posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 11:25 AM
It sure is great to learn how to survive if caught unawares, but we should also be exploring ways to prepare for LONG TERM survival in a
post-Starbucks world. One area of interest for me has been getting off the power grid. Not only will I be able read at night after TEOTWAWKI, but I
can save some money here and know
What I have discovered is that photovoltaic power is a ways from being perfected, and that I can’t expect my home to function like an on-grid house
using solar panels even though I live in the Mojave. Because of this, I have been forced to look into a number of different ways to “energize” my
Some of the easy to set up and cost effective ways to make use of alternate energy I have found are:
WATER PROCURMENT: Most of us take for granted the fact that when we push the faucet up, the water comes out. Using a small and cheap ($300)
solar panel to run a water pump from a small stream or shallow well (>100 ft deep) we can set up a water delivery system that will be adequate for a
large family. For various reasons, this system would not use a battery, so you would need some type of cistern or water tank. It seems to me that the
best way to set up this system is a water tank raised to the level of your roof with a gravity pressure system. You can also operate a very small
second pump that would provide ample water pressure at your faucet if you want to.
Of course, you can always do it the old fashioned way and haul around 5 gallon buckets if you prefer to not prepare for the worst.
RADIO/COMPUTER/LIGHT POWER: Best way I can see to power these small things is to build a bicycle generator. Best way to stay in shape while
hunkered down, too. You can build a 200w bike generator for almost nothing in a matter of a few hours that will allow you to run a computer, radio, or
use a fluorescent light all night. In fact, if you learned how to do it and stored a few magnets and a battery you could build a simple bike generator
after the SHTF. Not to mention that you can always use the bike for what it was intended.
Obviously there are many other great energy procuring/saving things I could be looking in to, those are just the two that have been my recent
projects. I would love to hear what others have thought of, seen, or done.
[edit on 11-3-2007 by cavscout]