Still Off The Grid. argh

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    Jan 23, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    So, I'm wrapping up day 5 with no external power, due to storm damage. It's getting to the point where I start to shop for a few thousand dollars worth of equipment that would make this more seamless. Switch to larger permanently installed generator instead of portables, replace any electrical resistance appliances with propane, etc.

    Of course, two weeks after the power comes back on, it's always forgotten, since there are always more pressing things to spend money on.

    If there were some sort of "hybrid switch" and a bank of batteries, so that the generators didn't have to run all the time, it all might all be just as cheap as buying power from the electric company (when available icon_mad.gif )

    Well, it would be if the equipment were free D'OH!

    Anybody here off the grid?
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    Jan 23, 2012 3:27 AM GMT
    I was at Costco not too long ago, and they sell a line of personal solar powered gear. It's a modular system that consists of the solar panel that's foldable and can be stowed in a backpack, a battery pack, and miscellaneous connection options (USB, standard 2 and 3 prong outlets, etc). I didn't check the price, but I would assume that it's relatively cheap.

    EDIT:
    I found the brand name.. Goal Zero

    Probably not suitable for running appliances, but I would imagine that it's sufficient for lighting and electronics.
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    Jan 23, 2012 3:34 AM GMT
    I spent almost a year in a remote area on and off the grid. I masturbated and read alot.
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    Jan 23, 2012 3:37 AM GMT
    The power went out for about 6 minutes the other day. It was awful icon_cry.gif
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    Jan 23, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    xrichx saidI was at Costco not too long ago, and they sell a line of personal solar powered gear. It's a modular system that consists of the solar panel that's foldable and can be stowed in a backpack, a battery pack, and miscellaneous connection options (USB, standard 2 and 3 prong outlets, etc). I didn't check the price, but I would assume that it's relatively cheap.

    EDIT:
    I found the brand name.. Goal Zero

    Probably not suitable for running appliances, but I would imagine that it's sufficient for lighting and electronics.


    fuck you
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    Jan 23, 2012 3:47 AM GMT
    xrichx saidI was at Costco not too long ago, and they sell a line of personal solar powered gear. It's a modular system that consists of the solar panel that's foldable and can be stowed in a backpack, a battery pack, and miscellaneous connection options (USB, standard 2 and 3 prong outlets, etc). I didn't check the price, but I would assume that it's relatively cheap.

    EDIT:
    I found the brand name.. Goal Zero

    Probably not suitable for running appliances, but I would imagine that it's sufficient for lighting and electronics.


    LOL, I'm trying to make the sailboat solar and low-voltage only. But I'm running a business here as well as living. The hacienda needs about 15kw, plus thermal applications. One irrigation pump needs 7.5kw by itself. And we haven't seen the sun in weeks.
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:00 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidThe power went out for about 6 minutes the other day. It was awful icon_cry.gif
    LMAO..
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:03 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidSo, I'm wrapping up day 5 with no external power, due to storm damage. It's getting to the point where I start to shop for a few thousand dollars worth of equipment that would make this more seamless. Switch to larger permanently installed generator instead of portables, replace any electrical resistance appliances with propane, etc.

    Of course, two weeks after the power comes back on, it's always forgotten, since there are always more pressing things to spend money on.

    If there were some sort of "hybrid switch" and a bank of batteries, so that the generators didn't have to run all the time, it all might all be just as cheap as buying power from the electric company (when available icon_mad.gif )

    Well, it would be if the equipment were free D'OH!

    Anybody here off the grid?
    Actually my place In PR is off the grid.. however thats easy there, with tradewinds, plentiful sun, temperate climate and plentiful water out of the sky... where you are is very difficult. Have micro hydro electric off the 'quebrada' or creek, a wind generator both going into a battery bank and inverter system. and an extensive water collection(cistern) system. Wireless line of site internet, cellular phone and satellite TV.. Definitely OFF the grid! (but its all there if I want to use and pay for it!)
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:28 AM GMT
    Enjoy the lack of power while you can.
    <-- Loves the sereneness of power outages.
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:31 AM GMT
    i went 2 months w/ no electricity here, had a power inverter running off of a jeep battery, i would jus charge it when i drove somewhere, i back fed the inverter into the fuse box, that powered my apt, i didn't have any refrigeration, microwave A/C or hot water, i actually got pretty good at living under those circumstances, it was kind of cool, i started looking at solar alternatives, (baked a turkey in tha parking lot) and jus had fun w/ it, it was my own tiny post-apocalyptic (zombie created) micro experiment, i actually learned quite a bit while i was doing it, even made a coffee pot that used only one 150 watt light bulb : ) i looked at it as urban camping XTREME EDITION!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:34 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidEnjoy the lack of power while you can.
    <-- Loves the sereneness of power outages.


