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  • nomadh
    replied
    Originally posted by organic farmer View Post
    If every square-mile of land in the USA were drawn on a map. I suspect that the overwhelming majority of them are uninhabited.

    Most of the USA is rural [meaning less then 10 people per square-mile].

    My town has a cellphone repeater, because the interstate goes through our town. But towns to our East and West do not. Most towns in this state do not have cellphone towers. Cellphones generally only work along the interstate, or else in cities.

    It is not profitable to setup towers and infrastructure for zero customers.

    That is why my town does not have any cable company, when homes are over a mile apart, you would need to string a lot of cable before you got 10 customers.

    The economics work different in a city. When you can have 100,000 customers all within a single square-mile, then you can make lots of profit from stuff like that.

    The power line in our town, goes through another 30 towns after. 92% of this state of forest. That is a lot of power line on poles shorter than the forest that over-shadows on both sides on the road. When one tree blows down in a storm, you lose power to 30 towns [or more].

    Due to government subsidy the utility companies stay in business. But only because of the government subsidy.



    I like rural. I moved here after I retired. It is peaceful. I can shoot a rifle in any direction from my house, and it is safe. Deer, bear, turkey are all harvested from on my land every year. Some years a moose is also harvested. We harvest more deer in a year, in our town, then we have residents.

    Land prices are low, home prices are low, taxes are low, Cost-Of-Living is low.

    Some of us like it this way.
    Wow you sure made that sound tempting. At least on some days.
    I think I'd love it if I made it past my media addiction withdrawls. I suspect I'd get by with just my 80 gig ipod
    How about a small sunnyboy with standby power. A 2-3 kw system grid tied generating power many days while running AC and laptop. When power drops you loose A/C but PC will still have runtime with ups. For longer outages switch the ups to the offline outlet. May be better answers but I think this could work in the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunking
    replied
    You are going to be real sorry, trust me you are not getting it. You can get what you want at a fraction of the price, more reliable and will not be limited to just a few watts when commercila power is out.

    You do know it will require completely rewiring your home right?

    You do know anything you take off grid in your area the way you want to do it will cost you 10 to 20 times more than buying the power company right?

    You do know when the power is off you will be extremely limited to just a few emergency circuits right?

    You do know you will need a generator to get you more than a few hours of power even with solar right?

    Did you know you can have everything you want for a fraction of the price and when power is off is laugh at your neighbors suffering while life goes on like nothing happened at your house because you will have full power?

    Leave a comment:


  • organic farmer
    replied
    Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
    ... About 1/4 of maine, the northwest quadrant is industrial timberland with some wilderness parcels.
    I got to thinking about that; "1/4 of Maine".

    I am not sure how you are defining 'industrial timber' or 'wilderness'.

    92% of Maine is forest. Very tiny percentage of that is state or federal owned land. Over 99% of this forest is private land, and open to the public. I own a small portion of it myself

    Most of Maine is rural, less than 10 people per square-mile. I live in that area. I am not sure if that is what you want to call 'wilderness'. 52% of townships here are 'unorganized' to keep our taxes low, and generally they have a dozen or less residents. My town is among the most populated unorganized towns, we have around 230 people.



    Originally posted by Bucho View Post
    My bad, I got you and the original poster confused. That's what I get for pretending my phone is a computer.
    No sweat



    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
    I understand and respect where you live and why you want to live as you do. I just wish the Utilities would have provided a reliable power grid to more people in Maine and other states so they wouldn't need to spend their hard earned $$ to provide their own power.
    The Utility Companies of Maine also put up a huge fight to avoid hardening the gird sub-stations from solar flares / EMPs. And they lobby big to avoid having breakers at the state-lines to allow Maine to stand-alone, from the remainder of New England states.

    I recently listened to a discussion panel of State Legislators and Utility Company engineers debating these topics.

    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by organic farmer View Post
    If every square-mile of land in the USA were drawn on a map. I suspect that the overwhelming majority of them are uninhabited.

    Most of the USA is rural [meaning less then 10 people per square-mile].

    My town has a cellphone repeater, because the interstate goes through our town. But towns to our East and West do not. Most towns in this state do not have cellphone towers. Cellphones generally only work along the interstate, or else in cities.

