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Off Grid Living's Journal
19 most recent entries

Date:2011-01-08 20:17
Subject:Douglas Adams

"The trouble with most forms of transport, he thought, is basically that not one of them is worth all the bother. On Earth – when there had been an Earth, before it was demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass – the problem had been with cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm's way, turning it into tar to cover the land with smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another – particularly when the place you arrived at had probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e. covered with tar, full of smoke and short of fish."
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (wikiquote)

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Date:2010-12-22 14:31
Subject:Windmills, paid for by usage, cheaper than local grid providers


You provide the space, they install the windmill and maintain it, you pay only for electricity usage, less than you pay your local provider for electricity, and in 8 to 10 years you own it.

They're in Oregon and mention a customer in California. Haven't been able to find more information on availability.

Full article, because they tend to require creating a (free) accountCollapse )

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Date:2009-10-29 23:22
Subject:Thoughts on “dollar-a-watt” solar.

Since the 80s people have been talking about new technologies and breakthroughs that would “soon” produce “dollar-a-watt” solar panels.

Though you may not be able to buy the official “dollar-a-watt” solar panels yet,(http://www.globalsolar.com/company/) aren’t the now 3 dollar a watt solar panels actually equal to the dollar a watt concept from the 80s?

if you check the website “measuring worth” you find that the 2008 dollar is valued at exactly half of a 1985 dollar.


So to follow this to its conclusion we are now at dollar fifty-a-watt front line name brand solar panels. (when measured by value)

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Date:2009-09-09 21:37
Subject:The Colony

Is anybody watching the Discovery Channel tv series/'reality'/situation show "The Colony"? What do you think of it?

From Wikipedia:
"The Colony is a reality television program. The series was filmed in an industrial area bordering the Los Angeles River on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, and follows ten cast members in an environment that simulates life after a global catastrophe. The series first aired on the Discovery Channel on July 21, 2009."


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Date:2009-06-10 14:56
Subject:The Field Lab: Off The Grid in West Texas

I can recall from my youth (which exists now only in my fading memory and the annals of history) watching the earlier incarnations of what has become Texas Country Reporter, a human-interest news show that explores the backroads and backstories of fascinating people around the state of Texas.

There was the guy who built his home from a decommissioned missile silo in West Texas, the old barber in East Texas who's been clipping hair for decades and decades, the tasty eatery in Beaumont, the centenarian porter at a regional airport who still makes his way to work everyday and helps people with their luggage. Stuff like that.

The host, Bob Phillips, is personable -- and, for me, his distinctive voice (sounding like it is perpetually trapped mid-gulp) and inflections have become synonymous with these sorts of down-home segments.

This weekend, I caught part of an episode that profiled John Wells, a former fashion photographer from New York who has staked out a life for himself near Study Butte, Texas, just outside Big Bend National Park amidst the austere West Texas landscape, sometimes desolate, sometimes starkly beautiful, sometimes both.

There are those who can't fathom forsaking their shopping malls, conference rooms, office buildings, department stores, mega-multi-movie-plexes, and other so-called accoutrements of civilization. But, Wells instills a purposeful drive to reconnect with nature and the purity of a self-sustaining life.

It would seem, looking from the outside, that such an existence highlights both the boon and bane of solitude, occasionally conjuring its darker cousin, loneliness. But, some people are better suited for limited opportunities of face-to-face interaction. And Wells manages the tether of DSL to remain connected via the Internet.

He still exercises his photography skills, too, keeping his daily blog lively and documenting life around The Field Lab.

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Date:2009-03-01 11:36
Subject:hi is anyone still out there?

I am looking for help finding off the grid land
preferably as far from civilzation as possible
but if it has to be close would prefer it to be atleast a few miles from town

any resources?

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Date:2008-12-17 19:55

freaking awesome light bulbs for those trying to rig up simple alternative energy systems


inexpensive 12vdc CFL lightbulbs and you dont have to build a fixture. just hook the aligator clips to a car battery. no inverter required.

i ordered these a while back and was initially sent the wrong lights, they sent the screw base bulbs instead of wired bulbs. i emailed the seller and he said, whoops, i'll get the right ones out quick as i can...... and he did, didnt even ask for the other ones back.

so i would consider myself a happy buyer.

Edit: you may want to check out the other items for sale also, he has 12v LED lights also for those that prefer LEDs


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Date:2008-09-15 19:34
Subject:Newly Joined

Hi Everyone!

We are new to livejournal and to this group. We've lived off the grid for 17 years now -- no running water, no powerlines, not anything when we started (we have cellphones now).

Recent posts have to do with a natural gas well that's to be drilled on our property (we own surface rights only), but hope to post about our new addition to the house and harvesting rainwater.

Looking forward to reading new and past messages to the group and their comments. Thanks!

George & Molly

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Date:2008-06-02 12:37
Subject:A New Solar Power

I'm new to this community.

I have an idea regarding a more efficient solar powered renewable energy solution.

