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Off The Grid

I'm going to live off-grid. Read my blog and learn how to do it yourself!

Archive for the ‘definitions and theory’ Category

Laws regarding living off-grid in Poland

I like to answer to your questions on my blog, but this is the first time I decided to publish my reply as a separate post. That’s because the following question that came from Ellis is not an easy one..

I am looking for a place in the EU where I could buy land and build a very small timber frame off grid cabin, or live in a yurt for less than 7k€.

I’d be extremely grateful for any advice you would have. On what sort of land is it legal and possible to do this in Poland? Are there any zoning laws, land, and building regulations which will make this impossible?

The answer to this question is pretty complex, as the building-related laws in Poland. (more…)

Self-sufficiency vs self-reliance off the grid

The more I learn about modern survival and being prepared for SHTF (which is one of the reasons I want to live off-grid), the more interesting concepts I undertand. Not being english native for some time I didn’t get the difference between self-sufficiency and self-reliance. It took me some time, and now it’s clear.

You measure self-sufficiency in percent, while self-reliance is measured in hours or days.

If you’re 100% self-sufficient in terms of electrical power, it means that you can produce all the power you need, all the time. In such a case, your off-grid energy source is able to produce enough power for all your appliances, day and night, during winter and summer. (more…)

In terms of energy independence, or energy autonomy, it is very difficult (and probably not possible at all) to make a single house fully autonomous.

While it’s easy to produce your own electrical energy, it’s much more difficult to provide your house with enough energy to heat and cool it. Wikipedia says, that typical US household energy use is divided between the following:

  • 32% goes for space heating,
  • 13% for water heating,
  • 12% for lighting,
  • 11% for air conditioning,
  • 8% for refrigeration,
  • 5% for electronics,
  • 5% for wet-cleaning (most for clothes driers). (more…)

Self-sufficient life on a boat? Not possible!

Last week I explained why I believe that using propane will not make you off-grid and self-sufficient. Today I will show you something similar.

Many people think they can live off-grid and be self-sufficient on a boat. To some extent it’s true, but is very much dependent on where this houseboat is to be located.

In european climate, where you need a lot of energy to heat your house in winter, it’s not possible to keep your houseboat warm without using some external heat source, like electric heater, heat pump or gas furnace. Even if the boat is built to fulfill all the passive-house standard’s requirements. (more…)

History of Solar Energy Usage

We often think that modern societies were the first to use solar energy. Not true! Early cave dwellers preferred caves that had openings facing southeasterly that allowed the morning sun to warm them up without overheating in the warm months.  Native Americans in the Southwest oriented their pueblo dwellings.  So the low winter sun would keep the buildings by direct solar radiation, cliffs and overhangs blocked the sun during the summer months, helping to keep the dwellings cooler when the sun was high in the sky.

The ancient Greeks, with a climate that was sunny almost year-round, built their houses to take advantage of the sun’s rays during the moderately cool winters and to avoid the sun’s heat during the summer.  Modern excavations of many classic Greek cities show that individual homes were oriented towards the South and entire cities were planned to allow equal access to the winter sun.  It is interesting to note that by 500 B.C., when the Greeks had almost completely deforested their whole country and needed to find a reliable alternative fuel source, they chose solar energy. (more…)

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