Electricity / Guides

Off-grid leed home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog post 5: appliances, mechanical and other systems

...Electricity generation was extremely difficult and expensive at the home scale, so there was much less electrification. Instead, off-gridders used other technologies like wood stoves, kerosene lamps, and propane powered appliances. One can still find most of these electricity-light home systems, including such things...

A Vancouver laneway house
Flexible house design

Flexible house design

...electricity. Imagine how much easier it would be to convert a bedroom into a granny suite if you planned ahead for a separate entrance and ran wires and pipes for a kitchenette and bathroom. If you anticipate different uses for a room, you might only have to make a cut in the drywall to find a stove plug, water lines...

Wind farm
Wind power

Storing power from wind farms

...electricity", said a spokeswoman for Belgium's North Sea minister Johan Vande Lanotte to Reuters . The project is expected to take between 5 and 7 years to complete, though cost estimates have not been released. Excess power will be able to be sold off to other nations such as the UK, which will be able to connect di...

Heating an off-grid home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

OFF GRID LIVING BLOG, PART 4: Off-grid heating systems - lessons learned from our off grid home

...electricity at the time of year when it is most difficult to generate power from the PV system. Running full power, the heating system requires approximately 400W for the boiler and circulation pumps, meaning that if it runs for 10 hours per day (which can happen on the coldest days of winter), the heating system alo...

60 Minutes On This Bicycle Can Power Your Home For 24 Hours (In Theory Anyhow)
Renewable energy

Can you really power your home with a bicycle generator?

...electricity or access to electricity for two or three hours per day. Having access to clean, free energy will enable poverty-stricken communities to not only light their homes but to connect to the internet. Bhargava says the reason the majority of those who are poor stay poor is because they have no power. He aims t...

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles installation just got easier
Solar photovoltaic

Tesla solar roof gains ground with target of 1000 solar roofs / week

...electricity bill. And with a predicted 30-year lifespan, this could feasibly be the cheapest roofing option on the market. Elon Musk said the following at a recent shareholders’ meeting to explain the delay for ramping up production on the solar roof – “We are about to complete version 3 of the solar roof. This is ...

Rendering of the Ecohome demonstration house
Efficient home design

Ecohome Demo House: High performance, affordable cost

...electricity premium you might pay for that slight amount of suplimentary heat is more than compensated for in savings on the purchase and installation of heat distribution systems. Resilient Design Durability strategies, beginning with an above ground slab-on-grade home and superior wall drying abilities means that...

Off-grid, passively-heated LEED Gold home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

OFF GRID LIVING BLOG, PART 3: All about off-grid power generation in off-grid homes

...electricity generating system: Photovoltaic panels: 12 Solarworld 235 watt panels (2820W in total) Additional panels (fall of 2015) : 12 Jinko 250 watt panels (3000W total) Batteries : 8 Deka deep cycle solar batteries, lead acid AGM 12V 265 Ah (a nominal 25 kWh storage) Backup generator: Generac Ecogen, 6 kW...

Photovoltaic solar panels
Renewable energy

Solar heating and energy generation

...electricity. Systems can be large enough to provide your entire home power needs, and be either stored in batteries or fed back into the power grid. When you hear the words ‘net metering’, that refers to you feeding your surplus power back into the grid, and taking it out when you need it. What you provide compared t...

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

...electricity to at least get started. If your house has heat stored in mass inside the building envelope, it will slow the temperature drop and possibly prevent you from needing to seek shelter elsewhere until the power comes back. Heating during off-peak hours: If you rely on radiant heat from thermal mass such...

Wood Combustion - How it works and the different stages
Wood stove and biomass heat

Wood Combustion – How Firewood Burns & How to get the best heat while being eco-friendly

...electricity free wood pellet stove for maximum heat output and minimum environmental impact, see here Wood pellet stoves burn efficiently as the fire triangle is tightly controlled