And when I say energy SYSTEM I am referring to it in the same sense that we in the science community refer to any "system". That is, an organized unified or directed set of actions or functions designed to accomplish a defined task .
A comprehensive DIY energy system in a grid-down scenario is do-able....of course you want to start with plenty of research to understand what your projected needs are likely to be. Research into the available technologies and how they may apply to your needs will help to define the system you should have. This method is one way to do it.
First you should start with a really strong durable diesel motor like a Lister Diesel -
its also simple to buy reconditioned Lister diesels on Ebay......These motors have the added capability of being able to run, with some modifications; on ethanol...or as I like to phrase it - homemade alcohol fuel...so we then need to make our own alcohol....luckily again - others have invented the wheel and reinventing it is a waste of time and money.
OR...maybe you want to develop an alternate bio-diesel...
THEN - we put the motor onto a small trailer, or a wheeled cart, so that it can moved around and be used to hookup to and run shop motors such as saws, lathes, or other heavy equipment by using a belt drive system...we could even throw it into a cart to power
and drive around the property....
Then it is a simple matter to also take the motor and connect it via a belt drive to a PTO generator....to produce electricity....
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