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Index of recommended energy alternatives for home and small business self-generation of power.
- Systems like Tracfone Promo Codes have been in place for decades that can enable a home or small business to become energy independent. The purpose of this index is to feature those systems presently available that are the most practical for providing the most clean energy at the lowest cost and least maintenance.
This page will address the question: "If you were going to plan a new home or retrofit your existing home to become energy independent, using today's technology, what would you do?"
- Micropower Can Fuel Homes - UK Green Alliance report says mini wind, solar, ground source heat pump and other technologies should be available soon to enable self-generation of power. (BBC; Sept. 14)
- Video: Solar, Wood And Ground-Source Heating Gaining In Popularity - RenewableEnergyWorld.com sat down with installers and end-users of renewable heating systems in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to hear why some are choosing to move away from fossil-fuel based heating systems and to figure out what's available to businesses and consumers who want to make the switch. Video (Renewable Energy World; Nov. 12, 2008)
Information on setting-up self-sufficient homes
- Books on setting-up complete self-sufficient homes (also sells partial-diy systems)
- Low cost ecological building
- Green building bible; another book on setting-up complete self-sufficient homes
- Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century; a book by the makers of the 2nd largest green blog 'WorldChanging'
- Ecohouse: A Design Guide, another book
- Earth Architecture by Ronald Rael
- VillageEarth SourceBook; free information on setting up the system parts of your own self-sufficient home
- Vela creations, offers some information about the systems needed to be integrated to create a self sufficient home. Approach is somewhat similar to Earthship Biotecture/Building to a future
- Site offering a huge variety of books on any subject you still miss to set up a home generation system. Site offers most books which are used by professionals in development projects.
E-books and pdf's
Home Energy Made EasyA comphensive online membership course on taking your home from zero to energy indepenpent in one year using easy weekend projects. Highly recommended.
None of much intrest, aldough Mobipocket could soon provide some good e-books. Perhaps TomeRaider might fall in soon aswell.
The Toilets that make compost-pdf from EcoSanRes is a another good resource to learn how to make a composting toilet.
- Why Radiant Barrier? - This blog provides instructional articles and videos about why its important to use Radiant Barrier in your home, regardless of climate or construction. Info on energy savings when using an attic foil.
- Green Living Ideas - Provides some primers on setting up your system on all topics. Most are basic (not the best), yet some topics (eg on natural cleaning) are very well described and practical/usable.
- The freecycle network - Where materials for diy construction of microgeneration plants can be obtained.
- Ebay - Another website where materials for diy construction of microgeneration plants can be obtained.
- ForceFieldMagnets - A last source for fetching diy materials for diy construction of powerplants
- Instructables' article on how to set up a autonomous home at a cheap way
- Finding companies for green equipment leasing online
- Another Instructables article on going green
- The Big Green Idea - Practical Ideas website from the makers of "Its not easy being green - Features some useful first factsheets for people wanting to go off-the-grid or set-up other systems for autonomous buildings.
- National Resources Defense Council's Green Living page - Provides some basic info on green living, recycling, green building, eating, guides for businesses, etc.
- Howtopedia's collection of documents on microgeneration and self-sufficiency - The documents are mostly based on the documents provided by Practical Action
- Standard Renewable Energy - Provides some basic info on renewable home generation systems, carbon calculator, etc.
- VIBE; offers publications on autonomous home-building and publications on model homes (in Dutch)
- Radiant Barrier Reviews - Provides instructional articles of the benefits of installing radiant barrier, how to install it in a home and the different forms of radiant barrier insulation.
Material ordering websites
- Ethical directory; lists suppliers of kits/parts for microgeneration at home - The website focuses on ethical companies; which are thus generally also cheap and sell durable material
- Real goods: selects materials from the better companies
- Engineering for Developing Communities AST database
- Gaiam: sells books, ... on autonomous building, green living
There is easily enough information to develope each of these listings as a separate directory. At least one page for each can be composed specifically to address the home power context.
