• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

The power goes out. What next?

 
gardener
Posts: 698
Location: SoCal USA
140
cat dog trees wofati composting toilet bike solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Currently living in the city, disaster prep is limiited to 1-2 days at best (so not really "disaster" prep in my opinion) with limited water storage including a small chest freezer filled with frozen gallon jugs of water- I can toss frozen foods in there and it will take some time for that ice to melt, and the temp will stay aroung 32F during that process. After that I will have drinking water as I use up the initial water. Just a gallon a day to use. While I have 3 rain barrels, we rarely get any rain between March 1 and December 1, and that water is contaminated from a roof that accumulates air pollution over time. Unless I fill the barrels by hose, there's no water for me there. Using the barrels to water the plants and topping off with a hose though does provide about 150 gallons of water storage in case there is a need.

Since I want to benefit from the federal tax credit I plan to purchase a solar system this year. Future goal is being totally off grid at my new property, since running grid power to the building site will cost $25,000+ according to the utility versus $5000 or a little less for solar and batteries, minus tax credits. The eventual goal is a well that's pumped by solar, filling 1000-2000 gallons of storage with a float switch to tun it off, stored in a building which also has gutters going to another cistern for garden water storage. Installing a hand pump as a backup seems smart, not sure if that's an option when the static water levels are 60-70 feet down? Perhaps gearing a manual pump to be powered by bike pedal power is an option?

Cisterns filled by rainwater and well water could either gravity feed to the house, or if I feel deprived by low pressure showers I could add the pressure tank and extra pump for that, not sure. The fewer things that depend on power, especially battery power for 24/7 use, the longer the batteries can last over the years.

While freezing food to store would be convenient, I'm thinking pressure canning and lacto fermenting food would be a more secure method of food storage, and reduce the load on a PV/battery system. Heating and cooling will be simple enough in a hybrid Oehler/wofati home, heated by a RMH and cooling probably not needed at all. Building the RMH now in the back yard to play around and test. Hoping to improve gardening and harvesting skills now and try to maximize the diet from grown food versus bought, right now it's mostly fruits and potatoes as a hobby.

Having a plan to deal with "zombies" (aka the generally clueless populace that will turn to looting and worse once hungry enough) is limited. If you're out in the country and have friendly neighbors, perhaps everyone helps each other get larger gardens going and learns how to preserve that harvest. Focusing on the bad stuff that can happen beyond that feels like wasted mental energy to me. Most of us live where we can based on work, which leaves us at the mercy of (at least in the USA) flagging infrastructure systems. My goal is to retire in a couple more years when the primary focus in life will no longer be finances, and start designing my own little permaculture paradise.

Perhaps I can claim that my less than ideal diet which results in those extra 20-30 pounds is a sort of insurance, in case I have to go a few weeks without eating? Probably a stretch...
 
master steward
Posts: 14222
Location: Pacific Northwest
6446
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mark Brunnr wrote:

Since I want to benefit from the federal tax credit I plan to purchase a solar system this year. Future goal is being totally off grid at my new property, since running grid power to the building site will cost $25,000+ according to the utility versus $5000 or a little less for solar and batteries, minus tax credits. The eventual goal is a well that's pumped by solar, filling 1000-2000 gallons of storage with a float switch to tun it off, stored in a building which also has gutters going to another cistern for garden water storage. Installing a hand pump as a backup seems smart, not sure if that's an option when the static water levels are 60-70 feet down? Perhaps gearing a manual pump to be powered by bike pedal power is an option?



This thread got me searching for how to harness bike power. I am totally NOT mechanically inclined, so hopefully someone who knows more can figure out something cheaper. I did run across some spiffy bike power devices.

The Upcycle Ecocharge has options to come with an accessories. One allows you to plug in devices that charge while you pedal, but I don't know if they recieve a constant charge via dynamo technology or the amount of electricity changes instantly if you stop pedaling for a second. One accessory allows you to plug straight into a wall to power your house (when on grid). It costs like $1,100, though!






On the topic of disasters and time before electricty and normal services are up and running, my state government tells me (https://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/geologic-hazards/emergency-preparedness#earthquakes.7)

Prepare to be on your own for at least three days. For a "great" earthquake (M8.0 or larger) it might be prudent and reasonable to prepare for being on your own for up to 3 weeks.



And, the Emergancy Managment Division says at least two weeks. https://www.mil.wa.gov/preparedness



If these organizations are saying at least 2-3 weeks, I'm thinking I should be prepared for at least three months, especially since I live out where it usually take a day or two longer to get electricity back after a storm than in the city.

The worst part for me is, my husband works at the hospital. In case of a big emergency like an earthquake (or even this year's snow storm) he is required to be at work--no excuses. So he'd probably be living/working at the hospital while I'm at home with our kids, for however long the emergency lasts. And, with a giant earthquake probably knocking out most of the bridges, he might not be able to make it home for a long time. Worst case scenario, if the power is out for so long and it's dry that there's no water in our rain barrel, I'll be hauling water from the tannic wetland/pond 1/4 mile away and boiling it and filtering it though our little sawyer water filter. There's beavers in that wetland, so I'm not messing around with me or my kids getting giardia!
 
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicole Alderman wrote:

Jennifer Richardson wrote:

Manual fan. Cheap folding souvenir kind that can be found at county fairs or Asian gift shops in the mall. Or cut out a circle of cardboard and glue it to a popsicle stick. Surprisingly effective especially in conjunction with water.



Battery powered handheld fan that sprays water on you. Resorting to cheap plastic Walmart crap is a form of defeat, but it feels REALLY good when you’re desperate.



