Home › Forums › SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY and WATER CONSERVATION › Sustainable Energy & Energy Conservation › Living off the Off Grid System
October 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm #255931mashellyMember
I had been thinking for sometime about how solar and wind power are so very expensive for our family..and was looking on the net and found a book called off the Off Gris by Michael Bunker I bought the book its really great..the 1st 9 chapters are online for free here..you can look this fella up on youtube also..Someone told me once reading a book is like eating a chicken,you eat the sweet delishous meat and leave the bones…please remeber this when reading this book..there is some excellent info on off grid living but lots of his faith is also shared you have to see past that stuff and take the good stuff..there is a little blurb hereabout him and his family.
I’d love to hear others thoughts on some of his ideas on off grid livingOctober 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm #510508geminiscMember
I haven’t read this book you’ve found but I do live off grid. Don’t really have the time atm to read the book but have bookmarked your link.
For me, I’ve found living off grid surprisingly easy. I’m on solar and rainwater tanks. Being able to see exactly where my power is produced makes me feel closer to nature. It makes me appreciate what we have and it stops me from taking my power for granted. I think that’s a very important value to have.
I’m only on 1.2kw and I do everything I need to. Sure I wait for a sunny day to do my laundry and I don’t ever iron anymore (too much hassle to move the ironing board into the solar shed to watch the power gauge go up and down – not to mention there aren’t many irons under 1kw), but that’s alright.
I still get to watch tele every night and if I don’t feel like it, I get to read a book. =)
Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. 🙂October 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm #510509gremmblesMember
Thank you much for posting this link. This book has been on my “to buy” list for so long. The reviews I have read on it have been good. Yes I have read the man’s religious beliefs tend to pervade the book but that if you can set that aside it is a good read and very thought provoking. I will read these free chapters when I have a moment and decide if I want to buy the book.October 25, 2011 at 9:44 am #510510fruitfulMember
hey there mashelly,
thanks heaps for posting this link, I found it yesterday and have been reading the chapters when Im able to get a chance. I didn’t know that what I was already doing was agrarian, interesting.
it’s a relief for me personally not to have to wade through the masses of evolution theories that seem to invade every documentary/book that i read, i guess it’s the other way around for most people. :kiss:
it seems to have a great following and there are some very enlightening links and topics which have given me some great ideas to go on with.
:clap:October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm #510511Forest RavenMember
Hi Mashelly, my partner has read that book and I’ve read a substantial part of it. It certainly provides a lot of food for thought and put us in our place. We’re off grid, but not off off grid, there’s certainly a difference! It motivated me to get more involved in the garden, though I am ever so fearful of the amount of work it will generate as I try to preserve all our excess produce! We’ve also decided, sealed by the book, but already influenced from viewing a couple of people’s slow combustion stoves, that we’re going to hunt around and get one. I don’t know how far we’ll take all the ideas, but now when I look for info, I look for off off grid suitable ways of doing things. Thankfully I hadn’t got into canning yet, I’ve instead bought a book that tells you how to preserve things without freezing or canning. And we’re much more excited about building our fire shelter now (currently just a hole in the ground) and renaming it the root cellar and giving it a full time job! And yes, you do have to accept his beliefs as his beliefs and move on!November 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm #510512
I have often thought along the same lines and still think I would be better off. I can see his thoughts on Christianity etc and also would agree that there is nothing wrong with using labour saving devices. I have only read the first chapter at the moment but will read it all. I see it can be a great benifit to live off off the grid as he puts it but also research and invent free energy devices. Very few people realise the advanced science that the human race possessed thousands of years ago making our industralised devices primative. So yes good thoughts.
DennisNovember 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm #510513
What can we gain from living off the grid. Some things are personal choice like electricity and the all the things one can buy to make work easier. Or maybe make it harder. Do we really need all the extra gadgets or can we live without them.
Myself I have nothing against electricity and some gadgets but I believe it can be over done then it becomes a time waster. While watching the Amish show on TV recently it brought home to me just how benifical the simple life can be. I am not advocating being Amish just the way the did a lot of things to make life simple. I also think some of them went over board to the point that it was not pratical. Maybe it would comes down to the needs / wants that each family or person feels they need. Not for anyone to pass judgement.November 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm #510514
Its all a trade off you either find alternatives or get rid of toaster,electric kettle, iron, dishwasher,microwave,PS3 or you buy more batteries and panels.
