Thursday, August 12, 2010

Living With An Alternative Energy System

Our Solar Array On The Barn Roof

One of my readers on this blog commented recently asking me to tell about our alternative energy system. Since I write a blog called Solar Baby already, I guess I didn't think my readers here would be that interested. Different kind of readers on that blog. This blog is more about homesteading and my ideas and thoughts on various subjects. So cruising various communities on The Blog Frog I saw on the homesteading community, Homestead Revival where members mentioned going off-the-grid. So I figured, maybe there is an interest in it? Especially when we are in an oil crisis constantly. When we endanger our own country, water, sea life, air and environment by our need for oil! Now please, do not post comments in reference to how much oil it uses to manufacture one panel. How much oil does it use to keep everyone happy? Too much! Anyway, this is the way we have chose to live and we really like it. I could never see either of us wanting to live on the grid ever again.

When we moved here in 1999, this house was a hunting camp and hadn't had full time residents living in it since 1923. We have been working on it and adding to it for 11 years now.  Living off the grid with a small system makes it so you have to learn to do things differently anyway. You can’t  just hook up a dryer and use a microwave without studying your system and how it would handle those excess energy hogs. You learn to give up items to be able to have other things. It may seem to be inconvenient, but when I see people posting things to do to live simply or to conserve………….I know I already live that way. Those things are routine for me. We are very frugal with water, with our power, with food, with driving anywhere. I use a clothesline for drying my laundry. I do many things manually and I guess many people do not like to do that. I don’t mind. Some of those jobs are my favorites.

We use a pitcher pump for our water, though that will be changing within the next year or so, we have used it for 11 years already. In the winter our pipes are never froze! I can pour a cup of warm water down the pump and it thaws it and I can use it almost instantly. It makes a difference to have that fresh water all winter. We get all the water inside for the day in the morning. Then we usually have to bring the horses more water some time during the day. And again at their supper time. That is when we refill water in the house again. So hauling it by hand makes us very frugal with it. I will stay that way, I hope, once it is in the house and running through our pipes.

For the next few weeks I will try to explain my electric energy system on this blog. Share my information with others and hope that it may make some of you think of the alternatives rather than just following the flow by using grid power.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

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