For many, Aftertime preparations are relegated to securing a safe location, gathering vital essentials and do not include provisions for generating electrical power.  While this isn't imperative for survival, it will be required for optimum vegetable cultivation, radio communication, among other quality of life improvements.  Although many are hoping to be deemed worthy of receiving a perpetual power pack, there's no telling when or even IF this can be expected.

 

Some may be able to rely on their ability to generate power from salvaging Aftertime wreckage, but most of us cannot.  This discussion is offered for those intending to generate power in the Aftertime and wanting to learn more.  Anyone currently living off-grid or with expertise generating and storing power is encouraged to share their ideas on reliable alternatives in an Aftertime environment.

 

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

 

There's much to be said regarding human powered generators in the context of an Aftertime scenario.  Most commercially available human-powered generators involve either a stationary bicycle that utilizes legs for pedaling or a hand crank mechanism that utilizes the upper body. Since a human is only capable of producing relatively low RPMs, power output is likewise limited.  And while pedaling a stationary bike for an hour currently may not be overly taxing, when your day is comprised of chopping wood, carrying water, and other physically exhausting activities - and you're borderline malnourished, this may not be a realistic option. Before exploring other alternatives for generating power, it's important to clarify some common misconceptions:

 

Misconception 1:  "I can salvage an alternator from a car or truck and generate power, right?"

 

Not easily. Most vehicle alternators start producing power at RPMs far greater than humans can achieve without substantial mechanical gearing to increase the alternator speed.  While vehicle alternators can be modifed to generate power at lower RPMs, this involves replacing the existing stator windings with windings that have more turns of smaller gauge wire, which is no small feat.

 

Using a vehicle alternator to harness wind power is also problematic. A car alternator is designed to be lightweight and operate at very high RPM. Since it won't produce useable power below 1000 RPM, ordinary wind turbine blades mounted on the shaft will spin relatively slowly and not produce useable power. While you can attempt to compensate for this speed mismatch by introducing gearing, rewinding the stator coils, or even using shorter blades, you'll find these laborious efforts only result in a wind generator that is clumsy, inefficient, and produces little power.

Also, you have to remove and bypass the internal voltage regulator if your battery is not right next to the alternator. So unless you have the battery mounted on top the tower, the voltage at the alternator will be higher than the battery voltage due to resistance in the wiring and the regulator will start to limit the voltage output before the battery begins charging properly. All in all, trying to use a vehicle alternator is a bad idea.

 

Misconception 2:  "I can hook up any Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) to a stationary bike and generate sufficient power to charge my battery bank, right?"

 

Not necessarily.  Even PMGs advertised as "Low RPM" that reportedly generate voltage and current at any RPM need to be evaluated based on your ability to turn the generator fast enough to charge your batteries.  If you're trying to charge a 12V battery and you can't pedal fast enough to generate more than 12V, your battery will die just slightly ahead of you.

 

Misconception 3:  "I can use car batteries in my battery bank, right?"

 

Bad idea. Most batteries that start engines (starter batteries) are designed to be drained only slightly (2 to 5%) during ignition, after which they're recharged by the vehicle's alternator. This type of battery fails to hold a charge when repeatedly drained and recharged (deep cycled).  A used automotive battery can fail after only a few deep cycles, while a new deep cycle battery can last for over 20 years. While it would be recommended to obtain deep cycle batteries now, deep cycle batteries could be acquired in the Aftertime by salvaging those found in boat wreckage (marine batteries), as well as ones residing in forklifts, golf carts and floor sweepers (traction batteries).

 

Misconception 4:  "I can erect a wind generator anywhere and it will generate power as long there's wind, right?"

 

A wind generator needs to be positioned in a carefully chosen location that satisifies stringent criteria:

a.  Dependable Wind.  Any location will have periods when there's no wind, but you want to choose a site where there is some wind most of the time.

b.  Sufficient Wind.  Even though the blades may be turning, most wind generators won't charge batteries in winds less than 7 mph.  Power output increases almost linearly in winds between 10 mph and 20 mph, after which power output levels off and actually decreases in wind speeds over 35 mph as overspeed controls come into play. 

c.  Excessive Wind. While not enough wind is a problem, too much of it is a bad thing, too.  In wind speeds greater than 35 mph, most wind generators have built-in overspeed controls that slow blade rotation to prevent damage.  This reduces power output and increases wear and tear.  While some wind generators cannot survive wind speeds above 50 mph, others can endure wind speeds up to 120 mph.

d.  Good Wind.  For optimum performance, a wind generator should be located far away and well above the nearest obstacle that could affect the quality of wind by introducing turbulence.  Some say a wind generator should be located at least 300 feet away and 30 feet above the nearest obstacle, while others suggest a horizontal distance of 200 feet and vertical height of 20 feet is satisfactory.  It all depends on the location.  An 80-foot tower is not unheard of.

