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Self-Sustainability

Here is a place where we can share our ideas of self-sustainability. Whether it pertains to gardening, energy(solar, wind, water), construction(cob, straw bale, earth ships), permaculture...You get the IDEA...lets share it!

Location: All Over The World
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Latest Activity: Sep 12, 2019

Discussion Forum

composting with kitchen scraps only

Started by little wing Mar 2, 2015. 0 Replies

We have no green matter to add to our kitchen scraps, our only compost.  And we get frequent visits from coyote; an occasional javelina party in our yard.   We are renting, so don't want to do too…Continue

Power

Started by ☯ Firelight ☮ ♥ ☼. Last reply by ☯ Firelight ☮ ♥ ☼ Jan 4, 2014. 19 Replies

Like most other necessities power requires Green energy. $… It’s not so difficult to figure out. I have priced components (batteries, inverters, solar & wind generators. For about $2,000 one can…Continue

I'm selling home and leaving NY, going mobile to find or build a sustainable home

Started by Forest Jul 31, 2013. 0 Replies

Would love to tour communites and pick up what knowledge I can, final destination Wide OpenContinue

just joined the group and i know most of us travel

Started by josh foley. Last reply by Joanna Whitney May 16, 2013. 13 Replies

 I don't know if anyone is interested i own a garage in co, and i have been doing what Gm and Ford are doing now with the hho conversions if anyone is interested i can guide you through the set up or…Continue

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Comment by James Redbeard on March 7, 2011 at 7:44pm
bob, I'm planning on a laptop, LED lighting, a half decent sound system (no subs amps, or any of that nonsense; just can't give up tunes) probably a car stereo and 4 speakers. and small miscellaneous gizmos as needed (cell phone charger, mp3 player, beard trimmer, maybe a DC coffee pot... ya know, gadgets that don't need to be plugged in all that often.) Just got my hands on a roof rack that I think will be perfect for solar panel mounting.

Are you using deep cycle or regular batteries? I'm working at a car part store, so can pick up batteries at 20% off. I think the Optima batteries we sell are gel instead of acid, but not sure if they'd do the trick?
Comment by solarbob on March 7, 2011 at 1:11pm

Little Wing, I think you are asking for too much, manufacturers produce what people want to buy and right now the number of people buying anything but big horse power is small. America is still producing petro fuel vehicles, and motor homes are even further away from going green. Depending on where you plan to travel may be of value also as there are bio-diesel fuel stations in most of Ca. ( I don't know about other states). If you plan to bring the wood shop I strongly recommend a trailer for it. Then you may drop it for convenience when you want to. It could be parked far enough away to reduce the dust and noise from you're home. And eliminate the vibrations. 

 Solar panels do not 'store' power, they generate it from sunlight. To store the power you need batteries and to run the power equipment you will likely need an inverter unless DC can power the wood shop, (I don't know what tools he uses).

 All in all I would say a diesel bus for the motor home and put the shop in a trailer. Diesel is expensive as gas, (or worse), but leaves fewer harmful emissions and will get you up a hill a lot better. Used school buses can be purchased for about $2,000.00 with complete maintenance records and diesels run forever if maintained.

 Just my initial thoughts on your post.

Peace and love

Comment by Amma Niradhara on March 7, 2011 at 1:10pm
anastasia that sounds like a big plan. i also have a vintge airstream but not on the road its pretty fixed to my land since i dont have a vehicle to pull it anyway. i live there some of the summer and what i do is pull the awning out but on a slant for rain dranage, and i used 8 rolls of fiberglass screening and a box of safety pins to make screened in porch. a room as big as the whole camper pretty much. i used rocks nearby to hold the screen down. i disassemble and reassemble in a couple hours begining each season and end. if you want something more waterproof you could use tarps. but it would be darker. or clear plastic? i keep an old wooden kitchen table out there all season and couple of lounging chairs. once i put a work table out there for crafts but it rained at night and ruined alot of shite.
Comment by Amma Niradhara on March 7, 2011 at 1:10pm
anastasia that sounds like a big plan. i also have a vintge airstream but not on the road its pretty fixed to my land since i dont have a vehicle to pull it anyway. i live there some of the summer and what i do is pull the awning out but on a slant for rain dranage, and i used 8 rolls of fiberglass screening and a box of safety pins to make screened in porch. a room as big as the whole camper pretty much. i used rocks nearby to hold the screen down. i disassemble and reassemble in a couple hours begining each season and end. if you want something more waterproof you could use tarps. but it would be darker. or clear plastic? i keep an old wooden kitchen table out there all season and couple of lounging chairs. once i put a work table out there for crafts but it rained at night and ruined alot of shite.
Comment by Moonshelle on March 7, 2011 at 9:14am
Wow Wing, bringing the wood shop sounds like a challenge. Oh how much fun it sounds like to be on the road. I met a man who collects used lumber and makes bird houses. Very simple work and he just pulls off in a nice place to work. I met him at a picnic table at a road side park.
Comment by little wing on March 4, 2011 at 7:35pm
Don't know if I'm asking for education here or just ranting: We want to live on the road in a home big enough to also carry husband's traveling woodshop.  So must definitely be bigger than a teardrop!  With gas prices rising fast, need alternative fuel.  Giving up landbased home, so biodiesel is not an option (must have space to make).  Hydrogen conversion is nice; but will only slice maybe 15% off mileage.  It's obvious to me electric is the Future... and should be run with at least solar panel assist.  We want solar for living space anyway.  Any news of electric conversions of vehicles out there??  Any idea how far a solar panel would go towards storing "fuel" power?
Comment by solarbob on March 1, 2011 at 10:45am

James, I may be able to help some.

1. assess youre needs, figure how much wattage you need for all electrical needs. (double this for 'in case of overcast' days)

2. Batteries will be very important because this is your storage capacity, measured in amp hours.

3. Watts = amps x volts.

4. Start sizing panels.

My system shone on my pic is a 80 watt panel with a 96 amp hour battery inside. Off of this I run a laptop, LED lighting and a bunk warmer, I plan to add a 12 volt fridge which I will run during the day and turn off at night to save power. I use a gel type battery so it does not offgas  during charging and can be laid on it's side without spills. You will need a charge controller sized to the panel you get to prevent overcharging and destroying you're battery.

 My system would have cost about $700.00 new but I got a deal by doing volunteer work at the place, so it cost about $550.00 with professional installation.

 When you have figured out what wattage you need, get back to me and I will check resources to get you more info on battery types and usages.

Peace and love

Comment by James Redbeard on February 20, 2011 at 9:24pm

Anyone have any ideas for hooking up a solar system in a VW bus?

(For cooking/entertainment/communications purposes, not powering the car)

 

What size battery, panels, etc? Im looking at getting a 1000 watt 2 cycle gas generator for about 160 bucks (get a discount at work) but would rather spend the money on something greener.

Comment by seventrees on February 20, 2011 at 4:36am
thanks for the info.      a good thing to remember to stay self sustained is that all your need are right around you , usually within arms reach... walk light and smell the flowers... lovin you
Comment by Amma Niradhara on January 31, 2011 at 7:52am
btw - i live off grid a good part of the year and have done alot of vegan cooking and baking that way - so if that interests you look into the link below in my last post and poke around the blog.
 

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