Discover more from The Starfire Codes by Demi Pietchell
Off Grid Power: 47 Resources for Becoming Electrically Self-Sufficient
Solar Power, Wind Turbines, Washing Machine Rigs, Portable Generators, Water Wheel Generators, Rain Gutter Power, DIY Builds, Navigating Life Off Grid, and more.
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The 8-bit Guy. (2015). Ultimate Battery Backup Hack/Mod. YouTube.
“In this episode, I take an APC battery backup and modify it to have 3 direct DC output jacks as well as an LED display with voltage readout. This gives me a power supply for my HAM radio as well as many other useful capabilities during a power outage.”
A&R Solar. (2018). How to Clean and Maintain Your Solar Panels. YouTube.
“If you want your system to soak up its maximum potential, hose off the panels and collectors once or twice a year, preferably in the morning while your panels are still cool. This can boost performance, especially if pollen, dirt, or debris has accumulated. If there is buildup on your panels, use a soft brush like the one you would use to wash your car along with a mild detergent. Do not pressure wash your panels and never run cold water over a hot array.”
Adadpt 2030. (2021). Questions They Don't Want You to Ask About the Global Power Outages. YouTube.
“The conversation rages on about renewables vs fossil fuels during power outages in both the E.U and the USA. That's the distraction, that's where powers that be want the conversation to stay, not magnetic motors and decentralized electrical production with no power provider to pay monthly. Tesla Towers, Tesla Oscillators and Magnetic Motors are never discussed as solutions for indoor agriculture, until now. Let’s talk.”
Angry Ram. (2014). Free power- How to convert an old washing machine into a water powered generator. YouTube.
“I've been living off the grid for a few years now, using a converted water powered F&P washing machine motor to generate more than enough power to run all the appliances & hot water I use in my house, as well as powering all the tools I use in my workshop. In that time I've saved many thousands of dollars from not having to pay power bills. In this detailed video I'll show you how it's done.”
D Bro. (2009). Solar Powered Hydrogen Assisted Stirling Engine. YouTube.
Delvis11. (2016). Heating with Hydrogen HHO or Hcat. This man does just that. YouTube.
Desert Prep. (2018). High-Capacity Off-Grid Solar Generator (rev 4) -- Wiring Diagram, Parts List, Design Worksheet. YouTube.
“In this video I’ll show you how I built a portable off-grid solar generator with higher capacity than commercial units at a fraction of the cost. I’ve posted the parts list, wiring diagram, and engineering worksheet so you can tailor your own solar generator to your exact needs.”
DIY Solar Power with Will Prowse. (2019). Build Your First Solar Power System! Beginner Tutorial Easily Explained, Budget Friendly. YouTube.
Exploring Alternatives. (2018). Homesteading Family Living Off-Grid in a Spectacular Earthship. YouTube.
“This inspiring off-grid homesteading family lives in a renovated stone earthship. They grow their own food, collect rainwater, use solar power, have composting toilets, and they have a pond that filters their grey water. On top of living an eco friendly lifestyle, they dedicate their work to important projects like urban gardening and promoting industrial hemp as "Hempbassadors." During the winter, they typically take 2-4 months off to travel, which is financially possible for them because they don't have a mortgage (the house only cost $15,000 when they bought it). Their daughter, Emma, is in the first grade, but they take her out of school while they travel and homeschool her on the road. Francis & Marie have dreamt of being self-sufficient for a long time. For 8 years they renovated their earthship home, planted their permaculture gardens, and prepared for the day they'd be able to live their dream full-time. For over 2 years now they've been living on their dream homestead. They grow apples, berries, and other fruits which they preserve for winter. They also grow vegetables, and collect eggs from their chickens. In the summer, their grocery bill can be as low as $30/week because they produce so much of their own food. Much of their harvest is kept cool in their root cellar although they would like to have a fridge. The home is a passive solar home with a greenhouse in the front. It can stay above zero degrees on it's own, but they have a wood stove – an Amish Pioneer Princess – to heat the house, to cook, and to heat their hot water. For rainwater, they have 3 collection systems. One is a tank in front of the house that collects water from the greenhouse, and they use a solar powered pump to transfer it into an underground cistern. Another tank collects rainwater from the roof, and a third collects rainwater from their shed. In total they can have 10,000 litres of fresh water when all of the tanks are full. They don't have a well yet so they get their drinking water from a cabin they have access to down the road. They have a small solar power system for their lights, the water pump, and for the internet. They'd eventually like to invest in a bigger system but for now it works well.”
