View Single Post
Old 09-12-2008, 10:05 PM   #19
Peace of Mine
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 23
Default We ARE off the grid, using solar and wind, via boat

We set up our 44' sailboat to live completely grid-free, using solar and wind, and back-up gen if needed. We could use some more solar panels. Has anyone actually checked out the "homemade solar panels???" It would be important to have them waterproof, and foolproof, but solar and wind is not complicated to understand.

We use an E-Meter to monitor how many amps we use, how many we're putting back, what the voltage is, and a history of battery storage. We use 2 8-D AGM batteries, 440 amp hours, to run our systems. That is, excellent refrigeration, unlimited laptop and internet, all lights, tvs, soy milk maker, crockpot, etc. We use solar hot-water - we made our own - and cooking is by LPG stove with oven, grill (seldom used - we're vegetarian) and solar oven.

It is very satisfying, to know how to set up your own system and learn to monitor and maintain it. Yes, it requires some compromises, and you have to be very aware of how much each appliance uses. You learn how many amps a hairdryer pulls, and which ones require a power boost before flicking a switch. You set up keel-kooled refrigeration, which is extremely energy-efficient.

Given inexpensive solar and wind options, it is not rocket science. The problem is that many inventions have been bought off (or the inventors killled.) Many countries, like Sweden, have done a much better job than the USA in utilizing alternative energy.

A great site to monitor for new projects - the goal is to make them free for all - is,

And keep the excellent info coming, everyone! Isn't this forum awesome??? Thanks, Bill and Kerry, and fellow compatriots!
Peace of Mine is offline   Reply With Quote