Help us populate this list. (Click on a red link to begin composing that page.)
- Most cost-effective, reliable ground source heat pump design and equipment.
- Best low cost electricity distribution system.
- Best geometric designs of a home for economy (integrating southern exposure, thermal mass and insulation, angle and length of eves, trombe wall, solarium, berm insulation).
- Best root cellar design.
- Most cost-effective, reliable home solar PV system.
- Best prefabricated house-wiring system.
- Best load limiter
- Best grid-interactive inverter
- Best charge controller
- Best balance-of-system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable home solar heating system.
- Best water harvesting system
- Best gray water recycling system.
- Best diy natural cleaning recipes.
- Best composting toilet system
- Most cost-effective, reliable hot water system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable wind turbine system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable fuel cell generator.
- Most cost-effective, reliable small-scale hydroelectric plant.
- Most cost-effective, reliable water softener system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable home private food production system.
- Best Greenhouses and greenhouse appliances.
- Most cost-effective, reliable space heater.
- Most cost-effective, reliable lighting system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable cogeneration system. Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
- Most cost-effective, reliable Hydrogen/oxyhydrogen generator.
- Most cost-effective, reliable Liquid nitrogen generator.
- Most cost-effective, reliable biochar production system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable air conditioning system.
- Most cost-effective, reliable satellite internet access and distribution center. Satellite internet access centers/devices provide the first stop to allow other computers internet access in any given location. They are designed to distribute the internet access over other computers (trough a smaller WiFi/WiMax-system connected hereon). The latter may be done by a longe range stationairy or mobile antenna (20km connection possible over this second (antenna-based) connection).
- Most cost-effective, reliable long-range WiFi or WiMax antenna. May be mounted on the home's stationairy computer and/or mobile pc to receive news information, internet radio, VoIP telephony, and other forms of information/communication.
- Most cost-effective, reliable solar and thermal mass refrigerators
- Most cost-effective, reliable washing machine
- Next recommendation here
- How to unplug from the grid - There are 200,000 off-grid households in the US, increasing by a third every year for the past decade. In addition, nearly 30,000 grid-connected US households supplement their supply with renewables, according to the non-profit Interstate Renewable Energy Council. In the UK there are around 40,000 off-grid homes. (New Scientist; Dec. 3, 2008)
- Alternative Power Video (.com) - Living off grid, completely, affordably. 70 minute DVD details every aspect of a 5,000 ft2 house with all major appliances plus computers, tvs, and printers. "It's easier & cheaper to do than you may think!"
- David Allan's Solar Home - Integrates seven different solar principles: (1) Trombe Wall • (2) Solarium • (3) Photovoltaic • (4) Hot Water Panels • (5) Eutectic Salt Chamber • (6) Berm Insulation • (7) Passive Solar Air Conditioner
- Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Solar-Hydrogen Eco-house - Hydrogen is produced from photovoltaics, is used in a stove, a water heater and a fuel cell. The house is completely self-sustaining. A Proton Energy HOGEN RE electrolyzer produces the hydrogen for the system.
- New House Farm A converted farm that has become self-sufficient. Full documentary has been made on how it was build (available on DVD and book-form). Especially the greenhouse is very intresting (very good heat sink-system; low cost). DIY-windmill is also used in the farm.
- Solium Power Corporation Hybrid Living Home - This house features solar panels and wind turbines as an alternative energy source and Lithium-powered energy for storage, with a geothermal system for heating and cooling.
- Our Cool House - COOL design integrates the following energy systems: Passive Solar heating and cooling. Earth Sheltered design. Geothermal Exchange for active heating and passive cooling. Radiant Hydronic Slab for energy storage and distribution. Fresh air system using Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV). Real-Time online HVAC system monitoring (see live data).
- miniHome - The miniHome is the world's greenest mobile dwelling, using 1/10th the resources of a site built structure. It produces all the energy required from solar panels and a small wind turbine, has tanks for freshwater and wastewater, and an onboard propane system for space heating, hot water, cooking and refrigeration. The miniHome is well insulated, has a passive cooling system, and is suitable for remote properties or vacation/cottage country.
