Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Home Power Magazine Features West Virginia Off-grid Home

"Off-Grid Microhydro and A Little PV 
In the Woods of West Virginia"
Home Power Magazine's July/August 2015 issue features an article about Mickey and Jenny Janowski's off-grid home in Webster County, WV.  The article, written by Mickey and Home Power editor Ian Woofenden, offers a great perspective on an off-grid system that has evolved over several decades to include both solar PV and hydo power.

Author (and PIMBY customer) Mickey Janowski alongside his weir and hydro intake

Mickey has spoken at the West Virginia Small Farms Conference about his microhydro system.  The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition has published a web article that is also a nice read.

Mickey's "Hydroelectric In WV" is a great blog that is a real help for anyone interested in building a microhydro system.  The blog has photos of the construction process and final system. You can also see a video of the Janowski's hydro system at Mickey's blog.

Mickey and Jenny have had solar for decades at their off-grid home, but the winter months always necessitated some use of a gasoline generator to make up for the shorter daylight hours.  The hydro electric system that went online in Fall of 2012 now provides more power than they  use during these winter months.
Mickey and Dave on a beautiful February day in 2012 pondering the potential that this little stream might have for producing electric power.  Click on the photo to see some photos from the survey.


  1. I think it's time to add hydro electric on the PIMBY site as another service that you provide. Thanks for another nice job here in Webster County. Cheers.

  2. Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could anyone get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a presentation that I am presently working on, and I have been on the lookout for such information.
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  3. Hi Mickey, thanks and its's a sustainable educational to learn more from it.....would you post or email ( me the off-grid home's design? I am doing a survey for sustainable home deisgn in my village here in PNG. thanks Gerald

    1. Hey Gerald, The design is basically five sides of an octagon dropped in on two rectangles that form an L. That shape evolved to go with the flow of the land. Aside from the passive orientation of the hose facing south, the design of the house came about w/o consideration of the renewable electrical energy systems. Hope this makes sense, thanks for your interest. We're gettin ready for snow here, bet ya never see that on PNG. Enjoy all that solar power, Mickey

    2. Thanks Mickey, that's makes sense...You can contact me via Belated happy new year to you and family...God bless....Greetings from PNG.

  4. Mickey, i loved reading about your house. My wife is from morgantown and studied at wvu. We want to find a great site like yours and build it w little carbon footprint. Any local real estate tips to find a similar site and recommended contractors? Want to build a house for me? My email is we live in Maryland right outside DC. We regularly take the family to seneca state park and love that area. Thanks. Chris

  5. Mickey,

    This is all a pleasant surprise. Hope to use your site in my 8th grade class. Field trip to WV?

  6. It's really nice dear. Thanks for sharing informative stuff. I found some information regarding Commercial Solar Systems & solar power panel installation & manufacturer. Check it.

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