Best Source of Power Living Off-Grid
Have you been longing for the freedom that comes with off-grid living? For some folks, living off the grid is a way of making a political statement and telling others that you won’t be controlled. For others, off-grid living simply means living off the land and becoming more in-tune with nature. No matter what the definition of off-grid living means to you personally, it takes some time and effort to completely disconnect from technology and materialistic society. It’s not something that you can jump into whenever you feel like it. Instead, it requires careful planning if you want to do it right.
One of the first challenges you’ll encounter when moving to primitive living is figuring out the best source of power that’s not connected to your community’s power supply. It turns out there are several good options for off-grid power. Here are three of them.
Solar power is immensely popular right now, and you can commonly see solar panels on rooftops in small towns and big cities. It turns out that solar electricity is also one of the preferred sources of off-grid power. If you live in an area that gets a lot of sun exposure, this may be a great option for you. Solar panels are improving in construction, and many can last for years with very little maintenance.
The one major downside to solar power is the initial cost. Solar panels are notoriously expensive, and it can take many years to start experiencing a return on your investment. However, the cost of solar panels has gone down since they were first introduced, and it will likely continue to go down in the coming years. Additionally, solar panel technology is improving and yielding more effective, better-looking panels that are tougher than previous versions.
If you can’t afford solar panels now, you may want to look into more affordable forms of off-grid energy. Then, a few years down the road, you may want to check and see if the cost of solar electricity has fallen enough to make it a viable option for your off-grid living goals.
Wind turbines can create sufficient energy for small off-grid homes or cabins. However, you do need to make sure you live in an area that receives sufficient wind to justify investing in turbines. Otherwise you’re bound to end up with costly yard decorations that generate little to no power. Once you find out the average wind speeds in your area, you can estimate how much electricity a wind turbine system will likely produce for you.
Size is very important when it comes to choosing wind turbines. The larger the watts, the bigger the turbine. If you plan to power an entire house, you’ll probably need a 23-foot turbine mounted to a tower at least 100 feet tall. That means you’ll need to dedicate a lot of outdoor space to your turbine power system. You’ll also need to keep all moving parts of your turbine maintained or you face the possibility of turbine failure.
Though it does come with some drawbacks, wind electricity is a good choice for areas that experience consistent, strong winds. Otherwise, you may want to go with solar or geothermal energy.
Geothermal Heat Pump
If you’re looking for a clean source of power, you can’t go wrong with geothermal energy. This sustainable type of power comes from harnessing the earth’s geothermal energy. You’ll need a geothermal heat pump to take advantage of this type of power.
A geothermal heat pump works a lot like your refrigerator. It transfers heat from the earth into your home and through a system of liquid-filled pipes. The pump then heats or cools the air in your home depending on the weather conditions.
These three sources of off-grid power all have their pros and cons. Study them carefully to determine which option makes the most sense for your situation.