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Electricity

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Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:17 pm

I've been reading and occasionally posting here for a few months and was surprised at how few actually have long term methods to harness power beyond muscle power (man or beast). Mankind's ability to harness energy is what allows us all to increase what we can do,,,, without harnessing that power there would be no electric lights, a lot less food, and less time to develop ways to improve your family's life. Manpower vs all the energy the earth and sun has to give us.

I like my flashlight and my night vision monocular will help protect my family if the grid goes down. A tractor with fuel can really speed up food production; an electric grinder can seriously speed up grinding those grains. It all takes energy, the same energy that spured the Industeral Revolution.

Solar, wind, hydro are all ways to harness that energy for years if SHTF ever happens. Energy storage methods such as rechargeable batteries or a dam to hold hydro energy for future use. I'd sugest we concider these multipliers when builying your supplies.

Don't tell us what we have, instead use this thread to ask and learn how to produce or store energy with what you've got or what items you may need to add to your preps.
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Re: Electricity

Postby NJMike » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:37 pm

Good topic. Some of my quick thoughts.

Understanding basic electricity (not home wiring basics, but the concepts), cable gauges and components, and having some basic tools and test equipment would be important.

Alternators and DC motors could be invaluable in a long term grid down scenario. There's information online on using these to generate power, but there's still a need to convert the hydro/wind/mechanical energy via pulleys and belts to the motor or alternator. It would be useful to friend up with some auto mechanics, or find a supply of older and working alternators. Steam turbines are another option, but I'd think is more dangerous to do properly. Solar is good depending on available sunlight, but it's going to be harder to replace solar panels and charge controllers unless someone has lots of spares stocked up.

Another thing to consider is that the power to do some tasks does not require the sophistication of electric powered machines. Grist mills in some parts of the world (and in historic villages here) still work today run on wind or water power directly transferred to mechanical grinding stones. Shop tools that can be fitting with pulley shafts can likewise work without electrical power if they can be belt driven by other sources.
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Re: Electricity

Postby Cast Iron » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:01 am

John Galt 1 wrote:I've been reading and occasionally posting here for a few months and was surprised at how few actually have long term methods to harness power beyond muscle power (man or beast). Mankind's ability to harness energy is what allows us all to increase what we can do,,,, without harnessing that power there would be no electric lights, a lot less food, and less time to develop ways to improve your family's life. Manpower vs all the energy the earth and sun has to give us.

I like my flashlight and my night vision monocular will help protect my family if the grid goes down. A tractor with fuel can really speed up food production; an electric grinder can seriously speed up grinding those grains. It all takes energy, the same energy that spured the Industeral Revolution.

Solar, wind, hydro are all ways to harness that energy for years if SHTF ever happens. Energy storage methods such as rechargeable batteries or a dam to hold hydro energy for future use. I'd sugest we concider these multipliers when builying your supplies.

Don't tell us what we have, instead use this thread to ask and learn how to produce or store energy with what you've got or what items you may need to add to your preps.


Can you comment or provide numbers on how much corn it would take to produce one gallon of fuel for a tractor?
Thank you.
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Re: Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:21 am

Theoretically about 26 pounds of corn will make a gallon of ethanol (about 95% pure) but that assumes that you get perfect malting, fermenting, and distilling. But it's really tough to get perfect fermentation and preforming enough Sparging takes a lot of time. I've found that adding a bit of Amylase enzyme to the mash really helps convert some of the sugars.
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Re: Electricity

Postby rickdun » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:31 am

Cast Iron, here's an article on making ethanol. According to this article, besides corn, you need 1,000 gallons of water too.

Do what Estus, on mountain men did, convert gas engine to steam engine and fire with wood.


http://gas2.org/2008/10/16/1000-gallons ... n-is-that/
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Re: Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:33 am

NJMike wrote:Good topic. Some of my quick thoughts.

Understanding basic electricity (not home wiring basics, but the concepts), cable gauges and components, and having some basic tools and test equipment would be important.

Alternators and DC motors could be invaluable in a long term grid down scenario. There's information online on using these to generate power, but there's still a need to convert the hydro/wind/mechanical energy via pulleys and belts to the motor or alternator. It would be useful to friend up with some auto mechanics, or find a supply of older and working alternators. Steam turbines are another option, but I'd think is more dangerous to do properly. Solar is good depending on available sunlight, but it's going to be harder to replace solar panels and charge controllers unless someone has lots of spares stocked up.

Another thing to consider is that the power to do some tasks does not require the sophistication of electric powered machines. Grist mills in some parts of the world (and in historic villages here) still work today run on wind or water power directly transferred to mechanical grinding stones. Shop tools that can be fitting with pulley shafts can likewise work without electrical power if they can be belt driven by other sources.


