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Show ALL Forums  > Alberta  > getting off the grid      Home login  
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 1
getting off the gridPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
im curious as to how many ppl would b interested in a lifestyle change that would radiclly change their lives. in the 60s communal living n stuff like that was rampant, i seem to b seeing a rise in the desire of ppl to get away from the normal lifestyles , especially on tv shows
i have often thought of "getting off the grid and going all solar and wind generated power , has anyone on here done this? being a homeowner i suppose would b the only way to do this as most apartments wont let ya hook up wind towers n solar cells lol
my ideal lifestyle would b to b totally off the grid, power and gas,as these two things seem to b the biggest drawbacks these day.i built my house i own at present to accomodate this stuff , but unforueantely there isnt enuf firewood in the area so now im hunting for property up north in the bush areas .
also has anyone installed geothermal energy equipment in their homes? and can it produce electricity as well as heat or is it merely for heat alone
 Mon Cherie
Joined: 3/13/2007
Msg: 2
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 6:40:19 PM
I've had a hankering to just move into the bush and live off the land. Just not sure that I would be strong enough and know I couldn't do it alone. Plus, even that isn't free so would need some cash to get set up.

I found that homesteading show interesting. Not sure what it was called but they took two couples and put them in the middle of nowhere and they had to start like they did in the 1800's. They were given a stake of what they needed to get started and had to live that way for a year. It was interesting and took guts.
Joined: 10/13/2004
Msg: 3
view profile
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 6:46:27 PM
As far as I know it is only for heating.....quite the premise, though.....I'm sure when all the minerals of the world start to completely deplete, we will see a rise in interest in this technology......
I suggest hooking up all of Canada's furnice's to yugmde's mouth....

We could all live in complete comfort and warmth until he has nothing to say anymore!!!!!!!

The only downside is having to smell his breath....
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 4
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 6:58:46 PM
well ive wanted to have a cabin off the grid in the bush somewhere for probl 15 yrs now
i got the cabin but it isnt in the bush lol
not to many trees in southern sask
however renovating and restoring it gave me lots of good ideas for when i do find my patch of bush where i will eventually build
id prefer to find and old abandoned log house something from the homesteader days and renovate and remodel it
its nice when u can start with some form of structure after all
plus theres nothing quite like the smell u get in a log house when u start that fire in the huge fireplace
ive done it for every winter for the last 4 yrs and it isnt a big deal
just buy an electric blanket lol
when i bought my house it had no heat just a fireplace and no insulation in the walls
i tell ya i burnt railway ties for the first few days lol
they smoky tho
 peel my grape
Joined: 10/30/2006
Msg: 5
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:00:20 PM
The name of that t.v. show was called Pioneer Quest. I watched it too and it was really interesting. I think you would have to be a strong, strong person to be able to do that. I admired them for doing it. What a test of a relationship.
 Mon Cherie
Joined: 3/13/2007
Msg: 6
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:03:48 PM
Trubblemakr - that's impressive. I admire that.

Thanks Peel. I was really into that show. It was Canadian too.
 Til Tuesday
Joined: 3/14/2007
Msg: 7
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:06:25 PM
Forget my own little area off the grid. I'll take my own little planet, please!
 ~ Cndn Girl ~
Joined: 2/2/2007
Msg: 8
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:12:05 PM

I found that homesteading show interesting. Not sure what it was called but they took two couples and put them in the middle of nowhere and they had to start like they did in the 1800's.

All those "Little House on the Prairie" books I read would come in handy!

plus theres nothing quite like the smell u get in a log house when u start that fire in the huge fireplace

You know it Trubble!!!
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 9
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:39:56 PM
hmm til tuesday u seem kinna disillusioned .
the moon is vacant lol
noone will bother u there
Joined: 9/20/2005
Msg: 10
view profile
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:48:31 PM
Ummm, no thanks 'bout living in the wild with no running water and no electricity......nope, I don't wanna be poopin in the bush and some big grizzly comin up behind me and wipin' my asss!

