Monday, July 11, 2011

Power the House wrote us with some really nice comments about our work her on the blog. they also wanted to offer the following article for our readers, which I'm certain you will enjoy. 

10 Cool Ways to Provide Power to Your House

 Electricity is something most people take for granted and don’t really have any idea how it’s generated. They just flip a light switch or plug into an outlet and pay the monthly bills for the service. This is amazing considering the fact that people lived without electricity for thousands of years. Even though we’ve only had this luxury for less than 200 years, most of us would have a hard time living without it. If something catastrophic happened or if you just want to live “off the grid”, what are some cool ways to provide the power you need for your own home?
  1. Solar – If you live in an area with plentiful sunshine, solar panels would be a likely source to consider. There has been extensive research and advances in technology since solar power was first developed. However, this wouldn’t be a good choice for those who have limited sun.
  2. Wind – Others may live in a place where the wind blows all the time. For them, harnessing the wind makes the most sense. People have been using wind power long before electricity was even discovered. The problem is that when the wind isn’t blowing, power is not being generated and can’t be stored.
  3. Hydroelectric – A consistent flow of water can also be used to turn a turbine to generate electricity. You don’t need a huge dam to provide power for a single home. A small river or creek that flows continually could be all you would need.
  4. Gasoline generator – The most common way people deal with power outages is to run a gasoline powered generator. This could get pretty expensive if you ran it 24/7, but could be feasible if you carefully scheduled your energy use.
  5. Diesel – Some generators are powered by diesel fuel. These are usually larger units for businesses or hospitals that can’t afford to be without power. You could have plenty of power for a very large home if you can afford on of these.
  6. Natural gas – If you have access to inexpensive natural gas, you could use it to power an electric generator. Anything that can be used to run a combustion engine can be used to generate electricity.
  7. Bio-fuels – Since fossil fuels are limited and can get expensive, bio-fuels like methane can also be used to run generators. Farmers with a lot of animal waste use the gas produced by it to power their farms.
  8. Geothermal – Using the heat available underground to generate electricity is a fairly new technology and could be quite expensive to implement. However, after the initial setup costs, you’d be set for life.
  9. Thermoelectric – This is also a new concept being developed that uses temperature changes to create and electrical charge. Thermoelectric generators (or TEG’s) have been developed for homeowners using a variety of heat sources to produce power.
  10. Piezoelectric – The use of pressure or other mechanical changes on a solid material to generate electricity is still in its infant stages, so it may be a while before the technology is developed to the point of powering your home. Piezoelectricity is something to watch for in the future though.
The main concepts to remember when looking for alternative power sources for your home are simple. You need a plentiful, inexpensive source of energy to run and electric generator. You need to look carefully at the availability of your energy source and the initial cost of the power generating system. Within the relatively short period of time people have been using electricity, we now rely on it for practically every aspect of our daily lives. People who realize this are constantly looking for new ways to make sure they have the electricity they need to power their modern conveniences. With some research, you can find a way to self-sufficiently provide power for your home.

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