Pennsif's Progress #641 - steem up for a solar rising...

in steempress •  last year  (edited)

As a prepper and a homesteader the quest for self-reliance underpins all that I do.

That drives me to grow my own food, source our own water supply, design our own sewage system, burn our own wood...

Disconnecting, and going off-grid in the wider sense that @wwf puts forward, is my grand goal.

Taking it to that next level of going as far off-grid as White Walking Feather is achieving is a target I aim for. How far I get on that journey only time, courage and perseverance will reveal.

What I strive for in the here and now is the ability to disconnect from the electricity grid - or at least have the ability to do so in times of need.

Although sunshine levels in Wales are not remarkable, with the continually falling price of PV panels solar electricity economics are becoming ever more attractive.

So much so that last year I started planning, and costing a project with a local renewables company to install PV panels on the barn roof.

With the required battery banks and associated components the system has been designed to provide all the electricity for the barn as well as a 4 day backup supply for the house if the grid goes down.

The cost of the project was not cheap! Around US$ 12,000 with all the additional components, cabling and labour costs.

It was in fact this project that brought me to steem.

It was around 18 months ago I started planning the project. I had just been introduced to the crypto world by a friend who persuaded me to buy a little Bitcoin.

As the price of Bitcoin started to move upwards I realised that this might be the vehicle that would allow me to gather enough money to build my solar offgrid dream.

When I came across a company in England (Bimble Solar) who took Bitcoin for solar panels I was locked in and fully loaded on the idea.


But I needed to buy more Bitcoin to ensure I had enough wheels on the wagon to really make this roll.

Very quickly though the plan came unstuck. After one transaction to buy Bitcoin my bank blocked crypto related transactions. Then I tried a different back and similar issues arose.

Buying Bitcoin for a novice in the UK was proving difficult.

Then I came across a couple of videos on YouTube (by @jerrybanfield and by @dollarvigilante) both talking about steem as a place where you could earn cryptocurrency just by making posts.

I signed up in double time and just over a year ago I was up, running and posting on steemit.

It was of course slow to begin with but I stuck at it, dug in and kept on hitting the Post button.

As I busied myself day and night on steem, my little pot of Bitcoin kept on growing in value.

Just around Christmas I decided my steem wallet needed a bit of a push to make it to dolphin status (5000 SP) by the end of the year.

So I started converting my stash of Bitcoin into steem.

Bitcoin was peaking out at $18K+ when I converted to steem which was around $3 at the time. I jumped into the pool of dolphins.

A few days later steem shot up to more than double what I paid.

Super lucky! I suddenly had enough for the solar PV system.

If only I had sold then. But steem, I heard from all around, was going to the moon.

I hit the HODL button, and watched steem gradually slide down again.

So I kept at it, building my account bit by bit, steem by steem. Ready for the next big rising.

In the meantime my offgrid aspirations have begun to grow further.

I had the good fortune to have solar expert @makinstuff as a guest on my Alternative Lifestyle Show on MSP Waves Radio a few weeks ago.

Talking with Greg @makinstuff I have begun to learn more about micro-grids.

We have a stream running through our property. It is only small in flow, but it does enter our property 80 feet above our house.


If I could install some form of pico-hydro system I could mesh that in with the solar PV to form a little micro-grid.

And the two go together perfectly. The stream has maximum flow in the winter when the solar hours are at their minimum.

This sounds super tempting and could take us toward a total off-grid solution.

I have no idea yet on the likely cost of a hydro setup but I would imagine it will push the whole micro-grid and solar project up to the $20K ballpark.

With 10K Steempower I am not too far short of this. But I really don't want to wipe out my steem account now.

If steem did head back to its $5 point, then I could use just half the account value to build my offgrid microgrid.

That really would make my offgrid steemdreams come true.

Come on steem, lets make the sun shine...

[Note : unfortunately Bimble Solar stopped accepting Bitcoin payments shortly after I found them - citing the volatility of Bitcoin as the reason.]



You might also be interested in some of my other posts :

MY RADIO SHOWS

MY PROJECTS


[ stream photo by pennsif // solar PV images from pixabay - Creative Commons CC0]

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Ever since I moved away from the city for a rural lifestyle a paradox thought is coming again and again in my mind.
In order to live out of the monetary system, you need a lot of money!
Good luck with your plans and good luck to steem :)

I sounds like you have big plans in store! I hope it will not be much longer and then you can take some steem off the table to get the project done. I think cryptos could be a great way to help us fund some of the projects we have planned on all our homesteads.

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I am definitely looking forward to the rise in the value of steem...

We are using solar now @pennsif but only for lights and electric fan because we just have a basic set up but soon I will upgrade it so that we could use all our appliances with it for that total #homesteading experience.

One of my long-term goals is to get off the grid too, and of course the longer I wait the better the technology becomes and the more favourable the price.

I was intrigued to see recently where they are designing those solar panel strips that sit across the tops of windows, almost unobtrusively. So cool.

I hope your off-grid dreams become reality soon. :)

  ·  last year (edited)

I really hope you can achieve this. May just need to be patient. I might also buy some solar panels if steem goes up again

Ahhhh, this whole story is screaming 'I should have' in it. And how cool would it have been that all these solar panels would have been earned by Steem. But selling is also something. I feel ya man!

Nevertheless, super cool system and solar is still the future. ( what bosses of a company that they accept bitcoin!)

Yeah, it's definately a big outlay to begin with, but thinking in the longer term, not being reliant on anyone else... It gotta be worth it...
For the long haul it will pay for itself too, have you estimated how long it will take to get a return on your energy outlay?
Looks like Steem & the initial Bitcoin investment has sure made a good impact on the savings too...
Pretty good vision - Good Luck.

That is a great goal. I find it kind of funny how solarled you to STEEM. It is weird how one thing can lead to another.

I am pretty sure the we haven't seen the top for STEEM but it might take awhile before crypto goes on another parabolic run.

Thank you for the shout out @pennsif I wouldn't label myself a solar expert as of yet. I'd consider myself an apprentice with a passion for teaching solar and developing microgrids. I will get there with some installs, and various system designs under my belt. I do love helping other people come up with solutions. [email protected] came on your show I was thinking that the steem platform itself could be of tremendous use to support individual off-grid or grid tied energy projects. Maybe the off-grid online could gather steem power and send it out for worthy project proposals and project teams? Almost like how you would raise funding through VC? The power token deal is not as straightforward as it would seem, and you would need to monitor/invade privacy by collecting data on power, which I'm not a huge fan of personally. I started off small and found the sol-ark product which makes the project straightforward. The system is also expandable with the capability to grid tie. I think it would be great for your application. You would just have to get one of their systems shipped to you overseas. Not sure how much that would cost, but the wire package and sol-ark itself could fit in some airplane luggage I think. If all else fails I can fly it over :). You'd just need to source some panels.

You R a role model @pennsif!
Your example is inspiring me to get EMPOWER up and running quickly.

I have progress. More details will be available soon. I can't wait to share them with you!

Hydro power would be awesome. I have a creek just across my property line. If it was on my property I would definitely put a water turbine on there. As long as no beavers showed up it would be generating 24/7 :) On your way to self-sufficiency - I'm sure you'll have lots fun or at least satisfaction getting there :)