Solar or wind

Discussion in 'Creating and Using Electricity' started by Jason, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Active Member
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    I am currently in the process of shopping for a solar panel system that I will be using for all the power needs of my property including my home and organic hydrophobic greenhouse.
     
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  2. LHCB

    LHCB Active Member
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    I am on a similar journey, and want to save my pennies for higher wattage panels. The 45 watt Harbor Freight system is a good starting point but pitifully low in output when you want to run a home from solar. Looking forward to learning here so please share as you gain insights.
     
  3. Donavon Hency

    Donavon Hency Active Member
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    I have been in solar for years. I live in off grid home. I have the Harbor freight 45 watt system. The best deal I have found is RENOLOGY system sold on Amazon for $161 free shipping. This is a 100watt system v/s the 45 watt from Harbor Freight. I have used it for over 1 year and sold many without a single problem. They come with a 25 years 85% panel warranty and the charge controller is fully automatic. For best performance use min. of 12AWG for up to 50 ft of cable.
     
  4. bruce jennings

    bruce jennings Active Member
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    hello I M A SURVIVALIST AND A PREPPER I HAVE SOME STUFF I CAN POST BUT I HAVE SOME THING I WONT POST I HAVE 3 HARBOR FRIEGHT 45 WATTS SOLAR PANEL SYSTEMS I ONLY USE ONE OF THEM TWO ARE FOR SPARES I ALSO HAVE A WATER SYSTEM THAT WORKS REALLY GREAT TO
     

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  5. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    In most places a combo of solar and wind is best check out nothern tools they have good stuff and run great sales i use both here but my solar came from harbour freight
    For lighting around home and sheds use 12 volt in place of 110 greatly reduces the amout of power you need to make many years a go i got 12 volt coolerhooked up blue runs cold hooked up red runs hot this runs all the time but is far more effecent on power draw than 110 propane fridges are good the units and heaters out of campers are great
     
  6. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Gentlemen if you live in place that gets snow solar is not a good choice wind generator or water powered system wind is every where a combo of wind and solar powers us hook lights up as 12 volt easier to replace and build power on full charge a deep cycle battery and 250watt inverter powers one 110 light for 4hours the stuff made for 12 volt systems anymore are great my 12 volt water pump is 30 years old and i have all the water i need the tvs dvds stereos game systems junk is best left behindthe less power you need the better invest in a set of rechargeable walkie talkies to use for communication
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    we've got a friend who lives in a straw bale house, she has a solar panel-just the one-, a small water wheel-very tiny, and a mini residential wind turbine, these all together only run a couple of light bulbs, and her laptop for a couple of hours, and that's it.
    me, i'm going back to basics and post SHTF i'll be living without electricity, I've done it before and i'll do it again.
     
  8. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    For survival lights at 12 volt better small bulds give off more light than you think less drain on power and less recovery time small panels and small wind generators are ok for small offgrid shack but for a home not enough power
     
  9. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    too much hassle for me and I know next to nothing about electricity set ups and wiring, so i'm going power less. hand tools will be the order of the day for me, keeping my set up small and basic.
     
  10. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Small solar path lights work great for. Light no wireing needed self contained put out more light than most think
     
  11. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I'd be a bit worried about giving away my location with lights blazing, would need some serious blackout design.
     
  12. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Any light gives you away in bad times no light the best for off grid life many ways to go
     
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  13. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Looks like you have a great set up
     
  14. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member
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    I grew up with many friends and family using wind powered water systems. May of the are still in use, some almost 100 years old. Wind electrical systems are gaining in popularity, despite resistance from the Right Wing ( corporate lap dogs of the child killing coal industry). Of course, I am a 5th generation Florida Cracker (my father actually used a whip to herd cattle). I should hasten to mention that Florida Crackers come in all flavors.
     
  15. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member
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    Tried to add to above comment, lost my additional comments. Here in Florida we tend to build fires at night so that we can socialize with our neighbors. We share resources, and protect each other. Up North I understand that is not the way. And with our night time communal light, we also have dogs to to keep predators of all kinds away.
     
  16. neoKit

    neoKit New Member
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    Wind energy can be a good option if you're living in an area where their is steady wind. The turbine plus the generator need less maintenance and they can provide power for more than 40 years. Unlike the solar panel, the wind driven generator can produce power during the night and during cloudy seasons.
     
  17. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 New Member
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    Well both of these options are pretty much dependant on the weather, so I'd rather not rely on them too much. Small scale hydro sounds like the best option in my opinion, it's reliable, easy to repair/maintain and quite frankly works 24/7/365. That being said, I'm still dreaming off installing a couple of solar panels on the roof but I don't consider them to be a survival thing, more about saving on electricity bills.
     
