Self Sufficient Electricity, what are my options?

SlartibartfastSlartibartfast Global Moderator-__-
edited October 2010 in Life
Self sufficient electricty, what are my option?

lets say i have a three bedroom house with 5 people living in it.

What would be the best solutions? What are the most common solutions? Does anything work? What would be the cost? Is it cheaper than staying on the grid?
my main concern is saving $$$ not saving the planet.

I don't know anything about this stuff.


  • edited October 2010
    I know that things like turbines and solar panels work well, but I'm not sure how much electricity you'd get from it.
  • DfgDfg Admin
    edited October 2010
    I frequently lose power in Pakistan and trust me it's a bitch to survive. With rising power tariffs you're forced to lower your energy usage to bare minimum.

    Becoming totally independent from your local grid is expensive and counter productive. No matter what you do, you will rely on the local grid. Even with expensive setups some times things don't work out. So, instead of going independent why not balance the load.
    • Before spending money, it's best if you know what type of load you're dealing with. Like a Computer with a CRT monitor will drain your UPS or batteries and a Plasma would rape you. So, it's best if you get a good estimation of the power drain. Read this
    • Instead of going out and buying new panels, you should start by revising your appliances. Upgrade your system, tv, fridge to more eco-friendly models. This will reduce the cost of your solution even more and can easily cut some big chunk of the power bill.
    • After that, you can then start thinking about your budget. Going hydro, solar and wind isn't cheap and not all the solutions will work for you. It's best if you do a survey. Like take a tour around your neighbourhood or go to the nearest location where someone has installed the same system you're looking for. I know this is a bit extra work but it will payoff. If you find anyone, contact him and discuss things with him. Since he is the user of that system, he can help you get better things and tell you if it's worth trying.
    • After you have made your mind and decided that budget, it's time for the real deal. I am assuming you're going for Solar because Hydro and Wind solutions need some extra work.
    • They're different types of Solar panels some are cheap while others are expensive. The cheaper they're the lower energy they will output. Plus you will have to get some good batteries. Primarily maintenance free ones.

    The above should get you started, check these links for more information and a step by step guide.
  • OnesanOnesan Acolyte
    edited October 2010
    it depends on whats available for you to exploit at your location, your fabrication skills and alot of other things.
    The cheapest nastiest ghetto rigged but quite powerful choice would be converting induction motors into generators
    if you had a reasonably forcefully flowing creek on your property,or didnt care about the green aspect and used a engine
    it would perform pretty good till you needed more power, at which point i guess you could either upgrade to a larger
    more powerful motor to become generator, or add more, adding more will require you to read this

    Hope this helps a bit
  • edited October 2010
    The best way to get cheap on the juice is conservation, it produces a positive balance as soon as you start applying it. The investment on solar panels, wind turbines and such is so huge only your children will get the economic benefits, however the massive structures should get you invited to parties full of people you hate. Here's a thought though, a little expensive, but it might pay back in 2-3 years.

    Get a diesel generator. Make a rig to extract biofuel from used deep fryer grease. Get an arrangement from some local restaurants to collect their grease. Then you can either stay on the grid and sell your excess power back, or use storage batteries for your low use periods and tell the electronmongers to fuck off entirely.
    inspirational music;
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