We picked up one of these at a grocery store. It's cheap plastic and the handle falls off, but WOW it works well on cooling us (and our food) down!



I don't know why they make electric/battery-powered fans when handcrank fans work so well. I really would love to find one that is made of more durable materials!


James Landreth wrote:
I agree. We can take the situation in Puerto Rico as an example. It's not improbable that an earthquake in the west or a major storm in the east (in the US) could damage the power grid for several months. T



This is my great worry. We do find in short (3 days or less) power outages. We use our generator to run our freezer and fridge (this thread is a good reminder to clean out the generator) and just cook on the woodstove and wash dishes with our rainbarrel water that I boil on the woodstove. And, I'm pretty sure our septic system would be good for a long time if all we were doing was flushing the toilets with rainbarrel water.

We're on a well, and the pressure in our pressure tank held out for drinking water for the longest outage we had. We ONLY used the running water to drink and dribble a little water over our dishes as a final rinse. What I would LOVE would be to have a manual pump. I found this pump (https://www.handpumps.com/excelsior-e2.html) that you can use to manually fill your pressure tank, without the use of electricity. I think this would be fantastic thing to have...as long as an earthquake didn't destroy our well and pressure tank, that is!





I've looked into getting a manual pump like the flo-jak, but I'm not really seeing any impartial reviews on it. Has anyone bought and used a flo-jak?

As for lighting and charging things, I've pretty much given up on solar stuff. We get so little sun during the winter that EVERY SINGLE solar light I've bought, has not survived winter. I have no operational panels.

I like hand-crank stuff butter. this radio is handcrank and has a nice reading light, as well as flashlight, and can charge devices. It's got great sound, too, and even picks up a few shortwave stations for added entertainment.



I would LOVE to have a bicycle-powered light. Anyone who's not working could be riding the bike (you could ride while knitting or reading or even whittling) and generate light. But, I'm assuming that'd need some sort of battery? I'd LOVE to get away from needing a battery, as those probably don't last forever and are toxic to dispose of and the mining for them is pretty devastating to areas of our world. But, my little hand-crank radio probably has a battery that it charges, or else it wouldn't hold the charge I give it (like another one of my hand-crank radios is now.)

Hmmmm, on the subject of refrigeration, I wonder if I put a ton of insulation around my chest freezer, could I use a bicycle for like 30 minutes a day to bring it down to freezing temperatures?



I have that exact same radio you showed.
BAD instructions too.

You get solar/crank/radio setting and you have no idea if the thing has to charge that way or not.

Cranking - doesn't say how long or how fast nor which direction to crank.
The USB cable has no storage place for it.
For the most part it does work.
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rainwater collection and use -

Be aware that most roofs exude toxins into that rain water especially asphalt.

Best to use a solder-free COPPER sheet roof and gutters/downspouts. Aluminum has been linked to alzheimer's. Clay tile (aka Mexican style roofs) COULD have nasties in the type of clay used and the firing process.

Piping and valves should probably be black iron - brass usually has lead in it and plastic - glues and leeching xenoestrogens are bad for you. Estrogens in ANY form can increase insulin resistance (aka lead to type 2 diabetes), especially in males. Females have Progesterone and other goodies that mitigate some of the problems. Avoid plastic containers and such as much as possible.
 
pioneer
Posts: 105
Location: Southeast Missouri
36
hugelkultur forest garden cooking building woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are living in a rented house in a small town while we build our home so we can move out to the woods.  We will be on the grid there and will have county water because both are readily and cheaply available.  Right now its a matter of cash flow.  I can get electricity and county water to my place for less than $1000.  That lets me keep my cash available for building the house without a mortgage.  Once in the house and no longer paying rent, we will put in solar backup for things like fridge and freezer.  The water table is high enough that I plan to put in a sand point shallow well to keep plants and critters watered.  

I've been without power in town for 4 days because of an ice storm and it wasn't much fun.  Gas central heat doesn't work without electricity.  We are taking steps during the build of our place to provide backups.  Interestingly enough, I have a cousin who is a realtor.  She told us that off the grid places are difficult to sell because they are a niche market and too many people don't understand the whole concept.  Grid tied systems are easier to sell, but if it adds to the asking price of a place compared to similar homes people balk.  Amazing how people get into a box and won't look at anything new and different, even if it is good for them.
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About power. Static inverter?
 
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1152
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have CMP here, also known as Central Maine Power. I not so affectionately call it; Can't Maintain Power. The power goes out a lot here, and while the longest I have been out is 14 days, last year it was 9 days.

But we are equipped to handle it. This house site was built in the year 1800, so there is a hand dug well I can pop the cap off from, and haul water by bucket. I could drink it as well, but I would boil it first just because it is not sealed from any surface contamination.

I also have a woodstove for back up heat.

But the biggest way of coping is having a big generator. Mine is 20 KW so I can power two houses off it if I wanted. Most people do not know this, but you can buy a PTO powered generator that runs off your tractor for very little money. For almost as much money as a portable generator that might produce 8000 watts, you can get a PTO generator that is 20,000 watts. You can because you are not paying for an engine to run it. And the power on a PTO generator is considered "clean" power and can power electronics since the power output is much more smooth. Mine ha its own doghouse surrounding it, and is direct wired to my house so it is as if we never lost power when that thing is running.

There are some down sides though, like if I need to push snow out of the driveway while the power is out, I cannot run my generator for the house. And it does put hours on my farm tractor just sitting there running the generator. But when the power goes out, both of those things are pretty minor. My family can be without power for an hour while I push snow, and I bought a farm tractor to use, and powering up the house for my family is a very good use of it.

