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Energy Conservation Strategies

For those considering life off the grid, a few lifestyle adjustments can go a long way in getting the most from your Microgrid power installation.  Below are a few pointers which could come in handy.

1)  If building a new home designed from scratch, this is the golden opportunity.    Modern designs, appliances, heating, and electrical systems can be incorporated, and in many cases without the extravagant cost.  Solar heating, solar hot water systems, and wood burning stoves are reliable and relatively simple to install.  For those a little more ambitious, the entire house can be wired to run off the grid or even tailored for DC power.  If you’re building site is over a mile from the nearest power transmission system, then you might as well make your power anyways. The equivalent cost for installing the power transmission cables to your home may exceed the cost of your Microgrid power installation.

2)  Make sure your home is well insulated in the roof, floors, and walls.  New constructions might consider emerging technologies such as integrated concrete forms (ICF’s).  ICF’s have superior strength, insulating, and acoustical properties. 
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3)  Eliminate obvious drafts and air leaks into the house.  Use double or triple paned windows, and spend some time to seal up leaky joints and doors.  An air tight house can go a long ways in realizing energy savings and improving inside comfort.

4)  Install an attic fan.  Fans require very little energy, and can quickly purge your house of hot air on those warm summer nights.  Avoid air conditioners whenever possible, they consume too much energy.

5)  Air dry your clothes.  Clothes driers consume large amounts of energy and can be a burden on an off grid energy system.  Although clothes driers are convenient, air drying your clothes isn’t all that difficult in the grand scheme of things.

6)  Native landscaping.  Use native grasses and plants accustomed your local climate.  Choose lower maintenance grasses for your lawns, and resist the urge to mow it so much.  This can save in water consumption, pumping power, and gas for the mower.

7)  New age appliances.  When comes time to purchase new appliances, consider some of the alternative and more efficient energy designs.  Examples include front load washing machines, horizontal chest refrigerators, and LED lighting.  Focus is on the stove as well, cooking food is a large consumer of energy.

8)  Take advantage of wood burning stoves if you live in a region abundant with wood.  Some of us burn wood anyways just to keep the land clean, and it is considered a renewable resource.  Consider some creative ways to use and store the heat (i.e thermal powers systems and thermal storage).

MicroGrid Living

- MicroGrid Power Systems
- Benefits of the MicroGrid
- Running on DC Electricity
- Things to Think About
- Sizing Your Microgrid Power System
- Energy Conservation Strategies
- Hybrid Power Systems

MicroGrid Solar Power

- Solar Power Applications
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels
- Increasing Solar Panel Performance
- Mounting PV Solar Panels
- Solar Power Tracking Systems
- One Axis Solar Panel Tracking (Passive)
- Solar Power Cost & Payback
- Sizing your Solar Power System

MicroGrid Power Devices

- Wind Turbines
- Wood Burner Systems
- Thermal Power Systems
- DC Thermal Generators
- Hydro Turbines

MicroGrid History

- Nikola Tesla Source of Human Energy
- Nikola Tesla Energy from the Medium
- James Watt & the Steam Engine
- Marcellus Jacob Wind Turbine

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