Note that current solar panel technology is roughly 2% efficient.  I propose the use of magnifying lenses to concentrate sunlight, direct the laser's heat toward a liquid, and then use the liquid's subsequent molecular excitement to move other items that might, say, charge a battery.  (Think of a wind turbine that is, rather than being turned by open air currents, is turned by a circulating, closed system of heated liquid or gas.) Now, many questions remain: what liquid to use?  is the liquid's excitement harnessed as the pressure of steam (pneumatic) or in some other manner (perhaps hydraulic)?  would it be best to use one large magnifying lens or many medium-sized ones?

I am seeking answers and suggestions.  Thank you for your time.

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Date:2007-11-06 19:53
Subject:Looking for experience.

I’ve got a solar array and I’ve been using a xantrex c35 charge controller and after about 3 months of use the circuit board has rusted pretty bad and is no longer charging properly.

The number of places that I have to mount the thing is severely limited due to my set up.

The question is do you know of a more weather resistant unit or has anybody had any similar problems?

I’m thinking of changing to a unit from harbor freight


which in theory feels like I’m taking a step back, however if its sealed from the weather better then I think it would be worth the trade off.

Any opinions?

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Date:2007-10-26 21:59
Subject:Rankine/Kalina Cycles
Mood: cheerful

Has anyone done any research on organic rankine or kalina cycles for residential properties? Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

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Date:2007-10-24 11:52

I have two questions: Does anybody know a good source for recycling and utilizing rainwater, and does anybody know anything about those things you could mount a bicycle on so you could pedal and provide energy? Thanks a lot.

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Date:2007-10-09 21:20
Subject:solar energy

Does anyone know if there is anything out there like a "basic solar energy kit"? Like, something that gives you everything you need to collect a little bit of solar energy and something to plug your gadgets into?

I want to set up a small system to charge my cell phone, a few lights, use my laptop for a little bit maybe but trying to find information about setting up a system is hard to do! It really feels like no one out there wants people to find out how to do anything less than convert their entire house to solar. I just want a "plug and play [after charging a bit]" system I don't want something jerry rigged with exposed bits.

This Amazon listmania list seems to have everything you need, but I'm not well informed enough yet to know, or to know what to do to put it together well... And it still has the problem of exposed bits on the battery.. Gotta be something else?

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Date:2007-10-04 14:17
Subject:Unrestrained Living

In my public speaking class, my group's umbrella of topics is "Unrestrained Living". My other group members are covering topics such as: Voyerism, celebrity justice, tax evasion, living at home as an adult, celebrity influence on young non celebrities. I want to do my topic on living off the grid.

How can i show that off grid living and living with sustainable energy is unrestrained (as apposed to working in an office and paying bills)?

I  need some creditable websites for information about living off the grid. also, tell me your stories about how you feel liberated for off grid living.

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Date:2007-08-26 17:20
Subject:On Car Batteries

Does anybody have any experience with or know of any online resources/books about using CAR BATTERIES for power.

i have known people from time to time who have powered various projects with car batteries, but i'm having trouble finding info. i'm guessing that this is due to the potential hazards related to messing with plastic boxes of sulfuric acid.

ideally im thinking: powering lights/fans/small electronics, or pretty much anything.

any info helps. thx!

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Date:2007-08-07 12:00
Subject:Energy Self-Sufficiency in Hot Climates 

I'm in the process of improving 25 acres of rural land in Central Texas I own to build a home on that is as self-sufficient as possible. I've been reading lots of books and articles recently about passive solar home design, rainwater collection systems, PV solar energy, wind energy, small scale subsistence farming/ranching, biodiesel/SVO/WVO production, etc. Ive been reading a lot of Ragnar Benson's books, Home Power Magazine, Backwoods Home Magazine, Mother Earth News, and various other simple living/back-to-basics type books.

And so...Collapse )

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Date:2007-07-07 11:08

Hi, it's me again. Asking for your help... Again! 7 07 07 has arrived and I'm not fully prepared to deal with it. 

As some of you may know I will be covering Live Earth for my thesis, the "problem" is that there's simply too much to cover, so if you see any articles or pieces of news you think might be interesting (especially controvesial stuff lol) and would like to share it with me... please leave me a comment and I'll build you a statue in Rome (my hometown).

Links, scanned articles, news from around the world... I'll take it!

(The Google News Alert thingy and my lack of 48 hours to stare at a computer screen are the reason why I'm asking for help, just so you know I'm not being lazy. *wink wink*)

Thanks! =)

x-posted around a bit!

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Date:2007-06-17 11:41
Subject:Off-the-grid living

For anyone interested in off-the-grid living, I highly recommend this documentary on the inspiring work of architect Micheal Renyolds. I had a chance to watch it at HOTDOCS (Toronto International Documentary Festival) and have been thinking about it eversince.

Below is a link to the documentary's official website.
Grab a copy of it or do a little research on Micheal Reynolds, it's absolutely worht it!


Another article: https://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Home-Building/1983-01-01/Update-on-Michael-Reynolds.aspx

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Date:2007-06-17 04:29

Another heads up for those interested in solar


ten, fifteen watt solar panels for 390$
quick math

390/150 = 2.6 per watt

Even with shipping that aint bad you just need a little more space to lay them out than you do with crystalline panels.

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