 

WHERE TO BEGIN

 

So what's the best means of generating power in the Aftertime?  This depends on many factors including your geographic location, how much power you envision your group requiring, what your group's capabilities are and what your available resources are for obtaining energy system components. 

 

If you wish to have electrical power in the Aftertime, its essential that your survival group contain at least one person with sufficient knowledge to be capable of either salvaging the necessary parts in the Aftertime or building the group's renewable energy system from commercially available components right now.  Personally, I believe this also includes the ability to build a generator from raw materials since there's no assurance power generating devices, despite how carefully protected, will survive the Pole Shift.

 

For those interested in learning how to build wind generators from raw materials, I highly recommend Hugh Piggott's, A Wind Turbine Recipe Book. This book is also available for download. I endorse this book because I was successful building a wind generator using it's instructions. The book includes plans for building 4', 6', 8', 10', 12' and 14' rotor diameter wind generators and is available in English or metric units.

 

So if your intention is to generate power in the Aftertime, how do you intend to accomplish it? 

We need to start talking about this now.  After the 7 of 10 hits, it might be too late.

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It would come down to being able to salvage them i think. Even a bank of 100F would last for 20m @ 1A, which would be better IMHO but impactical to buy. Buying 4 x 20F units would run about the same cost as a good quality deep cycle battery anyway.

 

Perhaps it comes down to taking the current directly from the solar cell to a regulator which can handle the wide power variation and voltage swings of the solar cell(S) - and then feeding it to the 12V load while the sun shines.

 

For longer term (nighttime lighting etc.,) use you could use a deep cycle battery as you would normally.

 

(edit) hmm.. looks at : http://ludens.cl/Electron/solarreg/Solarr~1.htm

 

Brian G said:

Hi Disclosure, 20F is pretty big. That is a good buffer.

Now for the maths.  C(farads)=Q(coulombs)/E(volts)

 

Q=I(amps)t(seconds)

so at 20F and 12V, Q=240

at 1A load, t=240s, meaning the cap will sustain 1A for 4 minutes. 

Now you've got to work out if it is justifiable in cost! If you can scrap them of old mainframe, ATM etc power supplies, it won't hurt so much! The other plus is that it has a lifespan that will surpass most batteries if used properly.

 

Hi Ryan, it's used for high current surges typically, but it will also provide a low constant drain (discharge) regardless of the fluctuating input (wind/ light changes).

 

 

I don't think anyone can answer in specific detail, but it only takes one single component of the power distribution system to fail and you will have no power. If the govt system is in disarray, there will be no repairs. Earthquakes will decimate the power distribution system, most likely.

 

Even now, an EMP, strong solar flare or other such power surge could damage a power station so as to stop it making power for many weeks. There are large expensive transformer components in most power generation systems which are difficult and expensive to replace if they blow due to surge, and they do not keep spares on site anymore.

 

In the aftertime I would not rely upon any of the power grid, particularly hydro when the Zetas have said many dams will be smashed. Nor would i want to live under said dam. If the dam breaks then either the turbines will be smashed or there will be no water left in the dam to spin them.

 

The only hydro worthwhile would be those small personal scale units (few hundred watts), if you live near a good strong flowing water source.

 

I would make your own plans, or go without power entirely. As a species we were running around the savana and forests for millions of years before we had microwave ovens and refrigerators :)

 

Jonathan Parent said:
I have a question , I live in province of Quebec in canada and we have a lots of  hydroelectricity dam in the northen part of the province, the area will be domage with the earthquakes or just the transport system ( pylone, transformator , etc ) ?

The reasoning behind mentioning stealth grow products was mainly because they employ the brightest LED bulbs. The industry standard is 1 watt but the new stealth grows utilize the new 2 watt LED bulbs. Of course, other companies will be quick to close the gap if they haven't already.