Fouch Family Off Grid. (2015). Ten Things We Wish We'd Known Before We Went Off Grid. YouTube.
Giesbert Nijhuis. (2018). Turn a ceiling fan into a wind turbine generator?! YouTube.
“A ceiling fan looks similar to a wind turbine, so one may wonder if it can be used as such. Most ceiling fans are induction motors, that don't generate electricity when being turned. You will have to add magnets. That and many other points are dealt with in this experiment. The goal of this video is to learn how stuff works, and to help everybody who wants to try this conversion themselves. I hope you can learn from my experiment, and make a better version.”
Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions. (2019). Common problems with solar panels. YouTube.
“In this video we look at a number of common problems that solar panels can have, and unfortunately the issues can't be fixed, they require the solar panels to be replaced. Hopefully the moral of the story is make sure you purchase good quality solar panels with local support!”
GreatScott! (2018). Which Motor Type is the Best Generator? || DC, BLDC or Stepper? (Experiment). YouTube.
“In this video I will conduct a small experiment in order to show you whether the DC, BLDC or Stepper Motor is best suited as a generator. Along the way we will learn a bit about the theory of those motors and realize why a gearbox can be an important part of a generator setup. Let's get started!”
Green Solar Technologies. (2018). Green Solar Technologies - Solar Panel Maintenance. YouTube.
“In this video, Mike Yanez shares his experience with going solar with Top Solar Installation Company - Green Solar Technologies. Mike explains how he got his solar panel installation in over a year ago and easy it has been to maintain his panels with little effort.”
Greg Mcgrew. (2018). How to repair broken or cracked solar panels. YouTube.
Guildbrook Farm. (2018). The Real Truth About Living Off Grid With Solar Energy. YouTube.
“We have unlimited power now, right?! Not quite. We discuss what it means to live with our new off grid 5.2kw solar array and how we manage power living off the grid.”
Handeeman. (2018). Micro Wind Turbines... Are They Worth It? (Off Grid Solar). YouTube.
HHO Gas Technology. (2017). HHO Gas Stainless Steel Countertop Cooking Stove - HHO Gas Comparison to Propane Fuel 3-10-2017. YouTube.
Hippie Hill Homestead. (2020). Beginner solar system. How to build a DIY off grid solar system. Solar 101. Beginner Tutorial. YouTube.
“How to make a simple DIY solar system. In this video I explain how to build and wire a off grid solar system. Solar powered shed. basic solar setup.This is a great way to learn about solar and get you on your way to being off grid.Beginner solar system.Off grid. 12 volt system.”
Jacques Albert. (2012). COMBUSTION DE L'EAU/ BURNING WATER STOVE. YouTube.
“Burning test with water, is it possible to use water as fuel or improving the oxidizing materials to burn. I think it is possible but I'm not sure regarding water as pure fuel, it is quite possible in my opinion on this first test I could not validate the phenomenon because my tank water is emptied. Against by the addition of water improves significantly boosts combustion. Attention to this kind of experience is relatively dangerous, I would not advise you to do for now, I'm doing me a scare, if I can I'll show you.”
Jacques Albert. (2012). COMBUSTION PAR GAZEIFICATION / COMBUSTION GASIFICATION. YouTube.
“Different speeds of combustion operating principle. Gasification without any oil or liquid fuel. Excuse me for the sound.”
Jehugarcia. (2017). 33kWh DIY SOLAR TESLA POWERWALL. YouTube.