Solar panels themselves are fairly resilient to EMP and while strongly recommended a charge controller isn't required. But knowledge and a DC clamp meter is required to rewire things. A person can also just toss a $35 PMW controller in a EMP resistant container along with a 1000 watt inverter.

Because of my work I've spent a fair amount of time in grain grinding and hammer mills powered both by water wheels and Meadows turbines. The primary problem is that there are not that many places where the head is adequate without a long flume system. In addition it takes a lot of work to build the dam, flume, water wheel, building, dress the stones, ect. That's why I think focusing on powering electrical items we already have may be a better choice.
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Re: Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:41 am

rickdun wrote:Cast Iron, here's an article on making ethanol. According to this article, besides corn, you need 1,000 gallons of water too.


The 1000 gallons may be for the growing of the corn. A 5-6 gallon batch of mash (so about 4 gallons water) will give me 3 quarts of 93% or higher ethanol along with a quart or two of less pure alcohols. Cooling the thumper may take another 100 gallons during a 3-4 hr run but that's water that can be used over and over.
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Re: Electricity

Postby Cast Iron » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:15 am

John Galt 1 wrote:Theoretically about 26 pounds of corn will make a gallon of ethanol (about 95% pure) but that assumes that you get perfect malting, fermenting, and distilling. But it's really tough to get perfect fermentation and preforming enough Sparging takes a lot of time. I've found that adding a bit of Amylase enzyme to the mash really helps convert some of the sugars.


My apologies, I was not very clear.

Perhaps a better way to ask the question is what is the total EROEI to produce one gallon of fuel?
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Re: Electricity

Postby Cast Iron » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:18 am

rickdun wrote:Cast Iron, here's an article on making ethanol. According to this article, besides corn, you need 1,000 gallons of water too.

Do what Estus, on mountain men did, convert gas engine to steam engine and fire with wood.


http://gas2.org/2008/10/16/1000-gallons ... n-is-that/


Thank you RickDun.

I am split on the idea of trying to maintain our current lifestyles and everything that would go into it, versus going the low tech route from the beginning.
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Re: Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:42 pm

I had a friend who was totally off the grid. No electricity, rode a bicycle everywhere, rain catchment system and a bored well (with bucket on a rope) that was often dry. Basically he was a hermit who had saved some cash and was living on 25 acres he owned. He visited my shop often and with time I got him somewhat reintroduced to modern life, a job, even a cell phone.
But I saw how he lived, and I sure wouldn't want to live like that.

He was in excellent physical condition from all the work growing most of his food required and riding that bike.
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Re: Electricity

Postby Cast Iron » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:03 pm

John Galt 1 wrote:I had a friend who was totally off the grid. No electricity, rode a bicycle everywhere, rain catchment system and a bored well (with bucket on a rope) that was often dry. Basically he was a hermit who had saved some cash and was living on 25 acres he owned. He visited my shop often and with time I got him somewhat reintroduced to modern life, a job, even a cell phone.
But I saw how he lived, and I sure wouldn't want to live like that.

He was in excellent physical condition from all the work growing most of his food required and riding that bike.


Your friend sounds like my Amish neighbors, without the community and or support network.

Looking at modern life, I question if you did him a favor, or lowered his quality of life.
E.g. a cell phone.
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Re: Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:30 pm

He had worked for 20 years saving all of his money with his housing ect paid for by his company. But as I learned later he slowly became schizophrenic and retreated to the woods. Over the years he opened up and after 11 years living his lifestyle he was going to run out of money within 4-5 years for property taxes and basic needs such as clothing and some food (he grew and fished for most of his food). He needed to improve his income so with encouragement he repaired an old car he had sitting for years (actually had 3 of the same model car with none running) and I helped him find a job as a janitor which allowed him to start saving again. He always maintained his simple lifestyle and often still rode the bike to save money on gas. He was hit by a car riding his bicycle to my shop about 4 years ago. He lived so far back in the woods that he had no mailing address that could accept packages so he had ordered bicycle tubes (and occasionally other packages) shipped to my business address where he could pick them up.

I know this isn't the place for this but I still miss him; Jeff was a good friend.
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Re: Electricity

Postby JoyDog » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:28 pm

How do we find people kike this?
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Re: Electricity

Postby John Galt 1 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:59 am

JoyDog wrote:How do we find people kike this?


People like what? who know about power production or hermits?

As far as the hermits go Jeff was on his bike and just swing by my shop for some water.
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Re: Electricity

Postby mtcarl » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:05 pm

MTcarl here, from the old radio days.. Still in the swamp..
When are you moving to Montana?
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