Hurricane aftermath survival...electricity options

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; I live aboard a boat and have installed a 1250 watt inverter to run the frig & freezer units while away from the dock with ...

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Thread: Hurricane aftermath survival...electricity options

  1. #1
    Member Array flaboatbum's Avatar
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    Hurricane aftermath survival...electricity options

    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.


  2. #2
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    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    This is a pretty neat item.
    I was checking it out the other day.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    What do you need electricity or power for? Think about it. Maybe you're stockpiling the wrong items. I'm just saying...maybe.

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    What do you need electricity or power for? Think about it. Maybe you're stockpiling the wrong items. I'm just saying...maybe.
    If he is only concerned with a temporary outage and not an invasion of zombies he has a good idea. He probably has meat and other items in the freezer that might spoil before the power was restored.

    Michael

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Wouldn't you negate your perks over a standard gasoline generator by running a vehicle to keep the system charged?

    Not to mention many cars don't like to run at idle for long periods of time. They tend to overheat.

    The battery backup system is an excellent idea though. We use those in my workplace for one of the servers, as well as emergency power for the firepump.

    Looks like a great idea, specifically for your situation (Living on a boat) in the event of short term disaster care (1-4 days). But, I wouldn't rely upon it as a sole means of preperations.
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Why bother with the second inverter and charger? If you have adequate solar panels you should be able to charge the battery right off of them. If you want to use a car to charge it, you could just use jumper cables, but you are still going to be gasoline dependant that way.

    As far as the set up from QKshooters link, I think they are marketing it to the wrong people. On the link they talk about northern Illinois and winter storms. At that lattitude you are going to need a much bigger array to generate the power needed compared to down south. Also, think about how many hours of sunlight per day, and how much of that is clear vs overcast. That set up would be much more appropriate in Phoenix or Houston than Chicago.

    ETA: I have a 400 watt inverter in my Suburban. I have used that to power my CPAP machine a number of times, and after Ike hit my youngest was amazed that daddy could make the T.V. DVD player and computer work even when the power was out!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    It's a good a thought actually. Never hurts to have multiple options of doing the same thing (see murphy's law). The only real downsides are as follows: 1. It consumes fuel, a primary and necessary resource. 2. It'll be a freezing day (way) down south before I leave my car running after a hurricane or some other natural disaster.
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  8. #8
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    A great idea, but the run times seem to be a little misleading...it might work in FL, but not MI (too cloudy).

    During a real disaster, I won't need to use my toaster, electric toothbrush, or TV. I keep oil and gas lights, gas cooking stoves, and a generator with a good supply of gas...I'll get by.
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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    did anyone read QKshooters link?

    1800 watt Solar Backup Generator
    quick charge 90 watt Solar Panel

    1800/90 = 20
    it takes 20 hours in direct full sunlight to charge this.
    do not expect to run anything long term that takes more then about 45W.

    your better off getting MANY of the solar arrays if you have to have solar power. the sun comes out every day but it will not charge at 90W all that time. the D8 batts are a good idea but you can only expect a 2-3 year life out of them. you may extend that to 5 with ballancing and extream mantance. a gass supply and a genarator is a more economical short term option.
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    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    I have a 5KW generator with an LP conversion kit and several Lp tanks to run it on, but Ive always liked the theory behind a perpetual motion generator. A small engine to turn the first generator which powers an electric motor that powers a second generator which is also switched to the electric motor, then you flip the switch, turn off the engine, and the generator powers the motor that turns it, almost forever.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jca1 View Post
    I have a 5KW generator with an LP conversion kit and several Lp tanks to run it on, but Ive always liked the theory behind a perpetual motion generator. A small engine to turn the first generator which powers an electric motor that powers a second generator which is also switched to the electric motor, then you flip the switch, turn off the engine, and the generator powers the motor that turns it, almost forever.
    This sounds better than a "free lunch" with cash back.

    What am i missing, thinking back to High school, did not think you could get more energy out of something than you put in it.????

    Z
    An ounce of lead is worth 200lbs of cop.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jca1 View Post
    I have a 5KW generator with an LP conversion kit and several Lp tanks to run it on, but Ive always liked the theory behind a perpetual motion generator. A small engine to turn the first generator which powers an electric motor that powers a second generator which is also switched to the electric motor, then you flip the switch, turn off the engine, and the generator powers the motor that turns it, almost forever.
    But what powers the cryogenic plant to keep the super conductors cool enough for this to almost work?

    If this system were efficient enough to work you should not need the engine to turn the first generator. You should be able to simply spin the generator by hand and throw the switch. The problem is you lose energy to friction in the bearings of the generators and the motor. You also lose energy to heat through electrical resistance. And of course if you were somehow able to overcome these issues how much energy are you going to have available to do anything but run this set up itself?
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    I agree with you both, I only have interest in the theory.

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    Member Array flaboatbum's Avatar
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    Interetsing feed back. The Solar link provided by QKShoter shows a modest little panel priced at $2200...one perk of my thinking was economics. Solar panels require fairly precise aiming IF the sun is out. To my mind running ones' car/truck a few hours a day in a disaster aftermath is a minor concern when weighed against the loss of primative creature comforts. Maybe install a high output alternator on the host vehicle (parked away from the house & people). The choice is fairly simply...run the parked vehicle> have ice and frozen goodies and other light load electrical luxuries or not?

    Keep the thoughts coming in....Thanks

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    There are "home scale" wind turbines out there that a quite good. If you are near the coast you should have fairly consistant winds created by the convection currents from the air over land being heated more rapidly than the air over the water. As far as solar panels go, what you would need depends on how you want to use it. If you have a couple of batteries that you can rotate on the inverter you could get by with a smaller array. One runs the inverter while the other charges. If you only have one battery you need an array that provides enough juice to run your appliance and restore to the battery the power that was used overnight. Another trick that can be used with solar arrays is to use reflectors to increase the light hitting them. Solar panels are rated at their output in direct sunlight. A couple sheets of mylar or aluminum foil can triple your output.
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