April 11, 2013

IDEAS FOR POST-APOCALYPTIC ENERGY IN YOUR BUGOUT LOCATION



If society collapses (shtf, teotwawki, apocalypse) the grid will go down, so most people will not have electricity. However, it doesn't mean electricity goes away and can never be brought back. Here's some ideas for electricity in a post-apocalyptic world.

SOLAR PANELS

These are a great option. They have no moving parts. They work for around 30 years. They make no noise. They can be placed low to the ground and won't attract attention. There are small solar panels that can be plugged directly into electronics to charge them, but the larger ones will need an inverter to change the electrical current into AC. If society collapses and you don't have solar panels, you can snag some from highway lights and call boxes. :D Just be 100% sure society has collapsed and isn't coming back.






MICRO HYDRO POWER

If you will be living near a fast moving stream that has a good slope, this is one of the best options for you. There are these mini hydro-electric power generators that you can buy. Just connect a pipe with fast flowing water and you're in business. I believe these little things can create a huge amount of energy in almost no time. Be careful though, they are noisy and can attract attention. They also have to be placed near water, which gives it an even higher chance of being discovered by others. A possible way to get around this is to dig a trench with a pipe or hose running off the stream at an angle. Run it maybe 500 feet down stream at an angle and by then, you can have it 125 feet away from the stream. I would also find some kind of box or enclosed space in which to put it so it quiets the generator. And then, I might only run it in the middle of the night or really early in the morning when people are less likely to be out and about.






WINDMILLS

An obvious renewable energy source. You can buy a kit for it or build your own. The only problem with these is they will attract attention. The bigger and higher these are, the more they scream, "Hey everybody! People over here have electricty!" That's not good attention.






CYCLE POWERED

You can hook up a bicycle pedaling structure to generate electricity. The pro is you can get energy anytime. You don't have to wait for wind or sun. The con is it requires burning calories and takes up your time.






THERMO-ELECTRIC

Heat can be directly converted into electricity. Not many people are aware of this process because it's not the most efficient process of generating electricity and there aren't too many applications for it in the real world. However, for a prepper this is a great way to generate electricity. You will have a fire almost every day, so you might as well generate electricity from it. There is an item called a Biolite Stove. It's a good choice.






WOOD GASIFICATION TO GENERATOR (or alcohol still)

If you are OK with making a lot of noise using a generator (I never would be OK with making a lot of noise in a post-apocalypse society), a wood gasification process is a good opportunity for electricity. The process of heating up wood to extreme temperatures, creates a gas that you can use to run the generator. Alternatively, you can set up an alcohol still and use that as fuel for the generator. I'm not sure which is the best quality for a generator.







HAND CRANK ELECTRICITY

Similar to cycle powered, you can crank your way to power with this option. Usually, I see this in small applications, such as emergency radios or flashlights. Larger cranks exist, I just haven't seen them many places.






STORING THAT ENERGY WITH A BATTERY PACK

You also want to store that energy in batteries somehow. I've been considering getting a Duracell PowerSource 1800. Do some research and figure out what you will need for your situation and also be aware of the AC DC situation.



Did I miss anything?