I have a 275 gallon tank of off-road fuel for my tractor always at the ready, but also have other 275 tanks at my father's house, so using 5 gallons per day of fuel, I can go months on the fuel I have on the farm here, and that says nothing about going out and buying more.

Ideally I would like to make things even better, and buy a small used diesel engine to power my generator. I can get a 25 hp Kubota used for $1700 which would couple straight up to my PTO generator. That would save me from putting hours on my farm tractor, but also save me from hooking up to the generator when the power goes out. It would just always be ready. A turn of the key, a flip of a switch to keep power from going out on the grid, and my house is fully lit without fear of frying sensitive electronics.

DSCN0420.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN0420.JPG]
Generator Waiting For Use
 
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Back in 2009 we had a super-derecho come through the area.  For those not familiar with a derecho, it is an extremely strong thunderstorm system that packs hurricane force winds.  The one that struck us was an extremely strong one.  We had sustained 100 mph winds for about 90 minutes and after the storm let up the area was virtually impassible.

Our power was out for about a week, but some lost power for 3 weeks.  Since that time I bought a generator (5500 watts) and try to keep about 10 gallons of gasoline on hand.  I also wired a transfer switch into my main breaker box.  This allows me to power a select number of circuits in my house (8 in my case).  

Some people try to power their homes by making an extension cord with two male ends, turn off the main breaker and then plug in the generator.  This will work but is illegal.  If for some reason the main breaker is turned back on and the generator is still running & plugged in, it will send a surge of electricity down the main line that can be deadly to a lineman working to restore power.  A transfer switch by contrast has a built-in break-before-make switch that guarantees that you cannot send a surge of electricity down a dead line.

This setup only gives me about a day of continuous run time, so I am looking into a solar panel-portable battery bank solution to augment.  The battery pack should be good for 3k watts and of course can be charged by solar.

But more important than power is water and food.  We have been without water before and it was much worse than being without power.  And when the derecho hit, money was important to get a few necessities we did not have on hand (we were at work when the storm hit).

All-in-all I would say that one would want a diverse range of backup options and not just a couple really excellent options.

Eric
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:Back in 2009 we had a super-derecho come through the area.  For those not familiar with a derecho, it is an extremely strong thunderstorm system that packs hurricane force winds.  The one that struck us was an extremely strong one.  We had sustained 100 mph winds for about 90 minutes and after the storm let up the area was virtually impassible.

Our power was out for about a week, but some lost power for 3 weeks.  Since that time I bought a generator (5500 watts) and try to keep about 10 gallons of gasoline on hand.  I also wired a transfer switch into my main breaker box.  This allows me to power a select number of circuits in my house (8 in my case).  

Some people try to power their homes by making an extension cord with two male ends, turn off the main breaker and then plug in the generator.  This will work but is illegal.  If for some reason the main breaker is turned back on and the generator is still running & plugged in, it will send a surge of electricity down the main line that can be deadly to a lineman working to restore power.  A transfer switch by contrast has a built-in break-before-make switch that guarantees that you cannot send a surge of electricity down a dead line.

This setup only gives me about a day of continuous run time, so I am looking into a solar panel-portable battery bank solution to augment.  The battery pack should be good for 3k watts and of course can be charged by solar.

But more important than power is water and food.  We have been without water before and it was much worse than being without power.  And when the derecho hit, money was important to get a few necessities we did not have on hand (we were at work when the storm hit).

All-in-all I would say that one would want a diverse range of backup options and not just a couple really excellent options.

Eric



A good supply of Duracells would be wise too.

Or one of those ever flashlight or the shake kind.

Switch everything over to LED lighting too. Less power demand.

A static inverter, 2K watts can be used temporarily.

https://www.harborfreight.com/2000-watt-continuous4000-watt-peak-modified-sine-wave-power-inverter-63429.html?_br_psugg_q=inverter

Just be sure your gas tank is full and restart the car every hour or so for 20 min unless you let it idle.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Victoria BC
219
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kai Walker wrote:

Eric Hanson wrote:Back in 2009 we had a super-derecho come through the area.  For those not familiar with a derecho, it is an extremely strong thunderstorm system that packs hurricane force winds.  The one that struck us was an extremely strong one.  We had sustained 100 mph winds for about 90 minutes and after the storm let up the area was virtually impassible.

Our power was out for about a week, but some lost power for 3 weeks.  Since that time I bought a generator (5500 watts) and try to keep about 10 gallons of gasoline on hand.  I also wired a transfer switch into my main breaker box.  This allows me to power a select number of circuits in my house (8 in my case).  

Some people try to power their homes by making an extension cord with two male ends, turn off the main breaker and then plug in the generator.  This will work but is illegal.  If for some reason the main breaker is turned back on and the generator is still running & plugged in, it will send a surge of electricity down the main line that can be deadly to a lineman working to restore power.  A transfer switch by contrast has a built-in break-before-make switch that guarantees that you cannot send a surge of electricity down a dead line.

This setup only gives me about a day of continuous run time, so I am looking into a solar panel-portable battery bank solution to augment.  The battery pack should be good for 3k watts and of course can be charged by solar.

But more important than power is water and food.  We have been without water before and it was much worse than being without power.  And when the derecho hit, money was important to get a few necessities we did not have on hand (we were at work when the storm hit).

All-in-all I would say that one would want a diverse range of backup options and not just a couple really excellent options.

