solar

Solar Window Box Is A Good Start For Going Off Grid

Solar Window Box Is A Good Start For Going Off Grid

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If you are like me I am constantly looking for ways to live off-grid. With today’s economy it is my passion and it should be yours also to save as much money as possible. One of the best and easiest ways is through solar. Solar can be used for so many things, from producing electric, heating your hot water, and even heating your home.

I remember as a child my mother made a window solar panel and then she made a window solar box heater and this was back in the 1970’s. These are simple to make and the expense is minimal if you are the type of person that is handy with a few simple tools.

When I read this article I was amazed that I had not thought of building a window solar box heater for myself. I had one many years ago but I totally forgot about it till I came across this article. This great little project can add warmth to a room when it is cold outside and if need be it can serve as a little oven. All you will need for this project is a couple sheets of corrugated plastic panels (like what is used for a greenhouse) and a few simple tools.

To help with air movement you can add a couple solar fans to move the warm air from the window box into your living space.

Information for how to build a window box solar heater is available on survivalkit.com here…

Link For More Information About Building a Solar Box

 

Posted by Tom in Craft, Off The Grid
Homemade Solar Colored Outdoor Lights

Homemade Solar Colored Outdoor Lights

Make sure you like Urban Homesteader on Facebook or Twitter to be updated every time we find something that is innovative and help you to become self-sufficient on a budget.

If you’re looking for a great way to decorate your backyard patio or deck then these solar powered colored lights are for you. This simple little project is easy to do and it does not cost you an arm and leg. They will add the prefect mood for your guest when they come over for those evening parties that you host.

This truly is a craft project that will keep you smiling, day after day, as they come to life in the evenings with their beautiful glow.

To build your full set of solar colored lights here is a link that will you give you a material list and instructions of how to make them yourself.

 

Instructions To Make Solar Outdoor Colored Lights

Posted by Tom in Craft
How To Live Without Electricity

How To Live Without Electricity

How To Get By Without Electricity

In today’s age of technology it is hard to imagine that people live without electricity but many do. One of these people is my sister and brother-in law. The power lines stop about fifteen miles from their home so the cost to deliver power out to their home would totally out of this world.

Life Without Electric For Lights

Home in Guatemala with no electricity is not uncommon.

In my travels through Central and South America it is amazing how many people live with just one light bulb burning in their home or they have no electricity at all. According to some there are over one billion people that do not have electricity in the world. Now us here in the United States and over in Japan and Europe almost everyone has electric and most of us would not know what to do without it. Most of the electric that the world uses are controlled by powerful countries like the United States and a few other major players. We call this the power grid.

Cooking Without Power

Cooking in many homes in Central and South America is done with an open fire and no ventilation inside the home.

Many people around the world do not even have the capabilities to cook there meals on a stove like we do here in the U.S.A. Many of the places I have been in countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and etc. wish they could have an opportunity to cook on an electric or gas stove. Most of these people have to cook on an open fire or on some sort of make shift wood burning stove. There are many injuries or illnesses from cooking this way, everything from lung cancer to repertory problems to death. If you think life is rough when the burner does not work right on your cook stove, just imagine what life will be like when the power goes out.

No Communication

Most of our communication and technology depends on electricity. Most homes today rely on cellular communication to be our lifeline to the world. The days of picking up a handset and dialing a landline phone is a thing of the past. If the power grid goes down are we going to be prepared to use some sort of other communication?

What Will Cause Us To Lose Electricity

Power blackouts can be caused by many things, such as thunderstorms, natural disasters, solar flares, EMP attacks, and so on. In some situations a backup generator is all you’re going to need to get by on for a short time without electric. But what if some huge natural disaster or an EMP takes out the power grid for a long period of time, will you be ready. For additional information on EMP click here.

Lighting Ideas

Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article my sister and family have been living without electricity for close to forty years. I have learnt a lot from them in how to live off the grid. When it comes to lighting it really is not hard to adapt to using candles and oil lamps to get by on. Since my family and I live in Florida we are always losing power do to storms and hurricanes so we make sure that we always have a good stock of batteries and flashlights for when the power goes off. Some other alternatives for lighting that are available today is hand crank flashlights, these are great because they never need batteries. Solar powered lights are great for having light during the night and they re-charge during the day. With today’s solar powered led lighting you can light a whole house with just a few of these lights. Our security lighting on our home and land is done by solar powered motion controlled lighting.
                

Propane Cooking

Most of us have done some sort of camping in our lives. Cooking over a camp fire is nice for a short period of time, but eventually you will run out of firewood to keep cooking. For not to much money pick yourself up a two or two burner camp stove that uses small propane tanks. These come in handy when you want to boil some water for coffee, or soup, or make spaghetti or any other kind of cooking you need to do.
                                       

Life Without Electric Using An Alternative Source Of Power

There is a constantly new source of solar energy coming on the market every time I do any research on solar. They claim this next year we will be able to purchase shingles that will be a solar source. There are other forms of alternative energy that is becoming more and more accessible to the general public. One source is wind power, or wind turbines that produce electric for the home owner. Another source which also uses wind is the old fashion wind mill connected to a generator system that stores power like solar in batteries.

Life without electric can be daunting and uncomfortable especially for us that depend on electric for everything we do. But if you are like me and plan ahead for the day when the lights go out you and your family could be fully prepared.  Being prepared is the key to this situation and what better time than the present to get your family ready for that dark day that lies in front of us when the grid goes down.

Posted by Tom in Homestead, Off The Grid
Google Changing To Renewable Energy

Google Changing To Renewable Energy

Google Going Off The Power Grid:

Google announced in 2016 that in 2017 Google will be able to power all of it global centers and their corporate offices using 100% renewable energy. Google uses the same amount of energy as the city of San Francisco uses. With all of the offices, data centers and all their production companies around the country and world this is a large undertaking by Google to turn towards renewable energy and not rely on fossil fuels.

In the last several years Google started to look at signing long-term agreements to purchase renewable energy from solar and wind turbine farm suppliers. A lot of effort took place by top level executives behind the scenes to make these large purchases of carbon-free renewable energy purchase
agreements with twenty plus renewable energy projects. Technology companies similar
to Google use a lot of power to make their systems work and with electricity cost continue to rise electricity is one of the largest expense for these technology firms.
The Technology Giant
This technology giant is already the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Technology firms are one of the
biggest users of fossil fuels even more so than the aviation industry. Other tech companies like Apple and Microsoft have announced that they are looking into plans to power their data centers with forms or renewable energy. Apple has even entered into partnership with First Solar to invest 850 million in a solar plant. More and more corporations are looking into renewable power as their sources of energy. In the next several months we should be hearing updates about how the change is taking place for corporations like Google and Apple to switch from traditional electricity from the power
grid to renewable energy in an effort to reduce the carbon environmental footprint.
Posted by Tom in Off The Grid