Going off the grid - a practical guide

Posted on: 25 May 2016


Many of us sometimes contemplate going off the grid and becoming self sufficient. Here are some things to contemplate installing in your home if you want to be totally self sufficient. 

Solar panels with batteries 

Australia is blessed with a lot of fine weather, making it a great place to use solar panels. Unfortunately solar panels operate best during the middle of the day when it's sunniest but much of our desire from power comes at night when people tend to want to use light and entertainment devices inside. Batteries can allow you to store some of the battery power you get during the day and use it at night so you don't need to be connected to the grid. 

Rainwater tanks with reverse osmosis 

Rainwater tanks are a great way to make use of the rainwater, but often you can't catch enough water to keep the household in water throughout the year. It can be very useful to use a reverse osmosis to remove some of the contaminants from the used water and recycle these back into the household water supplies. It's a good idea to also work out ways to reduce the ways that you use water in the house such as using water efficient appliances and reusing water where possible. 

Permaculture hydroponics

Hydroponics are a great way to grow your own fruit and vegetables, no matter what the outside conditions. This tends to be a very water efficient technique to grow food as there is less water lost to evaporation compared to growing in a fruit in open gardens. Permaculture is a great way to increase your self sufficiency by allowing plants to reach a point of seeding so that you can constantly collection more seeds and renew your garden. 

Permaculture does require continual power supply to keep the nutrient flow through the hydroponics set up as well as controlling the temperature and humidity of the growing room. This is another reason it's important to have batteries or another source of back up power in additional to your main power generation. 

If you are looking to go off the grid have the right set up can help you to have an independent lifestyle. While it can take some time to perfect your design, once you have it set up you will spend much less of ongoing household expenses and can devote time to enjoying the lifestyle you have created in your off-the-grid home.