Eric



A good supply of Duracells would be wise too.

Or one of those ever flashlight or the shake kind.

Switch everything over to LED lighting too. Less power demand.

A static inverter, 2K watts can be used temporarily.

https://www.harborfreight.com/2000-watt-continuous4000-watt-peak-modified-sine-wave-power-inverter-63429.html?_br_psugg_q=inverter

Just be sure your gas tank is full and restart the car every hour or so for 20 min unless you let it idle.



There are some excellent battery powered lighting options out there.

For those who like taking care of such stuff and don't have small kids there are TONS of lithium ion powered flashlights and headlamps available that will run on rechargeable18650 type cells.

Neutral or warm white, or high CRI, will gice nice useable light without the harsh blue tint most accept in their LED lighting.

Convoy is a popular budget brand for these lights.

If you don't want to be careful with potentially dangerous battery cells(toxic as heck inside, can blow up if mistreated), probably Milwaukee's M18 Trueview worklights are your best bet; these are neutral white light and vastly superior to those I have seem available from other brands. They share batteries with the vast array of M18 tools. Still lithium ion powered but these cells are in sealed packs, much harder to harm, and I expect there is some degree of monitoring implemented in both the battery packs and chargers.

There is an M18 charger with 12/24V input for vehicle or offgrid use.

 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dillon, Kai,

You both are absolutely right that having a decent battery supply for flashlights, radios and other small items is important.  Fortunately, we keep a small collection of LED flashlights with D cell batteries handy.  On top of that, I also have a couple of very nice 18 volt lights powered by batteries meant for power tools.  Personally, I am in the Ridgid platform and I have two flashlights, a small fan and a radio all powered by the same battery platform.  To power these and my other tools, I have five 4 amp hour batteries that I keep topped off.  A 4 amp hour battery will run the fan for about a day in the slowest setting and the smaller flashlight for two straight days.  With judicious use, this supply should last me a long time, though part of me wants to add in a couple of 6 amp hour batteries, one of the floodlights and a new radio that has a built in inverter.

If I get serious about expanding beyond my 18 volt line I would seriously look at building a battery generator (really just a big battery inverter).  I found a good design online that has a very nice series of YouTube videos that show a step by step process to make the whole device.  It is not cheap though, coming in at almost $1000 for 3000 watts, but it is a very nice design.

At any rate, everything I have mentioned here assumes that the power eventually comes back on.  I know from experience that week-long power outages can and do happen and that a little preparedness can greatly ease the difficulties of losing electricity we are so accustomed to having available.

Eric
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I personally do not recommend 18 volt emergency items.
They require a charger to convert from 12vdc to 18vdc or 120vac.
Each conversion you can lose 10% to 50% of the energy used to charge an item.

A 12vdc item is direct from a car battery or car charging system.

Losses then are negligible.

18v power tools are great for ON GRID use/charging.

I read that many solar panels for say RV use are 12vdc?

One is 12vdc two in series are 24vdc.
Either way they do not add up to 18vdc. You would have to reduce 24 down or increase 12 up and both methods waste valuable energy.


FYI: most laptops use 19vac power from 120vac. Other devices use 5vdc.

Easier to reduce 12vdc down to 5vdc than to increase 12vdc to 18vdc. or higher.

Another problem with electronics is the 'modified sine wave' many static inverters output. They convert a square wave into a modified sine wave.
This can cause hum and noise in electronics. The use of a transformer can help reduce that problem or just buy a pure sine wave output static inverter.

About energy storage. the most reliable and insanely long term storage device is the Edison  battery. It is nickel-iron type and can last a century before degrading. But insanely expensive to buy or make.

What good is a solar panel if your storage device won't last more than a couple years?

You could use a capacitor bank, But even those have issues.

What you can do is take a GM style clutch fan and attach it to a GM alternator and mount it on a tripod to use wind power for generation.

That can supply power on windy/cloudy days or windy nights.
 
Mark Brunnr
gardener
Posts: 698
Location: SoCal USA
140
cat dog trees wofati composting toilet bike solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rolls makes a flooded lead acid battery that’s rated for over 7000 cycles at 20% DoD so you can get close to 20 years off those, just have to purchase 2 since they are 6v each.

Edit: Here's an example which includes the cycles/DoD chart.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kai,

I understand your concerns regarding tool batteries for emergency power use, particularly in regards to energy losses when charging a battery, but in the case I mentioned, the batteries are basically kept topped off with grid power and can also be used when the power goes out.  For my low current application, I can get multiple days of run time from a single battery, and used judiciously, these 5 batteries should last me at least 3 days and maybe a week.

Also, I also have a generator to run occasionally.  I need to emphasize the occasional aspect.  Generators are most efficient (most watts produced per gallon of fuel) while running under a load.  Just idling consumes a fair amount of fuel without producing lots of useable electricity.  Perhaps the best option for running a generator would be to run it under load for say an hour running the fridge, freezer and battery charger(s), thus letting the batteries capture the excess energy for slow release later.

The battery generator I have in mind is powered by a 55 amp hour battery with the potential to add in more.  I would think that a single 12v 55ah battery would power most all your energy electrical needs for many days, depending on the load.  To boot, the design is set up be charged by up to 400 watts worth of solar panels.

Kai, you have fair points and I am pleased that you appreciate the efficiency loses that inevitably result whenever changing from one form of power to another.  My 18 volt batteries are not a perfect solution, but they are solutions I always have on hand.

