Off-grid in Tennessee

  • Off-grid in Tennessee

    Posted by AutumnDawn on September 6, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    We are planning an earthbag home tucked into a hillside in western Tennessee. We are planning to use “Passive Annual Heat Storage” by John Hait to make the structure comfortable with minimal heating or cooling inputs needed. My husband is designing a solar kit to provide for our electricity needs and I’m planning rain catchment systems to take care of our water needs. A composting station will be built for humanure processing. Walker rocket stoves will be built for water heating, cooking, and warmth. We have decided on a manual washing machine and wringer for laundry, and line drying to save on power. We will have a grey-water treatment system in place for shower and laundry water and use it to feed trees downhill.

    Gardens and livestock are also on the to-do-list. Right now we have a cleared a spot out in the middle of 16 acres of trees and are working on moving down in an RV to get started.

    We welcome discussion, questions, and suggestions as we progress because we try to be humble and remember that we don’t know what we don’t know.

    • This discussion was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  AutumnDawn. Reason: add photo
    Tentance-KnottyPots replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 7 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Marthale7

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Wow, sounds interesting. I have built a couple rocket stoves, and love playing with TLUD stoves, sounds like you have an adventure ahead and have been doing your research.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Gotta watch rocket stoves and water heating. I built and used one for about 8 years. Biggest problem was not turning water to steam and blowing parts out! It would heat 50 gallons from ambient temps to 150 in about an hour with a half a five gallon bucket of split hardwoods.

    • Alabammer

      Member
      September 14, 2022 at 8:02 pm

      Funny you should mention that. We going to try out our brand new factory EcoZoom Versa Camping Stove this evening with some hamburgers. I’m not a metal worker nor a brick layer and I don’t trust cement blocks to last so I said what the heck. When the things first got popular I dismissed them, but lately the rocket stove is making a heck of a lot more sense for us. It’s the backup or the backup. Let’s see how she does afterwhile!

    • Marthale7

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      My solution was to use a pump and coil for heat exchange in a pot of water I would re circulate the water I needed for my shower from a 55 gal barrel to a coil in a pot. When I was done I removed the pot + coil from the flame and shut off the pump, I then used a camping shower with the water for my shower. I find propane too easy and cheap to do, so I do that, but I have rocket stove for backup.

    • AutumnDawn

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 7:15 pm

      We’re familiar with Boom-Squish. The water heating is not pressurized nor sealed from the open air.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Good luck with it. Hope it works well for you.

  • BiggKidd

    Member
    September 15, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Older and lazier I went with solar water heating using a 1,000 watt element running on 48 volts in a standard 50 gallon home water heater.

  • SugarCreek

    Member
    September 22, 2022 at 11:59 am

    Are you new to the area? Sounds like an exciting project!

    • AutumnDawn

      Member
      September 22, 2022 at 1:45 pm

      We are new. We’re moving down from Ohio.

      • SugarCreek

        Member
        September 23, 2022 at 2:04 pm

        welcome to the area!!

  • Grammy-off-her-Rocker

    Member
    September 28, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds amazing…I would love to do something similar here in E TN but it’ll be a while yet.

  • AutumnDawn

    Member
    October 8, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I’m not sure if I should reply here to continue the thread or not, but here we go…

    We made it! Last week, we hauled our 5th wheel RV down to our property in Tennessee, dropped it off, returned to Ohio, loaded up our utility trailer and truck with gear, and returned to Tennessee.
    We’ve now established solar power with a gasoline generator for backup, water storage via IBC totes and a 12v transfer pump, and installed a mailbox and registered for mail service. We’ve done laundry off grid, and have a storage shed coming in a few days, and sorted out where to take our garbage.
    Our next projects include building a second solar array and running it parallel to the other series, setting up a composting site, installing an access gate, and building out the shed as a mechanical room for the solar equipment as well as storage.
    Not bad for week one.

  • Tentance-KnottyPots

    Member
    October 8, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    I’m not sure why your post was in my feed but I absolutely love everything you have been working on. I long to get out of suburbia and I have a piece of cleared acreage with no infrastructure or access to utilities. Thank you for sharing your journey.