Getting off the grid!

Power Grid ~ {A system of high tension cables by which electrical power is distributed throughout a region}

Getting off the grid…sounds very easy and idyllic.  Grit your teeth…cause its not for sissies!

We have been without electricity for the last 2 months.  I partly feel elated…another part of me not.

Two months is a long time, especially when you were not prepared for it.  But it is not all doom and gloom…it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I have been saying it for the longest time:”I want to get off the grid!”  Now I am…willingly or not. Once again a testimony that our words carry power!  So I am sure by now you want to know what happened?  In a nutshell, our landlord unfortunately passed on in May, leaving behind a trail of unpaid bills.  The electricity bill being one of them.  Now many people suggested we move out, and find alternative accommodation, but it is easier said than done.  We have settled and have no plans to move soon.

Anyhow…back to the details of “living green!”

It is actually great!  It has forced us to become creative in our living arrangement.  We cook on a little gas stove.

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Gas-stove

I have to boil water on the cooker for bathing purposes etc and that takes a little time.  On the other hand, it has made me more conscious of the amount of water I use.  So after a few weeks I grew tired of cowboy splashes and thus I developed a shower-system.

After doing some research on YouTube, I first started with a prototype.

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Juice bottle sealed with silicone

This worked well; it was just a mission to get the water in the bottle at the right temperature.  Also, it only holds 5 liters so doesn’t work well when you want to wash hair etc.  The idea I got on the internet would work well in summer as I could leave the bottle outside and the sun would heat the water.  Unfortunately it is now winter and although very mild temperatures, not enough to heat it sufficiently to shower.

Then I developed this system.

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Ice bucket as shower system

It might not look so grand, but it works well.  You actually feel like you’re taking a shower.  I used the fitting of a hose pipe so I can close and open as I wish.  However, the steady, straight stream does not distribute the water as a conventional shower head would do.  I am still figuring out an alternative… but quite chuffed with this.

We have portable solar-panels that we use to charge batteries during the day to have light in the evening via an inverter.

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Portable solar-panels

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Inverter with light

Our next-door neighbour has been very generous and supplies us with enough electricity to power the fridge and charging our mobiles, etc.

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This helps quite a lot in the meantime while we source alternative solutions i.e. solar panels etc.

I am well aware that there are loads of renewal energy solutions on the market already, but many of them are very pricey.  Part of my mission (and has always been a desire of mine) is to find alternative power sources for the normal folk, and those less fortunate.  Millions of my fellow-countrymen are in a similar situation purely because of lack of resources or poverty.  So I believe this event, that some may view as a mischance, has happened on purpose.

I have learned from previous life lessons to embrace such events…they end up being turning points for the good.

I embrace, thus I am (em)powered!

Do you have any ideas for alternative power solutions?  I would love to hear from you!  Also remember to switch off…its the right thing to do!

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One thought on “Getting off the grid!

  1. […] have tried our hand at some primal methods of harvesting the sun’s energy. In 2013 I tried some DIY methods to warm our water when our landlord at the time, refused to settle his municipal bill and the […]

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