Author Archives: Thelma Anderson
Author Archives: Thelma Anderson
There are many great options available for generating DIY power if you are interested in gaining independence from the power grid and using energy from more environmentally friendly sources. Which option or options you choose will depend on your personal circumstances and preferences, and with a bit of careful thought and research you will easily be able to find the best approach for your household.
Put simply, the main options available for DIY power are solar (heating collectors, solar hot water and photovoltaics) and wind power. If you are fortunate enough to live next to a significant stream, hydroelectric power may also be possible. In some areas it is also possible to extract heat from shallow groundwater using a heat exchanger – this is known as geothermal power. Other possibilities include extracting electrical energy from magnets or phone lines.
When you start to look at the various DIY power options, it is worth bearing in mind that making the transition to a home powered entirely by alternative energy is something that doesn’t need to be done all at once. It is best to start with a simple DIY project, say solar or wind, and build from there. It also pays to get clear about exactly what you want to achieve with your DIY power project. Is it complete independence from the grid, or simply to reduce your power bills by generating some power for yourself, or some other reason? Your answer to this question is important because it will guide which sort of project(s) you undertake. Another thing to keep in mind is that any take steps you take now to reduce your power usage will make it easier to achieve a significant degree of independence from the grid.
It can be very useful to undertake several DIY power projects so that you are not totally reliant on one system. For example, you could build a windmill to power your lights and appliances and a solar system to provide your family with home heating and hot water. This will also increase your chances of not having to use the grid.
One of the biggest benefits of DIY power is that you can sell any surplus back to the grid energy supplier. Of course you will have to remain connected to the grid, but it is a good way to offset the costs of installing your DIY power system while retaining access to grid power if you need a backup supply for any reason. And won’t it be great to have the power company sending YOU some money for a change!
An essential part of working out the best DIY power options for your household is to maintain a backup system, such as grid power or gas energy. Going ‘off-grid’ is a very significant step to take and a major lifestyle decision, so you will want to make sure you are totally prepared for it.
Even if you only want to partially replace your existing power source, the same principles still apply. As a starting point on your journey towards producing DIY power, sit down and work out exactly how much power you use during the year, and don’t forget that sometimes you will need to draw more power for heating or cooling your home. This will give you the sort of information you need to compare different forms of power generation. With some basic materials, advice and planning, DIY power projects can be fun and very rewarding for your family, both financially and environmentally.
Making your own electricity from alternative energy sources is one of the most useful and rewarding things you can do for your family. As non-renewable resources such as oil become scarcer, and their negative effects more obvious, renewable energy is set to play a major role in all our lives. Fortunately, there is a wealth of knowledge available on this subject, and we live in a time when anyone with some basic skills and the desire to learn can start producing their own renewable energy. In fact, people have been harnessing the power of the wind for hundreds of years to grind grain, supply water and even cut wood. We can draw on this inspiring heritage to make our own power using the advantages of modern technology.
For the average household the two main options for making your own electricity are wind and solar power. Most places have a good supply of wind and sun so the main requirement of wind and solar energy systems is already satisfied. In terms of wind power, it is quite straightforward to set up a small turbine on your roof and link it to a battery storage system which will power appliances and lights in your home. It may not replace all your power needs but it can go a long way towards cutting down your reliance on the grid.
Solar power is also a good option for making your own electricity using photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy. Solar power is even more versatile than wind because you can also use it to directly heat water which you can use for washing and heating your home.
As you can see, both solar and wind are readily available and highly adaptable for domestic situations, unlike traditional sources such as coal that really have to be used on a large scale to produce useable power.
Making your own electricity does have its drawbacks, of course. Whatever system you use there will be some ongoing maintenance. Depending on what you install, it may also take several years to recoup the setup costs. Don’t let this deter you, though. It is a great feeling to cut back on those regular power bills and to know that you have your own independent source of energy, not to mention the positive effect on the environment.
You also need to consider the appearance of your renewable energy generator, particularly if you are thinking about installing a wind turbine. Your neighbors may not like the look of small windmills or the sound they make. However, with a bit of goodwill such objections can usually be overcome.
Making your own electricity will cost you money, but the wise person knows that it is an investment that will create a better future for their family and community. Fossil fuels are not going to last forever, so anything we can do to develop and utilize alternative energy sources has got to be a good thing. Becoming actively involved in this change is one of the most empowering things you can do.
There are plenty of online resources that give detailed plans for how to go about making your own electricity. If you are already into DIY projects, the chances are that you already have some of the materials and tools you need right there in your shed, or you know where you can obtain them. With the right advice and some careful planning, you can easily go about making your own electricity in a fun and cost-effective way.
DIY energy generation is easy to achieve with some careful planning and a relatively minor investment of time and money. It is also a very useful way to contribute towards the development of renewable energies and cut back on the world’s reliance on dwindling and polluting hydrocarbon resources. Solar and wind power are great choices for the average homeowner because the technologies are well-established and materials and information are readily available.
