Episode 259 S7-21
Hope on the Horizon Ch21
In the coming days, the power supply may not be a ready commodity. The characters in Hope on the Horizon are facing this reality in today’s chapter, and then Chin and I will explore some alternate energy options.
Alternate fuels are not just powering your home; vehicles are now using many different options as well. Biodiesel is one option that you can employ in a diesel vehicle. Fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat can be used alone or blended with diesel. These fuels are currently produced from soybeans, corn, fungi, bacteria, and algae.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) also powers vehicles. The gas is made from methane that originates in gas wells. We’ve all seen the electric cars, but you need a way to charge them. Ethanol, made from plant-based sources, is another option. However, it is expensive to convert the engine to burn ethanol and costly to produce. Hydrogen power is the cleanest burning method, but it is hard to have in free form and has an explosive risk.
In a post-collapse situation, gasifiers are viable options for powering vehicles. To learn more about these engines, visit the video below or check out this link to my past episode with Johnny Jacks. These engines burn wood, waste, or most other flammable materials and convert the gas to fuel for your vehicle. They can power cars, tractors, and generators for homes.
There are eleven primary forms of alternate energy. Some of them you can deploy on your homestead, and some you could not.
Hydrogen Gas – made primarily from gas and fossil fuel. It is hard to create and requires the process of electrolysis.
Tidal Energy – The tides can be harnessed for their energy production capabilities if you have access to the ocean. The production machines are similar to wind turbines. The tide turns the turbines and creates power. They can be expensive to purchase, but in a post-collapse situation, a creative person could engineer a viable option.
Biomass Energy – Uses wood and waste burning to create power. The gasifier is classed as a biomass energy production method. When you burn waste in an oxygen-deprived environment, you create the alcohol for the generator. The video of the gasifier linked below, the gentleman can go 5,000 miles on the cost of one chord of wood.
Wind Energy – You need wind to produce energy. There is no waste with this method, but there can be hefty investment costs. The rewards may not become present for six to thirty years after installation. Wind energy works best in combination with other production methods—for example, wind and solar. In the summer, when there is more sun and less wind, solar is primary, but in the winter, when there is more wind and less sun, the solar becomes primary.
Geothermal Power – this is an energy that is extracted from the heat in the ground. Holes are drilled into the earth over volcanic areas, and water is blasted into the hole. The steam turns turbines and creates power. When using this method, there is an increased risk of earthquakes because of the trauma to the earth. However, geothermal heating and cooling are being used more often and provides an efficient source, as we discussed last weak.
Natural Gas – has been used for power production for years and is becoming more prevalent; however, there is also an increased risk of earthquakes because wastewater injected back into the earth causes instability.
Biofuels – energy from plant life doesn’t just fuel vehicles; it can fuel a generator as well.
Wave Energy – this is an excellent source of power because it can be deployed in any part of the ocean, not just where there are tides. The cost of the system is high but effective.
Hydroelectric Energy – This is a classic form of power production that started back with the water wheel. If you have access to flowing water, it is a very effective way of producing power. Companies have now created micro-hydropower units like, Blue Freedom, that can be deployed to power electronic devices. Japan developed The Cappa to deploy during natural disasters. These units are expensive and look like jet engines, but they create a lot of power and only need enough water to make the turbines move.
Nuclear Power – obviously not a viable option for your homestead. It is a beneficial source of power, and although it is a very environmentally clean method, there is a potential for severe disasters.
Solar Power – modern panels last 25-30 years and are the most common form of alternate energy. Solar options are rapidly expanding. You can learn to make DIY solar units. Also, you don’t just need panels; solar options are now available as shingles or blinds. The bad thing about most solar units in use today is that they are tied to the grid. The battery costs are still high, and the batteries only last about five to seven years. The federal tax credit doesn’t cover storage systems and batteries.
When it comes to off the grid power to supply your future needs, a combination of the options above is probably the best option. You need to examine your usage and then put together a plan to supply that amount. The other option is to learn to live without it. Think outside the box, reduce your usage, and learn to make what is essential.
The Changing Earth Series
Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.