Let me share with you my favorite off the grid ideas - these will save on your solar / wind / hydro energy costs Big time since cooking and heating
are two of your big energy expenditures. This means more energy available for the really important things, like posting on ATS. All of these can be
cheaply made or bought in many different styles and sizes to suit your needs. You can even use all these while camping and Rock the camp better than
Here, Science is King.
Solar Cooking with a solar oven. This is your slow cooker. solarcooking.org...
you can make one yourself or buy a ready made solar
Rocket Stove: These fast heat stoves produce very little smoke and can be used inside. They are 90% efficient wood burners using 75% less wood than a
normal wood burning stove. Again, you can make one or buy one ready made. You can build these to any size you need for small or large cooking.
Fast cooking with a Fresnel lens: These take the Suns rays and super concentrate them for cooking. These get extremely hot beams of light that are so
powerful, you may need dark glasses such as welding goggles to cook with. www.youtube.com...
Here is a variation of the above but without the Frensel lens. This guy is only using a parobla to concentrate the Suns rays. .
Heating the house:
A variation of the Rocket Stove is the Rocket Mass Heater. Using rocket stove technology these home heaters are safe, efficient and are dirt cheap to
These can be build in many shapes, styles and sizes just like the rocket stove.
Solar passive heater: These solar heaters can be radiant heat or forced air. They are cheap and easy to make and can heat up to 150 degrees above
ambient temperature. www.youtube.com...
Look for more plans of Youtube by searching either pop can solar heater or passive
solar heater, or forced air solar heater.
Heating your water: You can make this simple device for all your hot water needs. www.youtube.com...
Lighting: Have a place that needs the equivalent of a 50 watt light bulb during the day but you don't want to waste the energy? ( such as an shed or
outhouse, can be used in a regular house too) Try these Solar Bottle Lights - www.youtube.com...
You can even build a mechanical enclosure that's operated by a pull cord that closes around these so you
can " tune off the light"
More good tips at www.greensolarenergy.com
If you used all of these technologies everyday your solar power usage will be very low even running a swamp cooler and refrigerator/freezer and a
couple of laptops.
There are people out in the desert living off the grid like hippies, drunks and they are not smart enough to use these technologies. ( there's a
documentary called Off the Grid that shows drunks living on the Mesa) For my purposes I propose not to live like white trash even if you have some DIY
items. You can make these look nice and they all work awesome. The idea of cheap off the grid living in comfort and style. In other words, you don't
miss any convenience of modern living, your just not going to spend a fortune or waste precious solar panel energy to do it.
Have any good low tech devices I forgot?
edit on 23-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: correction