Eric
 
pollinator
Posts: 2077
Location: 4b
495
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have lots of flashlights, candles, lamps, etc., but for emergency lighting, my favorite is those solar lights they make to go alongside your sidewalk or driveway.  You can get them for a couple bucks.  If you bring one inside, flip it upside down and set it on your table or counter, you have plenty of light for normal tasks and to walk around without running into things.  Obviously, brighter light is needed for some things, but these solar light have gotten me through a number of shorter term (a couple days) outages.

These are the type I'm talking about:

solar-lights.jpeg
[Thumbnail for solar-lights.jpeg]
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mark Brunnr wrote:Rolls makes a flooded lead acid battery that’s rated for over 7000 cycles at 20% DoD so you can get close to 20 years off those, just have to purchase 2 since they are 6v each.

Edit: Here's an example which includes the cycles/DoD chart.



Hope you are well stocked on Wheaties!

Weight 100 kg 220.5 lbs

440 pounds to lug round is a bit much lol

https://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery
Worth the money if you got some spare change lying around....
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 319
Location: South Central Kansas
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:I have lots of flashlights, candles, lamps, etc., but for emergency lighting, my favorite is those solar lights they make to go alongside your sidewalk or driveway.  You can get them for a couple bucks.  If you bring one inside, flip it upside down and set it on your table or counter, you have plenty of light for normal tasks and to walk around without running into things.  Obviously, brighter light is needed for some things, but these solar light have gotten me through a number of shorter term (a couple days) outages.

These are the type I'm talking about:



LOL I got one of those for my wife (walmart).
They get really DIM after a year.....

Hers were on sale for I think $1. Now they are $5.

 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 2077
Location: 4b
495
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kai Walker wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:I have lots of flashlights, candles, lamps, etc., but for emergency lighting, my favorite is those solar lights they make to go alongside your sidewalk or driveway.  You can get them for a couple bucks.  If you bring one inside, flip it upside down and set it on your table or counter, you have plenty of light for normal tasks and to walk around without running into things.  Obviously, brighter light is needed for some things, but these solar light have gotten me through a number of shorter term (a couple days) outages.

These are the type I'm talking about:



LOL I got one of those for my wife (walmart).
They get really DIM after a year.....

Hers were on sale for I think $1. Now they are $5.



My local walmart has them right now, 12 for approx $20.  They do go dim after some time, but at a buck or so a piece, they are cheaper than replacement batteries for my better lights.  
 
gardener
Posts: 1700
Location: southern Illinois.
372
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is an interesting topic. Years ago I purchased a high quality hand pump and placed it in my cistern.   I have also obtained a 2 inch irrigation
Pump for my pond.  Actually I have 2 pumps ...one manual and one gas.  I also have solar and a gas generator.  As I have commented elsewhere, I am a believer in redundancy.
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 1700
Location: southern Illinois.
372
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Eric

I remember that vividly.  My wife shattered a tooth, and I had to drive through that thing to get her to the oral surgeon.   I think the weather station referred to it as an inland  hurricane.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John,

The term “inland hurricane” was sort of spontaneously generated.  The term basically does not exist outside local lore and is not a meteorological term or concept.  People flipped out thinking their insurance would not cover damage because they didn’t have hurricane insurance.  Basically it was local urban legend.

But it did pack hurricane force winds and the storm had an overall rotation and even something akin to a 20-30 mile diameter eye and eye wall.  I have a radar picture somewhere that shows the whole circular pattern.

Hurricane or no, it was one hell of a storm and the damage was intense.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John,

Actually when that storm hit, I had to evacuate myself and my kids—ages 2 and 6.  We could not get to our house due to numerous fallen trees.  I fled north to my parents, but as my wife is a doctor and on-call that weekend, she had to stay.  A local hospital put her up for the evening and by the next morning she could get home.  I returned in 2 days with the generator—a Generac 5500GP, but the kids stayed with the grandparents. For a few days.

My heart sank into depression when I saw my backyard.  I built my house such that it was situated on an old pasture next to some old, tall trees.  In an area of about 3 acres I lost about 25 major trees—heartbreaking!  Fortunately our house only had minor damage that was easily fixed (we needed all new shingles and some siding—we still find pieces of siding in our neighbor’ property from time to time). It took me 3 years to get up the gumption to start to clear up the woods and that took me about 18 months.  

To give you an idea of how strong the winds were, we used to have an old 6’ diameter 1000+ pound haybale just inside the woods left from who knows when.  I had always wondered how we were going to get it out.  After the storm, the bale was just gone, as in gone without a trace.  It completely blew apart and I saw no grass strands anywhere.  I wish I could have seen it as it disappeared.

When I returned I started cutting up all the trees and moving logs with my tractor into two burn piles.  I got the burn piles going and they burned for 2 weeks.  They burned so furiously that the flames shot up like a rocket.  It was uncomfortable to stand within 20 feet of them.  Had I been involved with Permies then I would have done something much more productive than simply burning in a big burn pile.

Long story John and I could go on much longer, but it is nice to know there is someone here with whom I can share this experience.

Thanks for listening,

Eric
 
Posts: 63
Location: Indiana
8
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I built an emergency backup lighting system for show-N-tell for an Emergency Preparedness Presentation I was going to give at our local Senior Center.
The system is any 12V battery, 2 runs of 22 AWG wire however long you want them, an ON/OFF switch, and purchased LED lights and Sockets from Amazon.
Strip the wires to attach a Socket several feet apart until you can run the light string through appropriate rooms. LEDs have two prongs to insert into sockets and it doesn't matter which way they are inserted. To produce much more light turn and somehow hold LEDs toward the ceilings. You'll be surprised at how much light these will produce - plenty to see your way around the house - and small drain on a battery too!