- Enertia Building Systems - Enertia® Hybrid Energy Homes heat and cool themselves from the design, the orientation, and the materials of the home, rather than a furnace, heat pump, or air-conditioner. The principles are inertia, thermal currents, and the energy capacity of wood, combined with state-of-the-art windows, radiant coatings, and prefab manufacture.
- BuildingWithAwareness.com - Straw bale solar hybrid home is energy efficient, using passive solar design, straw bale insulated construction, thermal mass walls and earth plaster. Rooftop photovoltaic panels generate 100% of the electricity for the home. The interior walls are made of adobe bricks which stabilize the indoor temperature within 3 degrees during a 24 hour period.
- 3 Acorns Eco-House, based in London
- Grahame Caine's Eco House - Features a fully functional self-sufficient domestic autonomous system at low-cost.
- Project Ouroboros, -a homeastead located in St. Paul Minnesota. Appears to have ceised operation.
- Scrap House - A housing project which dealt around reusing scrap to make homes and other valuable materials. Aldough not the most eco-friendly (homes from ecological and biodegradable building materials as wood, adobe, straw-bale, ... are much more ecological), the project still provides insights on the potential of civic amenity sites and junkyards to get building materials (which may be btw used for building windturbines, ... aswell). Scrap House is similar to other projects as those conducted by BioTecture (who also build with stuff as cartires + rammed earth, ...).
- A Home for the New Millennium (PDF) - Scottsdale couple demonstrates that it is possible to build a home that is environment, energy and conservation friendly (SolarHydrogenAlliance)
- $2 Million Solar Home Takes "Green" Living to Next Level (PDF) (Business Journal)
- Google > Scottsdale Hydrogen House
- The Integral Urban House is a model house using an integrated food production system, together with passive solar heating, composting toilet, wind machine and aquaculture pond. Build by the Farralones Institute.
Model office/school buildings
- Hollands Huys is a energy efficient building which makes use of th 'airdeck'-concept. Airboxes or hollow elements in the floor are filled with water and are then heated to act as a (more efficient form of) floor heating. Heat and cold storage with heatpump is also present, aswell as ventilation with heat recuperation.
- Vito-site Mol is a office building in which concrete core-activation is imbedded for space heating. Heat pump and biodegradable materials (pressed rock fibre plates, FSC-certified ceder wood, ...) is also used.
- Eastgate Centre, Harare is a office building with passive cooling. Build by the famous green architect Mick Pearce.
- Passive schools (eg 'De Zande', ...) De zande features passive house design, automated shutters and windows, recycling of heat within the building, ...]
In the News
- Alternative Fuels >
Gazan invents alternative to cooking gas - Abd Farajallah has developed a device that utilizes chemical substances available in Gaza, in leu of scarce cooking gas due to the continued border closures. (Ma'an News Agency; Dec. 25, 2008) (Also Slashdot)
- Revolutionary Super-Insulating Vacuum Glass! - Researchers at Guardian Industries have recently unveiled a new breed of vacuum-glazed super glass with an incredible R12-R13 insulation rating. (Inhabitat; March 24, 2008)
- Using Wood For Battery Power - The Enertia® Building System turns wood into a material that can store solar energy. Zeolitic seed crystals are injected into the wood, altering the molecular structure at a nanolevel- turning it into a thermal battery. When the house is properly configured and sited it can heat and cool itself. (Mercury News; Mar. 18, 2007)
(Miscellaneous items to be moved to sub-directories once there are more than one item per category.)
- Home power from vehicle engine - An electrical generator system by Countour Hardening Inc that is powered by a truck or motor home engine. The generator is mounted on the vehicle and is controlled by the vehicle's computer hardware and software for optimum voltage control, frequency control and fuel economy. (IndyStar.com; Jan. 16, 2006) Vibram
- StrawBale - If you are brand new to straw bale or a straw bale construction specialist there's something for you at StrawBale.com.
