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Off-grid, handcrafted life on Oregon farm & workshop — 1 Comment

  1. This guy gets “it” on so many levels.

    He understands what so very many people miss about solar technology. That is the fact that solar THERMAL is where the efficiency is. Solar thermal is amazing. It’s like a furnace that you never need to feed fuel to. It’s cheap and easy to build yourself, and lasts for decades.

    Solar Photovoltaics are okay, they have their place, but solar thermal is so underutilized that it’s ridiculous. The overwhelming vast majority of the general population simply have no clue about the advantages of Solar Thermal. The beauty is, lots of the time, solar thermal can replace or greatly supplement typical systems that use electric, wood, natural gas, propane, oil, etc. The more solar thermal you use, the less of everything else you use. PLUS IT’S LABOR FREE once the solar thermal system is installed.

    No hauling or stacking wood to feed it.

    You may not be able to use solar thermal 100% of the time, so you still need backup systems, but what this guy has done is maximize what he can get easily and cheaply from the sun. VERY SMART.

    Micro Hydro is another amazing technology that is very underutilized. If you have any running water on your property, you can harness that energy for electricity production on a small scale. I love the way this guy covers himself with multiple systems to keep costs down and redundancy/reliability high.

    About the only thing he has missing is a simple anaerobic digester to create his own biogas (natural gas) as another option for cooking, heating, electric generation, and even transportation. That option might save him a lot of manual labor collecting, cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking, and stoking firewood. Not eliminate the need for firewood, but significantly reduce it and save him time and effort. Not to mention that the wood resources he doesn’t burn can then get used for other things like his craftsmanship, and turned back into the soil for organic matter.

    Add to that his aesthetic choices, and he really is putting it all together.

    Lots to admire about his property, but more to admire about his good sense. Well done.

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