Lights_N_Battery.jpg
12 v LED Emergency Lighting
12 v LED Emergency Lighting
 
Posts: 270
Location: On the plateau in TN
23
urban books food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we've lost power a few times, just do NOT open the refrigerator.

Use flash lights, or be careful and use candles.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Really glad this topic got revived.  There are not many end-of-the-world situations I give serious thought, but a grid scale loss of power is one them.  Specifically, an EMP event concerns me.

Now if the power is out for a day, it is a minor inconvenience.  We have had power out due to ice storms for up to 4 days.  That was more annoying but definitely survivable (we had no generator at the time).  When our derecho hit, we were without power for a week and some were without for 3 weeks.  That event surpassed simply annoying.

I guess that a simple power outage is annoying but definitely survivable for long periods of time.  We imported power.  We bought ice for our coolers.  We took our devices and charged them at local restaurants.  The local cell towers still worked.  We simply got by.  

More concerning to me is when EVERYONE at least regionally looses power (like an EMP event).  No home conveniences and no way to bring in ice, charge phones, etc.  This includes no power to pump gas to fill a car or fill up gas cans.  Stores don’t open, grocery stores can’t process credit card transactions and regular commerce crawls to a haunt.  

Now I own a generator and I try to keep 10 gallons on hand.  I also recently finished a little battery box that lets me run power via USB on car style 12v power.  It is only 12v, 15 ah system but it is a foot in the door towards making a much more advanced model based on a 100 ah battery at the very least.  Now I know that any battery can run out, so I have s little solar panel to charge the batteries in sunny weather.

I guess I am being a little paranoid about it, but now I make backups to my backup power source.

Eric
 
gardener
Posts: 3146
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
1154
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:I guess I am being a little paranoid about it, but now I make backups to my backup power source.

Most of us are so dependent on having at least a little power, your approach Eric makes a lot of sense to me. We also have a generator and keep extra fuel upwind/uphill from the house. We have a lot of cloudy periods so as much as I'd like solar panel back-up we're still trying to decide if it's worth the effort. We have lots of LED headlamps with rechargeable batteries which I find *very* practical when you need to get work done in the dark with no power.

I recognize that these are all relatively short-term solutions. We'd be OK for a week, but depending on the time of year, 3 weeks or longer would become an issue. Nov to Feb when it's dark the longest, we have a winter creek that doesn't really have the head or volume to generate significant power, but I keep hoping #2 Son would work on a small dam for it (which would keep our ducks and geese happier) and install a simple system that would be enough to recharge batteries. Since storms are our biggest risk to power, and storms increase the water flow, it would be "backup to the backup" to give at least enough power that we wouldn't have to risk candles.
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 2077
Location: 4b
495
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:Really glad this topic got revived.  There are not many end-of-the-world situations I give serious thought, but a grid scale loss of power is one them.  Specifically, an EMP event concerns me.

Now if the power is out for a day, it is a minor inconvenience.  We have had power out due to ice storms for up to 4 days.  That was more annoying but definitely survivable (we had no generator at the time).  When our derecho hit, we were without power for a week and some were without for 3 weeks.  That event surpassed simply annoying.

I guess that a simple power outage is annoying but definitely survivable for long periods of time.  We imported power.  We bought ice for our coolers.  We took our devices and charged them at local restaurants.  The local cell towers still worked.  We simply got by.  

More concerning to me is when EVERYONE at least regionally looses power (like an EMP event).  No home conveniences and no way to bring in ice, charge phones, etc.  This includes no power to pump gas to fill a car or fill up gas cans.  Stores don’t open, grocery stores can’t process credit card transactions and regular commerce crawls to a haunt.  

Now I own a generator and I try to keep 10 gallons on hand.  I also recently finished a little battery box that lets me run power via USB on car style 12v power.  It is only 12v, 15 ah system but it is a foot in the door towards making a much more advanced model based on a 100 ah battery at the very least.  Now I know that any battery can run out, so I have s little solar panel to charge the batteries in sunny weather.

I guess I am being a little paranoid about it, but now I make backups to my backup power source.

Eric



In this climate, freezing to death is a real possibility during a power outage in winter months, in particular if a family has very young or very old members, and is without a basement.  With a basement, a little ingenuity, and blankets and warm clothes, people will survive, but may be very uncomfortable for some amount of time.  We have a large Amish population here, and they a really great example of survival without electricity.  An EMP would have little to no effect on most Amish people, although more and more of them are moving from the traditional way of life and traveling by motor vehicle and shopping at Walmart and that type of thing.  People like me, with what I consider a sane approach to preparedness, still very much follow the rule that two is one and one is none.  I have at least three backup for the biggies, power, water, food, shelter.  
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jay,

At this point I have one, small, 20 watt solar panel that is just right for my little battery box, but would be waaay underpowered for a much larger system.  Basically I can change up all my portable devices.

