Off the grid power options

22 posts / 0 new
Last post
xtarflashlight
xtarflashlight's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 01/21/2013 - 21:25
Posts: 208
Location: Shenzhen
Off the grid power options

When taking about generating off grid power, there are some common methods that can combine to generate the energy you may need off the grid. For example:

*Solar energy
Undoubtedly, the solar energy is the most common source of natural, renewable energy. The solar solution combines a portable power station with solar panels. It converts sun energy captured by solar panels into electrical power and then stores it in a portable power station for later use. The solar energy is a reliable and clean power source for campers, RVs, or as an emergency backup if your power goes out.

*Wind power
Wind energy turns the motion of air into electricity using a turbine and generator. Wind moves the blades of the turbine, causing the internal generator to spin and produce electricity, which is fed into the system demanding energy. Turbines require regular maintenance and upkeep due to
their moving parts, and they are only a good option for those residing in windy climates.

*Micro-hydro energy
Also known as water-based energy, it utilizes the natural cycles of precipitation, running rivers and streams, and ocean tides. Like wind-sourced off-grid energy, hydro electric power often uses turbines to harness the power inherent in moving water. As such, the machinery involved requires upkeep and maintenance. Because water is everywhere and keeps running, it may be a good alternative energy option as it provides constant, ongoing supplies of power.

Besides, there are different generators available, though some of them are not considered renewable, they can offer a convenient back-up for the power supply. And kinds of battery banks also help to store energy. So what power supply do you usually prepare, for living the off grid home, or plan a RV camping for several days, or just for emergency preparation?

Tangra
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 08/01/2016 - 05:33
Posts: 598
Location: Europe

Macro Hydro Energy, for sure. Big Smile

G0OSE
G0OSE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 09/03/2014 - 12:34
Posts: 2312
Location: UK SW

Whatever the options, it is VERY clear the world is not acting quick enough. The latest energy crisis is extremely worrying.
30+ years ago we knew we had to start reacting, an only now at the last minute are we taking those words with some sort of seriousness.
Our governments should have already ensured anyone who could (usefully) have solar power have had it installed by now with huge grants towards the cost – instead of that we still fill the fat cats pockets with both private and government money to help towards costs pumping the last bit of energy out our planet. In our area there is so much angst against wind power (not in my back yard, it would spoil the landscape/our view), tidal power etc yet we are in a prime position where I live – we have prime sites for all 3, solar,wind and tidal. What those people don’t get is there may be no landscape to protect for their great, great grandchildren
I remember at school we did a project about tidal power – 35 years later they are still only talking about it and ironically my daughter is doing a project on it at school as I type!
We have hundreds of empty fields around here where discrete solar farms could be set up since most farmers no longer farm those fields or have animals in them, but they lay empty largely apart from a tiny few which do have solar farms – mostly though we import it meat/grains etc. Oh, and energy……
I am not sure it is possible to react quick enough now, though hope is not entirely lost.

Unheard
Unheard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 01/16/2019 - 11:38
Posts: 2245
Location: Germany

It is not so easy. Germany is full of WECs. They’re everywhere. Still, we produce not enough so we have to buy from countries using nuclear power plants, plus we’re giving away excess power when it is really windy. We need to more than double the number of WECs for future EVs.

Storing energy is a problem, generating energy without wind is a problem.

I only hope they come up with working fusion plants within the next decade.

-Thomas, currently working for a manufacturer of WECs.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

Bort
Bort's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 8225
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

The easiest solar options are some panels and a backup battery such as the type sold by Jackery.

But if you want to power your whole home you need much more roof mounted solar and much larger energy storage such as the Tesla Powerwall.

Home based wind is available but not nowhere near as common.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 57 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15735
Location: nyc

One of the biggest impediments of implementing small-scale / personal solar/wind/etc. solutions IS government itself.

How many HOAs and other bodies forbid rooftop solar for æsthetic reasons? How many people get screwed by net metering issues (ie, buy it at retail rates when you need it, $$$, but sell it back only at bulk/wholesale rates when you have excess), or get charged extra fees if you have solar, so that you still pay your “fair share” of line maintenance?