The truth of the matter is that there is no way to grow a decent crop of anything we are used to, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, etc. utilizing LED technology unless you were to employ thousands upon thousands of LEDS. I've seen pictures on the internet that suggest you can grow a cucumber or two using these lights, but those are just pictures and there is no real proof that only the LEDs were used the entire time. Because of the medical marijuana boom here in Montana, our hardware store now has an entire section dedicated to the new profession. Included, is an interactive setup showcasing what LEDS are capable of. There were several plants I didn't recognize and also some strawberries. These LED setups were no more than a few inches above the strawberries and I have to say, as someone who grows strawberries, and in a shaded area no less, those plants looked pathetic. There just isn't enough light output.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make, one that I'm sure has been made several times in this thread, is that edible weeds that grow short and fast, and possibly things like radishes which can take as little as 25 days from start to finish will be all that can be grown. The ideal bulb, the HPS bulb, is incredibly fragile, will not last nearly as long, and requires large amounts of electricity to run day in and day out. The same goes for MH bulbs too of course, but I find plants do much better with HPS from start to finish. I haven't seen first hand how long these bulbs will last under constant use. So far, both my 1000 watt and 400 watt bulbs have been in use for over a year now and are still providing optimal output. But when facing 25 years of gloom, it doesn't seem practical.


When The Light Bulbs Are Gone is a good compilation of Zetatalk and experienced individuals trying their hand at this problem. Carbon Arc lighting sounds like a great alternative but sounds tricky to utilize.

 

"Q: I've been enamored of the idea of carbon arc lamps, as I read an article about the streets of London being as light as day, by these lamps. They do not have breakable parts, just carbon or graphite points together, with a tiny space between them which creates an arc. Pencil leads, I'm thinking, are prevalent. Carbon arc lamps were also used in the early days for movie making, and the actors got sunburn, which is one of their cautions. Of course, what one of the benefits is, they could GROW PLANTS!

Encyclopedia Britannica gives the historical background on carbon arc lamps:
The incandescent lamp was not the first electric lamp; lighting devices employing an electric arc struck between electrodes of carbon had been developed and were in use earlier. Used for street lighting, arc lamps had advantages, including reasonable reliability, high efficiency, and above all, a pleasant color, closely approximating natural sunlight.

The light of the arc lamp was particularly kind to the color of the human complexion and the stone of historic buildings. Partly for this reason, these devices were retained in dignified city settings - for example, in the City of London - long after more modern light sources had come into wide use.

A device for producing light by maintaining an electric arc across a gap between two conductors; light comes from the heated ends of the conductors (usually carbon rods) as well as from the arc itself. Arc lamps are used in applications requiring great brightness, as in searchlights, large film projectors, and floodlights.

Sir Humphry Davy constructed the first arc lamp (1807), using a battery of 2,000 cells to create a 4-inch (100 millimeter) arc between two charcoal sticks. When suitable electric generators became available in the late 1870's, practical use of arc lamps began. The Yablockhkov candle, an arc lamp invented by the Russian engineer Paul Yablochkov, was used for street lighting in Paris and other European cities from 1878.

i got 300W-24V (China),This weight is 30kg  from yahoo auction $650!This WORKED!!

 I set controller,Yuasa deep battery(100A,12V)*2,DC-AC invertar,I connected Radio  24 hours



Brian G said:

OK, this is getting more complicated than I anticipated. I had not really thought of indoor lighting for plants.  I'd just guess that it will take a lot of power to manage the lighting. Ryan has pretty much confirmed that. I was mainly thinking of ambient lighting to keep the kids happy instead of being in pitch blackness at night.

 

I can't imagine how I'd light up enough  plants for useful food production. The only option would be a wind or water turbine as Viktorio says. I don't anticipate to have moving water nearby. I also did not realize a 300W wind turbine weight 200kg!

 

I've just bought some diy solar panels from US. It will only generate about 50W. In poor lighting, I'd expect about 10-20W.  That was about all that would fit my current budget. Another low power option is kinetic torches where you shake for light, but that's only for limited lighting.

That pretty leaves me with wind turbines again. If all the shipping lines get disrupted when the 7 hits, the turbine will be off the list too.

 

Anybody got any other ideas?

 

SETing

Shuichi Inoue said:

i got 300W-24V (China),This weight is 30kg  from yahoo auction $650!This WORKED!!

