Hurricane aftermath survival...electricity options

This is a discussion on Hurricane aftermath survival...electricity options within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; ive been through a few hurricanes the past few years and nothing makes it easier to get (for weeks) without power than this Briggs & ...

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Thread: Hurricane aftermath survival...electricity options

  1. #16
    Member Array llred's Avatar
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    ive been through a few hurricanes the past few years and nothing makes it easier to get (for weeks) without power than this

    Briggs & Stratton Home Standby Generator — 12 kW, Model# 40302 | 11,000 - 16,999 Watts | Northern Tool + Equipment

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Jbrenke said it all.....

    I love having these "green" debates with people regarding solar and wind generatrion; the simple fact of the matter is that those options, by themelves will not allow you to power anything for any sustained period. You have to supplement the solar option with something else. batteries are OK, the deep cycle marine batteries will last around 5 years if you don't stress them badly. This means that you are going to need to engineer sufficient storage capacity to keep from warping the plates due to an excessive current draw. Understand that once you warp a plate and it shorts, the battery is useless.

    Over the years I have helped folks set up battery systems for their homes, and I recommend a system that covers all the bases. For that, you need to diversify, which means a balance of multiple energy sources:

    • The electrical system needs to be reconfigured to allow the stuff you want to run in an emergency to go through the batteries exclusively. A switch can be installed for this.
    • Since the OP lives on a boat, I would recommend installing some kind of small wind turbine to help the solar panels. After all, when the sun goes down, or it is a cloudy day, the panels aren't going to put out enough energy to offset the battery drain.
    • I would definitely keep some type of diesel or gas generator; yes, it may be a pain to fill and maintain, but if you have a cloudy day and the wind isn't blowing, you have to be able to charge the batteries.
    • The deep cycle marine batteries are OK as I mentioned previously, but ideally, especially for home use, I recommend a large industrial battery bank that allows you to maintain the proper electrolyte levels, as well as replacing individual cells if required.. Here is a link to what I am talking about: SEC Industrial Battery Company - Tubular 2V OPzS STATIONARY DEEP DISCHARGE LEAD ACID


    This is an expensive proposition either way you look at it, but if you are serious about survivng a hurricane aftermath, or some other disaster, this is definitely the way to travel.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Since you mentioned hurricanes and not zombies, here is what I think is the best solution. A Honda 3000 si generator. Quiet, efficient, we use them at work and they are great, about 12 hours on a fillup. Then, a power cable with two male plugs. Plug one end in the generator, the other end into any wall outlet you choose. That gives you power on that leg of the house. It would be wise to select the leg with the refrigerator. Forget AC or Water heater or electric stove.
    Solar panels and wind generators are not sufficient and if anyone tells you they are, they are fibbing. "I have a 5' wind turbine that gives me 10 KW, easy" Bull. Those stories usually start with "I know a guy..." and end with, "Let me see it."

  5. #19
    Member Array flaboatbum's Avatar
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    It's me the OP again. Alternate solutions suggestions, while appreciated, defeat my original idea to keep it CHEAP and simple. Naturally, one can invest in far pricier alternatives. My boat has a 7.5KW diesel generator and 420 gallons of diesel in on board tanks. Solar and wind turbine sources are pricey, rely on Mother Nature and pale in comparison to what the trusty Westerbeke genset can put out including charging the ship's batteries a couple of hours out of 24. Just some relief from running the generator 24/7 is all I was looking for to make ice and other creature comforts. Sure, you can buy a big Honda generator for $3 grand but that's obivious. For under $650 you can buy a hefty marine battery (or two) , a compact freezer or frig, a couple of inverters and do just fine in a post storm scenario. If you don't mind using the family car/truck as the charging host, bada bing...simple.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Guns and more;1229181] Then, a power cable with two male plugs. Plug one end in the generator, the other end into any wall outlet you choose. That gives you power on that leg of the house. It would be wise to select the leg with the refrigerator. Forget AC or Water heater or electric stove.QUOTE]

    do not ever do this!
    your feeding the power back onto the line this way and are lible for the dammage or death that it causes.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
    There are always too many Democratic, Republican and never enough U.S. congressmen.

  7. #21
    Member Array SC Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaboatbum View Post
    I live aboard a boat and have installed a 1250 watt inverter to run the frig & freezer units while away from the dock with out the hassel of constantly running the diesel generator. Ships batteies are a pair of 8Ds.

