Episode 122 S3-41
The Walls of Freedom Ch 41
Dale and Lisa Goodwin
Before we look at examples of current alternative energy options, you first have to know how much you "need" vs how much you can produce. You will not be able to produce what you use currently, unless you have endless funds. If there is a SHTF situation and you are able to produce everything your household needs to operate the same way it currently does, you will be a beacon in the dark, attracting all kinds of elements to your residence.
With that said one of the biggest threats is losing meat that you have stored in freezers. Freezers use a lot of power and running them will be very difficult. Can your meat now because you will have limited time and fuel after a long term power outage.
All power production requires some type of fuel. What type you choose relies a lot upon your geographical location. You can use sunshine, gas (natural gas, propane, diesel), wood or human power. In the past we have explored the gasifier option. This option utilizes wood to run generators, vehicles, tractors and much more.
As Americans we are pretty spoiled when it comes to gas and energy options. We are used to stopping weekly at the gas station. Using easily accessible propane or natural gas to supplement energy supplies. Installing low cost solar options to cut power bills. Even kerosene is easy to come by in the US. In a future where these options become limited, life will be very different. In many areas of the nation staying warm in the winter or cool in the summer is a matter of life and death. Medications can enhance the effects of these climate threats. Also, some medicines require climate control to keep them viable. Even small scale disasters can be a threat to individuals who rely upon these medications and power to preserve them.
The average car battery equals about a thousand watts of energy. There are conversions for estimating how many watts you need to run minimal power at your home. At the most minimal level everyone should own a 600-700 watt power inverter. This is a link to a 1000 watt inverter that is reasonably priced on Amazon. It will hook to your vehicle like jumper cables allowing you to plug in power cords into your vehicle's power supply. This is only a short term solution. It takes about 1/3 of a gallon of gas per hour to power items this way. However, it is very useful to have. For example if you have a wi-fi hotspot you can plug it into your vehicle's power supply to connect to the internet and find out what is going on or connect with loved ones. It is a very useful tool to have on road trips or when bugging out.
You can also create your own solar generator. The link provided will explain how to craft this small solar generator. It is essential that you know how much you are using vs how much your battery can take. If you over tax the battery you will reduce its life significantly.
Another major consideration, if you have one, is your well. Well pumps require a lot of power to run. You will need to find a way to power the pump so you can still use it when you need it. There are solar options, hand pump options, or generator options.
You should have a quality solar phone charger as well. Dale recommends the Goal Zero products. They make a very good one that has a small solar panel and a battery. It is versatile enough to use at home and small enough to bug out with. Dale also recommend the Goal Zero Switch 10. You need something small and efficient but look out for deals that are too good to be true, usually they are. Skimping on your purchase here may come back to haunt you later.
Decide now, do you want to rely upon others or upon yourself. Relying upon yourself means you need to know the basics of power production. Start small with batteries, small solar chargers, and kerosene lanterns and build from there. Learn to make your own solar setup so you can replicate it when you need to. It also would not be a bad idea to have a member of your MAG (Mutual Assistance Group) who is an electrician.
If you have a solar setup it is not difficult to maintain. Bigger panels are build to stand up to the toughest weather conditions. Small solar systems will need to be charged often or the batteries will slowly drain over time, leaving them dead when you need them. With the larger systems you will need to know more technical information. For example, the larger systems have limiters on the batteries so they do not overcharge. It can be complicated so start small and build from there.
The battery you choose also deserves a special mention. It is better to invest in a deep cycle marine battery rather than a car battery because they are made to be fully drained and recharged rather than maintained at a balanced level. Your goal of power production and use is to maintain the balance between the two but sometimes usage can outweigh production and the deep cycle battery will last longer.
If you know how to produce power and maintain these systems in a long term survival situation, your skills will be highly sought after.
If the power grid in the US did receive major damage, it would not be easy to restore. Transformers are very expensive, produced overseas and not stocked for emergency situations.
Solar is the easiest source of power to utilize, but it depends on your geographical location. If you were on the plains, you may want to utilize wind power. If you are by a river, you may think of utilizing hydroelectric power. You need to get creative. What does nature provide that you can utilize? For example, gutter turbines may be a great source of power in an area that receives a lot of rain.
Learning the motor process of power creation is the essential takeaway of practicing power production. Once you have mastered that, you can apply it to many different types of power production methods.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"I'm as ready as I'm gonna be."