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Email the author:
bill@geektrap.com

A few years ago, I got interested in ways I could reduce our household's dependency on external power sources. This led eventually to installing a battery bank in the garage connected to a wind charger (which supplies 12VDC to charge the batteries whenever the wind blows faster than about 10 Mph) and an inverter (which converts the 12VDC from the battery bank to 110VAC usable by household appliances). In addition to a bank of transfer switches which allow me to switch individual circuits in the house between the inverter and utility power, I've run some extra wiring to allow me to directly access the 12VDC from the battery bank. By using some 12 volt compact fluorescent bulbs and a halogen automotive headlight bulb in a standard three-bulb floor lamp, I can provide both area lighting and a great reading light in my living room without the rather large amount of conversion loss that happens when using the inverter. It's really a great feeling to curl up on the couch with a good book, listen to the wind howl outside, and know you're using free energy provided by the planet itself.

The fine folks at Earthship Biotecture have taken the concept of living independently to a new level; check out their web site for more details.


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