Ever try erecting your own wind turbine on what’s supposed to be your own land? If you can get permits at all would be a small miracle, but then of course you’d get taxed for the “improvements”. Same if you’d want to just build a simple stoopit carport with solar panels as the roof. You get taxed for EVERYTHING.

So most people, unless they can see and be proven a big savings, just say f it and keep on paying the powerco for their energy usage, and it’s the same ol’ same ol’.

Government is the problem, not the solution.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

lampliter
lampliter's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 23 hours ago
Joined: 07/31/2017 - 16:06
Posts: 342
Location: Paradise

solar rabbits—-food and fuel.

!P7270333!

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” —Abraham Lincoln

Bort
Bort's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 8225
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

lampliter wrote:
solar rabbits—-food and fuel.

!P7270333!


The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

 

 

zoulas
zoulas's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 06/01/2020 - 08:35
Posts: 1967

I really don’t like any of those options. Solar panels look horrible. There are too many installation limitations and make almost no energy half the time (in the dark,) not to mention when its cloudy. Wind energy has a whole slew of other problems. I am afraid there is no real off grid solution that is attractive.

Too many homeowners get conned by a fast talking salesman that claim the savings will be substantial, meanwhile its really pennies, if that much.

For off grid temporary power, the inverter is excellent, or a good old fashioned generator.

MtnDon
MtnDon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 44 min 27 sec ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 18:25
Posts: 3842
Location: Canuk in NM

zoulas wrote:

Too many homeowners get conned by a fast talking salesman that claim ……….

That is not unique to alternative energy. Many sales people only have one objective; to sell a product or a service. One has to do their own research, just like with anything. The actual solar panels and associated equipment is probably fine. The problem is with the fast talking sales people and the homeowners who sign contracts without reading and understanding.

I have in-town friends who swallowed the fast talkers song ‘n’ dance and have no idea of the exact terms they have agreed to.

OTOH, our solar panels charge our storage batteries (LFP) and the hardware supplies us seamlessly with electrical power. Considering that we would have had to pay the power company $55K to have power run to the boundary of our property and then we would have had to pay more to run the power another 1/4 mile to the planned house solar was a great deal. Plus our lights stay on when the power company has faults. I have replaced the batteries once since 2009 and am still money ahead.

IMO, those who have solar or other alternatives and are connected to the power grid, using the grid like a battery, should be paying something extra that goes towards the power company line maintenance costs. They have saved the expense of buying batteries.

And if at all possible do NOT place panels on a roof.

sp5it
sp5it's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 20 sec ago
Joined: 12/25/2012 - 07:51
Posts: 1426
Location: Poland

Where is that article about off-grid?

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin

 Anyone offended by my signature please fill Complaint Form. Thank you.

 If a lot of people listen to Slayer, the world would be a better place to live" - Tommy Wiseau

id30209
id30209's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 05/17/2018 - 12:20
Posts: 2046
Location: Croatia

I have a garage without electricity but in a sunny and windy location so solar panels in combination with a wind turbine could run 220V EU plug...

 

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

ChrisGarrett
ChrisGarrett's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 02/12/2014 - 22:03
Posts: 1015
Location: Miami, Florida

Quality nukes are the answer.

Strap the greenies to a tree and squirt honey on them.

Chris

djmcconn
djmcconn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 10/07/2011 - 23:04
Posts: 436
Location: North Carolina

LB is correct. Here in NC the Duke Power monopoly makes it realistically impossible to use solar effectively. The good old line maintenance fee also is a typical lobbyist dream to pad bill’s legally even if it is immoral. The infrastructure could not handle the power fluctuations if even 50% of people who were interested added grid tied solar. The fiascos that follow any weather event prove both the fragility of the infrastructure and the folly of thinking that the government, conveniently “ bought” to you by donations from energy companies, will ever actually accomplish any lasting change that benefit you and me. I am in no way disparaging the fantastic efforts the linemen accomplish during and after weather fiascos.

leestrong
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Joined: 07/18/2017 - 09:28
Posts: 421


What do you think about the bladeless turbines?
It is easier to maintain (mechanical and electrical components located at the base), less demanding on location and free space.
If placed under a tree, it is discreet and invisible from satellite imaging, so that your can harvest energy while hiding from the skynet.