Jehugarcia. (2018). $300 DIY Tesla Powerwall - Solar storage 18650 lithium ion home Battery. YouTube.
Jehugarcia. (2019). Build a DIY Powerwall Using NEW Panasonic NCR18650BD cells. YouTube.
Justin Rhodes. (2017). Living Off Grid (In Alaska). YouTube.
“Retired Couple lives 100% off grid in Alaska. From Pennsylvania to the Alaskan wilderness. This is how they do it.”
KREOSAN English. (2019). Powerful Wind Generator DIY / Free Energy / Green Energy. YouTube.
LDSreliance. (2014). Solar Panel Systems for Beginners - Pt 1 Basics Of How It Works & How To Set Up. YouTube.
“Look no further for the best beginner's guide to solar panel systems. In this video, I will show you in layman's terms how a solar panel system works and how to set one up in 2 different types of systems. This video is intended for beginners so obviously there is a lot more involved than I am explaining but this covers the basics to get started.”
Lithium Solar. (2020). Building a 3.5kWh DIY Solar Generator for $650 - Start to Finish. YouTube.
“After having a friend ask several questions regarding a solar generator project he was working on, I decided this would be a good opportunity to build my own solar generator and fully document the process. The total build came out to around $641. This video provides an in-depth look at the process involved in collecting and assembling the battery pack along with the choice of components and some testing. WARNING: Lithium batteries are dangerous and can result in fire! This video is NOT intended to be instructional or a "how-to" lesson. I am not a professional. Do not attempt anything you see here without first contacting a certified and/or licensed professional.”
Martin Johnson - Off Grid Living. (2020). EASIEST Off Grid Power Solution | Bluetti 2400WH Solar Generator. YouTube.
“Today we are looking at the easest off-grid power solution for your cabin, tiny house or RV. The Bluetti EB240 is an awesome solar generator. This portable solar power unit can produce 1000 watts of pure sinewave power from its built-in inverter. The power is drawn from a 2400 Watt-hour lithium-ion battery. It also has four USB charging ports and one USB-C charging port along with a 12 volt 9 amp DC outlet. This unit can be charged with standard solar panels using MC for connectors with voltage up to up to 60 volts DC and 10 amps. If you're looking for an easy way to power your off grid cabin or RV this solar generator may be the solution that you were looking for.”
Marty T. (2020). Free Power for 16 years from a modified Washing Machine / Water Wheel. YouTube.
“I've been living off grid for the past 16 years, I make my own electricity using an old washing machine I found at the dump. I rewired the smart-drive washing machine motor to generate electricity, the generator is rotated via a water driven Pelton Wheel ( Hydro Turbine ). Water goes into the intake, creates pressure due to the difference in height between intake and outlet nozzle. Water comes out of the nozzle at 60psi and spins the pelton wheel which is attached to the modified washing machine motor (now a generator). The generator puts out 3 phase ac voltage which is passed through a 3 phase diode block rectifier to change it into dc, it is then fed directly into a 24v battery bank, a 24 - 240vac inverter is connected to the battery bank, 240vac travels up the power lines to my house. I can now power all my 240vac household appliances from the inverter It makes enough power to heat my water and run all the appliances in my energy efficient house as well as most of the tools in my shed. Occasionally I have issues with it and need to go down to the stream to problem solve, a small price to pay to avoid paying a power bill.”
Mike’s DIY Tesla Powerwall. (2018). Solar Panel Wash Yearly Wash. YouTube.
“Mikes DIY Powerwall Update 82 - Yearly Solar Panel Wash on my 20x240w panels. Washing the panels once per year is a good idea or at least every 2 years.”
Milan Vitéz. (2011). Water wheel pump. YouTube.
Off Road/Off Grid. (2013). Water wheel generator. YouTube.
“In this video I show how my water wheel works to produce power. This is my new wheel the old one had been beat up pretty good over the years, I made a few improvements to the design.”
OGB. (2012). How to Size Your Solar System. YouTube.