    THIS
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:34 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidEnjoy the lack of power while you can.
    <-- Loves the sereneness of power outages.


    An afternoon relaxing by the fireplace is nice.

    When the sun goes down, stuff in the greenhouse starts dying.
    When the environmental chambers in the lab get cold, three months of work is wasted.
    And after a couple of days, you need a fricken shower.
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:36 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidThe power went out for about 6 minutes the other day. It was awful icon_cry.gif


    That's about how long it takes for me to start panicing - because my laptop, cell phone, and ipad may run out of juice before the power comes back on. Plus, my wi-fi would be out.

    15 minutes and I am pacing the floors.
    30 minutes, I am in screaming, cursing fits with the recording at the electric company trying to re-report the outage for the 800th time - thus runningmy cell battery down farther.
    45 minutes, I am in a fetal position in my closet rocking back and forth

    it gets worse from there...
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    15 KW? per day? that seems like an awful lot of electricity
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:51 AM GMT
    Johnnyhotsauce said15 KW? per day? that seems like an awful lot of electricity


    Actually, the dimensions don't work out like that. But I meant 15kw peak. And I'd still have to do some power management. e.g. not run the ICP and the ovens at the same time. Just hanging out in the house in reasonable comfort can be done with 1kw.
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    Jan 23, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    as for hot water i wonder how long you could theoretically keep a large supply of hot water using some sort of large thermal mass and solar energy, i know my water heater holds hot water for about 8 hours before getting too cold to shower comfortably, and thats just a run of tha mill 40 gallon, i wonder what could happen w/ a much better designed unit w/ proper insulation, possibly a 2 stage system? the energy reductions using a solar assist could be rather large. another reason i hate living in an apartment, they get kind of "huffy" about stuff like that here icon_twisted.gif
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:00 AM GMT
    mindgarden said
    Johnnyhotsauce said15 KW? per day? that seems like an awful lot of electricity


    Actually, the dimensions don't work out like that. But I meant 15kw peak. And I'd still have to do some power management. e.g. not run the ICP and the ovens at the same time. Just hanging out in the house in reasonable comfort can be done with 1kw.


    other than solar and fossil fuels what would be your next choice for a viable energy alternative? steam? wind water? how big is your lab? i always wondered why tha gym didnt take advantage of tha cardio machines, it definitely took a little getting used to but i was able to use the jeep battery, a 750 watt power inverter, to get me by and aside from the large appliances you would've never known i dint have electricity, the wifi and modem only consumed around 30 watts of electricity, the tv about 200, and each cfl was 26 watts. so i could ru the whole operation for about 4 hours w/ 9 light bulbs buring. but for me i rarely ever needed more light than one bulb would provide, and it was mostly me and my laptop or the tv for a movie
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    Johnnyhotsauce saidas for hot water i wonder how long you could theoretically keep a large supply of hot water using some sort of large thermal mass and solar energy, i know my water heater holds hot water for about 8 hours before getting too cold to shower comfortably, and thats just a run of tha mill 40 gallon, i wonder what could happen w/ a much better designed unit w/ proper insulation, possibly a 2 stage system? the energy reductions using a solar assist could be rather large. another reason i hate living in an apartment, they get kind of "huffy" about stuff like that here icon_twisted.gif


    It's not too hard to lay thermal mass a couple of feet below a greenhouse. (Except my greenhouse sits on solid rock, so it would be impossible in this instance.) and run a heat exchanger for hot...er... warm water through that. However, we haven't had any solar gain in weeks. I'm burning a lot of propane just to keep it barely above freezing in there.