 Rae Rae
Joined: 9/5/2006
Msg: 11
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:52:50 PM
I also have a house and a little parcel in southern Sask...LOL...but who really wants to live there?
The wind turbines are not very economical, they need maintenance, and you should test for wind speed and such before installing one in your area. Also they make noise, so you may need a permit depending on where you live.
You also need to assess your energy needs, to calculate which one would best serve your purposes.
After all the research I have done I came up with the conclusion that I may not want to be off grid, because in the summer months when you generate excess energy you can sell it back, don't know if you would make enough to pay for an overage in the winter?
I am a bit of a hippy, and get teased about being a tree hugger, but the truth is when I go camping with my family they all look to me for answers......and we do extreme camping most of the time (well, extreme by today's standards).
I can message you all of my current research if you like.
Joined: 10/11/2006
Msg: 12
view profile
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 7:53:56 PM
I would love to throw solar panels and a big wind tower to generate power to run my house.. Anything to save myself money and make my house more efficient.

I don't remember what show I was watching on Discovery, but the show was saying how wind power is the most efficient way to generate power, and there's enough "wind" in the world to power the whole planet, people just have to build it..

They even went as far as comparing the effects of birds being killed if wind towers were installed, and how the diseases that contributed to the death of birds far exceeds wind tower deaths
Joined: 2/20/2006
Msg: 13
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 8:14:21 PM
I could so easily go off grid...

However recently I spent a little time looking at these supposedly eco friendly alternatives... To run my house off-grid in southern alberta - would be an initial investment (in hardware - not just labour) of almost 38,000$.

I think I'll have to stay on grid for another couple decades
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 14
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 8:15:59 PM
well the bird deaths were directly linked to wind towers that spun at hi rpm
they have fixxed it tho now so that wind towers turn slower yet generate more power than b4 plus making sure birds are no longer killed in the blades

i was really most interested in the geothermal power tho
i mean if u could suck heat from the earth thru exchangers and thereby create even a slight current the end results could b great
u wouldnt b dependant on wind or light
and another idea i had was to dig a giant hole and build underground to save on heat loss and wind penetration
just have a small garage up top for the vehicle and the house would all be underground water tight being heated and powered solely by geothermal and the odd fireplace lol
i know geothermal for my house was approx a 12 k bill to start but i was factoring in the furnace and gas bills for 4 yrs and in 4 yrs itd pay itself off assuming gas prices continue to spike
when i bought my house the gas bills were 250 a month in winter and 110 in summer
ive since renovated and insulated and got them down to 100 a month all yr round

the benefits of underground living tho seem to b vastly superior to living as they say above ground
i was even thinking of a 2 story underground 1 story above ground house basically for access n stuff

VV haha pow to the moon VVVV
 Til Tuesday
Joined: 3/14/2007
Msg: 15
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 8:26:24 PM
Ok, to the Moon Alice, to the moon!
 EEK the cat
Joined: 8/14/2005
Msg: 16
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 9:36:06 PM
Anyone seen the documentary series called "30 days"? It's done by the " supersize me" guy. Anyway, one episode had two typical energy whores going to a commune type thing for 30 days. The house they stayed in was an old round grain bin, all reno'd inside, solar/wind power, chemical crapper, the whole nine yards. They made their own diesel as well. Other than the yogurt and granola adiction, and mandatory Birkenstocks, it looked like a pretty nice way to live.
Joined: 1/15/2007
Msg: 17
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 9:41:51 PM

I suggest hooking up all of Canada's furnice's to yugmde's mouth....

We could all live in complete comfort and warmth until he has nothing to say anymore!!!!!!!

The only downside is having to smell his breath....

You are a bitter little man. btw... "furnace"