“Understand exactly how much power is stored in your batteries and how much of that you can use on a daily basis. This video also covers how power gets from your solar panels to your batteries and finally to your appliances. You will learn how to size your solar system according to how much power consumption you expect to have.”
Paul’s Hardware. (2018). THE VERDICT: Tesla Powerwall and Solar Review After 6 Months! YouTube.
“Here's the full Tesla Powerwall + Solar experience reviewed, 6 months later -- I walk through the installation timeline, examples of the system in use and go over the costs & expected time until my investment pays for itself.”
ProLiteGear. (2014). How to convert a UPS into a Solar Generator. YouTube.
“ProLiteGear.com shows you how to take a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and modify it to be a Solar Generator like the GoalZero Yeti Solar Generators. These portable power generators can then be used in emergency situations, for camping, or as backup power at your house. The modification allows them to be recharged via solar panels. The total cost can be much less than the Goal Zero products if you get creative. A fun, practical project, that is not that difficult.”
Quint BUILDs. (2019). Rain Gutter POWER #1 - How to Harvest Free Energy From Your Roof with a Hydro Electric Generator! YouTube.
“A lot of people wonder if there's any power in the rain falling on our roofs. This video series starts with the theory of how much power is available then attempts to achieve it in practice. It was a lot of fun to BUILD, hopefully you enjoy it and learn something in the process.”
R Brown. (2017). Solar Panel Troubleshooting and Repair, Part 1. YouTube.
“Trying to find out why the solar panel input power to the EPSolar Tracer-2215RN charge controller was low. I had recently reconfigured the solar panels on my tiliting rack to put a pair of 270W panels into the new EPSolar 4210BN charge controller feeding the Lithium Ion battery bank. This left a pair of 60W/12V panels (in series) in parallel with a single 270W/24V panel feeding the 2215RN controller on the 12V lead acid battery bank. I noticed that I wasn't getting any more than 3-4 amps from the solar panels. Yet, when I tested each panel separately, I would measure the typical short circuit current. As it turned out, the one 270W panel had a shorted bypass diode that was reducing it from 60 to 40 cells and about 24Voc. In parallel with the pair of 60W panels, it never was able to add any current since the voltage was too low. Temporarily removing the shorted diode, I did see the expected Voc voltage. However, with the short circuit test, I found some high resistance tabbing connections that arced and smoked. More to come, with the panel down on the ground for a closer look...”
R Brown. (2017). Solar Panel Troubleshooting and Repair, Part 2. YouTube.
“Let's take a closer look at the problem with the panel down on the ground. Using my Craftsman C3 Multi-Tool and a sanding attachment, I was able to sand through the EVA encapsulant layer to expose the tabbing and bus bars underneath. It seems that all 3 connections on this bus bar weren't done properly at the factory. There is a very wide, rough looking texture to the bus bar material where the tabbing connects. This is in contrast to the other connections on the panel where there is just a clean, narrow connection point visible. My initial thought was to just solder the tabbing back onto the bus bar and reseal it. But getting the silicone encapsulant scraped off the bus bar enough for a clean solder joint is very difficult. I tried some acetone to try and dissolve that material, but no luck. Also, I fear that the hot soldering iron might crack the glass that the bus bar is bonded to. Instead, I think I'll bend the cell tabbing up and solder it to a new nickel strip and then run a wire inside to the bypass diode terminals and make the connection there. Not quite as neat and tidy as an internal repair, but should be safer. Let me know your thoughts on the various approaches. I'm still working on exposing the tabbing above the j-box as it's hard to access. The tip of the sanding attachment just barely fits in there and using a chisel is tough because you have to come in at a fairly steep angle over the edge of the j-box. All the while you need to be careful and not damage the narrow copper cell tabbing.”
Retired at 40- Live.Life.Simple. (2018). DIY Homemade Wind Turbine for $32. YouTube.
“Make your own wind turbine out of easy and cheap items. I found a motor and a windmill at a garage sale. This video will give you some ideas of how to put it all together.”
