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Solar, Wind, Earth and Water

Updated on February 23, 2013

Renewable Energy

In the past few months I have begun researching more thoroughly the renewable energy sources available to our world.

I first became interested in 1986 when my father was transferred temporarily to the GM plant in Shreveport, LA. We took a weekend to drive over and see him and to drive into Dallas, TX which I had never seen. As we drove on I-10 west from Shreveport into Texas I began to see things I didn't understand at all.

I expected to see oil rigs because I had seen the popular TV show Dallas. Yes, there were plenty of them in what looked to be fields like they were cattle in a pasture.

What I did not expect to see was what I only could only describe as "windmills". Huge fields like you would expect to find sunflowers or crops were covered in these windmills.

Now 25 years later, I find they are called "wind turbines" and they create quite a bit of energy, renewable energy. They are powered by the wind and when connected to a power inverter can be used for electricity just as in solar panels.

Solar Panel Excitement

When we first decided to use solar, wind and water power and to try to use the Earth's renewable energy for as much as possible in our home it became like an obsession for me. I could see an opportunity in nearly everything to slap a solar panel on it and disconnect it from the main power source.

I'd always wanted to live off the land as much as possible, though I must admit that it was so I could become a hermit. I am certainly glad I was prevented by circumstances from doing that or I may have never met my husband who is very much like me in his thinking.

Do It Yourself Solar Panel Installation - DIY Solar Panel Kit

We were so worried that this was something we would have to hire an installer for, making the cost higher than we might afford. But this video showing how to install this kit really helped alleviate our fears.

Information about the Sunforce 39303 390-Watt High-Efficiency Polycrystalline Solar Power Kit from the Amazon site: "It includes three (3) Sharp 130-Watt polycrystalline solar panels with durable rustproof aluminum frames, a 30-Amp Digital Solar Charge Controller, a voltage tester, and mounting brackets with accessories for easy installation. Note: Wiring is not included with this kit.

With the included 30-Amp Digital Solar Charge Controller installed, there is no danger of reverse current sapping your battery strength at night. This charge controller can also handle up to 500-Watts of solar power, making it ideal for future expansion and use with additional solar panels."

Solar Appliances from Amazon

I have been researching Solar Appliances from Amazon and others for a couple of months now. I am finding amazing items I would never have dreamed I could run off solar energy.

I will list a few for you below and hopefully you will find something new too.

Cooking With the Sun: How to Build and Use Solar Cookers
Cooking With the Sun: How to Build and Use Solar Cookers

If you would rather build your own solar oven there are instructions in this book. There are also instructions on how to use it.

 

Where to Begin

Like most people we searched the internet for information and soon realized we were going to need to gather some info before we could even begin pricing.

We had also heard we could sell any excess power we created back to the power company or get a credit on our bill depending on your power company. This was something we were truly interested in because any extra income per month would put us closer to our goal of living nearly utility free.

Listed below are some resources you will find helpful when you begin your research.

Wind Energy

Wind Power

Once we began learning about solar power we wanted know other ways we could create electricity. Wind Power was the next thing on our list. We studied the graphs and the videos.

We even found some pretty awesome videos by people who made their own as experiments out of plastic bottles and cds. Naturally, then we began thinking about recycling everything and building our own turbines for free. In our minds we saw ourselves sitting around the patio table building these things over coffee at night. That might be a fun "together" hobby, but these small turbines will not produce enough to run a household. They might produce enough to run a few light bulbs if we had no sun for a few days and our battery bank got low. You need a full size turbine sitting high up to catch the wind to really make a difference.

We will still be making some of these ourselves just to see how much we might be able to get from them. We have considered using them to charge the golf cart batteries.

Amazon Has Wind Turbines

Homemade Wind Turbines

These videos of homemade wind turbines show not only the power of the wind but of the human mind. Many of these are made from everyday household items that can be recycled to build these wind turbines.

Are you considering making the change to solar, wind or water source energy? Do you love the idea of not paying or at least reducing your power bill? Tell me here, I'd love to hear about it!

Have You Made the Move to Renewable Energy?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Honestly, I am certain that Solar Power will be the Power Source of the Future; at least for Earth Based Power Needs! For Space Travel, Solar Power will not be enough to explore at Great Speeds or Distance. Solar Power is Clean and in Great Abundance, this why I am so certain this will take place and sooner that we think!!! ;)

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 5 years ago

      We were also unsure about installing any renewable energy devices ourselves. We did some research, watched installation videos, and read a lot. As you stated, the process is not as complicated as it seems! We're always looking for the next renewable energy item to add to our efforts :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Solar, Wind, Earth and Water - My favorite band!! Rock and roll!!

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 5 years ago from Detroit

      Great renewable energy page. We certainly need to work out all options!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Still love this page, and solar and wind are the way to go!

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 6 years ago

      Using these four natural energy such as solar, wind, earth and water will definitely save money on bills. Great info

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens. home made Solar panels is a great idea.

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 6 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I've heard some say that I am full of hot air. Maybe I should put it to good use ;) Great ideas for saving money and the planet :)

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      We don't have plans to change to other resources as they would be expensive in our area. Plus we want to move one day. Our fireplace and wood stove were converted to natural gas a few years ago. We also have electric baseboard in each room for heat. We live in a city and our water is on a meter. Overall for a large home, the bill is not as expensive as when the kids lived at home. Hopefully, we when install new windows this fall, the heating bill will be a bit less. Can't wait until we downsize one day and move to a smaller home. I try and save by not using the dryer and occasionally using the oven.

    • Holley Web profile image
      Author

      Holley Web 6 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: That would be awesome to see. That is the big concern for most but truthfully if it is well planned, no problems. I have a feeling the son of Sylvestermouse will be well prepared :)

    • Holley Web profile image
      Author

      Holley Web 6 years ago

      @Heather426: You may have to do it the Johnny Cash method like us. One piece at a time :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Who wouldn't love the idea of reducing their power bill?!!! My son will be moving into a new "green" building in a month and I have to admit that I am interested to see how well things work. He is pretty excited about it, but of course, I have visions of him being cold and hungry this winter. LOL I am the one slow to embrace change. I will be rolling with laughter when lensmasters tour the facility and realize that their guide is none other than the son of Sylvestermouse :) No doubt, he and his buds will get a kick out of reading your lens too. I can hear it now, "hey, Mom, your friend Holley is awesome!"

    • Holley Web profile image
      Author

      Holley Web 6 years ago

      @happynutritionist: Did your power company install one of the new meters that has doubled people's bill? My parents bill went from $150 to $300 in one month. Ridiculous.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      We have a well, a wood stove, (oil too...very expensive) a septic system, a small home that is relatively inexpensive to heat and cool, all lights fluorescent, but still pay for electricity. I don't know how our bill is compared to others but runs in the 150's each month.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Awesome lens about an important topic! We want to go solar and wind power too!