December 4, 2014 at 6:17 am #31177
I live in a very rural area and we have frequent electricity outages lately. Actually, since 2009. We never had one power outage before 2009, for about a decade and since then several every year. Our electric co-op is trying to fix our lines and other issues so it doesn’t happen again…but…here’s the issues I have.
First we pay a premium just to be hooked up to the grid of 60 cents a day, if we use no electricity, we have to pay that. Then we pay a higher than national average for our electricity from the co-op. Our co-op has friendly people. They help us when we can not pay our bills. They have a lot of expenses that are piling on and making our per Kwh rate go up annually.
My husband and I were floored when we lost electricity for 3 weeks and were told, to get used to it. We almost lost all of our food. I have mentioned in another post what we did to survive that situation. Well now they are telling members to expect outages “in the near future” during peak hours in the summer. I had heat stroke last year and needed the electricity from July to the end of August. It gets to be 120F here sometimes…think India in the summer.
Obviously, I didn’t drink enough water to keep well and I am working on that. People with various health conditions live in India and Saudi Arabia, so I can live here, I just need to find out how. However, if the power goes out in the summer, my freezer and fridge foods are gonners for sure. Then we will be food less for a time. I’m a big fan of collapsing now, and I would entirely if it weren’t for legalities. I legally must have electric light in my home or risk losing my children to the state, which brings me to Solar Power.
When I did the math, including the initial system to set up, to have only electric lights which is the bare minimum of what I am legally required to provide, it would be a little more than $1500 to get a basic system with 400 watts per hour and a battery bank of 2400 watts. Again, we are talking just for electric lights. I pay almost double this per year to run everything in my home. If I were to devote what I paid every month to a solar get up for less than 5 years, I could run everything I currently run…then maintenance on the system would be half of what I currently pay.
Knowing this would you go solar?
What kind of batteries do you suggest? I would prefer some I can reup on the electrolytes.
Also monocrystalline last as long as 80 years, but the conversion isn’t as good as poly, which would you choose?
When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.December 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm #31183
I’ve looked into solar, plus wind backup and a battery bank… the deep cycle batteries used by golf carts. But, you need some type of special charger to make sure you don’t overcharge the batteries because it shortens their useful life… about 10 years max is what you would expect to get out of a bank of those batteries.
Converting to solar with a wind backup can be done – and probably will be done – just to stick my thumb in the eye of the State. All of our power stations are coal fired. All of them. There isn’t a nuke plant within 500 miles of us, probably. But, with Dear Leader’s War on Coal going on, we will never have any more plants built… the number of operational plants will stay the same, or decrease. There is no other option.
Which means my electric bill is going up because of one small groups ideology that I don’t agree with, and their political agenda that’s being foisted on me.
Sorry to go all political, but it’s an issue. You can’t talk about electric bills and going off grid without the political component… they made it that way, not me.
I’ll probably go off grid, if only for my own personal satisfaction, and to hell with the cost. The State will get nothing, and like it.
There was a thread posted some time back that listed everything you needed – by name, number and estimated cost – to go off grid. I don’t remember the thread name, but I’ll try to look it up and post it… it might help you.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1December 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm #31184
Here ya go… read this.
No sense in reinventing the wheel…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1December 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm #31185
Hands on projects – – DIY – Do It Yourself Projects
Cool info to start with.December 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm #31191
I also would go solar if I was you. In the end you may lose a lot more. Food if it goes down two time a year can be $1,000+ and you do not know how bad your appliances will last. So it will be cheaper. Malgus posted the link where we posted a lot of information.December 4, 2014 at 3:22 pm #31203
Aukxsona you should invest in some canning equipment. If your power goes out and you are afraid of losing your refrigerated/frozen food, you can immediately start canning it before it goes bad. It will keep for a very long time and you won’t be trying to eat everything now and will still have food until the power comes back on.December 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm #31204
Aukxsona, from what you have said, I would suggest getting a gas powered generator (cheap) and keep an appropriate amount of fuel for twice the length of the longest power outage (cheap). This would avoid the problem of the power outage destroying your frozen food stores. Do turn off the breakers in your house that are not needed and conserve energy during these outages. With practice you’ll get good at it.
If you don’t already have one, buy a pressure canner (cheap). This would be the back-up plan. If you decide the particular situation requests it, the generator gives you some time to pressure can your frozen stores.
Sorry, to here your fears about the state giving you trouble with your children. Wasn’t the government supposed to be there to help mother’s with small children, not terrorize us?
It’s happening all over. Just know you are not alone or unjustified with your fears. Here’s what happened to me. Bastards: http://eatkamloops.org/funny-troubles/.December 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm #31206
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>matt76 wrote:</div>Aukxsona you should invest in some canning equipment. If your power goes out and you are afraid of losing your refrigerated/frozen food, you can immediately start canning it before it goes bad. It will keep for a very long time and you won’t be trying to eat everything now and will still have food until the power comes back on.
For certain things, dehydrating or smoking can be an alternative too.December 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm #31216
There’s other options re: keeping food from spoiling. Think sideways.