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 57 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15735
Location: nyc
djmcconn wrote:
LB is correct. Here in NC the Duke Power monopoly makes it realistically impossible to use solar effectively. The good old line maintenance fee also is a typical lobbyist dream to pad bill’s legally even if it is immoral. The infrastructure could not handle the power fluctuations if even 50% of people who were interested added grid tied solar. The fiascos that follow any weather event prove both the fragility of the infrastructure and the folly of thinking that the government, conveniently “ bought” to you by donations from energy companies, will ever actually accomplish any lasting change that benefit you and me. I am in no way disparaging the fantastic efforts the linemen accomplish during and after weather fiascos.

Yeh, that’s why the only way to not get soaked is to load up on enough solar and/or wind to make yourself self-sufficient, and have enough battery capacity to carry you through nights and sunless days.

Any new place I’d get, I’d wire the house to be off-grid and fed exclusively from battery+inverter. Then have solar supply the battery, and the ONLY connection to the grid would be to top off the battery when solar couldn’t handle it.

Then add capacity and generation to the point where I didn’t need the grid tie-in at all, and sever the connection completely.

No bill at all, so no fees or surcharges.

 

And yeah, when a tree knocked out power last Christmas, ConEd had their crews work around the clock to restring the entire block’s lines, replace the pole-pigs, etc., that I had power <24hrs later.

I thought they were gonna knock off in the evening and come back the next day, but nope, that must’ve just been lunch, as they were back and banging away ‘til it was all done.

Kudos to them all-around.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 57 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 15735
Location: nyc
leestrong wrote:
What do you think about the bladeless turbines?

I’d love to know about their efficiency vs the usual bird-blenders.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

texas shooter
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1765
Location: Texas

Folks this is a multi tier problem needing multi levels to solve. Example part solution is solar only for homes. That cover their loads during the day when power consumption is higher, grid at night when demand is lower. Small tier solution. Next tier, more solar and now batteries to spread out the consumption. Still grid when needed. Other solutions on the other side with better insulation, better efficiency like LED’s over lesser lighting. As an avid capitalist I buy what is cheaper and more efficient. My home has twice the insulation as when I bought it, air conditioning is high seer, lights are all LED, windows triple panes. Maybe new housing developments might need to change with tax incentives or new laws to do collective Solar/Wind and battery banks. With HOA dues going to there maintenance. As far as the grid it’s going to be hard to due away with that. However percentage from the grid could be greatly reduced and at time we contribute to it.

Back to the original post. I’ve installed solar panels and an AGM battery to a few deer stands. All week to charge then demand for a few days, no generator needed. My part of Texas is not hydro friendly but wind is a really good option. I’m looking at a 4’3” wind mill that only needs 4.5 mph winds to start. 600 watts at 28 mph, 100 at 6 mph.

turkeydance
turkeydance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2020 - 18:53
Posts: 978

“So what power supply do you usually prepare, for living the off grid home, or plan a RV camping for several days, or just for emergency preparation?”

as to part three of the question, three parts:
1. generators. one is dual-fuel.
2. kerosene heaters.
3. lots of batteries.

djmcconn
djmcconn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 10/07/2011 - 23:04
Posts: 436
Location: North Carolina

Turkeydance Yep me too. Also have a small propane heater as well as gas grill, old camping stove etc for cooking.

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 13 hours ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 2503
Location: atlanta ga

most solar is cheap unless you have to
a. heat your house or water

b. run AC
c. use electric ovens, stoves, space heaters

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

turkeydance
turkeydance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2020 - 18:53
Posts: 978

since camping was brought up, we do have camp stoves/lanterns
for outdoor use with 4 cans of “white gas” as well.
for indoors, the butane stoves work really well.

but what we used last time
was our old Weber charcoal grill.
it has been a real workhorse.