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Seven Years Off the Grid

April 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Seven Years Off the Grid

Wes and Linda Loder, local off-grid homeowners

A decision to live off-the-grid has proved “successful and satisfactory” is a beautiful understatement for this lovely home that inspires all who visit. The Loders will talk about what living off grid involves, and how they manage their own electrical, water and climate control needs in a minimal-fossil-fuel setting.

Adaptations have included a solar oven, solar-drying clothes and continuous monitoring of electrical storage and consumption. Their way of living combines low tech solutions and old fashioned common sense with passive solar construction, a masonry heater and high-tech batteries, converter and panels.

We hope you’ll bring your questions and join us. This meeting is Tuesday, April 25, at 7:00 at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, between Kutztown and Allentown). Meetings are free and open to the public. After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!


AND, this home is included on MAREA’s May 6, Solar Tour! If you haven’t done one before, the way a solar tour works is a group of homeowners have all agreed to participate in a big “open house.” MAREA has published a list of these homes, along with descriptions and directions. You decide which homes you’d like to visit and drop by anytime from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, May 6. Easy as that! For more details see the MAREA Meetup, 2017 Solar Tour.

Here’s the tour description for the Loders’ home (I’ve been there and it is a great place–very interesting and thought provoking, fascinating!): Self-designed timber frame home (1,375 sq ft) with passive-solar design heat (300 ton heat sink), off-grid home. Solar alone is enough to heat the house until December. Back up masonry heater at center of home heats into March with less than two cords of wood/season typical). Electric power from 1.2 KW of photovoltaic panels, except for well water supply (has own panels and a 2000 gallon, gravity fed tank). Backup generator used only twice in the five years they’ve lived here. Power stored in four six- volt batteries. An inverter changes the DC to conventional household AC current. Hot water comes from a solar panel with a tank and heat exchanger. Have an on-demand, propane-powered backup heater which is almost never used.

For questions, contact Vera Cole, [masked] .

Need a gift…but don’t want to buy stuff?

If you’d like to make a donation to MAREA or buy someone a membership as a gift, let us know and we’ll handle the acknowledgement thoughtfully, by email or paper mail, with your input. Drop us a note at [masked] . And remember, all new memberships get a free copy of the DVD, “Saving Sunshine (https://themarea.org/saving-sunshine.shtml)”!

Free DVD with MAREA membership (https://themarea.org/join.shtml) While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of “Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. You can join at the meeting or anytime online (https://themarea.org/join.shtml). Thanks for your help.


April 25, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd.
Breinigsville, PA 18031 us


Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (eastern PA)