Life Off-Grid

Living off grid lessens our carbon footprint and can inspire others.

My only power source is solar but my landlord uses it most days for his power tools … free power for us all. Should add here that I can do most things during the day, he uses power tools, I stitched four curtains one day. The power is plentiful when there is sunlight. But as soon as that sun sets you are on a more nominal back up battery. So I can cook dinner, recharge my devices and use the LED lights but I wouldn’t sew or use power tools then.

Solar fridge is probably the only specialised unit, everything else is from the shop as you would normally buy. Cook with an induction hotplate that I would highly recommend as it’s instant heat and my meal is cooked in 2-4 minutes without the plate or wok even getting hot. Uses less power whatever your source.

The compost loo works a treat once it’s set up, so no sewage works needed. Or gallons of water to flush! Claim that bin can be used for six months then swapped out for the other one while the full one decomposes before being added to your garden. Some say not on your vegetables but compost is compost and is usually made with creatures manure so why not ours.

Have a cute 2kg washing machine set in the bathroom wall which washes well, just got to do a few more washes as it only does a little at a time. Grey [used] water drains into the orchard to keep those trees well watered so even that is recycled.

If you’ve got any questions ask away …

43 Comments

  1. This living off the grid lifestyle is indeed mother earth friendly….back in the Philippines we planned to install solar panels at home because the electric way is wayyyyyyyy to high…but we postponed it anyway because we moved…

    I am more particular about the compost though, how does it work? All your garbage, disposals?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow!
    This really looks so nice and comfy. That light blue shade is certainly soothing.

    Just one question: Since you are entirely relying on solar energy to power up your life in your new home, do you know about solar powered portable generators? Beside being are eco-friendly, they can power up multiple devices at the same time, which is good for you.

    I know about a company which makes such generators in Australia.
    You can view their solar powered generators over here: https://goalzero.com.au/product-category/portable-power-stations/#.W8AfqxRoS01
    And if you are interested, then locate their retailer close to you through this: https://goalzero.com.au/contact/find-a-retailer/#.W8Af3RRoS00

    I hope this helps you out 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. carpet NEVER, I have a real aversion to carpets my floors are well insulated so no need 🙂
      Plants outside for the alpacas and chooks to eat .. doubtful! I was promised a fence if that ever comes to fruition then I would, thanks Rupali

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You are living like royalty… in the compost department.
    There was an Egyptian King that had a special person (OK slave) that took only the Kings body waste to the Kings own private garden to grow his own food. The king was paranoid about being poisoned. And I believe also had food taste testers. 😉

    Our trash recycle system recently changed. Only four things go in that bin. Everything else instead of going in a landfill gets burned and turned into electrical power.

    I had a solar panel once, early model on a house we had over 30, 40 years ago for supplemental heating of water or heat. But the panels, even today need maintenance to stay at optimal peak operation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed this slice of your life – more to come I hope. Human waste is not to be feared, we’ve become so pathetic about it all – do you remember the Poowoomba debacle where a media campaign was run against recycled water? We will literally eat our words on that.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. My world has gone sideways…my dear Dad passed away October 1st…time is flowing differently at the moment, it seems to be both moving fast and slowing down…I’m in the middle of closing a well-lived life…there are good days and bad…today is a good day, I went out for a glorious autumn walk, it cleared my head and warmed my soul. Thank you so much for asking about him…it warms my heart.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I live off-grid too, and I am mildly surprised to read of the induction stove. It is certainly efficient – I have used one in the past, but have you also considered having a small propane-fired cooker? We use gas for all cooking, water heating, and the occasional wet-weather clothes-drying. Gas heating is very efficient use of fuel and saves the solar capacity for things that can’t run on gas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have four solar panels so when the sun is out I use sewing machine and whatever, landlord uses his power tools off it and the solar charge doesn’t seem to dwindle. But come sun down it drops back to full … even after two weeks with maybe only 2-3 hours of sunshine I had solar power … so happy to use power inside. Besides I’m down right dangerous with gas, nearly killed myself a few times.
      Does your solar charge drop at sun down too?

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      1. Well, the voltage from the charge controller drops because the panels are no longer charging. I have 20 6-volt batteries and 9 270 watt panels. We run a couple of water pumps, a refrigerator, a freezer, three computers and lights; oh, and lately we have added a Eufy robo-vacuum! All that stuff runs on a 3.5kW inverter. Like you with gas, I am down right dangerous with power tools, but I still use them occasionally.

        Anyway, the high voltage for the day is usually about 28.8 volts, and we “absorb” charge an hour or two at that level. At night, we drop down to about 24 volts (momentarily lower when a pump starts).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ah sounds like you power metre reads double mine .. mine is full at 12, works it’s way up to 13.7 or even 14.2 during the day, then drops back to 12.6 at night. But I don’t run half of what you have … I have a small solar fridge, more like a bar fridge and no pump, freezer or vacuum. But sounds like you have a house rather than a tiny … my space if confined and I love it!

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          1. You are right about the voltage; our system is set up for 24 volt (with bigger power uses, increasing voltage means lower amperage and so the wires can be smaller). On a 12V basis, your numbers are really good. Staying around 12.5 or higher at night means the batteries live longer. I am hard on batteries.

            We lived on a sailboat for a long time (15 years), so being in a house now is really fine! Small space was nice too – great view every day! Everything was practically in reach.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. yes everything in easy reach is a real bonus … glad about the batteries as I have a heap of them and hadn’t twigged that I will need to replace them regularly … all new to me 🙂

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              1. Lead-acid batteries are supposedly good for two or three thousand cycles. Of course, if you keep them fully charged then they are never cycling and could last practically forever. But mine cycle at least partially, almost every night. Sometimes in cloudy winter weather, they go so low I have to start a generator (three or four times per year). At that rate, mine have been surviving for about five years (5 x 365 = 1825; close enough to 2000 that I doubt I could do much to improve their life). In each cycle, lead is removed to generate electricity, then re-made from the lead sulfate when the battery is recharged. It doesn’t always go smoothly onto the lead plate, and can eventually form a bridge from + to – that keeps the battery cell from recharging. Equalizing, or even applying twice as much voltage to the battery as designed, can knock off “lumps” sometimes – a matter of luck I think. Mixing new and old batteries probably also reduced the life expectancy, but I am not going to replace 20 every time one goes bad! I replace them piecemeal and that seems to be working OK. On the boat, when we only had a pair or two to replace, then we did them all at once – reliability was more important than economy in those days (no battery stores at sea!).

                Liked by 1 person

              2. thanks heaps for this priceless info from your own experiences Cade … you are only the second person I’ve spoken to who has actually lived off grid.
                So you were actually sailing around the world on the boat? Some people live in moored boats …

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              3. We bought the boat in 1996 and moved aboard at the end of the year. We lived at the dock in the St. Petersburg, FL Municipal Marina until April 2001. Then we sailed around the western half of the Caribbean with two stops to work. In the two years at Maracaibo, VZ; we lived in school-provided apartments. In the two years at Charlotte Amalie, USVI; we lived on the boat on a mooring in the harbor. We moved off the boat in 2011 for a short time to move the boat up to the farm (and convert it into a guest house), then we lived in it on land until 2013 when we could move into the “real” house.

                Living on a boat is really nice, but you have to pay attention that the bilge pumps work (unless you are docked in a really shallow place).

                Liked by 1 person

              4. LOL! That damned boat . . . I can’t seem to get rid of it. It will follow me to my grave I suppose. Having cut the keel off, I guess now I could fly away and it would not be able to follow me anymore. A man has a love-hate relationship with boats.

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