    It is not profitable to setup towers and infrastructure for zero customers.

    That is why my town does not have any cable company, when homes are over a mile apart, you would need to string a lot of cable before you got 10 customers.

    The economics work different in a city. When you can have 100,000 customers all within a single square-mile, then you can make lots of profit from stuff like that.

    The power line in our town, goes through another 30 towns after. 92% of this state of forest. That is a lot of power line on poles shorter than the forest that over-shadows on both sides on the road. When one tree blows down in a storm, you lose power to 30 towns [or more].

    Due to government subsidy the utility companies stay in business. But only because of the government subsidy.



    I like rural. I moved here after I retired. It is peaceful. I can shoot a rifle in any direction from my house, and it is safe. Deer, bear, turkey are all harvested from on my land every year. Some years a moose is also harvested. We harvest more deer in a year, in our town, then we have residents.

    Land prices are low, home prices are low, taxes are low, Cost-Of-Living is low.

    Some of us like it this way.
    I understand and respect where you live and why you want to live as you do. I just wish the Utilities would have provided a reliable power grid to more people in Maine and other states so they wouldn't need to spend their hard earned $$ to provide their own power.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bucho
    replied
    Originally posted by organic farmer View Post
    ???

    I am not asking for anything.
    My bad, I got you and the original poster confused. That's what I get for pretending my phone is a computer.

    Leave a comment:


  • organic farmer
    replied
    Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
    ...OTG in rural maine sounds cool but the reality is there can be week long periods in the winter where there are no clear days.
    After 9 years of living here, we have not yet seen any full week long period without clear skies. For the most of each winter, we get one storm per week, followed by 5 days of clear skies.

    Though could be possible to go 4 or 5 days where it is cloudy the whole time, maybe once a winter.

    But that is just my observation. I lived in Washington for many years, I have seen long term overcast skies there.



    .... Generally most authors admit that any savings in land cost is substantially offset by the cost to supply power on a year round basis. Not many homesteading folks have the 30 to 50 K that reasonably may be needed to provide a robust system.
    I am not familiar with many homesteading authors.

    There are regions of Maine that are popular with tourists. So there are $500k to $5Million homes in Maine. When I spoke with Off-Grid installers, they cater to the tourists. None of their systems run under $75k. One installer told me that his average system is $125k.

    The average household income in my town is $24k, that is two adults working seasonal jobs raising two children.

    So yes, few Mainers can afford a robust system. My system is by far the most 'robust' setup among any of the other here in my town.



    ... The other key point to consider is that many of the homesteaders are contrary by nature and don't take advice well. They are used to doing it their own way. An extreme example are the doomsday preppers on TV, no matter how suspect their theories of disaster are, they have made up their mind and are merrily heading off on their own path and hopefully no one gets in their way.
    I have never seen doomsday preppers, watching TV takes a lot of time for buffering, every few minutes.

    Most families here have been here are 6 or more generations. It is a unique culture. I am from California, I like it here.

    You do not hear many 'theories of disaster' among local folk here. I do not think that categorizing Mainers as 'preppers' is on the mark. They have been here for generations. They know the grid goes down [if you have access to the grid]. They know the snow can pile deep.

    I see a lot more discussion about 'prepping' and 'SHTF' online, then I have heard of that stuff from locals.



    If you want to hunt, fish, trap, garden, forage, this is a great place for it. You will never starve here. I know many fellow farmers who earn enough to support their families, from organic farming here.

    There is one family that tips fir on my land, every fall, to make wreaths. That is their winter income [making wreaths for sale down South].

    I let others trap on my land, that is their income in that particular season.

    You do not really 'need' the rat-race' here.

    My military pension puts us above the average household income here.

    I do not see that as a mental illness, which seems to be how 'preppers' are characterized. No, this is something different. These are homesteaders.

    Build your own house, produce your own food, produce your own fuel, be a little more independent.

    Leave a comment:


  • organic farmer
    replied
    92% of Maine is forest. 52% of Maine townships are 'unorganized' [meaning no town charter, no mayor]. Maine has over 10,000 miles of sled trails, connecting every town. Maine has over 3,000 miles of coastline. Nearly all of Maine forest is 'privately owned - open to the public'. Most of Maine is rural [less than 10 per square-mile]. While the nation has less farms each year, Maine has more farms each year.

