With the increasing awareness of our environmental impact and the growth in the tiny house movement, there are many who are looking for a way to be off-grid capable so they can pack up their tiny house and move freely without needing to be hooked up to the grid or simply to reduce their carbon footprint in whatever type of home they live in.
While tiny house enthusiasts are some of the most well-researched home buyers on the market
today, there are still some major questions about going off-grid with your home.
So, here are the answers to the top four questions about off-grid living with a tiny house.
Yes, you can! Each year that passes, the solar industry takes leaps and bounds in solar technology making it easier and easier to power your home from solar. With solar panels, solar converters and chargers that are more efficient than ever, there isn't any reason you can't power your home from solar with the right setup.
While many variables effect the input from your panels its important to have a good understanding of solar tracking and the position of solar panels, the suns position and movement in your area, cloud coverage, dirty solar panels, solar charger, energy loss, etc. but don't let that scare you.
One of the big factors is usage. If you plan on blow drying your hair for 3 hours a day, maybe off-grid isn't for you!
However, if you can use electricity modestly, and spare when necessary, it's an effective way to save that juice! Keep in mind, things with heating elements are big power-suckers. Toasters, heaters, curling irons, etc. also, items with motors such as blenders can be intensive.
One great trick with going off-grid is incorporating non-electric appliances. If Propane is an option, choose a propane oven, cooktop, water heater and even refrigerator! That way you're taking the pressure off of your electrical equipment and leaves more battery for the things you like to use electricity on instead of background electricity.
Its all fairly simple to get your mind around and with our solar specialists on staff we are more than happy to talk you through all the right equipment for your lifestyle. Give us a shout!
Living "off-grid" is as much of a mindset as it is about having the right set up. Having said that, both are equally important. If you plan to be moving your tiny home, RV, converted van or skoolie around frequently you simply need to keep this in mind when designing your system and when planning your trips.
Solar is typically the primary and most reliable source of energy for your home so having a focus on this setup is essential. However, we always recommend always carrying an alternative way to power your home. This could be a wind turbine or a small generator. We have had great success with this generator. Its quiet, efficient and holds up incredibly well!
Overall, with modern roof mount solar setups, efficient wind turbine and back up generators, its easier than ever to be off-grid while on the move.
Off-grid equipment typically does have a higher entry price but when balanced by the monthly savings, you'll likely offset those costs in just a few years. Unlike other purchases, you're also buying freedom and making a conscious choice to be more ecological and leave a smaller footprint. Not to mention the mobility factor listed above. Not having to plug into something means the range of your Tiny House, skoolie, RV or van is extended anywhere the axels will take you. Sometimes it's worth the extra money to get rid of that tether and embrace unencumbered utility.
A typical starter solar system package is around $2500 and some can go up to $20k!
Considering a composting toilet is a great option for off grid living as it uses very little, if any, water and minimal power depending on the model.
So, let's get down to the nitty gritty. No one likes unpleasant smells - especially in a tiny home. But if you maintain your composting toilet properly then the smells are almost non-existent. Below we outline some tips to make sure your compositing toilet doesn't stink.
But by following your toilet manufacturers maintenance specifications you shouldn't have any problem with smells. The modern compositing toilets are designed in such a way to eliminate it as much as possible and by following these simple steps you can have a compositing toilet and a stinky free environment!
We've had a lot of great feed back from customers who use the Separett Villa compositing toilet. Its designed to accept 12V DC power from battery or solar resource, or with the included AC adaptor to run on standard AC power. A great option if you're off-grid or simply want a more ecological option in any home.
Off-grid living is successfully done all across the globe every day. Its a great economical option that reduces your carbon footprint and provides greater freedom to your lifestyle. Understanding the logics behind each system will help you be prepared for anything that comes your way while you're living a lifestyle of freedom. If you're looking for solar kits and system equipment, find some key products like solar kits for living off of natural energy in your tiny home.
Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.