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Can Anyone Live Off the Grid? – the Sequel!

Yesterday, we talked about solar power. Today, I want to highlight wind power. According to wikipedia, wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. If you want to know all the history and technical stuff about wind power, I will let you read the wikipedia article.

But if you just want to get to the meat of it, namely, how do you benefit from wind power, here it is: Build your own wind generator. Yep, it can be done and this will show you how.

Tip of the Day: If you are completely hopeless when it comes to do-it-yourself projects (as I am!), but you want to go green with energy anyway, check out this website.

Can Anyone Live Off The Grid?

When you talk about alternative energy and living off the grid, a lot of people feel instantly that they will have to give up most of their modern amenities to live in such a fashion. Many more think this is an endeavor solely for granola loving hippies, whose modest ways coincide with fewer technologies, TVs, ACs, etc. The truth is, living off the grid is a possibility open to anyone. Granted, you may have a larger investment if you are powering three chest freezers and all high-energy appliances, but this would simply mean you need a larger system.

The increased demand for renewable energy technology has led to the development of more efficient and easy to use components to make living off the grid a reasonable option for anyone willing to be mindful of their energy consumption.

Using renewable energy sources to produce electricity is a fairly simple process. You need a power source – sun, wind or water – from which you will harness a low voltage direct current that is then converted, using an inverter, into usable house current (AC). Excess current generated by your system is stored in battery banks where it can be retrieved during more high demand times or times when the direct energy source is unavailable.

Living off the grid with renewable power resources is almost completely automated as well. Except for the maintenance of your batteries, there is almost no special attention needed, other than monitoring your energy use to make sure you do not exceed your supply with your demand. The key to success in living off the grid is making sure you size your system to meet the demand of your energy needs.

Living off the grid can be an exhilarating experience. The feeling of energy freedom is like no other and you can be proud of your efforts to combat global warming and best of all, you may never have to worry about a power outage again. It is important to conduct your research and determine which alternative energy sources will work best for you in your geographical area, but it is definitely worthwhile to learn how to live off the grid and feel the rush of freedom being off the grid can give.

Tip of the Day: Did you know that in some states you can sell excess energy back to your electric company? If your solar powered generator is creating more energy than you use in your home, you may be able to make a little money. See this BusinessWeek article.

And Now for Something Completely Different

This has nothing to do with saving or making money but it is really good!!! Check out this blog post.

Do You Twitter?

I know, I know. When I first heard about Twitter, I thought “That is the stupidest thing I ever heard of!” Who cares what you got at Starbuck’s this morning? Or what you are watching on TV right now? Then I discovered the social aspect of it. I can communicate with friends and associates all over the world. It’s almost like sitting in a big room with all your friends and hearing each one individually.

Guess who now manages not 1, not 2, but 3 Twitter accounts! It was really tough at first but then I found TweetLater. This beautiful website allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts from one place.

One of the coolest things I found is in the Pro version. It allows you to schedule rotating text for various times and days. I used it when I was trying to win a contest on Twitter. I scheduled several different versions of the same Tweet for 6 days in a row. This may not seem like much but I saved tons of time and didn’t have to remember to Tweet each day. I just set it once and forgot about it.

Tip of the Day: TweetLater allows you to try the Pro version for 7 days without even asking for a credit card. The Pro version also lets you feed your Facebook and MySpace pages.

How Can We Fund That Special Project?

You want to update your kitchen. Or maybe there is a family reunion coming up. Perhaps your daughter is getting married. We all have big expenses in our lives. And sometimes they are so hard to save for. Here is a way to save and let others help pay as well. SmartyPig is an FDIC insured bank savings program that allows you to set up a scheduled transfer for savings. But that is not all. It allows you to tell your friends and family about your project and let them donate as well. You can add widgets to your Facebook, MySpace and website.

Tip of the Day: Another way to save is to dump all your change into a bucket every night. We did that for just a couple of months and when we cashed it in we had over $85 that we gave to our daughter to use as her spending money on a weekend trip to SeaWorld.