OT: I have pondered doing this for a long time... I would like to at least give it a go with wind turbines and perhaps build a cabin near a stream and use a generator there?
Joined: 12/6/2006
Msg: 18
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 9:53:23 PM
Hey there trubble.... I've hooked up a few thermal units in my day....and you can't generate power from them. They need power to actually operate. You have pumps that circulate the glycol into the ground to an exchanger. Then there is another pump that compresses the glycol to create heat. So you can't generate power from it. As for wind power. You can now get the "urban wind generator" which is only about three feet in diameter, bolt it to your roof, beside your satelite dish, and have enough power to live for over a week without even a stich of wind with fully charged power cells. I was going to do that at my cabin sometime soon for shitz and giggles, to try it out
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 19
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 10:12:11 PM
would this fan power the pumps n stuff that operate the geothermal heating , as ina standalone system where u could virtually leave the heat on 24/7 everyday of the yr n not cost a penny?
itd b good security for a cabin so u wouldnt have to worry about bursting plumbing lines and cracking plaster/paint etc from -40 weather
Joined: 10/9/2006
Msg: 20
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 10:56:27 PM
I'd love to build a solar powered straw bale home. Straw bale is a superinsulation with an R value of between R-30 to R-45 not to mention that using straw to build is incredibly affordable and so much more enviromentally kind -Harmony
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 21
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/3/2007 11:01:46 PM
hmm yah but it attracts vermin
hence thats kinda why i opted for the log or subterranian house
i saw the show on straw houses but as i know farmers straw attracts rats n mice lol
n we all no how u gurls like mouses
Joined: 4/27/2006
Msg: 22
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getting off the grid
Posted: 4/4/2007 2:17:52 AM
The biggest problem with alternative energy is storing it. That costs big bucks. I've started to work on some stuff at my place, but I have a bit of room. Planning on wind and solar for power and solar for heat with the possibility of wood and or pelets for heat as well.

We have a bunch of solar communications sites. One is heavily loaded and we added wind to keep up in the winter months. A solar/wind combination could easily run your pump for the Geothermal. The problem lies in the cost in and the cost out. At the price per watt of power, solar is stupidly expensive, and wind... well, it needs wind. Micro hydro is good, but doesn't produce a bunch of power.

It's easy to figure out what you need for power just for your electrical needs. Just count the spinning wheel on your power meter. From there you can calculate your power draw and then see what it would take to support your habbits. Start getting used to the idea of life without.... without Tube TV's, computers etc. etc. Bottom line... a single wind generator WILL NOT get you off of the grid, and you don't want it attached to your roof... they make a little noise. ;-)

I have lots of cool sites if anyone wants to do some reading.
Joined: 1/7/2007
Msg: 23
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/4/2007 9:50:01 AM
I am building an alternate energy home here in Central Ontario. It is expensive, but with our current electricity costs here our savings will cover the costs in about 5.5 years. The electricity is not so expensive, but the delivery charges and etc. are about 4 times the cost of my electricity use.

I have also come up with a few inventions (I'm not going to discuss them until I have a patent, LOL) which makes the energy output of solar and wind more efficient. Storage is still an issue, but you can purchase the same batteries as the department of Highways use for their electric road signs. They can store enough to run a household for a few days.

There are many manufacturers her in Ontario who produce green building products, and I am utilizing as many as I can. I am also building out of stone (no kidding!) found locally, even quarrying most of it myself.

I think it is a good idea, for whoever has the means to get off of the grid...
 *Straight Shooter*
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 24
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/4/2007 2:44:27 PM
Great thread OP!

Thanks to increased public awareness and demand regarding "Green " housing, our business has been able to offer customers optional Geo Thermal Heat and Photo Voltaics (solar panels) in conjunction with traditional heating/power systems.

It is wonderful to see that public interest has driven the market to this point. Even though most of this technology was pioneered over 30 years ago, it has been slow to influence the masses. Now that it is politically correct to live a harmonized existence with nature, I know this is just the beginning of a massive shift in home design, construction and living!
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 25
getting off the grid
Posted: 4/4/2007 3:40:13 PM
to b honest it isnt political correctness that drives me , im just a cheep sob lol
haha nah i just hate to b around cities and dont really care to b amidst society as it collapses in upon itself
plus i dont like to b held at gunpoint by gas companies and energy moguls , and since blackouts and other disasters are likely to occur i dont want to b stuck in -45 with no heat or light
as far as a wind generated system tho id like to have something like them whirlybird on the roofs maybe a row of em all directly linked to perhapsa bunker of car alternators to create perhaps just over flow power but i wasnt sure if there was perhaps a device one could attach or fabricate . id like designs if possible but i think im gonna try n figure out this system myself ,im not an electrician guy but ive jury rigged a few things in my time
although is there a way to up the output voltage of an auto alternator to push 24 volts?
i am capable of building my own tower and making my own windmill from wood and fibreglass so i am certain the cost in the end would b alot cheeper than buying everyone elses premade items
its the wiring and schematics in the end that is the part bogglling me
Show ALL Forums  > Alberta  > getting off the grid