When the Mother Earth News headline caught my eye, I had to buy the magazine. It read, "Save money with DIY Solar". I'm always interested in saving money, and I wouldn't mind doing a little more for the planet, as well. A day or so later, there was a story on the news about a local man who is self-sufficient. He uses alternative energies, including the running of his truck with a wood powered engine which he designed. The exhaust surprised me...there was very little of it as the truck made it's way across his farmland. Interesting! http://www2.wspa.com/lifestyles/2011/may/28/upstate-man-turns-wood-energy-ar-1900825/
I don't know much about Solar Energy systems. My husband is a bit more saavy, but I intend to educate myself. After all, we live in an area where the sun shines nearly all the time, why not harness it and put it to use? Alternative energy sources would help to relieve the stresses of power companies in meeting the needs of their customers. The sun can produce in excess of what our household would need and use, and it might be sold to power companies. I'm not sure how that works, but a little reading might inform me.
When we used to go to Pennsylvania, I took note that the Amish farms had old fashioned farm windmills which pumped water from their wells. That made good sense to me. Electricity,too, can be produced by wind power and stored.
Rain water can be gathered in tanks and used to water gardens. It doesn't rain often in our area, but in the Spring, a couple of days of rain would give us a full tank on each corner of the house, if we hooked the gutter leads to them. My husband talks often of his thoughts of a large tank set into the ground, and some sort of system that I don't understand, which would heat the water by solar, and run underground to the house. I wouldn't drink it, but it might work for laundry and showers.
The headline read 'DIY'...do it yourself. Um....I'm not sure about that ! Well, yes, I am. I have no doubt that my husband can figure it out, but how long would it take from start to finish? He's very precise in his doing, and it's done well when he's finished. But it he's not speedy! Would I live long enough to see the project finished and working? What would be the condition of the house/yard/roof etc while the project is underway?
I think I'll keep reading and passing the articles along to him, and we'll keep dreaming about the DIY part of it.