I made a short video using the photos taken during the building process of my small, off-grid home. All the materials were brought onto site using a quad and the major tools used were: hammer, nails, circular saw, protractor, calculator, tape measure, theodolite and a level. I certainly learned how to hammer a nail in.
After building the foundation, I spread the word that I need someone to help me with building the rest. A dream came true when a seasoned man showed up on beniSland, a very experienced builder, man of god and good friend. He taught me how to build and when times were stressful or confusing, he just smiled and we moved on.
The music (Persian march) is by Johann Strauss Jr.
In early October 2015, I installed a photo voltaic system for my off grid home (Solar Power System Design Part III), and the plan was to design it in such a way that I can power a chest freezer all year round without a worry. After reviewing different manufacturers and respective freezer models, I concluded that my number one priority would be low power requirements.
In Part III of Solar Power System Design, I like to discuss the wiring diagram of my new off-grid photo voltaic system in some detail. I disclaim once again: This, following articles and downloadable material to which I link to, shall NOT be treated as advice, instruction or a form of guideline for any sort of power system. The reason why I share my experience with you is basically because I found it difficult to find similar articles that were comprehensive enough. Furthermore, my intention is to offer useful information to anybody who is interested in setting up an off-grid solar power system, so that they can make better informed decisions and understand concepts involved. After all, a sound working knowledge of your off-grid power system is required even if you don’t do it yourself.
I’ve been contemplating about what to buy for the last month. Its worthwhile to view installed renewable systems and talk to the owners about pros and cons. There is a lot of bullshit published on the Internet, the vast majority being copy and paste articles which are neither detailed nor discuss alternative solutions.
As mentioned in the Part I, the design of my Power System depends vastly on my budget. Ideally, the main focus will be the power requirements, but like anything else I’m doing on BENIsLAND I cannot afford what I want nor what I need. This project will also be a compromise, and I explain my rationale for each electrical component in the following.
This, following articles, including downloadable material to which I link to, shall NOT be treated as advice, instruction or a form of guideline for any sort of power system.
A few months ago, I attended a free Island wide workshop on different composting methods. This course was funded by Auckland Council and was presented by Caity from Okiwi Passion, an organic market garden in the northern settlement of Great Barrier Island. The participants of that workshop could chose a free composting kit (worm farming, Zing Bokashi and kits for traditional cold composting). I opted for vermi-composting, a suitable addition to the other forms of composting that are taking place on BENIsLAND.
Let’s start with the obvious part of the comparison then. King Island has without question the cooler name. However, in my opinion, Great Barrier Island (Aotea) can immediately even the score as it enjoys a warmer climate. The distance between Aotea and Auckland – by far the biggest city of New Zealand – is about 100 km and you can get there via plane or ferry. King Island’s closest major city is Melbourne and the distance between them is circa 260 km. Zoom into the Google Map insert at the top of this post and you will see that both islands are shaped quite similarly. Actually strikingly similar. Much longer than wide, stretching from south to north with beautiful and rugged beaches and bays on the east and west coasts. King Island is approximatively three times the size of Aotea, is considerably flatter and has a population density of 1.57 per square kilometre (about 1800) compared to 3 per square kilometre (930), respectively. It is going to get really interesting when you do a Google search for both island.
Living off the grid, on a remote and at times isolated island, is certainly a lifestyle (choice) which many seem to be in some form or another dreaming of. Imagining a life in harmony with nature, where ecological sustainability is a top priority, where one seeks not only financial security or independence but also independence from what I will just call ‘the system’ for the remainder.
Not likely the most adequate term for what I am thinking of, thus let me describe the reference. Well, in simple terms, I believe that there is this generic idea, which is taught repeatedly, of establishing financial independence, thus aiming at a comfortable lifestyle.