What Should a House Be for the Family Living There?
There has been an attitude in industry that alternative production and delivery of utilities to the home have been less than viable because they havenít produced the levels of energy that have been made possible through the burning of fossil fuels. Feeding utility grids have had the effect of placing all our trust in infrastructures that can collapse in the face of minor natural events, as anyone who has experienced a lengthy power outage can attest.
In American homes, part of the purchase of a home includes functional plumbing and air modification with a bathroom and kitchen with certain appliances such as a water heater, a furnace, a refrigerator and a stove and oven. Not many Americans would think of purchasing a home without these systems and appliances. There is a certain short sightedness in stopping with this list, and this writer isnít considering the inclusion of air conditioning, an automatic dish washer, or clothes washer and dryer, although these things are significantly useful.
If every home buyer included solar panels, wind generators, and geothermal power systems as a part of their expected list of appliances, and every home was to become both a user of and contributor to the national electrical grid, there would be less need for massive power plants and fossil fuel consumption. Indeed, suppose every home had a hydrogen production system that fueled the family car?
The point is that massive industrial production has proven to be inefficient, wasteful, and unreliable, and has developed a structure that is more easily prone to equally massive breakdown. If the energy grid was made of a decentralized system where every home both contributed and used energy, then when the generating system of one or two houses failed, the rest of the grid will still continue to operate, and no home, included the one with the system breakdown, would be without power. Itís a system of strength in numbers.
We have the grid in place. We have the houses built. We have the technology that could be outfitted to every house in the grid with the energy producing systems that can contribute all the energy needs of the entire infrastructure. It could be done today, but it wonít be.
A house should be a living thing that supports the people who occupy it, rather than being a box for storing people and their goods. The problem is that industry cannot conceive of a way of turning a profit in a grid structured in such a manner where every house contributes the energy and draws from this massive energy output.
Below are some links to ideas. When thinking about supplying one's own needs, consider the possibility that change begins with individuals and that it's not all at once, rather it's in baby steps. If you depend upon the present industrial structure and you are happy with it's inefficiencies there is little reason to change, but if you want more, you may be waiting a long time for industry to catch up to your vision. Take the baby step yourself. Do the research, learn the steps, and be safe as you go along. Industry will only follow if enough people drag it kicking and screaming into the third millennium.
Energy on Your Own
Consult an electrician BEFORE you do any electricial experimentation!
Electrical Safety Page
Why is Electricity Impossible to Understand?
The Hazards of Electricity Ė Do You Know What They Are?
Controlling Electrical Hazards
Alt From Scratch
Wooden Low-RPM Alternator