Have you ever found yourself to be at home when the power goes out? Not a pleasant time is it. You find out then just how much you depend on your electricity. And if you are like us and live in the country, then your water probably comes from a well and is also dependent on electricity. No electricity, no water. (Which also means no water for the toilets.) It also means no heat or air conditioning. Not a very lovely thought It might be charming and romantic for a while, but sooner or later you will find that you can’t go too long without your electricity working.
You never know when there is going to be an intense thunderstorm that takes out your electricity or maybe even a heavy snowstorm that takes down the power lines. The power grid in our country is sadly behind the times and not ready to stand up to dangerous storms, and God forbid there is some terrorist attack on the power grid. Anyway, right about now you are probably thinking about alternatives to your current electricity and possibly just going off the grid.
Years ago this would have been rather a large problem as there was not the technology to take your house actually off the grid. These days with the advancements in solar panels, battery technology, and wind turbines, the time has never been better to build your own energy source.
If you have spent any time looking at solar companies online, you have probably noticed that the price of a solar panel system can be quite pricey. If you are at all handy, you can build one yourself and save a great deal of money. My personal disclaimer here, though, you need to be careful and follow some excellent directions and specifications to make it work.
Depending on where you live, you might also take a look at wind turbines if you are in an area with some good wind opportunities. You will need approximately an average of 12mph wind speeds for a successful installation of your wind turbine. You also need to check on zoning restrictions for wind turbines. They may not be allowed in urban areas. They are most practical in open areas with more land and the ability to have a tower. These can also be used in conjunction with a solar system to take advantage of both opportunities.
Whether you are using solar panels or wind turbines, you will be using a bank of batteries for energy storage. It is also recommended to have a backup generator to cover those times of no wind or sun.