Incidentally, I was astonished as to how much that panel can produce even in cloudy weather.  You might be surprised how much electricity you can get during a cloudy day.
 
gardener
Posts: 388
Location: Western Kentucky
151
dog gear foraging trees hunting food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking wood heat rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About a decade ago, we had a terrible ice storm in January. It was unimaginable. Imagine a blade of grass with over 3/4" of ice encasing it. Icicles that curved 90 degrees. All night long it sounded like cannon-fire in the distance from the boughs of trees suddenly exploding under tons of weight. Over 90% of the power grid was laying on the ground/in the road along with countless trees making most roads impassible, even if you could drive on the inch of ice. It took almost a month for power to be restored to most houses, so it definitely can happen. All of a sudden people realized that their half-million dollar house with fancy central air had no way of keeping them warm without electricity. Their stove/oven/microwave could not cook their food. Many lost all refrigerated food (they didn't realize that the cold outside is just like the cold in the fridge). Many were lucky we do not have much colder winters like many places do. People were clearly divided into ants and grasshoppers. And you know what? Ten years later, most of the grasshoppers are still grasshoppers.
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 2077
Location: 4b
495
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jordan Holland wrote:About a decade ago, we had a terrible ice storm in January. It was unimaginable. Imagine a blade of grass with over 3/4" of ice encasing it. Icicles that curved 90 degrees. All night long it sounded like cannon-fire in the distance from the boughs of trees suddenly exploding under tons of weight. Over 90% of the power grid was laying on the ground/in the road along with countless trees making most roads impassible, even if you could drive on the inch of ice. It took almost a month for power to be restored to most houses, so it definitely can happen. All of a sudden people realized that their half-million dollar house with fancy central air had no way of keeping them warm without electricity. Their stove/oven/microwave could not cook their food. Many lost all refrigerated food (they didn't realize that the cold outside is just like the cold in the fridge). Many were lucky we do not have much colder winters like many places do. People were clearly divided into ants and grasshoppers. And you know what? Ten years later, most of the grasshoppers are still grasshoppers.



I went through a similar ice storm many years ago, but I was only without power for about a week.  As it was, the whole area wasn't out so I could get groceries.  This was before I knew anything about being prepared, and I could have gone to a hotel if need be.  As it was, I was broke, so I stuck it out.  It was a very uncomfortable week.  As you said, I had no heat, no electricity.  Luckily I was on city water then, so my toilets and sinks worked.  No hot water though.  Now I have:

Water
I have a well, I have water stored, and I have water filters

Food
I have enough prepared, canned and frozen food to last months, I have gardens, I have a young, but soon to be producing food forest, I have chickens, I have 80 acres to hunt and gather on.

Shelter
I have a house with a basement, lots of severe cold weather clothing and blankets, two shelters that are not part of the house that I won't go into, but that are stocked with those same type items

Heat and lighting
My house has solar lights, flashlights, candles, two large kerosene heaters, a regular propane furnace, wood stoves on the main floor and basement, two generator

Protection
I live in a pretty isolated rural area, I have a very secure shelter in my home and another outside my home, protective dogs, and hunting weapons.

I'm convinced that right now, I could go several months easily with no grid power or outside supplies whatsoever.  As my new place becomes more established, those several months should expand until I can go for much, much longer.  In this climate, summers can get hot, but not with the threat of death like winters can have.  In another climate, priorities could be very different.
 
Jesse Glessner
Posts: 63
Location: Indiana
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I noticed that someone talked about generators here. Well, there are generators and then there are generators.
With gas generators you should run those puppies once a month if you want it to actually run in an emergency. IF you don't use all the gas in one year's time you should either dump it and renew - OR - use something like Stabil in it to keep it in shape.

Look for something like a propane generator. Those you only need to run a couple of times a year and they do start up well as soon as the propane gets through. I have mine on a small wagon with large wheels, another thing you need to check on as those do go flat occasionally. I have two of the taller propane tanks, maybe 18-24 inches, on the front of the wagon with the generator on the back and it has two sets of double outlets available. The generator sets back far enough to allow the muffler to drop over the back of the wagon.

Other things to keep in mind. You either need long extension cords - OR - you have a nice house wire it for running circuits off-line with the generator (expensive). Also keep in mind that people can hear your generator running, especially if it is the only one around that is running - for a very long distance. Find yourself a really good anchoring system with a humongous lock and thick CABLE to keep it locked down. And another item is that you might want a couple of surge suppressors and one or two step-down voltage regulators so everyone can keep their cell phones powered up.
 
Jordan Holland
gardener
Posts: 388
Location: Western Kentucky
151
dog gear foraging trees hunting food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking wood heat rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jesse Glessner wrote: Also keep in mind that people can hear your generator running, especially if it is the only one around that is running - for a very long distance. Find yourself a really good anchoring system with a humongous lock and thick CABLE to keep it locked down.



The thieves here would use a running pushmower as a decoy while they absconded with the generator.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Between 10 and 15 years ago we had several power outages that were multiple day events.  Fortunately they happened in the winter.  A multi day summer outage would be unbearable.  We have a gas fireplace that needs no outside electricity for usage.

In one particularly nasty case, we had a freezing rain event on the day before I had a kidney procedure.  My dad drove down in part because he has  a 4wd truck.  We lost power that night and the fireplace ran all night.  Our upstairs bedroom was nice and toasty.  The downstairs was between cool to slightly uncomfortable cold, but nothing we couldn’t handle.  I really like having the propane fireplace as it is super easy to turn on and it does a very good job of heating the house all by itself.

We did have a problem the next morning though.  The freezing rain covered my dad’s truck and he could not open the door—it was sealed with 1/2 inch of ice.  Also we were hungry and had no electricity to cook (the fireplace is the only gas appliance in the house).  We had about a dozen eggs and some ham, cheese, and veggies—perfect for an omelette if only we had power.  We were hungry and had a lot of physical labor ahead.

The solution came in the form of a propane grill.  We put a big pot of water on the grill and boiled it.  Inside we mixed up our omelettes and poured them into heavy duty ziplock baggies.  Those baggies then went into the water which by now was inside on the counter.  The omelettes scrambled right up and we feasted in the last hot meal in the house!