  18. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Your plan of having your own energy provider is a noble one. We also have that plan when we acquired this home in 2001. Having our own house, we have the courage to say that we can do what we want. First step is to test the practicality of the solar energy. The solar garden lamp lasted for a few weeks and the battery wouldn't charge anymore. One colleague said the same that solar panel system is not that efficient yet.

    Come to think of it, why do we remain hooked to the present electric provider if we can have our own energy provider in the form of solar panels of wind turbine? The answer is this - it is not economical for those energy systems in small capacities, it will only cost you more and clearly you will find the cost of energy sold by the present electric provider as much cheaper.

    But in fairness to your noble idea, @Jason, that solar panel is very helpful when you are in a remote area that is far from the civilized world.
     
  19. My3Sons_NJ

    My3Sons_NJ New Member
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    Solar energy and/or wind energy are insufficient in and of themselves as the sole source of energy for a homestead if you do not live within 35-36 degrees of the equator and have a generally dry climate. However, solar energy can be a valuable alternative source of energy to augment a more consistent electrical source such as being connected to the grid. I live about 40 degrees N latitude and the solar energy available from October - February is quite inadequate for my needs whereas from April-August, it would be sufficient.
     
  20. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Solar wind hydo the 3 together would work best giveing you steady supply with whatever weather comes along hydro and wind be best solar goes with weather bright sunny day great winter and snow very little output we are adding a hydro system to our set up atmwind is our best worker with our weather solar is fair
     
  21. Edprof

    Edprof Expert Member
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    Our solution was a layered system. We have 6,000 watts of solar panels in 24 250 watt panels. These feed eight AGM btteries with a combined storage of 10 kilowatt hours. If the solar input is not enough to keep up with demand, when the battery bank gets down to 40%, a Generac 11,000 watt propane fired generator comes on (or we can turn it on manually at any time). If for some reason that doesn't take care of things, we have a Troy-Bilt 7,000 watt portable generator with a special connection. In three years, we have had one situation get to the point where we have to call on the portable generator in an actual power-out situation.

    We made those decisions when the political outlook in this country was more critical and right at retirement when we had some money to address our backup energy needs. Total cost, around $32,000.

    Someone could make a sizeable dent in their energy needs with less. During the construction of our system, we had a three week period with half the panels, 3000 watts. You can do a lot with 3,000 watts and 4 or 8 deep cycle batteries. A gasoline or propane fueled generator make a good fossil fuel backup.
     
  22. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    In a town nearby they built a solar farm on a old mine site to power the town. As this town is a ski town and gets double the snow that my place receives I thought it wouldn’t work. They installed automatic swiper contraptions that will clean the snow off often to keep them functioning. The town as been turning a
    Profit every year so hopefully this gives people that get snow some ideas.
     
  23. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Active Member
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    I'll just go ahead and add my two pieces of fake copper coinage here.

    I believe in layers of security for things, and thus I believe in backups. If I had the money I'd have solar, wind and a natrual gas generator. But that's just me. Say for example that wretched super volcano goes off. Guess what. Kiss solar and natural gas goodbye. Natural gas is gone because man won't man the natural gas processing plants and what not that makes it all work. Solar is gone because if that thing goes up it will be darkness for I don't know how long. This is large part thanks to carbon dioxide being injected into the atmosphere. It's happened before circa 1800's where it was called the darkest year on record or something. Even the Summer was cold and it was this that inspired Mary Shelly to write the classic Frankenstein. Well, it was also during this time period scientist were trying to reanimate the dead with electricity.

    Anyway.... You're stuck with wind power now. I guess you could go with just wind and a natural gas generator. But like was mentioned. If the proverbial shit hits the fan then electricity is the last thing you want to advertise to the hundreds of drone zombies that will want in on the action and are desperate to the point of killing you and your entire family, cat, dog and probably the damn gold fish (food you know). What it comes down to is your cave man roots quite frankly. If you manage to live longer than anyone around you then by all means power up! IMO of course.

    Hurricanes and what not are a different story.
     
  24. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Active Member
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    Question: What is the possible damage done to a wind turbine, generator or solar cell due to an EMP or Carrington event?
     
  25. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Solar/photovoltaic cells can be protected by enclosing them in conductive mesh. The necessary gauge of wire/size of the mesh would be dependant on the charge that it needed to dissipate and over what distance. Cables would need to be shielded (you can buy shielded cable) and your batteries would be best stored in an enclosed metal cabinet or metal battery shed. The same for a wind turbine except you wouldn't need to enclose the entire structure, only the actual generator.
    As far as protecting anything from an event like the massive solar storm recorded by Carrington I simply don't know. I'm not sure enough of the correct kind of information was recorded at the time (there was an understandable bias toward visible spectrum) so it would be mainly theoretical. It would likely effect communications very badly but beyond that I have no idea.
     
