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The Waller Energy Home Updated September 23, 2009

Click here for a topographic map of our property. A red + marks "The Rock"

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October 6, 2007

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Our Pollution-free Home

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NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. au·tar·kies or au·tar·chies
1. A policy of national self-sufficiency and non reliance on imports or economic aid. 2. A self-sufficient region or country.

Here is our pollution free home located deep in the woods 4 miles away from the nearest power line just North of Marquette, MI in what is called the "Upper Peninsula". The house runs on electricity that is stored in large batteries which are charged by the wind turbine (50% of total), solar panels (40% of total) and a backup propane generator (10% of total).

Image Source: Small Wind Electric Systems: A Michigan Consumer's Guide

The battery power is converted to 110 Volts AC, power just like any house in town except that we don't have power outages and when big storms come, our home gets MORE energy! If the a big stormy wind blows, we are charging. If it is a nice sunny day, we are charging. If it is a windy sunny day, TURN EVERYTHING ON!

The wind generator was installed in Spring 2001. Since we installed the solar panels in mid June 2002 our propane generator rarely runs. We have abundant power and heat hot water with electricity (2 hours max, enough for a day) with the system. We use a microwave, entertainment center, computers and live a normal power consumptive life for a family of 4 without causing or producing pollution. We no longer have electric bills. I work out of my house full time (field engineer) and Cathy homeschools our two daughters so the house is almost constantly occupied. We hope someday to make enough energy for a electric car.

The house is three stories tall. Actually, because we built on bedrock, the deck of the lowest level is 4 feet above the ground. I consider the lowest level to be an above ground basement which would make this comparable to a conventional two story house with a basement. The total square footage (all levels included) is just under 3,000. It is usually full of summer visitors (family and friends) who come from urban settings all over the country and stay for days at a time. That is what we wanted. 

This is the house we have been rebuilding on this site since the original house that we built here starting in 1988 burned to the ground from a propane refrigerator fire in 1997. I built an A frame house in Minnesota in 1987. Now that I have lots of experience in building houses I hope to never do it again. I have many other technical references.

Any questions, just ask.

The average American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water every day. At 100 gallons, a billion gallons would satisfy the needs of about 27,500 people for a year.

To illustrate, the U.S. Geological Survey suggests seeing one billion gallons as a column of water. It would have a base the size of a football field and be higher than four 555-foot-tall Washington Monuments stacked end to end.


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Illinois links

  • Nationwide, emissions of carbon dioxide nearly doubled between 1960 and 2001, jumping from 2.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 1960 to almost 5.7 billion metric tons in 2001, an increase of 95 percent.
  • Illinois emits 224.7 million metric tons of CO2 per year, ranking 6th among states, behind Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.
  • Coal combustion accounts for 40% of Illinois’s CO2 emissions, while oil combustion accounts for 37% and natural gas combustion accounts for 23% of Illinois’s CO2 emissions.
  • Trends:  Illinois CO2 emissions rose steeply in the 1970s, then declined in the 1980s, and rose steeply again in the 1990s.  Overall, emissions are up 21% since 1960, and 17% since 1990.
  • Illinois’s CO2 emissions increased by 32.8 million metric tons between 1990 and 2001.  Only Texas, Florida and North Carolina experienced a larger pollution increase during that decade.



Solar and other alternatives