    It occured to me that a similar system could be used by home owners in those days after a hurricane (or winter storm) when power is out. All that would be required would be a stand alone (hefty) 12V battery, an inverter and a compact frig or freezer. Experience has shown that among the most sought after emergency supplies are ice and water.

    To keep the big battery charged would be a second inverter plugged into a car/truck gigarette light outlet with engine running (outdoors of course) that powering a battery charger. Maybe not the most electricaly efficient enginerring, but simple and full proof. A stash of gasoline for the host vehicle and plenty of 5 gallon water jugs would lengthen the survival mode scenario into weeks if necessary.

    The 4.7 Cu Ft frig on my boat pulls only 600 watts, so an 8D battery would run it for quite awhile. The Haier brand frig cost only $190, and good 8D marine battery $200- $250, a 1250 watt inverter $129 (with cables). There would be enough reserves to run small lights or a TV (and it's digital converter if needed) and cell phone charger. A smaller freezer was also under $200 and boy does it do a great job on making ice.

    Deep cycle golf cart batteries would also do a great job as emergency power source when coupled to a 12V > 120 V interverter.

    The perk over a portable gas generator of course is no noise, no exhaust fumes, the hazards to topping off a hot generator with gas and overall cost.

    The compact frig also is a neat workshop, den accessory.

    Hope this is food for thought for those of us in hurricane land.
    Whatever you do, if you wire into your home wiring make sure you put a transfer switch in. Otherwise if you forget to turn off the main breaker you could kill anyone from the power company trying to fix downed power lines. This goes for batteries and generators.

  8. #22
    Member Array SC Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    Since you mentioned hurricanes and not zombies, here is what I think is the best solution. A Honda 3000 si generator. Quiet, efficient, we use them at work and they are great, about 12 hours on a fillup. Then, a power cable with two male plugs. Plug one end in the generator, the other end into any wall outlet you choose. That gives you power on that leg of the house. It would be wise to select the leg with the refrigerator. Forget AC or Water heater or electric stove.
    Solar panels and wind generators are not sufficient and if anyone tells you they are, they are fibbing. "I have a 5' wind turbine that gives me 10 KW, easy" Bull. Those stories usually start with "I know a guy..." and end with, "Let me see it."
    Bad idea on how to hook it in. Use a transfer switch and "do it right." This setup could put enough power in the lines to kill a linesman trying to repair the power lines.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    Since you mentioned hurricanes and not zombies, here is what I think is the best solution. A Honda 3000 si generator. Quiet, efficient, we use them at work and they are great, about 12 hours on a fillup. Then, a power cable with two male plugs. Plug one end in the generator, the other end into any wall outlet you choose. ...
    Never ever feed the output of any electrical source into outlets in your home. You create a hazardous situation. Someone outside your home can easily be killed if they are in contact with the distribution system.
    EDIT
    --I see everyone else beat me to it. Sorry for the redundancy.
    Last edited by tiwee; July 21st, 2009 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Add last comment

  10. #24
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaboatbum View Post
    It's me the OP again. Alternate solutions suggestions, while appreciated, defeat my original idea to keep it CHEAP and simple. Naturally, one can invest in far pricier alternatives. My boat has a 7.5KW diesel generator and 420 gallons of diesel in on board tanks. Solar and wind turbine sources are pricey, rely on Mother Nature and pale in comparison to what the trusty Westerbeke genset can put out including charging the ship's batteries a couple of hours out of 24. Just some relief from running the generator 24/7 is all I was looking for to make ice and other creature comforts. Sure, you can buy a big Honda generator for $3 grand but that's obivious. For under $650 you can buy a hefty marine battery (or two) , a compact freezer or frig, a couple of inverters and do just fine in a post storm scenario. If you don't mind using the family car/truck as the charging host, bada bing...simple.
    I can vouch for the CHEAP and effective part of boatbum's post.
    I have a small 85 watt circulator pump to move warm water through my home to heat the floor. For backup, I bought a small $30 inverter for use with 12 volt car batteries. The batteries I use are in the vehicles. The vehicles recharge the battery if necessary. It was not necessary the one time I used this system. This is only suitable for a few days, but allows the house to remain comfortable in an ice storm power outage.

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