There is something to be said about getting off the grid with renewable energy, because it provides great independence. Knowing that your lights can shine all night long and you don't have to worry about the bill at the end of the month is definitely one thing that stands out. But what about having power when the grid fails everyone else? With renewable energy off the grid living has become a reality.
Powering your home with hydro energy means that you are utilizing a stream of water that's constantly moving. This can be a man-made stream or a natural one, as long as the water continues to circulate the turbine that generates electricity. The more powerful the stream, the more energy will be generated.
This method is rather expensive compared to solar power, but you have some added benefits. For example, energy can be generated 24 hours a day, cutting out the need for a battery to store it. Also, a hydro station can put out quite a powerful surge.
Wind turbines are becoming more common on a large scale, while it's not the first choice in terms of residential use. Apart from the fact that it's a little expensive, the size of the turbine can be somewhat distracting. Once again, the house needs to be in a place where wind speeds are usually strong.
Just like hydro stations, wind turbines are very effective at powering homes. In fact, one big turbine can keep several homes going. As for the amount of time you'll be able to use one, it's got an estimated life of 20 years. However, if maintained on a regular basis it can generate power for much longer.
At the moment solar power is the most sought after form of renewable energy. The price for solar arrays is decreasing regularly, and the multitude of options has boosted the competition. Plus, it's more likely that you'll have sun instead of strong winds.
Solar panels aren't as efficient as the other two options, but they still come with a lot of benefits. For starters, there aren't any moving parts involved. The panels just stay in one position and let the cells do all the work. This means panels are very low maintenance.
What about durability? If a panel is made by a reputable manufacturer you can easily use it for 20 years.
The biggest problem with renewable energy is the consistency. Despite using batteries to store the energy, the weather remains a very unpredictable thing.
If you combine these renewable energy sources then chances are you won't run out of power. But just in case the worst happens, it won't hurt to have a generator around, along with some gas appliances. In scenarios where you might need to supplement the system with grid tied power, you can use the generator or gas instead.
Getting off the grid won't be an easy task, but it's definitely something worth looking into.
Summary: Wind Generator
A wind generator, or turbine, is very similar to the propeller of an airplane. Instead of helping the wind turbine to take off the ground, these giant propellers harvest the energy of wind, so you can produce enough electricity for an off grid property.