Off-Grid Solar and Wind Generated Power
Page Topic: Lifestyle
**********DISCLAIMER: This page is in the making;
Read at your own risk!
My first hot showers were firewood stove-heated, and later solar
heated. The photos
shown below were the only means to hot water during the winter.
Our Nation CAN do Better!
Water added to a large pot with a bilge pump dropped in were still
appreciated. The bilge pump was connected to a garden hose. This
was a messy and time-consuming shower.
Later I evolved to black pipe placed out in the
This was an
ineffective and unreliable means of heating the water (for
obvious reasons, such as waiting till 11am when the water in the pipe is hot enough to be able to take a shower).
The black pipe seen in the photos is actually
over 200 feet of thick-walled hard poly pipe typically used for
underground water lines. The pipe draped all over the roof, and then down
the side, and back and forth on a wire fence.
In the summer, the heated water
was at times unbearably scalding, with no means to adjust the
there are three refrigerators here, as it turns out there hasn't been
any real need for refrigeration. Two years and going
strong. The refigerators are used as cupboards.
If it's winter time, put your food
outside in a secure cooler. Raccoons are ingenious!
As for the freezer, it's on the top of the "never turn off" list. The freezer is where all the good stuff from the garden is
The freezer shown above came from Home Depot in Springfield Ohio
and has been well-appreciated.
Since I don't drive, they even delivered the freezer to me free of
Recently a man whom I fixed a computer for, repayed me by filling the freezer to
capacity. He brought so much food that I had to decline some of
Another thing you may need to adapt to when off-grid, is
food. This is something made in January 2018. It's
bread with pineapple and apple spice.
Oddly enough, this flour was about 2 years beyond its expiration date.
Yes, every bit of it was eaten anyway, but who knew powders and flour
had expiration dates?
If you're heading off-grid, chances are
you are too far from a
which to shop.
flours and powders in very secure canisters. I was clueless
about these little creatures that lay larvae and then turn into
moths. I'm not sure how long I had been eating that larvae and
those moths. Whenever I needed flour I simply dipped a measuring
cup into the 25pound bag and scooped the flour out. Back during that time, lights were scarce here. At
times I would notice webs, other times I noticed whole moths who seemed
confused, and other times I simply knew that there must have been more that I missed
because the bread was funny.
Life in an off-grid venture would be somewhat non-committal if
one did not provide a stock of edibles from the garden!
To the extreme-right within the photo shown above is a barely visible
tree with a white
band around the trunk.
The apple tree was brought
to me by this lady,
Thanks again, Vickie!
The area around here in the German Township becomes
quickly with standing water
during various stages
of the seasons; standing water might not be entirely eliminated, but the
installation of a catch-basin should diminish the standing water that
affect a few of my neighbors as well.
catch-basin is born. (*not yet completed)
The solar panel creates the electricity for the
Although there is a switch to turn the solar panel on and off manually,
in the ON position the pump starts to push water as soon as the sun
rises, and cease automatically when the sun sets (so there's not
really a need to ever turn it off unless servicing something).
The simple 12v pump has a variance of about +/- 7volts and
the direct connection to a 12v panel, without the need for
The water shown
coming from the hose below has been transferred through over 75 feet of
hose using the method mentioned above.
The un-finished catch-basin with a pump
tossed in for testing.
Below is the workhorse that was utilized to dig the catch-basin (the tractor,
not my mom).
The tractor is by the Grace of MOM, so ...this is my mother playing
vroom vroom, look at her go! (it's not actually running)
Okay, my turn mom. Look, no hands, vroom vrooom.
The tractor sure has made work
easier around here. Broken wheelbarrows
and broken riding lawn mowers were wearing me out.
Although the bulk of cooking is performed on the
wood burner, at times alternate means are utilized. Thanks to the
graces of Jimmy, an acquaintance who lives north of me, I have sternos!
Recently there was a bad month with virtually no sun here in
Ohio. Dark and rainy, and not enough
left the battery banks with some rather deep sighs (low voltage
draws). Aside from turning off everything that is not
essential, there's little else you can do other than relax and wait for
the sun to come back into vogue.
During this time though, one of the battery banks was drawn
couldn't figure out why since almost everything other than the server
and modem/router, the security system and a few lights and what-not
were all that were left
on, everything else had been disconnected pending sunnier
days for that particular battery bank. I
checked each battery's cells for specific gravity, and all looked
fine. Yet it appeared that the bank was not taking a charge as it
decided that one-by-one the remaining items would be removed to another
battery bank to enable troubleshooting the problem.
AS IT TURNED OUT, the batteries were NOT the problem.
One of the pure sine-wave inverters appeared to be sucking
Following its removal from the batteries, the batteries almost
instantly sprung back to life.
THIS IS WHY I SAY: just keep it simple. If you have a 12v
bank, buy 12v appliances. Having an inverter is just
that could go wrong, since the inverter contains a slew of components,
and each one of them just itching to fail.
If you're planning on going off-grid, plan on getting a few of these
babies. Automation is key to preserving power. Waste
is costly more-so when you are
the power plant in your household. Photo-sensors help save your sanity
and battery bank by automatically turning your appliances on and off
without your manual efforts.
With the advantage of modern-day weather forecasts, planning which days
to make bread or do the laundry is easy. When it's not sunny,
it's break day.
Our Nation CAN do Better!