There is now solar powered electricity at pointReturn and I thought it would be useful to set out how I think about power and energy and what was the process by which I finally selected what I did.
The energy needs of a self-sufficient campus must be met from a basket of sources, each of which is ideal for one area of use- water pumping, lighting, power tools, farm work, cooking, electronics, and transportation. The broad plan for pointReturn, to be realised over the coming years is as follows:
- Water pumping: windmill, solar electric
- Lighting: solar electric
- Power tools: premium grade solar electricity
- Electronics: premium grade solar electricity
- Cooking: firewood, biogas
- Farm work: animal, tree oils based biofuel
- Transportation: electric and tree oils based biofuel
The above list of energy needs and sources is in the order they are likely to be realised, and as I write the list has been realised up to step 4. The list is also meant to encourage finer thinking about our energy needs. Not all needs require electricity; of them that do, not all need premium grade electricity.
At the risk of lecturing the technically adept reader, let me go through this quick primer. Wind and solar chargers store the power they generate in batteries. It is in the form of direct current or DC. DC is good enough for lighting, heating and some water pumps