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Getting "off the Grid"

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posted on May, 24 2004 @ 02:47 PM
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Oil, natural gas, nuclear power.
Is anyone trying to give it up? At least partially?

I'd be interested to know if any of the members here, have any stories,
or advice, regarding the installation of Solar or Wind power. Particularly,
if it's running a single family dwelling.

I've considered it, as I live in a Sunny AND windy place.
There are some tax-breaks as incentives, but I don't really see it catching-on.

I think it's a good time to talk about this again.




posted on May, 24 2004 @ 03:09 PM
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Everything that I've read indicates that it's very expensive and the payback doesn't really work out. I think there's some problems where the system can't generate the full demand so you're back to the utility.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 04:17 PM
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Yep, from the limited research I've done.
Namely talking to vendors of alternative power systems,
The startup cost is pretty high, and the return on investment
takes a while to kick-in.
They were offering something that I was interested in however.

This was a solar powered system that, integrated with the commercial grid system. There was no storage of power, it just sync'd with the commercial system, powered your house, and uploaded any excess power.
Legally the power companies have to buy the uploaded power, but only at
wholesale rates.

If there was no excess power, it just made your electric bill a bit smaller.
And of course, at night, you were fully grid powered..

[Edited on 24-5-2004 by spacedoubt]



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 04:24 PM
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Off grid living is a pretty cool concept, and Ive kicked around the brain a few times. One good place for info Ive found is Backwoods Home they have great articles and such. I picked throuh an anthology they put out a while back, and it was simply stuffed to the gills with useful stuff.

About gas power, its not necessarily giving it up, you can also augment it with whats called BioDiesel. Rather interesting stuff that you mix with your normal fuel to create a mix that burns better and cleaner. To be honest having around a reliable gasoline or diesel generator is a good idea, no matter how remote you live, for those emergeny situations where you need instant reliable power.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 04:29 PM
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I'll echo what the others have said -- I've looked into it, and while it's doable, it's excessively expensive. I've considered options like installing solar power panels and things like that, and the payback still isn't cost effective... unless the price of electricity goes a LOT higher.

And even then, reducing your energy usage is easier and cheaper than installing one of those mega-expensive generators.

...and if the generator goes kaboom, you're Plumb Outta Luck as they say down here.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 05:31 PM
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What about up-and coming technology?

I seem to remember a report about solar-cells that use
more of the spectrum of sunlight, converting it to power more
efficiently.

Has anyone heard of other such breakthroughs?



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 06:01 PM
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There are also different degrees as well as methods, depending on how liberal you use the term 'Grid'. If you mean Only the Electrical Grid that is one thing. But if you also start including other convenient shackels of the system such as, Gasoline, or even Natural Gas(Propane and things), or even requiring your own well for water and things of that nature then it's going to take some real effort and patience and dedication.

However, I have read quite a few very credible examples of the advancements in Solar and Alt. Power Sources that PayBack the Start Up Costs fairly fast. The start costs are a bit high still though. Energy Crisis and the fact that we as a Planetary Society are living and approaching such pitfalls unprepared is pathetic. There is just far too many Historically Acurate and Factual Events where the Greedy ways of Big Business have shut down humanities chances at a better futures as a whole. I could go off so bad about concepts of Ownership vs. Possession and Economics, etc. but I won't now...But you know what I'm getting at for the most part anyway.

Honestly though, I think those who have the most to worry about are those who 'Mentally & Emotionally' have become helpless without the Systems of Modern Day Living, Deep in the Belly of the Beasts. If it came to a collapse of say 80% of various Normal Modern day style methods gone, as long as the Goverments Military Warmongers didn't Launch World Wide Paranoid Lock Down Lifestyles on people I think many people would be ok. I don't think the real strain on people will be the structual types of changes but the psychological ones like resulting from economic instability within the mass of people. Too far off balance, too many homeless, hungry, scared, depressed, cheated, resentful, etc. and it will be 10's or 100's of millions of people without any future in site accept Mindless Revenge against everything. While the chance of Super Human Chaos is possible as a result of Major World Changes and Troubles, I also think that some Forced 'Slow Time' for people and the world may be exactly what is needed. We have increased the speed and noise and everything of Living so that the only purpose is to Hurry ourselves to the next bit of work, suffering, sacrifice or pain and reach death before we have time to even notice life at all.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 07:28 PM
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mOjOm,

I think, for now, I just mean off the electrical system.
Baby steps.