    Some old victorian greenhouses had a pit underneath them for compost. The heat of the compost kept them warm, or at least thawed, on winter nights. I've heard of hippies doing the same and running heat exchanger tubing through the compost for hot water. Not sure how you'd work the compost with tubing running through it.
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:12 AM GMT
    mindgarden said
    Johnnyhotsauce saidas for hot water i wonder how long you could theoretically keep a large supply of hot water using some sort of large thermal mass and solar energy, i know my water heater holds hot water for about 8 hours before getting too cold to shower comfortably, and thats just a run of tha mill 40 gallon, i wonder what could happen w/ a much better designed unit w/ proper insulation, possibly a 2 stage system? the energy reductions using a solar assist could be rather large. another reason i hate living in an apartment, they get kind of "huffy" about stuff like that here icon_twisted.gif


    It's not too hard to lay thermal mass a couple of feet below a greenhouse. (Except my greenhouse sits on solid rock, so it would be impossible in this instance.) and run a heat exchanger for hot...er... warm water through that. However, we haven't had any solar gain in weeks. I'm burning a lot of propane just to keep it barely above freezing in there.

    Some old victorian greenhouses had a pit underneath them for compost. The heat of the compost kept them warm, or at least thawed, on winter nights. I've heard of hippies doing the same and running heat exchanger tubing through the compost for hot water. Not sure how you'd work the compost with tubing running through it.


    what if you painted the floors in the greenhouse flat black? any solar heat that you did get would be reflected back into the greenhouse. i say the hydroponics thing at epcot and it was amazing, everyone i was with rushed through screaming boring, but they missed the point, it was pretty amazing, as for working the compost, i would imagine it wouldnt be too hard to design a permenant solution
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:15 AM GMT
    i suppose another thing to take into consideration would be how much space are you dealing with both indoors and out? do u you have any source of running water or a large body of water nearby?
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:34 AM GMT
    Dude, you guys got worse snow than we did up in Seattle. This sucks.

    My sister in Houston can't stop laughing.
    http://www.salesnexus.com/blog/uncategorized/things-hurricane-ike-taught-us/

    But, I'm considering a spare car battery, a 12V laptop charger and a Verizon 4G connection. Those cellphone networks are backed up like a nuclear power plant.

    They never bother to restore cablemodem service when the power is out.icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:39 AM GMT
    Yay! The power just came back. I think I'll wait an hour or so to see if they're serious before I get bundled up and go out to shut off the generators.

    There's an inch of ice on top of two feet of snow. Almost impossible to walk on. And the well house is half a mile away.
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:41 AM GMT
    mindgarden said
    paulflexes saidEnjoy the lack of power while you can.
    <-- Loves the sereneness of power outages.


    An afternoon relaxing by the fireplace is nice.

    When the sun goes down, stuff in the greenhouse starts dying.
    When the environmental chambers in the lab get cold, three months of work is wasted.
    And after a couple of days, you need a fricken shower.
    Showers are optional...especially when it's cold and you don't sweat.
    The greenhouse stuff, well, if it's food for survival I can understand. Otherwise it's expendable.
    This is coming from a person who has no trouble leaving years of work to experience something new (which I've done many times before, and just did again recently).
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:43 AM GMT
    RobertF64 saidDude, you guys got worse snow than we did up in Seattle. This sucks.

    My sister in Houston can't stop laughing.
    http://www.salesnexus.com/blog/uncategorized/things-hurricane-ike-taught-us/

    But, I'm considering a spare car battery, a 12V laptop charger and a Verizon 4G connection. Those cellphone networks are backed up like a nuclear power plant.

    They never bother to restore cablemodem service when the power is out.icon_rolleyes.gif


    Nah. The cell phones have been going on and off for days. About the same as the land lines and DSL. In fact, the cell dowers depend on the same fiber optic network that my DSL does. And they both depend on someone being able to fuel up diesel generators scatted around the countryside. But the cell towers are on top of the mountains, while the hard-wire nodes are on the county roads.
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    Jan 23, 2012 5:48 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    mindgarden said
    paulflexes saidEnjoy the lack of power while you can.
    <-- Loves the sereneness of power outages.


    An afternoon relaxing by the fireplace is nice.

    When the sun goes down, stuff in the greenhouse starts dying.
    When the environmental chambers in the lab get cold, three months of work is wasted.
    And after a couple of days, you need a fricken shower.
    Showers are optional...especially when it's cold and you don't sweat.
    The greenhouse stuff, well, if it's food for survival I can understand. Otherwise it's expendable.
    This is coming from a person who has no trouble leaving years of work to experience something new (which I've done many times before, and just did again recently).


    Spoken like a man who's never shoveled snow. Or hauled firewood. Or put tire chains on and off and on and off and on and off. Of skied to the store and back.