A house 100% off the grid… is it possible?

July 27th, 2006 BY Bart | 5 Comments

Image a world where at home you use your own energy, where you are totally off the grid… it's more doable then you might think. There are a couple of ways you can accomplish this… and the best thing about it is, most of the technology is here already. 

 

 

  1. Solar Absorbing Roof Shingles – this is becoming a very hot product. There are solar panels that have been developed just for this cause. They're hardened material that will withstand everything the weather can throw it's way… snow might still be an issue. There are studies confirming that on an average house the roof can provide up to 30% of the household energy, very very exciting.

    Resources:

    http://www.oksolar.com

    http://www.opticalenergy.com

    http://www.uni-solar.com

  2. Photovoltaic Paint - this one might be a little ways away but there studies currently going on paint that can absorb suns energy, think of the possibilities… you get our your spray gun pain the whole house and now every surface of your house is generating energy, the possibilities are endless here. This can be applied to any surface and even indoors, maybe they can also throw in the nano technology that can reflect certain wave lengths so we can switch paint color of our house with a click of a mouse Now this would be an idea.

    Resources:

    http://www.halfbakery.com

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com

    http://www.memagazine.org

  3. Photovoltaic cells - show in the picture above are new cells that work 25% better then traditional cells and they're transparent, great technology and guess what's the best application…. got it yet? Windows!!! So picture your house now you got your roof producing energy, your paint on the outside and inside producing energy and now you have transparent cells acting as windows producing even more energy Sounds like a green house to me… on a typical house this might have a smaller effect but for large office buildings that don't have the paint or rooftop to use the technologies from points #1 & #2 this would be a great alternative, think of all those glass buildings going up in every downtown core.

    Resources:

    http://www.newenergy.org

    http://www.globalphotonic.com

    http://www.futurepundit.com

  4. Wind Troubines – While we're at it lets throw in one or two small wind turbines in the backyard. I was surprised to see on the Canadian Tire flyer last week a full two page spread dedicated to wind turbines alone $ 999 will get you a 1000 watt generating turbine that works 24/7 no matter if the sun is over your house or not.

    Resources:

    http://en.wikipedia.org

    http://www.treehugger.com

    http://www.canren.gc.ca

 

With all these alternatives to oil and the grid this is a very exiting time, these produces can get expensive but over the years they will pay for themselves, and hopefully if the governments wake up and shake their dependency on oil, they can help by providing more direction and show more responsibility.

  1. Luke
    1

    But how do we put it all together?

    I know this is about being OFF the grid, but what about grid tie-in inverters? I’ve seen a bunch but they’re all really expensive. Is there a cheap way to put all the alternative sources together without buying expensive batteries?

  2. Joe Johnson
    2

    I am interested in alternate sources for grid-tie.

  3. Kittychat
    3

    Why on earth would the government help us get off the grid since they are also in bed with utility companies and if we didn’t have to pay for our heat or electric, they wouldn’t profit! They will NEVER allow us to be completely off the grid…that’s why the hobbit house in England is in jeopardy! I’m telling you, the entire green thing is a huge scam! Wake up people!

  4. K Waldrom
    4

    Who wants to help me get my Appalachian cabin off the grid? I own it outright and there are still no permits required in this area. Power goes out frequently and I also need to be able to pump water from a 400ft deep well. This would be the perfect opportunity to try out your new prototype. Also……you should know, it will need to be free because I haven’t got a money tree :)

  5. Mark A. Owens
    5

    Great ideas and information. However, it's still financially unreachable for most people.

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