Off Grid Home
The What and The Why
The full meaning of the term off grid home is broader than what we might think. The “grid” is the term used to describe the utility distribution system (power lines, transformers, protection circuits, etc.) to which the customer is connected; it resembles the blood circulation system that brings fresh blood to every cell of the body. Adhering to the literal meaning might lead one to the wrong conclusion that autonomous homes are simply those homes that are not connected to the utility supply lines. The full meaning of off the grid solar homes is much broader in scope though and is outlined bellow.
The Self Sustained Off Grid Home
The broad meaning is a home that is independent on municipal services and on the electrical utility. It means an home that is producing its electricity supply, that has its own water supply and that have provisions for sewer and garbage processing or removal as the case maybe.
The stand alone home concept evolved quiet rapidly in the last decades, the number of off-grid homes was estimated to be 180,000 in 2006 with a year to year growth rate of 30%. Researchers in the sociology and economy fields have a great opportunity to find topics for research on this interesting trend. Basically, people want to get faraway from metro areas, traffic congestion and polluted air and create their own island of clean air and natural way of life.
Why people choose off grid living?
Living off-grid has some appealing advantages. A remote land costs less per acre than similar size land in the metro areas and the land might have desired features such as water streams, slopes and beautiful scenery. The density of population is lower therefore air pollution is lower than what one finds in the big metro areas. Rural areas with big ranches and mountain slopes are natural places for off grid living.
Electrical Power Generation Off Grid
To get the full benefit of inherently clean air, clean renewable energy is the obvious choice. To view the different methods to produce clean off grid electricity click here. The leading technologies are solar (thermal and photovoltaic), small wind turbine and off grid hydro (water stream) turbines.
Electrical Off Grid Appliances
Choosing the right electrical off grid appliances is an important consideration. A right choice will eventually reduce the required size and the cost of the off grid power system. Not less important are energy saving and energy conservation measures.
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