Off-Grid Electricity and Off Grid Energy Systems | Off Grid Living

Off-Grid Electricity and Off Grid Energy Systems

People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn't they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines... There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”

Bill Gates

4 Off-Grid Electricity Options You Can Use

Owning your own home is supposed to be a chance to have a place to come to after your day of work is done. It's where you live your life, raise a family, and get to be yourself. It's not just a cornerstone of financial security, although it should very much be, but also a place for rest, relaxation, and enjoying life. Even when you own it, though, you still have bills to pay, like the monthly utility bill...


...unless you find ways to generate your own power! Explore 4 off-grid electricity options to see if you might be able to power up your life at home without relying on some distant corporate utility that has you at their mercy.

off grid electrical

4 Off-Grid Electricity Options You Can Look Into

There are many ways of generating electricity off of the grid, but there are four primary ones you should consider. The first is solar power, the second is wind power, and the third and fourth ones are hydroelectric and geothermal power respectively. You might even be able to do a combination of several different systems. Here is a broader look at each:


solar power for homes
1.

Solar Power As An Off Grid Electrical System


It's absolutely true that residential solar power is now more affordable than ever, even for first-time homeowners or small businesses. The initial outlay for new residential solar power equipment can be minimal, especially considering the fact that some of the equipment needed to complete the process is now available at value prices. Photovoltaic panels for homes and offices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and roof panels can be customized for either residential or commercial applications. In addition to reducing the level of your monthly electrical bill, installing and using solar panels can also lead to significant savings on your carbon footprint - switching to green energy reduces your carbon footprint by up to 40 percent!

As long as you have property or roof facing the sun most of the day, and you're not at too far north of a latitude, then this can be a viable option for you in most of the United States.

wind turbines
2.

Using Wind Power as An Off Grid Electricity Option


Harnessing the power of the wind can be a bit variable, depending on where you live, but it doesn't take much air flow to get modern turbines running and generating power. You also don't have to have a huge turbine in your yard drawing attention from the whole neighborhood or possibly killing birds. There are rooftop turbines you can mount on top of your home that are safe for animals and visually unobtrusive.

micro hydro
3.

Hydroelectric Power As An Off Grid Energy Option

 

This one is nearly impossible to pull off if you don't have a stream or creek running through your property, but if you do, you can set up mini-hydroelectric stations to turn the constant current into a source of some power. If your property is big enough, you might even be able to do it at both ends of your lot for twice as much juice off the same volume of water.

geothermal open loop
4.

Geothermal Power Can Be An Off Grid Eelectrical Option


The core of the Earth beneath your feet is warm, very warm. In fact, it can be thousands of degrees warm down there. In some places, you don't have to dig far to start finding that heat. A residential geothermal system can send liquid water down one pipe where the planet's internal heat warms it up, sending steam back up another pipe. This turns a turbine that generates electricity before the water goes back down the cold pipe, repeating the process.

Hybrid power systems
5.

Combo OptionsTo Generate Electricity


Solar and wind sometimes form a powerful combination. When the sun is out, it shines and gives you juice, but if there are clouds, you may not get as much power, even though modern panels can still sometimes generate juice even on cloudy days. Still, cloudy days usually mean weather moving through, and that requires wind, so having both should mean some source of power generation nearly every day.

Likewise, solar and geothermal can pair well too at time. Solar doesn't happen as much during the winter, but colder weather can mean more of a temperature discrepancy between the surface and underground, making geothermal more powerful that time of year.

Benefits Of Off-Grid Power Generation

Environment: If you care about the world, then you want to be a good steward and do your part to preserve its beauty and resources for future generations. Many off-grid electricity options are as green and clean as they come!

You Own It: Any power you generate on your own is power that you actually own and can use all by yourself. You might get a monthly bill for the hardware if you finance it, but you won't ever get a monthly utility bill for the electricity you generate with it. Many locales have tax rebates and incentives that you can take advantage of as well.

You Can Sell It: While all these are known as off-grid electricity options, some of them can still be plugged into the power grid. Depending on your local utilities, you might be able to sell your excess power back into the grid, either for cash or just discounts on what you draw from them.

Power Outages: Do you live in a region notorious for power outages? They don't happen as often as they used to in many places, thanks to advances in technology, research, and infrastructure. Also, many locations that suffer them don't have the power out for nearly as long as it used to happen. Still, these outages are annoying, and if you have crucial appliances to run, like medical equipment for an ailing family member, then you can't really afford to be without juice for long.

Conclusion

Whether you're seeking financial stability, a back-up option when the power goes out, a modicum of independence, or just harmony with the environment, these 4 off-grid electricity options can power some or all of your home. Based on practicality and availability, look into solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, or some combination of the above to keep the lights on.

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