    It can be a great place for retirees [like me] who do not need to earn a living, but who want to homestead.

    Leave a comment:


  • peakbagger
    replied
    If you look at night sky shots of northern New England, there is a distinct lack of lighting along a swath of the US Canadian Border from Lake Champlain east to Fort Kent Maine and then south along the border down to the Atlantic ocean. There are a few towns at key border crossings but its mostly farming in VT and treefarming east of that. About 1/4 of maine, the northwest quadrant is industrial timberland with some wilderness parcels. There literally are no public roads to the access the area. There is a large private road system to access the area but access is up to the owners. There is also another large block of timber and conservation land east of a line running from Acadia National Park roughly north to I95 in Millinocket. Much of the land was never populated and the townships have no names and are referred to by township number (T4 R5 WELS). Thus there is no reason to run power into the regions. There are some private inholdings at the fringe of the timberland and it is popular for homesteading and those who want to get away from the crowds. I 95 was built as a defense highway to service air force bases in Limestone and Bangor Me and also as way of trying to tie the state together. It has a very low volume of traffic but allows someone to be able to live out in the woods while still accessing services. Many folks routinely drive 60 miles one way to go shopping. For every homesteader that buys a place in rural Maine there are probably 10 who tried and went back home. The winters are long and summers are short. Power is significant issue in the winter.

    OTG in rural maine sounds cool but the reality is there can be week long periods in the winter where there are no clear days. These stretches can last 4 to 8 weeks generally from November to January. Some try small wind as usually the wind is blowing when the sun is not out but small wind is notorious for poor reliability. I drive by many dead wind turbines while roaming the back woods. Even if there is power, the utilities maintain the lines to a bare minimum and when there is a weather event if may be days before power is restored. Thus if someone choses to live in the backwoods in northern new England, their thinking will be quite foreign to most folks. There are various books about moving to the backwoods and there is usually a chapter on the trade off between cheap land and the lack of power. Generally most authors admit that any savings in land cost is substantially offset by the cost to supply power on a year round basis. Not many homesteading folks have the 30 to 50 K that reasonably may be needed to provide a robust system, so many of the OTG systems are built up out of orphan parts over the years. This works if the owner has the smarts to do it right but many systems are an accident waiting to happen and if the original assembler of the system is out of the picture due to death, divorce or just plain giving up, the systems rarely survive another owner and end up in Uncle Henry's ( a local newsprint based craigslist) to get recycled again into some other kludged up system.

    The other key point to consider is that many of the homesteaders are contrary by nature and don't take advice well. They are used to doing it their own way. An extreme example are the doomsday preppers on TV, no matter how suspect their theories of disaster are, they have made up their mind and are merrily heading off on their own path and hopefully no one gets in their way.

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
    What I find a little disturbing is that this is the 21st century and that there are a lot of places in the US that does not have grid power.

    If that is where you want to live then I would think whatever it costs to generate your own power is worth it to you.
    Yea, I thought that's what the Rural Electrification Program started in the '30's was all about. I guess the TVA/Grand Coolee/etc. lessons didn't get to some parts of the country.

    Leave a comment:


  • organic farmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Bucho View Post
    Well that would be a reason, what your asking about is called a hybrid inverter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelli...ybrid_inverter

    Amy already suggested one to you: http://www.altestore.com/store/Inver...Fdg8gQodzpsAUA
    ???

    I am not asking for anything.

    Leave a comment:


  • organic farmer
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
    What I find a little disturbing is that this is the 21st century and that there are a lot of places in the US that does not have grid power.

    If that is where you want to live then I would think whatever it costs to generate your own power is worth it to you.
    If every square-mile of land in the USA were drawn on a map. I suspect that the overwhelming majority of them are uninhabited.

    Most of the USA is rural [meaning less then 10 people per square-mile].

    My town has a cellphone repeater, because the interstate goes through our town. But towns to our East and West do not. Most towns in this state do not have cellphone towers. Cellphones generally only work along the interstate, or else in cities.

    It is not profitable to setup towers and infrastructure for zero customers.

    That is why my town does not have any cable company, when homes are over a mile apart, you would need to string a lot of cable before you got 10 customers.

