Do We Care?
Many of us don’t really give power consumption a second thought, beyond complaining about the monthly rising electricity bill. Well, if you want to be rid of those ever rising costs, then it’s time to think about being energy independent.
But why should you care?
Actually, there’s more than just cost savings involved here. Going “off the grid” is not only good for your pocket book, but it is also good for your family’s health and for the welfare of our planet as a whole.
What Are Our Options?
There are a number of options for anyone really seriously thinking of becoming energy independent to live off the grid. It’s all a matter of doing your research, and asking the right questions. Your choice of options will obviously be determined by the amount of money you have to invest in gaining your independence. A detailed cost-benefit assessment will therefore need to be conducted to make the right choice.
Some options might also be influenced by where you live and the climatic conditions that are normal in your part of the world. However, a large part of the decision will be based on your need for energy and what you are using it for. For example, if you live in an area where the sun hardly shines, you may not be comfortable running an alternate energy-powered life-support system for a terminally ill child.
Not all of these options may get you completely off the grid, but they can all help significantly reduce your grid-dependence.
For many of us planning to break the bond with the power grid and become energy independent, a home solar system might be the best choice. Readily available, you can get fully functional solar panels that are manufactured by reputable companies that will also install the devices for you.
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For those who are more hands on, alternatively, there are also ready made solar panel kits that come complete with parts and instructions to assemble the panels. Prices varies according to the solar kits ranging from as low as $100 to as high as a few thousand dollars.
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Like solar, one can also harness the power of the wind to supply us with the daily requirements for power to our lives.
A set of wind-propelled blades can be used to produce sufficient power that can meet the demands of many common household appliances and make you energy independent.
Those of us living in high or mountainous regions, with fast flowing streams have an ideal opportunity to become energy independent by harnessing the power of water for your energy needs. The force of the fast water flows can be used to turn the turbines that produce clean energy.
Depending on what the power needs are, the energy can be consumed by storing it in batteries or by using a capacitor that is charged with power to supply our various home appliances.
Solar, wind and water power are only as good as the sources are, meaning that if the sun doesn’t shine, the wind does not blow or the water is not moving, you will not get power. Thus your plans to become energy independent using solar panels, wind turbine or hydro power might face some challenges.
A great alternate source of energy is a magnetic power generator. Designed to capture energy from the earth’s atmosphere, this type of a device uses the earth’s electromagnetic field to produce its electricity. The principles for such devices have been around since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and they are currently in use by many communities the world over to get free from the electricity grid. Not only is the energy produced by them “clean”, but they are not dependent upon the whims of sun shine.
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