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Low Power Living
#1
I'm just gonna brainstorm a couple of ideas here. Hopefully the rest of you guys can chime in, fill in holes and come up with other ideas.

Obviously if there's no power from the grid, you're going to be generating it on your own. Obviously there's several different methods, solar, wind, internal combustion engine generators each one has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Solar and wind obviously only work when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, so you need a method to store that energy. Obviously that's with a bank of batteries. The solar/wind would recharge the batteries and you could then have an inverter to convert that to 120vac.

The problem is, inverters aren't every efficient. You're converting DC to AC and depending upon what you're plugging in, back to DC again. So you need to think about what you want to run. If you're running a scanner or a tablet, you don't want to convert o DC/AC/DC to do that. Try to find a scanner that will run on 12VDC and then you can just connect it to your battery grid, obviously you'll want to have it fused at the appropriate rating for your scanner.

5VDC things are another concern, fortunately in today's world 12VDC to 5VDC converters are readily available. I just saw some yesterday as an impulse buy at Lowes right at the check out counter.

If you want to use your laptop, do not use the regular house charger for it, get the 12VDC travel charger, that will help improve the efficiency of recharging it. Targus makes a decent line of travel chargers for most laptops. They can be a bit pricey, but I think they're worth it.
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#2
EDIT: I decided to re-write this post since I pretty much just restated what you already said.

One thing I will add, is you can find 12 volt DC light bulbs that can be used for general lighting without converting to AC.

I would avoid converting to AC whenever possible, because you are loosing efficiency, and adding another failure point to the system.
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#3
Another thing worthy of discussion, is that it's easier to reduce consumption than it is to increase production. What can you do to lower your energy consumption?
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#4
Something else to consider. A lot of people do indeed stock up on batteries, which is good, problem is, when your batteries are all used up then what?

I've been starting to stock up on on NiMH batteries of various sizes. I've purchased a solar recharger that I can recharged all the sizes in it. The NiMH batteries are cheap enough now, no reason not to stock up on them.
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#5
(09-18-2012, 02:27 PM)streaker69 Wrote: Something else to consider. A lot of people do indeed stock up on batteries, which is good, problem is, when your batteries are all used up then what?

I've been starting to stock up on on NiMH batteries of various sizes. I've purchased a solar recharger that I can recharged all the sizes in it. The NiMH batteries are cheap enough now, no reason not to stock up on them.
After, if you're lucky, a couple thousand cycles you're back in the "when your batteries are all used up, then what," predicament.
When they come for my guns; It is not my right, at that point,
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#6
(09-18-2012, 03:10 PM)Xavier Wrote:
(09-18-2012, 02:27 PM)streaker69 Wrote: Something else to consider. A lot of people do indeed stock up on batteries, which is good, problem is, when your batteries are all used up then what?

I've been starting to stock up on on NiMH batteries of various sizes. I've purchased a solar recharger that I can recharged all the sizes in it. The NiMH batteries are cheap enough now, no reason not to stock up on them.
After, if you're lucky, a couple thousand cycles you're back in the "when your batteries are all used up, then what," predicament.


That comes back to what are you preparing for, long, medium or short term. Long term, obviously supplies on everything are going to be running short. But at the same time, long term also means that they'll be a rebuilding of systems and society. My personal philosophy is to prepare for the short to medium length, and have the supplies for that.
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#7
Not sure if this is the right place to post this little nugget but it seems appropriate to the subject at hand. One low cost way to help reduce your power needs is to use the solar powered lights around your sidewalks and driveways and flower beds to light your rooms at night. Not as bright as your lamps and you're not going to be reading with them but they'll make the room livable and all you have to do is put them back out in the morning when you get up and bring them in at night.
sleeper78, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#8
Streaker I assume your talking about a photo scanner? Shrug

If that is the case you have many options for "scanners" that are either battery powered or USB powered. I have found two options on Amazon that are under $110 and get 4-5 stars out of 5 stars on average:

USB Powered Scanner

Battery Powered Scanner


With the USB you can just plug it into the laptop and not worry about integrating another, separate device into your local power grid. With the battery operated model you would probably be able to charge it with DCV. Be warned though I only know they exist and not much more.
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LifeInPa, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#9
Nope, like a police scanner, if SHTF, I don't really care about scanning documents. Wink
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#10
(09-19-2012, 08:40 PM)streaker69 Wrote: Nope, like a police scanner, if SHTF, I don't really care about scanning documents. Wink


Heh I thought the question was uh, questionable. Big Grin

Anyway have you considered just getting a CB radio for a vehicle? Those are DC devices.
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LifeInPa, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Sanity, yours if you can keep it. Confused
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