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Top 6 Energy Sources for Living Off The Grid
When deciding to live Off The Grid, one of the main concerns (other than a water source) is generating energy to supply your needs.
The first thing we all think of when thinking of green energy is solar.
There are other viable energy sources out there that may suit your needs.
Here are our Top 6 Energy Sources when Living Off The Grid.
#1 Solar- Living Off The Grid Energy Source
Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.
The number one source for energy for those living off the grid is solar.
One plus is that most people can install a solar system themselves.
The price reduction in solar systems over the years have made them a viable option.
Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available.
The U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world.
Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including: generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.
If you have 7 hours of daylight per day, solar would be a great option for an energy source.
Learn More About Living Off The Grid With Solar
- Solar Electric Basics by Common Sense Homesteading
- Estimating Your Solar Needs by The Petite Plantation
- Selecting A Solar Electric System by Homestead Honey
#2 Wind- Living Off The Grid Energy Source
Wind power is the process by which wind is used to generate electricity.
The two main sources for generating wind energy are windmills and wind turbines.
Wind turbines are classified into two general types: horizontal axis and vertical axis.
Wind turbines, like aircraft propeller blades, turn in the moving air and power an electric generator that supplies an electric current.
Simply stated, a wind turbine is the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.
If your property receives an average of 9 mph of wind, wind energy may be a good option for you.
Learn More About Living Off The Grid With Wind
- Most Frequently Asked Questions About Wind Energy by Culture Change
- Urban Wind Trees by Curbed
- DIY Wind Turbine by Mother Earth News
- Wind Power Your Home by Wind Energy Foundation
#3 Hydro -Living Off The Grid Energy Source
Hydro energy is generated by flowing water that is captured and turned into electricity- hydroelectricity.
Hydro-energy doesn’t pollute the air, no fuels are burned and it’s renewable because it uses the Earth’s water cycle to generate electricity.
As little as 100 gallons per minute (GPM) falling 10 feet through a pipe, or 5 gallons per minute falling 200 feet through a pipe, can supply enough power to comfortably run a small household.
Learn More About Living Off The Grid With Hydroelectricity
- DIY Hydroelectric Generator by The Green Optimistic
- A Hydroelectric Plant Powers A Homestead by Mother Earth News
- A Small Creek Provides Power For This Off Grid Home by Backwoods Home Magazine
#4 Thermal- Living Off The Grid Energy Source
Thermal energy is the energy that comes from heat.
This heat is generated by the movement of tiny particles within an object.
So, the faster these particles move, the more heat is generated.
Geothermal energy, heat from the interior of the planet Earth, has been utilized by mankind since its existence.
Hot springs and hot pools have been used for bathing and health treatment, but also for cooking or heating.
Archaeological finds prove that North American Indians utilized geothermal springs several thousands of years ago.
Harnessing geothermal energy to supply all of your energy needs, can be quite expensive.
Instead, you can use it for smaller demands. Demands such as, heating the floor or cooling your home.
Learn More About Living Off The Grid With Geothermal Energy
- Learn More About Geothermal Energy by How Stuff Works
- The Guide To Home Geothermal Energy by Popular Mechanics
- Geothermal Heating and Cooling by Green Passive Solar Magazine
#5 Biomass -Living Off The Grid Energy Source
Biomass is fuel that is developed from organic materials, a renewable and sustainable source of energy used to create electricity or other forms of power.
Biomass power is carbon neutral electricity generated from renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned, or left as fodder for forest fires.
When burned, the energy in biomass is released as heat.
If you have a fireplace, you already are participating in the use of biomass as the wood you burn in it is a biomass fuel.
Learn More About Living Off The Grid With Biomass Energy
- What is Biomass? By ReEnergy Holdings
- Learn to DIY Biomass Gasifier by Treehugger
- Make a Biogas Generator to Produce Your Own Natural Gas by Mother Earth News
#6 Passive- Living Off The Grid Energy Source
Passive solar energy utilizes building constituents such as: walls, floors, roofs, windows, exterior building elements and landscaping to control heat generated by sun.
Using the right building materials and proper placement of your home, you can utilize Passive energy to heat and cool your home.
Passive energy is something you can do to structures already built by simply painting your roof.
Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use. A well-designed passive solar home first reduces heating and cooling loads through energy-efficiency strategies and then meets those reduced loads in whole or part with solar energy.
When designing your home for passive energy, it’s important to protect south facing windows from the summer sun.
Learn More About Living Off The Grid With Passive Energy
- Passive Solar Basics by Common Sense Homesteading
- How to Convert Your Home to Passive Solar by Off Grid News
- An Optimally Efficient Off-Grid Passive and Active Solar Home by Green Passive Solar Magazine
- Passive Cooling by Your Home
Do you use any green or renewable energy? We would love to hear about your system!