    The economics work different in a city. When you can have 100,000 customers all within a single square-mile, then you can make lots of profit from stuff like that.

    The power line in our town, goes through another 30 towns after. 92% of this state of forest. That is a lot of power line on poles shorter than the forest that over-shadows on both sides on the road. When one tree blows down in a storm, you lose power to 30 towns [or more].

    Due to government subsidy the utility companies stay in business. But only because of the government subsidy.



    I like rural. I moved here after I retired. It is peaceful. I can shoot a rifle in any direction from my house, and it is safe. Deer, bear, turkey are all harvested from on my land every year. Some years a moose is also harvested. We harvest more deer in a year, in our town, then we have residents.

    Land prices are low, home prices are low, taxes are low, Cost-Of-Living is low.

    Some of us like it this way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bucho
    replied
    Originally posted by organic farmer View Post
    The grid may be cheaper, but the grid only works on the days that the utility company decides the grid should be up. Otherwise, duh.
    Well that would be a reason, what your asking about is called a hybrid inverter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelli...ybrid_inverter

    Amy already suggested one to you: http://www.altestore.com/store/Inver...Fdg8gQodzpsAUA

    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by organic farmer View Post
    The grid may be cheaper, but the grid only works on the days that the utility company decides the grid should be up. Otherwise, duh.





    It is silly to want power? Maybe it depends on how many days each month commercial power is available.



    I think it is silly to make fun of people who want to be power for their homes.
    What I find a little disturbing is that this is the 21st century and that there are a lot of places in the US that does not have grid power.

    If that is where you want to live then I would think whatever it costs to generate your own power is worth it to you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Oranjoose
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunking View Post
    One of the most silly things I have heard here. Last thing you would ever do let a Pb battery sit at 80% or every use battery power if you have commercial AC power available.
    Originally posted by organic farmer View Post
    I think it is silly to make fun of people who want to be power for their homes.
    As I have been lurking, I have seen quite a bit of condescending the sunpeasants around here, actually. Maybe the hostility is coming from dealing with a new wave of hipsters, charlatans, and opportunists. I can see where spite would rise out of that.

    Originally posted by inetdog View Post
    More details please.....
    Sure. I manage the shed as an on-site accessory to a group of people who need to access it. The shed has a couple led lights, very basic computer equipment to run a multi-camera surveillance system and a couple other sundry tasks, and air conditioning to keep the air around 50-60 F to properly store this type of equipment and supplies. The shed is insulated and approximately 6ft x 7f x 4ft in size. I live in Indiana.

    The interest in solar emerges from a tenuous relationship between the landowner, from whom the electricity is drawn, and those who access the shed. I don't want to get into the details there, but we have a solid understanding that if we "supplement" the shed's power draws from solar, even if mostly superficial, the landowner will feel comfortable with our power arrangements (don't bother asking about just paying our share of the bill, fronting the cost we'd spend in solar toward the bill, or the like).

    Based on what a couple of you have already said, I'm thinking that perhaps I could hook up the solar to take the computer and lights off the grid, and hook the cooling unit to the AC. I'm even considering alternative ways that I could cool the shed without using either solar or AC, but this is something I have yet to investigate.

    The key here though, is that I want the shed's power needs to be as automated as possible, where I can check on it remotely or in person but once or twice a week, hence why I'm interested in some system that kicks in alternative power once the battery bank has hit a threshold. Amy@altE's suggestion sent me on a lead that resulted in finding something at least somewhat like this in order to set up such a system of backup power: http://www.solar-electric.com/schnei...tor-start.html .

    Any other suggestions on this project are more than welcome. Thank you for the support!

    Leave a comment:


  • organic farmer
    replied
    Originally posted by sdold View Post
    And costs 1/10th the money for power ...
    The grid may be cheaper, but the grid only works on the days that the utility company decides the grid should be up. Otherwise, duh.



    Originally posted by Sunking View Post
    One of the most silly things I have heard here. Last thing you would ever do let a Pb battery sit at 80% or every use battery power if you have commercial AC power available.
    It is silly to want power? Maybe it depends on how many days each month commercial power is available.



    I think it is silly to make fun of people who want to be power for their homes.

    Leave a comment:

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