Alternative Energy

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    • #91117
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

        Since we had some Thread drift on the “Probability of Shtf situation” Post, I thought I start and add a thread on Alternative Energy.

        We can exchange ideas that may be of interest to the Forum.

      • #91118
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
        Moderator

          If you are Type I diabetic who has to refrigerate your insulin, short term power loss from storms is a big deal for you. Better get that generator and store lots of fuel.

          Since you brought this example up, obviously generator and solar are probably the most common thoughts to power refrigeration.

          A superior option in my opinion are Gas Refrigerators and Freezers. They have options for using LP, natural gas, or kerosene. They are expensive, but will out last most other options if refrigeration is a necessity vice a convenience.

          For long term SHTF use, I like the kerosene option as it’s easier to adapt to alternative fuels like waste oils or the many varieties of home brew alcohol.

          I have an old Servel gas refrigerator (similar to below) that is over 60 years old and runs great.

        • #91119
          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
          Moderator

            I really like Kerosene and LP refrigerators G.W.N.S however they are only as good as your fuel supplies hold out. A propane one burns around 1# a day and kerosene burns about 1 1/2 gal a week. A solar 12 or 24 volt refrigerator will run off the batteries recharged by the sun. Just another option with comparable pricing.

            I skippered a sailboat back from Hawaii to Santa Cruz, CA. in ’92. The bilge was divided in half fore to aft. The port side was a freezer and the starboard side was a refrigerator. They both ran off of 12 volt deep cycle batteries charged by two 45 watt solar panels hanging from a frame off the stern.

            Caught a lot of fish on the way back; butchered them in the cockpit and froze them for consumption later in the week. Our beer and wine never got cold either. ;-)

            Never had to start the engine to charge the batteries other than to motor when the wind dropped or was on the nose. Those solar panels sure kept up with our demand.

          • #91120
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
            Moderator

              …however they are only as good as your fuel supplies hold out.

              …I like the kerosene option as it’s easier to adapt to alternative fuels like waste oils or the many varieties of home brew alcohol.

              It’s all about options. :yes:

              Nothing wrong with solar here in Florida, however some areas are not so good for solar. :-)

              Love sailing, still in my list of backup plans.

            • #91121
              Joe (G.W.N.S.)
              Moderator

                We’ve been producing our own power since 1999. We went with a ConServ model fridge. With almost everything except ghost loads off in the house, the amp meter on the Xantrex inverter shows less than an amp in use, so the fridge is pretty damn efficient.

                Had no problem running this for the first 10 years where our total solar was only 1,680 watts. Been over 3KW for the last 5 years now. Gotta get off my butt and get some other mounts built for another 2KW in panels I have in storage.

              • #91122
                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                Moderator

                  Gotta get off my butt and get some other mounts built for another 2KW in panels I have in storage.

                  Nice problem to have! :yes:

                • #91123
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                  Moderator

                    Solar has come down in price soooo much since my initial purchases in the late 90’s.

                    Back then I was paying $625. each for 120 watt panels.

                    Last year on a whim I bought (10) 235 watt panels for under $2K delivered.

                    Essentially went from over $5. a watt to around $.85 a watt!

                  • #91124
                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                    Moderator

                      Essentially went from over $5. a watt to around $.85 a watt!

                      It truly is a good time for solar, especially when you consider how so few things have actually gone down in price over the years. :-)

                      I haven’t done any large projects, mostly sailboats and cabins with much smaller needs.

                      I think I will start an alternative energy post.

                    • #91125
                      Robert
                      Participant

                        Sorry for the thread drift :)

                        Here’s a few older articles that will be helpful for folks just getting started.

                        http://www.survivalandpreparednessforum.com/showthread.php?757-What-to-do-with-your-generator&highlight=Alternate energy basics

                        http://www.survivalandpreparednessforum.com/showthread.php?6727-Final-word-on-harbor-freight-solar-panel-quot-kit-quot&highlight=solar

                        http://www.survivalandpreparednessforum.com/showthread.php?6508-Water-storage&highlight=solar

                        I’m not an electrician but I’ve put in a few small to medium size systems. If anyone has any questions I’ll try to help or point you towards someone else :)

                      • #91126
                        SeanT
                        Keymaster

                          Scavenge a fridge/freezer out of a wrecked travel trailer. It will prob be propane/electric but it may be available at a decent price.

                          There are fedgov and state tax credits for certain renewable energy installs. Do some research and those credits can lower the real cost and hasten the ROI

                        • #91127
                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                          Moderator

                            Commsprepper has some interesting Solar videos on his YouTube channel.

                            Thought this maybe a good chance to revive this Thread.

                            Commsprepper Solar video link.

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