The Journey to Self-Reliance

Follow a young Geologist on the journey of taking an 80 year-old cabin on Washington State’s Lake Sawyer, off grid.

Project List for Discussion:


-Blake Rasmussen, Founder

-Amazon Affiliate Website

As an Amazon Affiliate I will receive a minimal commission for the products linked on this site, this doesn’t affect the price at all, but I will receive a commission if you decide that these are things you need. This will in turn give me the opportunity to test and review further products, which will take some of the hard work out of it for you. Thank you everyone, for all the support and advice!

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4 thoughts on “The Journey to Self-Reliance

  1. A couple of things on solar panels in Washington state west of the Cascades. Reflectors make a big difference. I put a reflector made of a piece of galvanized sheet metal 1/3 bigger than panel at 30° angle up from horizontal and panel at 70°. By doing this I got a fix panel setup to have 100% production on overcast days. (6 hours in December & January) Advantages less change of breakage when hail strikes a panel at a 70° angle then a 40°. Grid tied systems means between 25 & 30 percent more production. Off grid systems winter production for non-reflector setups is usually ‘0’.

    In the summertime best angel is 42° and wintertime 52°. I also used a 4’x8′ plastic political sign covered with a sheet of reflective Mylar. This also makes a great solar trough reflector for solar hot water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phil! Thank you for the Washington State solar efficiency tips. I am still definitely learning! It happens that I have a large roll of 5 foot mylar reflective sheeting, I will play around and do some production testing with that for sure! Thank you so much! Also, I am curious to try tilting my panels as you suggested, but towards the lake! Based on tests from my light-meter, it seems I get around 30% greater Lux/Lumens on average. But yes, on yesterday’s very cloudy PNW day, I was struggling to get above 100-200 watts out of my 24V 600 watt setup, so I can see how reflectors may be the answer! Haha my solution was ordering two more 100 watt renogy solar panels on the spot, wups haha. Also, since you mentioned it, I am soon to be 100% off-grid, with my 12V 400ah battery bank of parallel AGM sealed lead acid batteries, currently running about 75 watts an hour. May get another 1 or two for increased insurance haha.

      Also, I love the solar hot water reflector idea! I will try that as well! Thinking about adding rain catchment to my greenhouse, possibly some mylar may come in handy to heat it up, as well!

      Thank you again, I look forward to hearing from you again!



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