Later on we tackled the frozen truck again—with the same baggies as before.  I got the idea that we needed to raise the temperature of the van’s surface just enough to melt the ice.  We took the baggies, filled them with hot water from the boiling pot, zipped them shut and slid the hot water baggies over the seams of the truck door.  In a few minutes we had the seams melted and the truck door opened right up!  We started the truck, turned the heat up high, sat back and in a few minutes the whole truck de-iced itself!

Now I have a generator and could do the same with a hair drier.  But at the time we had to get creative and use what we had.

Just a little story,

Eric
 
Posts: 64
18
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've somehow ended up at the overkill end of the electricity spectrum. Our property came with a 20kva diesel generator that had some mechanical issues and was so old that nursing it and finding parts would be a full-time job. It crapped out on the first winter power outage.

The smallest replacement we could find on short notice was a used (120 hours) 40kva tricked out with a load bank and acoustic weatherproof enclosure.  The installer had to stop in mid-installation to go get a bigger tractor -- the one he brought was big enough to move the old generator but waaay too tippy with the big kahunga on the forks. So far it's performed flawlessly for its weekly 20-minute exercise cycle and through power outages ranging from 4 to 16 hours. We estimate that, if we were frugal about power use, it could run non-stop for up to 10 days on its internal fuel tank, and non-stop for another three weeks on fuel transferred from the external tank that holds our heating oil.

Having 40kva available borders on the obscene, but it's nice to know that during a power failure we could bake a turkey while running space heaters and a blow dryer with maybe some laundry and arc-welding on the side. It's also reassuring when the lights go out to count "4... 3... 2... 1..." and hear that big 'ol John Deere engine spring into action.

generac01.jpg
[Thumbnail for generac01.jpg]
 
Jay Angler
gardener
Posts: 3146
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
1154
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Dc Stewart - and it's big enough, stealing it would be a challenge!
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 1700
Location: southern Illinois.
372
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Eric,

You are correct. I remember when an ice storm hit and the power went out in some areas of my county for 5 days.  I made a point of using 2 weeks as my gold standard .   I put in a 2000+ watt solar. But, it was clear that it would be great in the summer, but less useful if things iced over.  Like you I grabbed hold of a generator.  I try to keep at least 25 gallons on hand.  I am far more concerned about a major ice storm than an EMT.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John,  let me explain my concern about some type of EMP.

An EMP is known as a low probability high impact event (somewhat like a nuclear reactor meltdown).  No, it is not likely to happen on human timescales, but if it did, it would have far ranging consequences.  Should an EMP go off, all electrical sources go out in a very large radius.  No electricity is a given.  But that means no electricity for pumping new gas to generate electricity. No computers, no grocery stores, and perhaps most disturbing, no long distance communication.

An EMP could come from two types of events.  The first would be Earth running into a Coronal Mass Ejection.  This does happen on a regular event.  A powerful one called the Carrington Event struck in the middle of the 1800’s.  It set telegraph lines on fire spontaneously.  If it could set telegraph cables on fire, just imagine what that would do to computers.  About 25 years ago Canada caught a piece of a CME and areas were without power for weeks.

The other way to get an EMP would be to detonate a nuke just at edge of the atmosphere.  A rouge actor that has/could get a nuke might be inclined to do this.  The net results would be similar to a Carrington event.

John, you are right in that the house ice storm is FAR more likely to to impact us in the near future and a storm can have effects lasting weeks.

I purchased my generator after the May 8th storm.  Ironically I have not needed to use it since.  I seriously wonder if all the trees that could fall on the power lines did so back in that storm.  Still, I have my house wired to legally backfeed from my generator.  I can run about 75% of my house, but no 220v appliances (which is fine by me).

I do believe in preparedness, and this is one area I feel strongly about.

Eric
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 1700
Location: southern Illinois.
372
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Eric,

First let me apologize for the spell check ...EMP.  I should have reviewed it better. I have lugged my generator to the remote end of my property, but, like you, I have had little use for it.  I make a point of starting it up once a year. I do understand your position.  I would run with it so far as to put it only somewhat behind ice storms and tornados in our area in terms of broad impact.  Yes, that means I think it is very close in terms of disastrous earthquake  and EMP.  The clock is ticking on both in our region. Unfortunately, our country has repeatedly proven it is ill prepared to handle disasters with a broad footprint.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 3041
Location: Southern Illinois
553
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I should add here my next plan for emergency backup.  I am planning on making an inverter style “generator” based on a 100-125 amp hour battery with a 3Kw inverter.  This device would output 120v ac, 12v dc, USB, and a dial-a-voltage buck converter.  It will be housed in a rolling tool case.  Ideally the battery would be a AGM deep cycle battery to safely allow total discharge (something most other batteries can’t do).  To charge the battery I would want to do so via two different techniques.

The first would be a simple ac plug to jut plug into the wall and keep topped off.  The second would be to get solar panels that get a total of 300-500 watts.  Models I have seen online use 4 100 watt solar panels so that is sort of my goal.  

This would augment my 5.5Kw generator.  The generator runs as long as I have gasoline, but 400 watts of solar panels run pretty much any time there is daylight.  Right now I have a miniature version I simply call my battery box.  It runs 12v and USB power.  I got a little 20 watt solar panel for charging and I am amazed by how much energy it produces in cloudy weather.  400 watts should keep electronics running indefinitely.

Eric
 
She said she got a brazillian. I think owning people is wrong. That is how I learned ... tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic