Whether your property is off-the-grid or grid-tied, you can downsize your dependence on fossil fuels with these innovative renewable energy options for your farm or homestead.
A pole-mounted solar array sited in a sunny spot provides off-grid power to this homestead in Amery, Wisconsin.
Photo courtesy Resilient Northern Habitats
Solar electric fence chargers offer livestock protection in even the most remote locations.
Photo by Terry Wild
Work free of fossil-fuels by charging battery-powered tools, such as this line of tools from Oregon Cordless, with renewable power sources.
Photo courtesy Oregon Cordless
Free Power Systems’ Sun Horse solar tractor charges from a roof-mounted PV panel.
Photo courtesy Free Power Systems
Water-pumping windmills, such as this Koenders windmill used to aerate fish ponds on Montana state lands, perform on towers only 12 to 25 feet tall.
Photo courtesy Montana State Department of Fish and Game
Drop-in-stream pumps require minimal upfront installation. This river pump from Rife Hydraulic Engine Mfg. can lift water up to 82 feet vertically without using electricity or fuel.
Photo courtesy Rife Hydraulic Engine Mfg. Co.
Hand water pumps come in various styles and lift water from either shallow or deep wells. Bison Pumps’ shallow well hand pumps, such as this model mounted indoors to a tabletop, reach a static water level of up to 25 feet.
Photo courtesy Bison Pumps
Hand water pumps come in various styles and lift water from either shallow or deep wells. The WaterBuck Pump from Well WaterBoy Products can yield from a static water level of over 80 feet and fill a 55-gallon receptacle in about 7 minutes.
Photo courtesy Well WaterBoy Products
Hook a timer to a solar chicken coop door opener, such as this one from ChickenDoors.com, for automated poultry protection.
Photo courtesy ChickenDoors.com
Electric walk-behind mowers, such as Mean Green Mowers’ WB-33, run on a lithium battery and are suited to mowing properties up to 2 acres, according to the manufacturer.
Photo courtesy Mean Green Mowers
Wind energy may be everywhere, but not everywhere is suitable for wind turbines. This upstate New York farm receives electricity produced by a 10-kilowatt Bergey WindPower Excel 10 wind turbine, sited far from obstructions.
Photo courtesy Bergey WindPower
The Xzeres Wind Skystream 3.7 small wind turbine is rated to produce 2.1 kilowatts at a 25 mile-per-hour wind speed. A battery charge controller kit is available from the manufacturer for battery charging systems.