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Even if it had been available I would still have chosen solar because I do not want to be another drain on an already overwhelmed power grid that produces huge amounts of pollution and clouds our beautiful view with ugly poles and wires. So my options were candles and lamps, solar, wind, hydro, and generator. I like my electric gadgets so some electricity was desired. Wind was not a viable option because we get less than 5 mile per hour winds most year round here (but if we did get wind I would go for it).
Make your window out of single or double pane glass or just use a couple layers of clear plastic stapled to the box as I did. Cut a round hole in the top and run a 3 foot piece of black pvc pipe up for a vent. Yes it has to be black as this absorbs heat from the sun and warm air rises making the chimney pull air through quickly. This vent pipe is where the excess moisture will evaporate and also reduces any smell that might come from the composting material. 43 Simple Solar Homesteading Step #4: Insulate the composter with foam sheets (you can get used ones in packing crates) as this will help hold the heat in in winter.
The panel in the middle is a Kyocera 80 watt purchased new in 2007 for $399. I also have two 45 watt no name Chinese panels on each side which I added later. I have to get out on the roof once in awhile to wipe off dust or snow but other than that there is no maintenance involved. Always face panels towards true south and place them so they are protected and not shaded. 34 Simple Solar Homesteading Here’s my solar panels This is a Kyocera 80 watt panel purchased new for $399 in 2007 This is a 45 watt (3@ 15 watt) no name Chinese panels purchased from Harbor Freight for $179 in 2005 35 Simple Solar Homesteading Here is my battery array.