It has been estimated that in one day the planet receives more energy from the sun than could be used in about 25 years, based on current energy consumption rates. Unless you live in high latitudes, the chances are your home receives a significant amount of sunlight that you could collect right now to power your home and heat water for washing. And even when the sun isn’t shining you can draw power from storage batteries that you have ‘filled up’ during sunny periods.
The same holds true for wind power as a DIY energy source. Although the wind obviously doesn’t blow all the time, if you live in a place where there are regular periods of wind blowing at around 10-15mph, and you have sufficient space around you, then a small wind turbine on your roof or on a tower is a great DIY energy option.
Many people are drawn towards using solar DIY energy. Although it is often more expensive than other options, it is definitely more versatile. For example, you can simply use the power of the sun’s rays to heat up water in a low-profile reservoir on your roof. The hot water can then be circulated around your house for heating, or you can use it for washing. Many of these systems remain linked up to standard grid power as a backup.
An even more basic, yet highly effective way of creating solar DIY energy if you are building a house is to incorporate it into the house construction phase using so-called ‘passive solar’ principles. In essence this means aligning your house to collect sun during the cooler seasons, and using internal building materials such as masonry or concrete walls and floors to collect and store the sun’s heat, and then release it slowly during cooler periods or at night.
A third solar DIY energy option is to use photovoltaic cells on your roof to convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy. This is not particularly cheap DIY energy option if you want to power your entire house but it doesn’t have to be done on a big scale. It is often used in conjunction with other DIY energy options.
In many areas you can sell any excess power back to the grid supplier and offset your installation costs. If you are interested in this option, it is a good idea to check whether there are any tax breaks or subsidies available that will cut down your costs. Many people have installed systems that have virtually eliminated their monthly power bills. At the very least you will be able to make a significant reduction in running costs with a DIY energy generation system.
Homes with DIY energy installations typically increase in value, for obvious reasons. People are definitely willing to pay more for homes that produce their own energy. Check with your local real estate agent to see if they can give you an estimate of the benefits in your area.
Another slightly less obvious benefit of DIY energy is that it makes users more aware of their power consumption, thereby helping to reduce costs.
If you are thinking about building a DIY energy system, it is a good idea to estimate your household demand and how much your current costs are. This will give you a comparison point for any system you consider. It is also worthwhile to do a basic audit to see if you can fix up any energy leaks in your home or cut down on your energy usage in some way. This can often make a big difference to your costs and/or the viability of a DIY energy project.
If planned and executed with care, DIY energy projects can be very rewarding and can make a positive difference to your household budget.
One of the most exciting recent developments in alternative energy supplies has been the growth in exploration of geothermal energy sources. In Australia, for example, there are a number of companies seeking to extract heat from basement granites, or near-basement sedimentary rocks. Some have just begun their exploration, while others are on the verge of producing commercial power supplies.
Put simply, geothermal energy stations extract heat from hot rocks deep below the earth’s surface by pumping cool water into fractures within that rock. The water rapidly heats up and is then brought back up to the surface where it is used to drive a steam turbine.
There is almost no carbon footprint with geothermal energy, and unlike other green energy sources, it can provide baseload power. Geothermal energy has always been with us – think of the geysers you can see in some parts of the US, or the hot mineral springs that people have used for thousands of years. The only difference between now and then is that modern energy companies are using drilling techniques that control and maximize the amount of energy that can be recovered.
In Australia it is estimated that geothermal energy could supply the country’s entire energy demands for the next 450 years.
That is a fantastic resource by anyone’s standards, and the next 5-10 years are bound to bring an astounding growth in this form of green energy.
The two must do actions that you need to take to create a well-organized home are to declutter and organize. Being organized means that every item in our home has a specific location, and that we can easily find things when we need them.
Getting organized in one’s home is no mean feat. It may take a declutter day or two to get organized. But once we implement systems to get organized and keep organized it really makes life simple.
Here are some useful tips on decluttering:
Every room has a purpose and the way we get organized needs to match closely the function of the room we are trying to organize. If you are trying to declutter your kitchen, you need to remind yourself that the main function of your kitchen is for preparing food. That means, the utensils that you need to cook need to be readily on hand and easy to find. And that also means that the ingredients for your meals need to be well stocked and easy to find.
The clutter has accumulated over the years and you will need to set aside some dedicated time to clear all that clutter. Have a declutter day and get the whole family involved. Get the kids to take ownership by decluttering their own room. You will hear groans from the kids but it has got to be done.
One of the keys to reducing clutter is to throw things away. Some people have a habit of never ever throwing anything away. If you are one of these people, you will have to start throwing things away to achieve your goal of having a neat and clean home.
What I mean here is resisting the urge to buy more stuff. If you have just had a declutter day, do you really one to have one anytime soon? Well, if you continue to buy stuff at a lightning pace, you may well find yourself having another declutter day to get rid of all that new stuff you just bought.
Having efficient storage is the key to getting organized. It’s not really how much storage you have, but it is really about making the best use of your existing storage. Granted the fact that maybe your home has inadequate storage. But in most cases, you can always improve the functionality of your existing storage.
If it’s all too much for you to declutter your home and you are feeling a touch overwhelmed, it may be time to get some expert help.
Read more: Declutter Your Life – Simplicity is the Key