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Low Power Living
#11
I have a couple of them in the garage, just not hooked up to anything right now.
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#12
(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.


Linky to the solar charger? I have been looking for something like that for a while. I'm assuming it holds XD XC XAA etc and charges from a small panel. I have been trying to find one that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

Another thing to think of. Many RVs use appliances that are made for 12v power. My grandpa's old camper had lights, a fan, and I want to say a small AC unit.

An old RV in a junkyard could help reduce the energy used.

Another suggestion, I bought a electricity . . usage. . . meter . .thing. At the store the one day. Set it to my cost, and plugged in different things around the house.

You would be shocked at how much power some things use, and how little others use. A small heater, or blow dryer, sucks up tremendous amounts of power for their size.

In that same respect, my microwave when it isn't running and is just blinking "12:00" hardly uses enough to even bother with.

It can be a real eye opener to see the power consumptions of some of our "essentials".
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#13
This is the solar battery charger I picked up. I just wanted to give it a shot to see how well it did. Problem with it is, you can only do two batteries at a time, even though the picture makes it seem like you can do 4.

http://www.harborfreight.com/portable-ho...68690.html

So I wouldn't recommend this one because it's only 2 batteries. HF did have one a couple months ago that was a different model, looked a little larger, that one might have done 4.
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#14
(09-19-2012, 11:38 PM)streaker69 Wrote: This is the solar battery charger I picked up. I just wanted to give it a shot to see how well it did. Problem with it is, you can only do two batteries at a time, even though the picture makes it seem like you can do 4.

http://www.harborfreight.com/portable-ho...68690.html

So I wouldn't recommend this one because it's only 2 batteries. HF did have one a couple months ago that was a different model, looked a little larger, that one might have done 4.

You can make a decent charger yourself with minimal effort. First, you'll need a solar cell larger than 6" x 6". I checked the Harbor Freight link, they don't even list the electrical performance, they must have been embarrassed.

Consider a 15-20 watt panel as a starting point. It will charge almost any battery under 15 volts, as well as power your scanner radio. Since a 15W/12v solar panel can produce current as high as 1 amp, you'll need current regulation for smaller batteries. You can do this with with resistors, or better yet an LM317 wired up as a current regulator. BTW, that LM317 will also regulate voltage down to about a volt, the current's stiff up to about 1 amp. This means with a USB connector & a 317-powered circuit, you'll have a USB charging port without a running computer.

You should be able to pull this off for well under $100.

We lost power for over a week back in 1993, I got solar power generation fast. Back then, 15 watts was the biggest panel I could find. When not powering a shortwave, charging batteries or running a radio, it kept a car battery topped off.

Herbach & Rademan has 15W panels for $65 here. That's $4 per watt, you can get them even cheaper. The significance of this panel: it kept a car battery topped off for almost a year, without any regulation. Just a reverse blocking diode.

Obviously, larger panels have a greater capacity to do more work, but also get more expensive, and fast. Also watch voltage rating. With large solar panels, most come in one of two voltage ratings -- 12 volts or 24 volts. Watch the power curve.
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#15
If you're rural then a wind turbine might be a good option for you.

They're a bit pricey, but they will give you somewhat stable energy for a long while, enough to keep your necessities and a few luxuries going for occasional use.

Wood/Coal cook-stove & fireplaces/wood/coal inserts handle heating and cooking so the only 'power' you will really need to keep going for yourself is enough to power a fridge, your well/septic system, and a few lights. And you'll still have the ability to run a few other things depending on the turbine you get.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#16
(09-20-2012, 07:27 AM)Camper Wrote: If you're rural then a wind turbine might be a good option for you.

They're a bit pricey, but they will give you somewhat stable energy for a long while, enough to keep your necessities and a few luxuries going for occasional use.

Wood/Coal cook-stove & fireplaces/wood/coal inserts handle heating and cooking so the only 'power' you will really need to keep going for yourself is enough to power a fridge, your well/septic system, and a few lights. And you'll still have the ability to run a few other things depending on the turbine you get.


I'm actually planning for going wind/solar when I finally purchase a house of my own. Multiple turbines sounds the way to go. Instructables has more than a few step-by-step instructions to build your own, and I think one that shows how to build a battery bank. I wouldn't suggest trying a grid tie-in yourself though.
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#17
How about if you have a small creek or stream running through? What's the feasibility of some sort of water generated electricity? It's a pretty small stream, but still, it's something....
15Truckman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#18
(09-20-2012, 09:04 AM)15Truckman Wrote: How about if you have a small creek or stream running through? What's the feasibility of some sort of water generated electricity? It's a pretty small stream, but still, it's something....


I looked into it, and the returns are on the lesser side. I saw a small kit somewhere a few years ago, with the price, and the maintenance, it didn't put out much power.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#19
(09-20-2012, 09:08 AM)Connal Wrote:
(09-20-2012, 09:04 AM)15Truckman Wrote: How about if you have a small creek or stream running through? What's the feasibility of some sort of water generated electricity? It's a pretty small stream, but still, it's something....


I looked into it, and the returns are on the lesser side. I saw a small kit somewhere a few years ago, with the price, and the maintenance, it didn't put out much power.


Thanks. I'll hit google up later... At least it'd be a steady source, not dependent on it being windy or sunny.
15Truckman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#20
Back on the other website I mentioned building a device that can harness the energy from burning something and turning it into power with some spare parts found in a junk yard, people added some suggestions and the idea sounded doable. I imagine putting a coil, an old radiator or even an old evaporator coil above a source of heat (Maybe somehow fitting it into a wood burning stove or fireplace). Running water or another liquid through this coil until it gets heated/pressurized then directing it to a small turbine which would turn a generator (Could be a alternator from a junk car since folks want DC power) then I guess you would have another vessel or coil where the liquid would condense and make it's way back to the coil above the heat source.

I am just thinking in the winter solar power is going to be useless in Pennsylvania, flowing water is going to be frozen and wind isn't constant. Such a method would be great since someone surviving in such conditions will be burning wood constantly to cook and keep warm but so much of that heat is wasted going up a chimney. So why not use that last bit of heat to generate electricity? This is how they produce power in most power plans so the concept is proven.

I even had an idea of generating power with grain alcohol. I like the idea of brewing grain alcohol since it can be burnt, bartered with and used as a disinfectant. However I don't know if it can be made easily under such conditions. Another option is capturing methane from waste (Bio-Gas) and using that to generate power. These are just ideas floating in my head with my basic understanding of technology, mechanics and thermodynamics. I'd really like to hear from someone that has a background in engineering about these concepts.
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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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