Something you could build upon over time. Perhaps adding a new solar
panel every couple of years, or adding battery storage (which I think is another weak link in the process of converting)



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 07:32 PM
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ultimatesecurehome.com

And I also know that one of the stages at Lollapalooza, including the sound system, is planned to run entirely off of solar power.


XL5

posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:06 PM
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Once the make super capacitor with the same energy density per pound as lead acid or gel cells, then we will see wind power become bigger.
Capacitors can have close to 100% charging eff. if the voltage increase is slow but can be charged within seconds and be discharged within the same amount of time (to 0volts) without getting damaged.

Cars with these super capacitor in them could be "filled up" just like a normal gas car and if well designed could outlast IC engines by 30 years min. with very minimal maintnance.

Room temp. super conductors could also store energy in a laminated loop core that is almost lossless.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
mOjOm,

I think, for now, I just mean off the electrical system.
Baby steps.

Something you could build upon over time. Perhaps adding a new solar
panel every couple of years, or adding battery storage (which I think is another weak link in the process of converting)



Solar Power certainly seems like the smart and OBVIOUS choice!! The fact that it's been THE SOURCE of life and energy for this entire planet for a Timeframe of [some number with many zero] years, and yet we're going around digging up nasty cude poisonous black blood from the earth and burning it for with sorry energy conversion ratio's and so on, is the most pathetic thing imaginable!! Let me explain why I am so SURE about the massive degree of our Lame-ness, just for cliearification.

Ok, we've all heard of a Generator right?? We've all heard of a Motor too right?? Well, they are both the same device esentially. The difference is that a Motor Uses Electricity producing work of somekind, and the Generator has Work applied to it, giving off Electricity.

Think of a Plug in fan you'd see around the house. Electricity goes in. Travels through a Coil which is wrapped in the right way a bunch of time and is suspended on an axis between magnents. This creates a Field, Spinning the Electricity around the coils, turing the coil on the axis, in turn spinning the fan blades as it produces Kenetic Energy. The reverse would be for you to (if it was set to work reversed), spin the blades around yourself, really fast for a long time and it would then take your kenetic 'Work' Energy and put it into a storage unit or back into the grid or whatever.

Simple:
Electro-Magnetics Magnets + Coil + Motion-Work-Kenetic Activity=Electricity

Same thing in reverse for the most part.

Now here comes the proof behind Our Morron Monkey-ness.

We make the Coil part of device. A really BIG, SUPER, MEGA, POWER, EXTREME, ULTRA, CYBER, BASS THUMPIN', COIL with HYDROLIC LIFTS & PHAT BLING BLING. (To put it in today's Media Trash, Culture shocked, ignorant, Mondy-Hu-man Slang Language, just to accent the variety of the sad Human idea of our own superior Knowledge and Way of Living!!)

Ok.....Now we just need a somewhere to put the Big Coil where it will be surrouned by a powerful Magnetic Field, and then Spin it around really really fast. Gee, I suppose something like this Big Ball of Dirt and Stuff we live on called a planet would work. It has a known Magnetic Field surrounding it that we hardly use or think of anymore. It is also Rotating in ratio to it's size and Mass of Thousands of miles per hour, never stopping, so we have Kenetic Input.

Hell, if ya think about it, we don't even need a storage unit for it as long as the coil didn't melt or something. Adjust for the Pole shift ever some-thousand years and we're all set!! Power Generated 24/7 World Wide, and it's all being done by Gravitational Spin and the Normal functions of Cosmic forces that we've basically just been ignoring for 'At Least' a Minimum of 100 years or so, which was one of the more well known periods when Tesla talked about this including a bunch of other cool stuff too.

Which reminds me!! I'm sure you've heard of the idea of Wireless Transmission of Electrical Energy, right?? Basically it would be a 'Power Grid' system like we have now, but with no wires and cable and all that nonsense. Just antenna or whatever recieving power for the unit or something. Now apply this say the Automobile or Travel Craft of Choice. Who needs Polution or Gas Stations and all that crap when you could have a small antenna maybe under the car or something absorbing the Electric Fule right from good ol' mother Earth. No worrying about running out either as long as you stay near Earth anyway. Including SubSurface, Inner Atmostphere, even Submarine most likely.

But no, Limited, Poisonous Chemical Burning of nasty crap from within the earth and slowly destroying our home sounds soooo much better doesn't it???

