washing machine. You want one that will use the least amount of electricity, use the least amount of water (for those times when water will be scarce), extract the most water out of the clothes during the spin cycle (so it won’t take so much electricity/propane gas to dry the clothes), do a great job washing the clothes, be quality built for durability, be simple to repair, and in this case be able to operate on a Off Grid Power System. Just as a quick note, some washers require a sine wave inverter and will not run on a generator OR will void their warranty when operated with generator or inverter power.
So we are setting up our desk in the office and I have a ton of things that need to be plugged in. Many of them pull a phantom load (use power even when turned off) so I need some convenient way of totally disconnecting them from the power outlet when not in use.
In years past, almost all conventional refrigerators and freezers were so inefficient as to render them useless to folks living off the grid. This meant the only options were rather expensive DC units (such as Sunfrost). While these models are super efficient and work very well, it just wasn't much of an option for someone on a tight budget.
So we found a great low cost AND super efficient option. I think you’ll love it if you’re pinching pennies while going off the grid!Continue reading