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.
DIY Power Options
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.
DIY Power Is a Gradual Process
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.
Consider Using Several DIY Power Sources
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.
Selling Your DIY Power
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.