Tag Archives: solar

The Importance of Multiple Fuels in Your SHTF Cooking Plans

Fuel SHTF Cooking Heating Plans (1)In our household, we have a Sun Oven and a Solavore, SilverFire and StoveTec rocket stoves, and a dual-fuel Coleman stove, which uses both unleaded gasoline and Coleman fuel. I have the supplies for putting together an improvised cement block rocket stove, and a backyard full of trees, pinecones, and leaves. We purposely chose a gas stove for our home in order to have the ability to cook in a power outage.

In the emergency cooking department, we have numerous bases covered. Looking at these different types of stoves, it’s not enough to just have alternative cooking methods. You also need to make sure each one uses different types of fuels.…

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14 Things to Consider If You Choose to Bug In When SHTF

Bug In When SHTF (1)I believe that for many of us sheltering in place, or bugging, in will be the best choice if everything hits the fan, such as a major pandemic as depicted in this book. The only way I will leave my property is when it becomes more dangerous to stay than to leave. Becoming a refugee isn’t an attractive option.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t have a plan B for leaving, but if possible, I plan on bugging in. I know this area well, I have family and friends close by that will help, and it would be hard to duplicate what I have here in a second location.…

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A Review of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven

Solarvore Sports Solar Oven

The stove set up without the reflectors

This is a review prepared by one of my sons on the Solarvore Sport Solar Oven.  This will be the last post that I put up for a few days , but you will hear from me in the future.

Howard

When my life depends on something it had better work, and had better work for a long time. So when I look for survival gear I look for quality, durability and effectiveness. Unfortunately most items sold as survival tools are built very cheaply and lack any quality or durability and are not something I would trust in a survival situation.…

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Beware of These 5 Prepper Scams

prepper scamsThe other day I received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, warning me that the IRS was about to file a lawsuit against me for back taxes, and of course, they wanted money.  Two things immediately clicked in my head. First, I knew that the IRS would not contact anyone in this manner. They always contact by mail or they show up at your door. Second, I knew that my taxes were paid. So I laughed at the caller, hung up, and reported their phone number to the authorities. This got me to thinking about various scams that I see being spread around the internet aimed at preppers.…

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Some Useful Books for Off Grid Solar Systems

Here are a couple of books that can be very useful if you are designing or installing off grid solar systems. 

Ugly’s Electrical References, 2014 Edition is a book that is used by most electricians  as a off grid solar systemsreference manual.  While it is designed to be used as an on-the-job reference, it is very useful for anyone who is designing a backup generator or off grid solar system.

Ugly’s has all the formulas to help you understand things like Ohm’s Law, how to find amps, horsepower rating watts, kilowatts and many other things.   With it you can determine how many watts a motor will draw.  …

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Kill A Watt Can Determine the Size of a Generator/Solar System

Kill A WattThe last few days I have been playing with a new device.  I spent approximately $18 to purchase a Kill A Watt from Amazon. Now a Kill A Watt is a device that will measure exactly how much power you use to run an appliance.

The U.S Department of Energy reports that 20% of our electric bills come from items that are left plugged in when they are not in use, or items that are in standby mode. With the Kill A Watt P4400 we can monitor the energy eaters in our homes and cut down our electric bills at the same time.…

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How Many Solar Panels & Batteries Do You Need For Your Off-Grid System?

solar panels batteriesHow do you figure out how many solar panels you need on your home? If you are just trying to run lights and maybe a refrigerator, it is not too hard to determine the number of panels and batteries yourself.

So how do you figure out how many solar panels and batteries you need? The first step is to determine how much power the appliances and lights you intend to run draw. There are a couple of ways to determine this. The wattage of a UL listed/approved appliance can usually be found near the AC power cord. This may be in amps or watts.…

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A Simple Way to Charge Your Homemade 12 Volt Battery Packs.

Simple and easy.

A couple of weeks ago I showed how to make a simple 12 volt battery pack (http://bit.ly/Pnpikc).  Today I am showing how simple it is to charge the battery packs.  I use these packs for running lights, charging batteries and running radios.  There uses are only limited by your imagination.

For charging I use a Powerfilm Solar R14 rollable solar panel that produces an operating voltage of 15.4, at 14 watts and 0.9 amps. This is quite adequate to charge the battery packs. Because I sometimes use different solar panels, I have a 7-amp Sunforce controller between the panels and the battery pack. …

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Sierra Solar Systems

A good source of supply. 

I don’t usually recommend a business, but in this case, I am going to make an exception.  Sierra Solar Systems located in Grass Valley California has been designing and building off grid solar systems for the last 31 years.  Most people will be surprised to know that there still are many remote areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that do not have access to electric power.

They have a catalog called the Solar Flare that you can order by calling 1-888-667-6527 or go to http://shop.sierrasolar.com/ to see their website.  They stock products for hydroelectric and wind power in addition to solar. …

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PowerFilm Rollable Solar Charger Review

 

I recently had a chance to review the R-14 Rollable Solar Charger made by PowerFilm.  It comes in a roll and is very lightweight.  When unrolled it measures 14.4 x 42 inches.  It come with a Velcro strap to keep it rolled up when in storage.  Included with the panel is a 12 volt female cigarette light adapter and a 15 ft. extension cord with battery terminal connectors.

PowerFilm solar panels are made of thin film on plastic that are really rollable.  When rolled it is about 4 inches in diameter.  PowerFilm is made of silicon, a natural resource in abundant supply and is Cadmium Free.…

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