How to get off the grid - water turbines

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How to get off the grid - water turbines

Firstly, getting your own energy from wind power is attractive as it is free once your system is up and running and with a bit of help and research it is doable. Buying and installing your own wind turbine and batteries might cost anywhere from £1500/$3000 to £15,000/$30,000 depending on your power requirement. Micro hydro systems (small water turbines) are also becoming increasingly popular, they can be designed not to interfere with the flow or biodiversity of the stream and can produce significant amounts of energy.

There are many detailed guides available that provide step-by-step instructions (see resource list at the end of this chapter) and a number of places that run courses on the making and installation of turbines.

In urban areas wind and water turbines are often not appropriate although planning permission is beginning to be granted for tall buildings with wind turbines on the roof, such as the new London Climate Change Agency Palestra building, as well as many schools and hospitals which are installing turbines on playing fields and carparks. If micro-generation is not possible, there are other possibilities for example forming an energy co-operative like the Baywind Energy Co-operative.


Hayboxes: maintaining temperatures and storing food

It is very energy intensive to heat water and food, so once the energy has been used for heating it should be retained as long as possible. Using the same principle as a thermos fl ask, hayboxes are easy to make and a simple way to maintain temperature and significantly reduce cooking energy consumption. The box can be made of any material from cardboard to wood.

Stronger and more durable materials will result in a better box. As with other simple technologies like solar cookers, the box is heavily insulated. Given the heavy insulation, when food is placed inside the box at temperature (for example, the pot of rice has reached boiling) the heat is retained and continues to cook the food.

Remember that insulation maintains temperatures, hence it can also be used to keep its contents cold, so long as they are cold when placed inside

Solar showers

While ‘civilisation’ will not stand or fall based on our access to a nice warm shower, hot

showers can be one of the most effective applications of appropriate solar technology.
This technology is surprisingly effective and even in cloudy temperate areas there is
an unexpected amount of solar energy, even in northern latitudes.

The design uses a simple insulated tray that heats in the same way as a bucket of water when left in the sun. By adjusting the amount of insulation, the water depth in the tray, the use of reflectors and the proper sealing of the transparent cover – the heat capture can be maximised.

RunGreenPower.com will teach you how to build solar & wind power systems for
your home within a weekend.


Check It Now: How To Generate Renewable Energy?


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