  26. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    In the event of a total collapse I am going to just drop back to the pre electric ways of my Grandparents. The old family home place didn't get electricity until after WW2 so it isn't like I'm going back to the stone age. I don't want to attract the attention that lights in a pitch dark world is going to bring. I will have little problem going back to the old ways. Unlike most younger people I have good memories of life that wasn't dependent on electricity. I remember what it was like to run out to an outhouse to go to the bathroom. I don't need power to be content so I will just not worry about that.
     
  27. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    same here, I lived for 12 years without power of any sort and post collapse I will simply go back to living that sort of lifestyle again.
    I just cant understand this modern fixation with having electrical power, by all means have solar and wind power in the here and now, that is a financial investment, but after the collapse the grid will be down and anyway we will be living a different kind of life one that has no comparison with the present.
    the simpler ways are the best.
     
  28. arctic bill

    arctic bill Expert Member
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    I too lived for 20 years with out electric power at my place up north. but in 1992 we got power, what a joy to have a refrigerator, not not be lugging ice around , what a joy to have hot and cold running water, what a joy to be able to turn a light at night. what a joy to have a flush toilet inside. I remember having to get fully dressed and put on snow shoes to go to the outhouse and having to shovel snow to be able to open the door. I remember having to cut a hole through 2 feet of ice to get water , i remember having to fill and clean all the oil lamps every morning and then place them in the kitchen sink so that when you came in at 5;00 at nite and it was pitch black you could feel your way to the kitchen , find a lamp and matches and then getting some light . I remember having to get up in the middle of the night and getting the fire in the wood stove going again. Do not get me wrong, I love the life then, but it is soooo much easier now.
     
  29. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    ours is a mild climate, rain and sun in equal measure but no snow most years, so we don't have the extremes you speak of.
     
  30. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    Electricity is a luxury but isn’t a necessity. Should practice to live without as when shtf where are you going to gets parts to fix these systems. Unless you have homemade ones with parts you can scavenge majority of the store bought are going to be made or have replacement parts made in China or other overseas countries.
     
  31. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    the human race lived pretty well without electricity until about just under 100 years ago, now everybody is so dependent on flicking a switch they don't have a clue how to live without it.
    post collapse we wont have enough engineers or enough spare parts to keep the system running.
    the light pollution all over this planet is astounding.
     
  32. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    Even what people call roughing it out camping includes most electronics you would have at home.
     
  33. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    thats ridiculous.
    part of the experience of wild camping is getting away from every day things.
     
  34. F22 Simpilot

    F22 Simpilot Active Member
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    Yeah, living in a very small town in Northern North Dakota we had an outhouse and we used it. Mostly during the frigged Winter due to the house piping freezing. We lived in a pretty old crapy house so life back then was like third-world. For me I didn't know any difference. This was actually back in the 80's when I was a kid. My dad had the great idea to move from modern convinces and such to North Dakota where part of my family lived and still lives. We were quite poor back then, but Christmas and everything was still like everyone else's. Like I said, I didn't know any different.

    Then we moved to California and boy what an absolute change that was. The simplicity of a crossing walk impressed me. I was seven at the time.
     
  35. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    Ya it’s brutal, have to go way out in the bush now to escape from all the electronics
     
  36. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    or just don't take them with you???;)
     
  37. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    My camping trips include only a headlamp for electronics as every pound is packed in up steep trails.
     
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  38. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    headlamps are classed as electronics? i'm confused(dosent take much!).
     
  39. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    I like to avoid the electronics but in my area the grizzly bears are all over. Middle of the night one comes into camp you can’t shoot what you can’t see.
     
  40. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    yes I understand that, its just the fact that you seem to include the head torch in electronics that confuses me.
     
  41. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    I need electricity to charge the head lamp which is a major downfall. That headlamp is to much for me as it might have no use once the grid is down. I much prefer to rely on my senses at night but I do pack it as I can’t shoot my gun unless I can identify my target.
     
  42. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have a headtorch-a couple in fact but I just store extra batteries.
    I have wind up flashlights which don't need recharging or spare batteries.
     
  43. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    I definitely like the technology but I also like to practice without it to practice using just my senses. When shtf battery’s will run out or technology will fail but learned skills will be more valuable.
     
  44. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    that's very true.
     
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