- Build Your Own Wind Turbine - So you're interested in making your own wind generator? Want to Learn how to improve the energy efficiency of your home. There's something for you at Homemadeenergyreview.com.
- kama Energy Efficient Building Systems - Structures made with kama light gauge metal stud framing with expanded polystyrene are 60% more energy efficient than those built with traditional wood or metal stud framing. There is no medium which carries temperature and sound through the panels – not even a screw.
- Green Sandwich Technologies - The Green Sandwich Building System cuts construction time in half using structural concrete insulating panels that provide the highest levels of energy efficiency. The superior insulation (R-40 performance) results in 40%-60% energy savings for heating and cooling systems.
- Sustainable Homes - Safecrete AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete) is a lightweight masonry product with superior insulation characteristics, reducing heating and cooling costs by as much as half. AAC contains millions of tiny air cells and offers an array of benefits such as thermal mass, thermal inertia, whole wall coverage, and low air infiltration. (Thanks Leslie)
- GibBAR Building Systems - The GibBAR-Wall is an energy-efficient, earthquake-resistant, and easy-to-construct building system that offers up to R-30 protection and energy savings of 30–90 percent. The CAST-TILT system uses expanded polystyrene foam insulation for forms and a steel framing system into which concrete is poured.
- PowerHouse Home - Uses a new building system from Zero Net that replaces conventional materials and techniques to cut energy costs up to 60%. It utilizes a composite core of expanded polystyrene which is treated with a special fiber reinforced concrete coating on the surfaces to reduce heat loss in winter and limit heat gain in summer.
- Zero Energy Homes - Two homes, one the builder's standard model and the other a super-energy-efficient photovoltaic residence (PVRES), were tested by the Florida Solar Energy Center. In one year, the PVRES home used 6960 kWh of electricity and had a PV system production of 5180 kWh, while the Control used 22,600 kWh. This gives a yearly energy savings due to energy efficiency of 70%, and a 92% savings when the PV system is included.
- Agriboard Industries - The Agriboard (pdf) wall system is made from highly compressed wheat and rice straw with an R-value up to 25.44, thus saving money on heating and cooling costs. It reduces air leakage and creates greater ‘Thermal Mass’ which helps to moderate large exterior temperature changes.
- ECO-Block - Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are simpler and easier to install than wood-frame methods, and are vastly more energy-efficient. EPS (expanded polystyrene) panels snap together, to create walls which are filled with concrete. ECO-Block eliminates air infiltration through the wall assembly, so there are no drafts or cold spots, greatly reducing the amount of fuel needed for heating and cooling.
- Imagine Energy - Website offers comprehensive education about cutting-edge renewable energy products and services, along with an e-commerce store with POS Software System where visitors can purchase clean energy lifestyle products.
- European Council for Construction Research, Development and Innovation's European Construction Technology Platform (ECCREDI ECTP)
- Home Power Magazine - The hands-on journal of home-made power: solar, wind, and hydro. Current issue can be downloaded for free. All back issues available for order on CD or paper. Back issues and articles available for download (not free). Online listing of business in the field. Many other resourses and topics.
- Earth-House.com - Information source on Earth Sheltered Homes and everything related to them. "You will not find a larger site anywhere else on the net."
- send flowers
- Mother Earth News - Magazine often includes home energy tips.
- Fibreglass swimming pool Sussex- "Fibre Glass Swimming pool Construction by leading suppliers & installers of swimming pools for home & commercial use in Sussex, Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Crawley, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Lewes and Henfield in UK. Specialist swimming pool covers, swimming pool lighting, swimming pool accessories."
- YourGreenDream.com - Information on how to create your own homemade projects. Present information covers wind, solar, and grid connect. Objective is to cover DIY info an all home green power modalities. New site, not much info yet.
- ENERGYHOG.org - Learn how to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
- eartheasy.com - Live ... at home with the earth.