Roll Your Own Solar & Electric Vehicles (Free Power From The Sun)

    When I started getting interested in solar, I wanted to start small, learn how it worked, and then gradually expand my system until my entire home was covered with solar. (I’m still not there yet!) but you have to start somewhere! Here is an overview of my system and ideas for how you can become energy independent. A huge factor in achieving financial independence is the key word independence, free from owing other entities money for using their systems. So one part of my FI strategy is solar power electric.

Free Energy From The Big Nuclear Ball In The Sky

Ever wonder why so many ancient cultures worshiped the Sun? I do not know why, but I worship it for another reason! So crazy fact about physics and science. There is this huge 5 billion year old star that generates a massive amount of energy using nuclear fusion. In fact, you would not be reading this if it weren’t for the energy from this old star. I am no Stephen Hawking (God rest his soul), but I do not think any of us would exist without the energy from this star. We call it the Sun. No wonder ancient cultures worshiped it and some people still do, I see them on the sandy beaches of Southern California during the summer. If we continue to worship it for it’s power, we may all end up with free power for life!

Harness the power like an Ancient Egyptian

The point here is that the Sun is actually the original power source of all energy we consume and use in various forms. And it has always been free. The awesome thing about emerging technologies is that we are getting to the point where we can use that energy to power our homes and cars, and besides the cost of the equipment, it is free. And the great news is that installation keeps dropping in price. From 2008-2012 the cost of installing solar fell 39%. From 2013-2017 it fell another 33%. These costs could continue to come down dramatically.  Sure, the Tesla Power Wall and roof is expensive right now because it just came out, but as the years go by the cost of this equipment will drop drastically too. As the costs come down, this makes more and more economic sense. Goal is to someday be completely self sufficient with solar power and enjoy free power for eternity. No more cash flow going to utility companies, I can redirect that back to my investments. Or at least for another 5 billion years, that is about how much energy physicists predict is left in the sun before it burns out.

What kind of panels?

I started at first with a Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel. It was nice for charging portable electric chargers that could later be used to charge my phones and tablets. It was slow, and the devices I charged would often get hot, so it wasn’t a good long term solution. Later I invested in a 30 watt solar panel, a 12 volt 1 kilowatt sealed lead acid battery with a solar charge controller. The battery resides in a MinKota Trolling Motor Power Center Battery Holder case to protect from heat and water. It also has a cheap tester built in, which comes in handy. After I hooked it all up, the rig has been working really well for over 1 year. The battery is usually full and stays topped off. I can periodically charge anything I need with the cigarette lighter adapters on both sides. If there is ever a power outage, I will be able to power my radios, charge my devices, and use an inverter to plug in home appliances that can’t be run off of 12 volts (i.e. a housefan).

Sense of security

While the larger 1 kilowatt battery & panel was a larger up-front expense for me, I feel better knowing my family and I have a backup source for power should an emergency strike. You can get similar benefits from an off brand USB solar charger which is much cheaper, but won’t help you when the sun is down since it won’t usually have a built in battery.

The force of competition

If you have an installer put panels on your house, make sure to shop around and do your research. People who received multiple quotes usually paid at least 10% less. Like anything, competition can be great in gaining the best value. Let me know what solar gear you’ve built or used in the comments and if there’s interest, I’ll do a more detailed overview of how my current off-grid solar system works in a later post. The journey to self reliance and free power has begun. We would love to hear what systems are working for you.

Electric Car and Solar – Strategy for Financial Independence

One hallmark of the American psyche is to be independent, off grid, live on our own terms, we sometimes call this “freedom”. It’s the whole old west lone Cowboy thing. We supposedly threw off the shackles of the old world with its aristocracy and hierarchy and we are making our own way off the land. The problem is that it is a hard existence. I see the modern financial independence movement as a natural extension of this tradition. Build a structure of assets and passive income so that you can live life on your own terms and are not relying on a corporation, family or the government to support you.

True freedom

To me true freedom would be living off nature without the middle man (government or corporation). This brings us to electric cars and houses power by the free sun! Electric cars are poised for a mass market renaissance moment, coming fast!

Cool space ship interiors

One of our strategies here at The Money Vikings is to produce solar power that charges our electric cars for transportation. How amazing to pull free unlimited energy from the sun that powers your life in a clean and free way. No destroying the planet and no cost once the initial investment is taken care of. Solar has dropped in cost year after year and may continue to do so. We can already see with Tesla, Chevy and Nissan that the price of electric vehicles is falling fast and will continue to do so as production, competition and capitalism work their magic. What was once the toy of the wealthy ($100,000 Tesla Model X) will come down in price (Eventual $35k Tesla Model III, etc.) Here are a couple myths about electric cars that need to be dispelled, and will with time. The big oil companies can’t fight progress forever, they can only stall things: 1. Myth: There are not enough places to charge Charging stations are popping up everywhere. The Tesla’s have detailed maps that can practically drive you to any of them. 2. Myth: They are too expensive As mentioned, the cost of buying electric cars is falling fast. And, they save you tons of money on gas and maintenance. 3. Myth: Electric cars are something from a Sci Fi Movie They are here now, everywhere and only more and more are selling.

2018 Nissan Leaf

4. Myth: They are slow Wrong, Electric cars are actually much faster off the starting line. The Tesla beats many cars in races all the time. Even the lower priced Nissan Leaf goes from 0-60mph in about 7 seconds. If you want real speed though, a Tesla model S canclock in at 0-60 in 2.3 seconds.

THE NUMBERS

Solar can now cost between $15,000 to $25,000. Or you can get a fixed lower payment each month. A used Nissan Leaf can run $20,000. Ok, so a setup cost of let’s say $45,000 -$50,000 sounds like a lot, until you look at the old alternative! Potential savings: There could be savings on average of $500 / month in utility costs and another $250 / month in gas. $750 / month stretched out over 15 years with 3% escalation = drumroll please………..

$167,300 in gas and utilities over 15 years.

By going electric and solar a person will save approximately $100,000!

What a difference $100,000 would make in your achieving financial independence. I think I am going Jerry’s way of solar and electric sooner rather than later! The bottomline is that the combination of solar and electric vehicles can add up to an amazing financial savings over time! The whole system also embodies the true essence of financial independence.

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