Programming An Off Grid Home


What do you do if you want a totally off grid home? Well if you are Loren Amelang, you build one!

What if you are also a pioneer in C++ programming?  Well if you are Loren Amelang you write over ten thousand lines of code to control your home in the most efficient way possible and be able to utilize an iphone to operate it remotely. was able to take a tour of this outstanding off the grid home in 2011 and did a follow up visit in the spring of 2014.

From their youtube page


On an off-grid property in Philo, California (Mendocino County), Loren Amelang built a home that would help him generate “free hot water, free power and a decent chunk of free heat”.

The entire south side of his home is covered in solar capture devices: 1600 watts of photovoltaic power, solar hot water panels, a sunroom/greenhouse and a solar hot air collector. “The sunroom/greenhouse provides most of the free heat”.

Putting his technical skills to use (he’s a pioneer in C++ programming), Amelang wrote over 10,000 lines of code so that his home’s water and electric systems could be operated more efficiently and automatically. An added benefit is the ability to control everything remotely, by even just a smartphone.

Since he built most of the home himself (the person he hired to do it decades ago, spent all the money and built half the house), Amelang has made it very custom. He avoided using aluminum and plastic (except for the insulation on the wiring) and he wired it for pure DC lighting (which makes sense with solar, but Amelang also likes how “peaceful” DC lighting feels).


Here is their video from 2011.

And their follow up visit from this spring.

That is pretty amazing if you ask me.

(Photo credit: and