Going off grid: Alternative energy for your home.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to move to a home that is off the grid.
Escaping your energy providers can give you a sense of self-sufficiency, as well as pride at doing your bit for the environment. It could also save you a lot of money in the long-term on your bills.
However, going off-grid certainly won’t provide you with an easy life. You’ll need to take personal responsibility over your utilities, which means if something goes wrong, it’s up to you to get it fixed.
If you are considering the off-grid life, then here are some alternative energy options that you should consider.
Image taken from Flickr
Perhaps the first alternative energy source that most people think of is solar power.
The sun produces more than enough energy to power the entire planet, but currently it is up to technology to catch up.
Modern day photovoltaic cells can work well, however, particularly if you live in a location that receives a lot of sunlight.
If you are investigating this option always go with a supplier that provides an analysis of your property first, like Sandbar Solar company. Each home will require its own bespoke panels in order to receive the most energy, meaning it’s not simply a case of slapping some on and powering up.
A heat pump is another off-grid option which can be used to supplement your home energy needs.
It works by pumping water underground in pipes where it absorbs the natural heat stored in the ground. This water is then transferred to your heating system where it warms up your home.
Heat pumps do require electricity to operate, however, so your home would need an extra energy source, but the heat that it produces outweighs the electricity you have to put in, making it a very efficient option.
Although hydroelectric power can provide clean and affordable energy in the long-term, it will only be suitable for a minority off homes.
Nearby fast-running water is required, so homes on steep hills near rivers are the only suitable households, unfortunately.
If you do fit this criteria, however, it is worth investigating.
Wind turbines are most commonly seen as part of huge commercial wind farms, but they can be used for personal energy generation too.
There are a variety of different turbines available and it’s important to factor in the noise that they make before you start the installation.
Many of the alternative energy options listed above can be combined with on-grid living, but if you want true self-sufficiency they will need to be combined with a battery to store the energy that they produce.
Battery technology has come a long way in recent years, meaning that the energy you create is being stored more efficiently than ever.
Less is more.
Although this tip doesn’t relate directly to energy generation, it is pretty crucial advice for off-grid living.
When you are personally generating your energy it is more important than ever to only use what you need to. Cutting down on energy waste not only helps with environmental concerns, it also places less pressure on your alternative energy supplies.