Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Wind & Solar Power, Weather Datalogger

P1040314We are rolling out our newest Wind & Solar Power & Weather Datalogger.

A shunt between the battery and the power sources (wind turbines, solar panels, microhydro, your cousin on the exercycle), tell us the current being generated, and a voltage divider reads the voltage of the battery pack. If another shunt is placed between the battery and loads, power consumption also be tracked. From that we can calculate the watts being produced.

With our SD Card and RTC Module, we can calculate amp hours and watt hours, and save them to a sd card.

We also can record weather data, like temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed & direction, UV index, and much more.

We give you the ability to upload your sd card files for charting and graphing your data. Real time reporting options with ethernet and wifi are available to the internet or optional local Raspberry Pi web & database server.

Read more at:

More pictures and a list of available sensors at




The GE Omni Directional LED Replacement Bulb

This light bulb consumes 9 watts, fits a standard 120vac light fixture, and has a bright omni directional pattern. It runs very cool, consumes very little power, and can last for decades. I put them in our ceiling fans, and am very happy with the color (warm white), power factor (.95), and brightness (450 lumens, but appear brighter than our 12 watt CFL’s). Unlike typical CFL’s, these instant on bulbs contain no mercury.


Survival for the Medically Dependent

Power outages are bad for those with medicines that need refrigeration. An extended outage for folks with Type 1 diabetes and other conditions requires a good generator, a long term fuel source, or other option. Here is one we recommend. A Stirling powered cooler (4 amps @ 12v) can run well off 300 watts of solar (PV) and two Trojan T-105 batteries. No inverter required. Low parts count means little to breakdown, little need for service, increasing reliability, and lowering operating expenses. These units perform better, and use less power than the common Peltier thermo electric models. These are ideal for third world no-grid applications as well. A simple solar power setup to drive this is How to make your own Emergency Power System with appropriate pv and battery upgrades.


High Tech LED Grow Lights

Growers worldwide have been using traditional HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights for decades with proven results. These powerful grow lights do have their drawbacks, such as high power consumption and heat. The average HID light consumes 1000 watts of power and creates large amounts of heat that requires additional air conditioning.

In an attempt to solve heat and power issues some people have tried to use LEDs to grow plants since LEDs use less power and run much cooler. Early LED lights have disappointed many growers due to low yields and longer growing times. The cause of these performance problems is due to poor LED quality and low powered LEDs.

In 2010 a new LED light called the Extreme Flower LED, from has rivaled HID lights in yield and exceeded traditional lights in harvest quality. These new lights are made with all USA 3w LEDs, focused optics and 11 wavelengths of light color to simulate mother nature. The Extreme Flower LEDs have been proven to grow as good as HID lights while also saving electric bills. The Extreme Flower LED requires no ballasts and eliminates the need for large air conditioning units which save thousands of watts each year for commercial growers. The Extreme Flower LED technology also lasts over 5 years (HID bulbs last 1 year) and has no mercury to dispose of like HID lights.

With these new 3w LED grow lights, indoor growers can be more efficient, save money and make their greenhouse even more green.


Pedal Power – Producing electricity with a bike

The human body is capable of sustaining between 75 and 150 watts, depending on what shape you are in. This is sufficient for lighting, radio, a laptop computer, water pumping, and other small devices. It’s also good exercise. This video will explain more, and also check out other bike gen resources at


Non – Electric Clothes Washing

wonderwashWe were looking for a clothes washing solution for when we are on the road. Laundromats are expensive, and not always available. I don’t have room or resources in the camper for even a apartment sized model, although there are some semi automatic LG units that use less than 300 watts. We ran across an familiar name, a product I had seen many years ago, and is still available, with thousands of happy customers. The Wonder Wash portable clothes washer. No electricity needed, and easy to operate. At less than $50, it’s a good value. See


1700 PV Watts Online

The final connections were made yesterday, and on a mixed clouds and sunny day, we generated 2.1 kWh’s in the afternoon. The new Mate came back from Outback, and the Pallet Mounts are working fine. Today is grey and rainy, so we don’t expect much production today. The Mate is getting information from two MX-60 charge controllers, one FX-3524 Inverter, and the FlexNet DC Power Monitor fed from three shunts, one on each charge controller, and one on the battery bank to inverter connection.


Low current LED Lighting

We recently got a line on these 110vac LED light strips. Containing 198 LED’s, 5mm in size, the strip consumes 11 watts and outputs almost 700 lumens. They sell for $25 delivered in the lower 48 states. Get them at