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Off The Grid (temporarily) - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Cesttomines
    Guest

    Off The Grid temporarily

    You need to figure out how many amps you will need for what length of time and translate this into stored energy. If you dont store energy you wont get much done at night. The main ways that come to mind are batteries/compressed air/fossil fueled generator. You also need stored power so you can work on your own schedule, not show up at the site ready to work and find you have to wait around for the sun to come up or the wind to blow.

    That 800 watts is only 6 amps at 120v AC which is not enough to run a vacuum cleaner, never mind power tools. You would lose less power to inverters if you used 12 volt tools, but this would require buying everything new. With 120 V AC you can use readily available everything. I think in general youll need to bulk up your system, or look into hand tools.

    The theory is, I and the environment are better off if I build a lot of what I need, and generally do my own repair work. Self sufficient = less impact.

    Agreed.

    But I want to do this off grid.

    Do you have AC power at the site? You might consider using the solar for lighting and the AC for construction. Solar/LED would fit into your existing setup quite nicely.

  2. #12
    Unregistered
    Guest

    For the few days involved

    in such "crises", I can just "hibernate" in my sleeping bag. Other than water and waste elimination, no need to get out of it at all. No need of heat, food, etc, other than if worried about frozen/burst water pipes. So I don't bother to prep for what there is no real need to worry about.

  3. #13
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    89
    Yes, you must buy a kerosene heater!
    I bought one from Northern Tool and luv it!

    As far as a power source goes, either buy a generator or hook up some car batteies to an inverter for AC power to run your computer or games.

  4. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    35
    I wholeheartedly agree w/ TSN - kero heaters, but you better have a good supply of fuel on hand. My 15,000 BTU unit was always thirsty.
    There are now some decent solar panel arrays (Check Sportsmanís Guide) on the market and coupled with various inverters (learned from a true sailor), you can supply yourself with enough power to run basic hand appliances, a toaster over, small microwave for short periods of time, hot plates/griddles, recharge you 12V tool batteries (I have two that have flashlight attachments) and small space HEATERS and fans. You can even get a small solar unit that goes on the inside of the window which connects directly to your battery via cables to keep your car battery charged if you don't want to burn up the gas.

  5. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    35

    Follow-up

    I posted this info in the latest article section as a response to the loss of power in the DC area. Prior to the storm we purchased a 72 Watt “Solar Farm” unit from Sportsman's Guide ($251), and several inverters of various sizes to run the fridge (and portable heaters for winter), fans, lights, computers, electric griddle and electric coffee pot. The propane runs out fast using it for three meals a day especially when trying to grill the frozen foods so they do not go to waste. The solar set-up will recharge an ordinary car battery which can then power your inverters, and you can charge several inverters at one time. The next item on our shopping list is a deep cell battery. Sam's batteries for larger European cars/vans (~$80) are far stronger than the batteries for American cars. Electrical experts advised me to acquire a separate battery as insurance, as well as using the one from a car. This way you can keep the inverters going 24/7. For the extra battery, you can get an inexpensive battery tender/trickle charger to maintain the charge when not in use.

    Something that will make a worthwhile investment.

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