Einstein’s refrigerator. Uses ammonia as a coolant in a sealed system. Most times, you find these in use on RV’s and such. They’re also popular with people who are off-grid, and they can come pretty big. Most use a battery or propane as a heat source to help force the evaporation of the ammonia, but with temps like you have where you live, I don’t see why you just can’t use the heat of the day for evaporation. Silent, no moving parts and, so long as the system stays sealed, no maintenance…
Old school ice house. You have to build a box within a box, heavily insulated between the two and then covered in earth. The way it used to be used, was during winter, ice was sawn up into blocks from frozen lakes and rivers. These were piled in ice houses and insulated with sawdust. Layer of sawdust, then ice, then sawdust, till the room was filled all the way round with ice blocks. Food goes down the center on shelves. This will keep the room’s temperature at a steady 32 F during the warm seasons (spring, summer, fall), depending on how well insulated the room is, how much earth is covering it, how many times you use it (letting in warm air), etc…
Just sayin’… if something’s blocking your path and you can’t go through it, go under, over, or around it…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1December 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm #31221
Building off of Malgus’s ice house comments, there was a show on Doomsday Preppers about a teacher in VT who built an ice house using plastic 5 gallon buckets. Before winter sets in he fills the buckets and then leaves them to freeze solid during the winter to create the ice blocks to keep food cold all summer.December 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm #31225
Going off grid in a micro home I don’t think anyone would expect you to put in a full electrical service. And they’re so cute. You might need a barn for the rest of your stuff but your actual living area is quite small. The taxes should be much less.December 5, 2014 at 1:56 am #31281
Brulen is right. Tomorrow – for just part of the day even, make it a point to notice where in your home you spend the most time, and the sqft-age. It’s actually pretty small. Now the space I spend my time in outside is much, much greater.December 5, 2014 at 2:54 am #31283
I already own the home, so it would be like converting it. Malgus we are looking into your ice house. I think we could actually do that, also thanks for the link to the solar power posts. That will be very helpful.
We have a pressure cooker, and plan to can anything we have in the summer. I have two freezers as we prefer frozen food to canned food, because it’s healthier, but I guess until the root cellar, ice house, and spring house are made it will have to suffice.
I looked at your page c and it sounds like you went through the whole deal I did. I was under investigation for breast feeding a 4 month old because the state said breast milk was not considered suitable infant food since it was not scientifically proven to be food for infants. Luckily our doctor dealt with them for us. I wasn’t even on any medications, I didn’t drink caffeine, and I kept a very clean diet, yet they demanded testing for nutrients and such of my breast milk to prove it was food for an infant. Of course, I live in Arkansas which says a lot about the education around here. Of course, we also homeschool now.
Mountain Biker we intend to smoke some of our meats, but only home smoked foods without nitrates. I am allergic. I intend to have my food prepared how my ancestors ate. That means jerked and smoked in a hollow log with hickory chips. The only way we can do an ice house here is if we freeze them in the winter like that teacher lady does.
Generators are too expensive. For a little one like I used in 2009, it’s almost a grand and gas is almost $3 a gallon. 10 gallons only last about week on conservative use. Everyone uses generators here, so when the power goes out, they price gouge everyone. My husband and I looked into generators after 2009 and decided it wasn’t worth the price, when we could have solar for a little more. I mean it was a life saver and would be short term, but we really want a permanent solution. With everything going how it is, it could be months next time. I know my little co-op is doing everything it can to handle the increased pressures, which face it are a lack of power buying options, a higher load, old equipment that needs replaced, damaged equipment, and increased summer temps. I just don’t like the fact that they are already planning outages in the summer when it is December. That means they know they can not handle the load that they anticipate.
Our home is small already. We plan to switch to a propane on demand water heater that is backed up by solar water heat and wood burning in the winter. This will be a lot of work, so if any body could point me towards some plans for the solar part, I would be greatful. (Solar as in tubes on the roof to be heated by the sun) We also plan to have that ice house with a spring house below it for any melt water to run off into and for keeping cheeses cool. We live on the side of a hill, so really we just have to dig in. All meats will be smoked or jerked until we can get a solar freezer, a propane freezer, or an actual working ice house. All veggies will go into the baby root cellar, which will be one or two coolers in the side of our hill under about 3 feet of dirt. I garden, so most of the food is used that day or frozen. So I will probably have to get a lot of canning done this year as opposed a lot of freezing I did last year.
When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.December 5, 2014 at 4:30 am #31285
Okay, do a bit of searching for information on the Amish and Mennonite communities.
For grid down, the Amish take the xake.
Wood and propane fired stoves, propane or oil lamps, hand or mechanical tools and such.
The Mennonites use power, just not much.
Generally just lightibg only.
The full size ammonia fridges and freezers are available, try Lehmans.com for ideas.
Solar can be great, there’s a little cabin 30 miles or so from here that’s fully solar, but the owners are snowbirds and don’t spend the bad season here.
Personally, I’m looking into a small welder genset. Company here rebuilds them and the small units put out more than enough power for our house without going off idle. And at that speed a gallon of gas will go a long way.
And I could weld if I had to.
The cost of the genset and gas are initially high but compared to going solar, and converting the house, its cheap.
Considering that we haven’t had an outage here in a long time, I’m a lot more comfortable with this and city power, especially as the gas is multipurpose and with the grocery discount only $2 a gallon after shopping.
Is this limiting, to some extent, but its about living not making life difficult for no reason.December 9, 2014 at 2:04 am #31608
Aukxsona, is there a creek on your property?
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