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By: John Bumbas
More and more people now are choosing to build, or convert, their homes off the power grid. Some do it for the environmental factors. Alternative energy sources are renewable and have less impact on the environment than typical commercial power from the utility company. Some do it for the cash. Alternative energy frees you from the power bill. If your system is large enough, or your usage small enough, you may have extra power left over to sell back to the grid. Some do it for the geography. In their desire to "get away from it all" they choose building sites far remote from the local power lines. Some doing for the revolutionary spirit that founded the New World - the ol' buck the system every way you can spirit is alive and well and living off the grid all over the continent.

Most who live off-grid choose more than one source of power for their homes. Many prefer linking alternative power sources like solar and wind, or solar and hydro. Some combine an alternative, renewable source like solar power, with a more traditional fuel source like propane. Others prefer wood for heating, and their home-grown power for everything else. Whatever their choice, all who choose to leave the grid behind rely on some sort of battery bank and power inverter, so that leaving the grid doesn't mean leaving the comforts of modern living behind, too.

Power inverters take the power generated by the alternative source -solar panels, wind turbine, water wheel, etc. - and change it so that it is user-friendly. Most homes and hoe appliances are wired for 110 volts. Some use 220 volt power, with converters for appliances and gadgets that require 110. Others rely on 12 volt power. Some alternative energy sources generate 12 volt power straight from the sun, wind or water, so using products wired for 12 volt power is simple and easy. There's no inverter or converter required. With a battery bank and specially-made appliances and gadgets to provide the conveniences and comforts of on-grid life, off grid living can be anything but primitive.

Truckers, boaters and RV owners have long enjoyed the wide variety of 12 volt powered products available. New demand from new off-grid residents means that even more items are coming on the market. You can enjoy watching your favorite team from a widescreen 12 volt television set. Get ready for a night on the town with a 12 volt hair dryer, curling iron and cosmetic mirror. Enjoy that first cup of joe from your 12 volt coffee maker while the missus prepares the stew for dinner in her brand new 12 volt crock pot slow cooker. Outfit the rest of your kitchen with a blender, pizza oven, toaster, and sandwich maker. You can even buy drills, saws and other 12 volt electric tools, to make that Honey-Do list disappear before the big game!

We would be remiss if we didn't throw a word of caution in here. You have to be sure you make as much, or more, electrical power than you use. Most who go off-grid say that they become keenly aware of their power usage in the first year or so of living without the utility company umbilical cord. You may find that you have to adjust your reliance on electrical gadgets and appliances somewhat. You may need to install more solar cells, or increase the size of your turbine if you want that 42" television. The most efficient form of off-grid power usage is in its natural, 12 volt state. Most 12 volt products don't waste any electricity at all. Most are quite efficient and less costly than their 110 or 220 volt counterparts. They may be a bit harder to find than your average appliance or gadget, but with the growing demand, that is changing for the better.

Living off-grid doesn't mean living in the Stone Age. You can leave it all behind and take it with you at the same time!About Author:12-volt-Travel.com offers everything you could ever think of in travel needs. From the portable mini refrigerator and commercial gps to jumpstart systems, flashlights accessories and more. Visit online today.
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