Retired at 40- Live.Life.Simple. (2019). Is This Cheap Turbine Really 400 Watts? Best Value for 2020? YouTube.
Robdude1969. (2019). DIY - How to Clean Your Solar Panels the Easy Way (if you dare climb on your roof safely). YouTube.
“Climbing on your roof is dangerous. DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK! Wear safety harness and use protection if in doubt. I VERY STRONGLY SUGGEST DOING THIS ON A COOL DAY OR IN THE MORNING BEFORE THE PANELS HEAT UP. DAMAGE CAN OCCUR IF YOU PUT COLD WATER ON HOT PANELS. Solar panel cleaning will help you restore efficiency to your solar system. Solar Panels are awesome! Go Green, Help save the earth with clean energy! If you are still reading this, I am betting you already agree and want to clean your solar panels. Solar panels get dusty, dirty, covered with pollen and the rain doesn't always clean it off. I use Liquid Dish Soap and a window cleaner's squeegee. It's a mild soap, cleans glass great, and rinses off easily. Again it's very important to do this when it's cool out and panels are cool to the touch. If the panels are hot, the soap dries quickly and the job becomes more difficult. These glass panels are built to get hot and cold slowly, but I wouldn't suggest testing the thermal variance with cold water. I use a simple pole and soft mop that you may already have at home in the video, but there are professional level options available below. Again, BE SAFE - KNOW YOUR LIMITS - IF IN DOUBT CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL!”
RPS Solar Pumps. (2018). Dirty vs Clean Solar Panel - Power Output Comparison and HowTo. YouTube.
“Why clean your panels every year?? Check out this video to see, how a simple 5 minute cleaning can significantly boost your power output! These are also some of the highest quality 100W available panels available in the USA today. We hooked up a dirty solar panel to a constant voltage DC electronic load. We set the voltage to 36V and found that our dirty panels were outputting about 4 Amps which is equivalent to about 145 Watts. Once we cleaned the panels, we saw in increase to 5.1 Amps (183 Watts), which is the full power you can expect in typical conditions. The amperage data was linearly mapped to a visual power meter to show the decrease or increase in power in real time. The dirty panels were outputting 26% less power than when fully clean.”
SupremeMasterTV18. (2011). Oxyhydrogen (HHO) Gas: A Do-It-Yourself Introduction. YouTube.
“This video presents an informative do-it-yourself demonstration. With the help of Mr. Peter Wood, an everyday handyman and sustainable energy enthusiast from Austria, we will learn how to produce the clean and green oxyhydrogen or HHO gas, using equipment that is easily obtainable by most people. HHO gas has become a popular for use with industrial welding and cutting equipment.”
TinHatRanch. (2016). The Ultimate Guide To DIY Off Grid Solar Power | Tin Hat Ranch. YouTube.
“DIY Solar power may seem like a daunting task. Fear not, this video WILL set you on the right path. We start by unraveling the mystery of off-grid solar power and teach you the basics, how to understand and think about your system. From there, we show you how to access and size the proper system for an off grid back-up or full time off grid system. Once you've got that squared away, we talk all about batteries. Of all the components, batteries are probably the most misunderstood. There are some nuances in solar power that you must be aware of; this video will set you straight on where to mount and how to wire your panels for the best efficiency. Speaking of efficiency, do you know the difference between an MPPT and PWM solar charge controller? Just watch the video. Often the most overlooked component of any off grid system is safety, and for that we've got you covered as well. Finally, we finish up talking about living with your new system. There are LOTS of links in the video to the components used, schematics, and further information.”
Two Bit da Vinci. (2017). What should I know Before Going Solar? YouTube.
“Are you Considering Solar? Watch This First! We walk you through 8 Major Areas where You should Ask Questions of yourself and any potential Solar Installation Companies before spending any money or signing any contracts on Solar Panels or PV Cells.”
Unbound Solar. (2019). How to Size My Off-Grid Solar System & How Much Does it Cost? YouTube.