Sunday, October 30, 2016

General off-the-grid discussion

This post will fit into my  off-the-grid series of posts.  It will be classified under the general subcategory, or subseries.  It can read end to end by following the links, or the entire series can be accessed through the table of contents post.

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The rubber, as it has been said, has hit the road.  In other words, I am doing it for real now, although I am not on my property yet.

I have obtained the services of an RV, and I am living in the sticks, so to speak.  While I am here, I can practice the techniques I will need in living out in an even more remote area.

This place has running water and electricity.  It isn't nearly as demanding as it would be on my property, which has no utilities whatever. 

Since I won't have water out there, I will need to practice techniques that require little water.  Let's say washing the dishes.  With some practice, I may be able to reduce the amount of water needed for this task to less than a gallon per day. 

Besides dishes, I have been practicing taking showers with a minimum of water.  While still in Houston, I timed out the shower duration and measured the water flow per minute.  I figured about eight gallons in that environment.

Once getting here, the amount seems higher.  It seems like all water usage is probably about fifteen gallons per day.  I want to get that down to less than ten, then down to maybe five.

It seems that this trailer has two showers.  The one outside had a push button shower head, which I took off and exchanged with the inside shower, which doesn't have one.  Now I can turn off the thing more easily, and gives me more control.  With luck, using a technique like this, I can get my water usage from showers down to three or four gallons per day.

Black water can be handled with an incinerating toilet.

I hope to recycle as much of this water as I can.  I recaptured the dishwater, and could run another water experiment, but I am not set up for that yet. Earlier experiments took water worse than this and made it into clear water.  I plan on building a solar water distiller, that could clean this filtered water up into distilled water.

The distiller can work for the shower water, too.  Maybe I can recover half of the five gallons and get the usage down to just two and a half per day. 

If my water usage can get down that low, I may be able to use a wind turbine to power a device that can capture water from the water vapor in the air.  Then, if that were to be successful, I could be self sufficient in water, even before rainfall recapture techniques were employed.

Most of this discussion is about water.  I also want to reduce electricity consumption to near zero, if I can.  This will be accomplished through the use of solar devices and wind.  A propane generator could be used as a backup.

I want to set up my passive solar experiment, but that is taking more time than I anticipated.  It is not clear to me what hardware will be needed yet.

My solar panel works, but the wiring is wrong.  Have to re-do that.

This should bring me up to date with where I am on this project.

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