Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 1: Resources

| 11/4/2015 10:17:00 AM

Tags: small homes, off grid living, home energy, solar power, technology, Christopher James Marshall, Oregon,

Technology that brings energy, food, water, and communications to our lives can be a mysterious concept to persons only familiar with its ubiquitous, invisible, and continuous aspects in U. S. cities; often low-cost and wasted rather than conserved.

NASA image of U.S.A. at Night in 2005—Dark Areas are Off-Grid

NASA image of U.S.A. at Night in 2005—Dark Areas are Off-Grid. 

Let’s begin with the most important principle: Happiness Is Good Resource Sizing

The site you have selected for your homestead has major implications that limit your options for power, water, and food plants and animals. My site has limitations as most do. It’s hard to get a good mobile phone signal up here and I have to bring in water, but the number of sunny days is outstanding and since I’m adjacent to a national forest I can practice wilderness foraging as well as grow my own food and cut my own firewood.

off grid power options

11/6/2015 2:29:57 PM

It looks like it will be an interesting series; however, the comment "it’s free to run and use the energy" might lead a neophyte to believe there is no additional cost. There are maintenance costs associated with almost all of the alternative energy sources. The costs associated with mechanical energy sources such as hydro or wind power are greater than those for solar power; however, once these costs are amortized over the lifetime of the energy source, they still tend to be cheaper than the grid. The user needs to consider as part of the maintenance costs his or her ability to perform these task. Having said all of that, it still is well worth considering alternative sources.

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