YES, MONKEY-MAN LIKE SMOKEY VROOM VROOMS!! NEED LOTS MORE TOO, SO WE BETTER GO KILL OTHERS WHO HAVE SOME AND STEAL THERES AS WELL!! I SURE HOPE WE DON'T USE UP TOO MUCH OF THE 'BLACK BLOOD' WITH OUR KILLING MACHINES WHILE TRYING TO STEAL MORE!!

Ahhh....TO DIFFICULT FOR MONKEY BRAIN TO FIGURE OUT. HEAD HURT NOW....BETTER JUST FOCUS ON KILLING AND LOOTING DESTRUCTIVE LIMITED RESOURSES FOR NOW!!



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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I worked on solar and wind powered experiments at my old school. The power potential is limited but solar panels are constantly being improved and I dont think it will be long before "zero emission house's" become popular. The problem with these renewable energy sources is you have to have a good battery system to store electricity when the weather is not cooperating and a bit of power is lost when the DC battery power is converted to AC for appliances as well as constant maintence. The technology is here and improving.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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mOjOm,

I admire your enthusiasm for sure!

Remember the Tethered Satellite experiment DOne from the Space
Shuttle a few years back?
Is this the energy you are referring to?
I recall they got more than they bargained for, and cooked the tether!



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:24 PM
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That tethered experiment was cool. I got the priviledge to see the satellite in the "clean room" before it was launched. When that thing snapped it made for an awesome site in the sky.



posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt


mOjOm,

I admire your enthusiasm for sure!

Remember the Tethered Satellite experiment DOne from the Space
Shuttle a few years back?
Is this the energy you are referring to?
I recall they got more than they bargained for, and cooked the tether!



No, I haven't heard anything about that before. That sounds promising though!!

Although, I'm sure when it was discovered how much energy it actually produced, images of Clean Transportation and no waste of life and all that, faded away and was replaced by a really pointless MEGA LAZER-PLANET-BLASTER CANNON that would strap onto the planet somehow, OH NO, ON THE MOON!!! YEH....Then we can use the moon as this 'DeathStar Destroyer' kind of thing or something. Enemies or not, we'll just go find some or maybe just blow stuff up, ya know!!!!

WWwwhat???? Was there something about clean air and peace and healthy life.....something.....somethig..????? LAZERBEAMES!!!!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!! MONKEY-MAN-LEADER GET TO TAKE FIRST SHOT AT BIG YELLOW FIRE BALL!!! BIG TARGET, CAN'T MISS THAT!!! LET'S KILL IT, IT'S STRANGE!!!

Ya know, I seem to be noticing an elevated level of distain for humanity the last hours or so. Does it show????
:


XL5

posted on May, 24 2004 @ 10:52 PM
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Another way to get energy would be to use lasers that emit 100-200nm of UV light in a series of air ionizing pulses and use many such pulses out of time with the last one to make a constant beam of light. Then point it at the sky so the ionoshere can leak the energy back down through the beam.

Wind generators are cheaper and buildable then solar cells and they can be scaled up too. Another way to use the sun is to use big cooling junctions and focus the sun onto the hot side and have the cool side placed in water.



posted on May, 25 2004 @ 12:13 AM
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this thread has me thinking.......

Is there a way to change my ATS name to SMOKEYVROOMVROOMS?


it would be appropriate since I am a car chick....


[Edited on 25-5-2004 by theRiverGoddess]



posted on May, 25 2004 @ 01:08 AM
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mOjOm,

The tethered satellite consisted of a sphere that was
reeled out of the shuttle cargo bay, let out like a fishing lure,
trying to catch electrons.

Apparently it worked SO well, they blew out the tether.
Here is a report:
Investigation Report

TGR,

SMokeyvroomvroom? I thought you stopped smoking?



posted on May, 25 2004 @ 06:46 PM
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Here are some links regarding Solar cell technology in case
someone is interested in current progress.

Photovoltaics: Solar Electricity and Solar Cells in Theory and Practice

Current research



posted on Jun, 8 2004 @ 11:02 AM
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Hello everyone! I am new here. I have lived off grid for 10 years now. I have not had much time to sit around and write much about how to do it for the simple reason nothing happens automatically by flipping a switch when you live off grid! If you are over being a wannabe and would like to have an intelligent conversation about how it's done than feel free to respond and I will reply. If your a know it all and would like to educate me with your ideas, just keep it to yourself please, I don't have the time for such nonsense. BTW, if you have money you will not need to know how this is done. If you are like me and have no money then lets chat!

neverfear



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