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The Long Road To Living off the grid might be free, but it's not easy.

It’s hard to imagine our homes without electricity. There would be no TV, computer or video games. The work day would be from sun rise to sun set and we would be reading books by oil lamp. It's hard to grasp how important electricity is to us, Still can't grasp it, go to your breaker panel and turn off the main breaker for 3 hours just as an experement and try to go about your daily housework. You will quickly find out how important electricity is.


As a connoisseur of power we have always been interested in having power with us to run throes devices that we use every day. For example when I was in grade school I built a bicycle that sported a car radio with a 50watt amp and 6 x 9 speakers, lights, horn, power inverter .ECT it was an engineering marvel in my day and now I have the Big Orange Van packed with high power goodies like 8 batteries, 3KW power inverter and 6.5KW generator able to generate enough electricity to power the house! With generous funding from my dad and his snappy resources we have been able to secure spare batteries and 12v fluorescent lighting, and a permit to burn the house down, with that I decided to light the basement, in the event of an emergency or power outage we could still be up having good times whale everyone else on the block is wondering how and the hell do they have the lights still on? That system has been great but as I have been growing more concerned about out rising power bill and the gross demand for something our world revolves around. Electricity! Living in this day and age our demand for energy is going through roof, 5 years ago out power bill was a mere $75 and now its pushing over $150 a month, with the addition of servers and a supporting network in the house(security cameras, media server) and numerous other everyday electrical necessities that we now have and the fact that we are typical energy wasting americans "don't care if we leave the lights on" doesn't help matters. We have recently been drawn to solar technology due to falling costs of cells and panels, the fact that I have read more books and videos how to DIY making panels out of cells for much less than purchasing them outright, and that I have some infrastructure to use this dc power, and or convert it to AC.

In April 2007 dad decided that we he was going to spend his tax return to improve the house. Start a garage? Build a deck? Get centeral air? Well earlier in the year me and dad had been doing out research on alternative energy primarily wind and solar. We spent hours watching insprational videos on the ol YouTube, estmating startup costs and all that jazz. Once we decided on renewable energy we were set. I clicked on over to and set up some base prices for a really basic system that was easily upgradable. We got the pannles, controller, dc breakerbox, inverter, and wind generators shipped out to us. I went and to Home Depot and got wire, transfer switch and sub pannel and some other goodies.

June 28, 2007- We now have 2 Air-x 400watt wind turbines, 2 evergreen 180watt panels, morning star 60A charge controller, Xantrex dr2412 12v inverter, generator transfer switch and sub panel, dc breaker box, more deep cycle batteries.

July 15, 2007- Today we got all the work on the roof that consisted of heavier wire coming down to the basement and putting this all in flexable pvc coated conduit and also pvc junction boxes at the panels, driving a grounding rod and bonding. Previously we constructed 1 wind turbine tower 33 ft and got the wiring completed into the house. I took time out to get the dc breaker box all hooked up for the pv array and inverter. Currently powering 30% of house lights.

Augest 18, 2007 - All Installing done Everything is charging and running beautifully!

November 15, 2007 - Powering 80% of the household lighting and working on adding more!

May 2008 - Just added two 190Watt Evergreen Panles.

January 2009 - We have been drooling over the new line of Evergreen 210 Watt Panles and we have found a low voltage grid tie inverter to be on the market sunner of 09 that we anxious to purchase and tinker with

Currently Grid Paralelled .

Currently We have

740 Watts Solar

800 Watts Wind

1,250 AH Battery Bank

2,400 Watt Inverter

Running only lighting 80% due to crappy winter Sun Angle.





Tabbing I cut to interconnect the cells

Tabbing needs to be tinned the on one side, the botton pice is tinned

5x5 Monocrystalline cells .55 volt @4.5 Amps $8.50 Each

Applying active rosin flux to the bussbars allowing the solder to adhere

Soldering the tabbing to the bussbars

1 Finished cell

A stack of finished cells

A 40 watt concept pannel I made to test the basics

Sunsaver 10amp charge controller

4 New deep cycle battries, will be getting more soon.

Aluminum Frame With 1/4in Plex

Terminal With Blocking Diodes

Back Of 80 watt Panel "Curing Silicone"

Charging Amps In The Basement :Late in the Day"

First Finished 80 watt panel

some cracking that occured with a giant wind storm,

Our new wind generator from air-X

about 4 foot diamiter blades

Hunting down wire

The Xantrex DR 2412 2400 watt inverter came today

My dad Joe preping the wall

I wired 2 outlets to it for testing of course

Batt bank

6 New breakers for the on demand tankless hot water heater

wireing the water heater

New Brain Box For the van.

Constructon of the wind turbine poll

2 Evergreen 180 watt panles came today

Cmenting in the wind tower

Im hopping up the neighbors power wheels tractor

Bigger Batts.

My Uncles retarded Horse

Hole for the new remote charge meter

Hole For Cable

The New Meter

Here i just got the sub pannel and transfer switch in

Transfer switch to go from utility to our power for a few select circuits in the sub pannel "lights"

We got a free radio tower and antenna dont know what to do with it yet?

It is a 51 foot tower with a 23 foot antenna mast on top

Part of the wind poll straped on the car

Molly The Moose

Strap it down

Here I an painting the wind poll

Here you can see the pivoting system for easily taking it down for maintnemce

Tractor weights for counter balance

Turbine w/o blades and hub

Amie In a tree

Me gettin Blowed up

Me and the Neighbor Boys were havin fun playing around

Panles with aluminum I beams ready to be roofed

Amie "my girlfriend"

Dad measuring out the spacing

Blackjack the screws into the roof

Finish off with a washdown

Evergreen 180 watt pannel from

I think 2 more will look even better

Wind gen on the ground

In the air it just pivots up and licks in with pins and 4 guide cables

Wireing the pvc on the roof

New dc breaker box 5 breakers and 1 250 amp breaker for inverter

transfer switch currently running on our inverter power

Sub panel I have a few 3 lighting circuits on it

More dc breaker box the main and smaller subs for wind solar and dc lights

60Amp solar controller morningstar tristar

incoming cables

Inverter at work

currently have on a full charge and in pwm mode "trickel charge" Made 70AH by 3pm 2 pannles put out 18-20 amp @ 12V

flex pvc conduit for solar on roof

Trench for wind turbine Cable

Almost all painted tower

Not spinning today cold and cloudy!

other turbine freewheeling to break in a bit

When the tower is down for maintnence im gonna put a webcam up on it dubbed the wind cam

Orange van machean.

New Pics 3-12-2009

Mr. Cat

Mr. Cat and Amie


Wind Meters and Switches

New digital ammeter

DC Breaker box


FL Light 12v installed for work light

Transfer SW and Sub

Inside the Xantrex

Wind Gen with weather inst. and communications