 I set controller,Yuasa deep battery(100A,12V)*2,DC-AC invertar,I connected Radio  24 hours



Brian G said:

OK, this is getting more complicated than I anticipated. I had not really thought of indoor lighting for plants.  I'd just guess that it will take a lot of power to manage the lighting. Ryan has pretty much confirmed that. I was mainly thinking of ambient lighting to keep the kids happy instead of being in pitch blackness at night.

 

I can't imagine how I'd light up enough  plants for useful food production. The only option would be a wind or water turbine as Viktorio says. I don't anticipate to have moving water nearby. I also did not realize a 300W wind turbine weight 200kg!

 

I've just bought some diy solar panels from US. It will only generate about 50W. In poor lighting, I'd expect about 10-20W.  That was about all that would fit my current budget. Another low power option is kinetic torches where you shake for light, but that's only for limited lighting.

That pretty leaves me with wind turbines again. If all the shipping lines get disrupted when the 7 hits, the turbine will be off the list too.

 

Anybody got any other ideas?

 

Sorry This photo is  using old  battery2002,But now Use Big size  battery

later,i will post here
Shuichi Inoue said:

i got 300W-24V (China),This weight is 30kg  from yahoo auction $650!This WORKED!!

 I set controller,Yuasa deep battery(100A,12V)*2,DC-AC invertar,I connected Radio  24 hours



Brian G said:

OK, this is getting more complicated than I anticipated. I had not really thought of indoor lighting for plants.  I'd just guess that it will take a lot of power to manage the lighting. Ryan has pretty much confirmed that. I was mainly thinking of ambient lighting to keep the kids happy instead of being in pitch blackness at night.

 

I can't imagine how I'd light up enough  plants for useful food production. The only option would be a wind or water turbine as Viktorio says. I don't anticipate to have moving water nearby. I also did not realize a 300W wind turbine weight 200kg!

 

I've just bought some diy solar panels from US. It will only generate about 50W. In poor lighting, I'd expect about 10-20W.  That was about all that would fit my current budget. Another low power option is kinetic torches where you shake for light, but that's only for limited lighting.

That pretty leaves me with wind turbines again. If all the shipping lines get disrupted when the 7 hits, the turbine will be off the list too.

 

Anybody got any other ideas?

 

@ Mega & ryan + 

you got me searching for the latest tech in grow lamps....

so I started googleing for indoor gardening light... and after a while found this pre-fab thing : AeroGarden that will speed-grow veggies in the darkest corners of your house with a new technology...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6QcOkr0ckA

I think it´s a good find - I agree with MegaM that too often indoors-grown plants turn out pathetic..

 

Apparently, it runs on a 60 watt LED luminaire... which got me wondering if there was a way to get luminaires that didn´t come with the pre-fab thing... (and still searching with the indoors/no daylight in mind... when I found this Danish site...http://www.danled.dk/?Produkt_nyheder:LED_armatur_til_gartneri%26nb...

they seem to specialize in LED tech/luminaires for nurseries....  starting at 100watt... 

I don´t have time to translate and will mostly be off line tomorrow, but maybe you guys can find out more..

As Igot from yahoo auction,I  have not the power curve graph ,sorry

I try measure  A using A meter Please wait!

ryan said:

 

hi shuichi.

 i think you could have gotten a 400 - 600 w (rated for 12 mph, or somewhere around there), for about $700-800..

 

could you maybe post the power curve graph, if you have it on you. at what speed is it producing 300w.?

my test new 24V deep battery system

photo:

brian.

yea i wouldnt count on batteries lasting more than 2.5 years....

 

so then i think batteries must be used as a way to condition the group to the life tht lies ahead......

 

assuming, for most tht family will be involved....post poleshift will be a moment where most will have been the most shocked in their entire lives..... during tht time it would be helpful to set up electricity as a short term goal.... to bring back some form of normalcy....

 

 

The lifespan of a deep cycle battery will vary considerably with how it is used, how it is maintained and charged, temperature, and other factors.

These are some typical (minimum - maximum) expectations for batteries if used in deep cycle service. There are so many variables, such as depth of discharge, maintenance, temperature, how often and how deep cycled, etc. that it is almost impossible to give a fixed number.

  • Starting: 3-12 months
  • Marine: 1-6 years
  • Golf cart: 2-7 years
  • AGM deep cycle: 4-7 years
  • Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years
  • Deep cycle (L-16 type etc): 4-8 years
  • Rolls-Surrette premium deep cycle: 7-15 years
  • Industrial deep cycle (Crown and Rolls 4KS series): 10-20+ years
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