Patrick Spearing spent his childhood in Ireland and England. He did his heating engineering degree in Bristol but then hitchhiked across the US and Canada, landing in Vancouver. He sang in Irish pubs and eventually flew and sold small air craft. In 1979, he returned home to work in the family coal business. After 10 years, he re-immigrated to Canada, this time with wife, 2 children, a dog and a shipping container full of Irish solar evacuated tubes in tow. With 25 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, he was keen to put his knowledge to practical use. Through serendipity, he and his second wife, Chris ended up outside of Lumby, BC living off-grid on the ranch of a dear solar-friend and fellow Off-Gridder, Gillian Browning.
Patrick will talk about the decision to go off-grid after years of exploring what was out there conventionally; his background and work as a heating engineer and bringing solar to Canada in 1989; how they arrived at Gillian Browning’s ranch and what it took to go off-grid, financially, logistically and physically. He will go into some detail about how solar evacuated tubes work as well as how using DC appliances for essential loads and inverter for luxury loads means that the sizing of the systems is much smaller than the conventional all-AC off-grid configurations.
He will also talk about the community that we have joined within the local food co-op; the values that we have found there; and share our plans for a new building using earthship principles and tiny home technology.
For more information, schedules, or to book your tickets to our Fall Conference in 2019, visit our conference page.