Eutectic fridge and another one as a freezer is a low energy way to go as the “battery” is the frozen insides,not cheap or big though.
You have to weigh up battery, panel cost, convenience V efficiency.
Climate is a big factor too when you live in the subtropics and can grow things all year,you are better off following a SE Asian model of domestic efficiency (instead of the Amish)as there isnt the need to preserve as much as when you only have short growing season.
It also reduces the need for refrigeration as most veg are fresh and animals are freshly killed
We Westerners(Australians) struggle as we have a diet that doesn’t sustainably reflect our environment/culture,we are conditioned to be multicultural/multiclimatic supermarket eaters and that ties us to a fridge and freezer and distant wheat fields vineyards,orchards and dairy farms.
Its a hard thing to break and I dont know if I want to give up the diversity of a MediterrAsian diet if I dont have too.
So my fridges and freezer remain big and I remain on grid with solar.November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm #510515phoneticMember
We Looked at getting connected to the Grid or getting a stand alone system at our bush weekender..the 2 choices
Grid connection $20k, or getting a stand alone system
We researched and finding solar wholesalers we installed a 4.56kW system for aprox $16k as a DIY
sparky friend helped out with the fixed mains wiring.
4.56kW PV Off Grid Stand Alone.
24 of 190 w Tianwei Monos (12+12 Array)
Midnite Classic 150 & Classic Lite 150 MPPT CHarge Regs
8 of 600 amp hour Surrette S600 flooded cell battery bank config as 24 volt 1200 amphour
Outback VFX3024E 3KVA Inverter Charger, Hub & Mate2
Microcontroller data logger.
with planned 2.5-3 peak sun hours per day, energy yeild is aprox 6-8kWHr,
with no Genset running during winter months
Even if you factor $2-3k to get a installer your still infront going off Grid if you can 🙂November 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm #510516casalentaMember
Thanks for posting this. I’m towards the end of the book (I bought the Kindle version for about $3 and use the free Kindle for PC), and aleady it is changing the way I think about things and do things.
I remember sitting with my ageing mother in the hospital a few months ago and was stunned by how much the medicos depend on electricity – everything’s plugged in. I’ve realised for a long time that we’re addicted to electricity, and even though people lived without electricity for tens of thousands of years, we have trouble going a couple of hours without it! We think it’s terrible if the power is out for a day. All of which is fine while there is power, and while we can afford it (and great if you can afford to be off-grid), but do we really need to use electricity for everything?
I gave up having a dishwasher years ago, and could never imagine myself bying a clothes dryer. I don’t watch TV and like to cook outside sometimes, but I’m as addicted as everyone else to electric lights, the computer, fridge and freezer. Even off-grid people are in trouble if the power is lost because the shops all totally rely on electricity. Mains water needs electric pumps. No power means no bowsers work, so no petrol. No petrol = no deliveries = empty shops.
Auckland lost power for a month, and there are still people in the US with no power after the storm Sandy. It doesn’t take all that much for us to lose it, and our complete dependence on it makes us very vulnerable. I’m looking at ways I can do without if I need to, and I’m growing a lot more food as a result of reading this book. I’m also finding it’s a lot of fun doing some things off-off grid.November 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm #510517
Off grid isnt independent it just means your are dependant on battery and panel instead of poles and wire.
The cost of replacement should be factored into the overall long term running costs.
a friend just had to replace a battery on his 5 year old system as it blew up over $1000.November 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm #510518casalentaMember
geminisc post=327317 wrote: Hi Mashelly,
I haven’t read this book you’ve found but I do live off grid.
Hello Geminsc. The book isn’t about living off grid, it’s about living OFF off grid. It’s well worth a read. 🙂November 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm #510519froot_loopzMember
Im off to get a copy of it to read
could someone please tell me the name of this Amish show that I have seen mentioned a few times throughout the forum?November 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm #510520November 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm #510521
Yes thats what I watched on TV and while I don’t agree with everything they do I do find a lot of good and interesting ideas. And thats what we can do incorporate anything into our own life styles that might suit us. In the times we are living its people like the Amish that would have very little trouble surviving. Only war or martial law might cause a problem but they would still be able to cope because of there lifestyle. :tup:
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