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Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
We have four large 6 volt batteries giving us 24 volts DC. This is then converted into 250 volts AC, which supplies our house with electricity 24-7.
Solar_Panels_2.jpg

We started off with the 8 panels in the center as recommended, but despite the fact that we use very little electricity (not a lot of gadgets), we found that this was not enough, especially in winter. Next we added the three larger panels on the right, but this was still not enough for the winter months. Now we have added the four large panels on the left, & this system did well all through winter. We do however have a 4KVA generator in this power shed which will not only boost our batteries should we have extended overcast days, but it also powers the whole house at the same time.
In a shtf situation where we had no fuel for the generator, we would simply reduce our use of the power so that there was always enough left to power the fridge/freezer.
Note the homemade roof guttering & the water butt. We collect water from anywhere we can. We prefer the solar panels on the power shed because in winter we have to keep them clear of snow. This would be dangerous work if the panels were situated on the roof of the house.
Keith.
 

lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
the siting of solar panels in a SHTF situation will be a problem, obviously they have to be placed so they receive the maximum sun but the sun shining on the solar panel is quite liable to give away ones location, this can be seen for many miles, I know of at least one situation where that has been the case. (Tony Wrench...Wales).
 
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lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
Solar panels are okay for the good times whilst any after markets parts can still be made and bought, but in a long term scenario whilst the panels themselves can and do work beyond 3 decades, the inverters, batteries and electronics they plug into will not.
after the disaster occurs we should preserve as much of the modern technology as we can, for as long as we can, but if something requires spare parts to keep it running then forget it, there is unlikely to be any means of manufacturing spares in the long term and all this stuff will end up as so much scrap and waste material.
sure, use it while you can, but use it to get to a future where we can live without it.
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
the siting of solar panels in a SHTF situation will be a problem, obviously they have to be placed so they receive the maximum sun but the sun shining on the solar panel is quite liable to give away ones location, this can be seen for many miles, I know of at least one situation where that has been the case. (Tony Wrench...Wales).
Yes I can see that. We are situated part way down the side of a valley in a forest, so I doubt any reflection can be seen anywhere. Certainly no more so than our house windows. Same for the cottage just above us.
Keith.
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
Solar panels are okay for the good times whilst any after markets parts can still be made and bought, but in a long term scenario whilst the panels themselves can and do work beyond 3 decades, the inverters, batteries and electronics they plug into will not.
after the disaster occurs we should preserve as much of the modern technology as we can, for as long as we can, but if something requires spare parts to keep it running then forget it, there is unlikely to be any means of manufacturing spares in the long term and all this stuff will end up as so much scrap and waste material.
sure, use it while you can, but use it to get to a future where we can live without it.
Again I agree. We have lived without electricity in the past for over 20 years, so we are not strangers to making-do. It is nice to have the fridge/freezer, it means less work, but if we have to go without electricity in the future, we will manage.
Keith.
 

lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
yes i have lived without electric,i actually enjoyed it, it was nice to not have to worry about bills and stuff.
I used to bathe and get drinking water directly from the small river- i'd have to filter it these days but it was a safer time back then.
 

lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
Yes I can see that. We are situated part way down the side of a valley in a forest, so I doubt any reflection can be seen anywhere. Certainly no more so than our house windows. Same for the cottage just above us.
Keith.
light, smoke and noise are things people will have to pay more attention to post collapse than they do now, or these things will give away their location and they may get unwanted "guests".
not something anyone notices these days, say to some people "whats that noise?" and they say "what noise?", people are so used to living with background noise of everyday life they just wont notice it, this will have to change post collapse.
people just don't realise how quiet it will be without traffic noise, aircraft noise, mechanical noise, it will be so quiet it will freak some of them out. I wonder if that's why they make so much noise themselves? are they afraid of the quiet?
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
Those are the things I notice if I have to go into the city, that & all the people. Car fumes, cigarette smoke & noise. We have black-out curtains, but they are rarely drawn. With the high powered firearms being used these days I want shooters to see where we are at night, & I need to see torches, fires & gun flash at night.
Keith.
 

lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
someone stoked up a log burner this morning, one of the neighbours, they must have used damp wood because it was smoking like a good one! that and the smell could be noticed a mile off.
 
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Offgrid hero

Slightly Addicted
Messages
264
Points
470
We have four large 6 volt batteries giving us 24 volts DC. This is then converted into 250 volts AC, which supplies our house with electricity 24-7.
Solar_Panels_2.jpg

We started off with the 8 panels in the center as recommended, but despite the fact that we use very little electricity (not a lot of gadgets), we found that this was not enough, especially in winter. Next we added the three larger panels on the right, but this was still not enough for the winter months. Now we have added the four large panels on the left, & this system did well all through winter. We do however have a 4KVA generator in this power shed which will not only boost our batteries should we have extended overcast days, but it also powers the whole house at the same time.
In a shtf situation where we had no fuel for the generator, we would simply reduce our use of the power so that there was always enough left to power the fridge/freezer.
Note the homemade roof guttering & the water butt. We collect water from anywhere we can. We prefer the solar panels on the power shed because in winter we have to keep them clear of snow. This would be dangerous work if the panels were situated on the roof of the house.
Keith.
Looks like a fantastic spot,i think you need a bigger shed :whistle:
 

Ark79

Site Manager
Staff member
Messages
17,268
Points
2,250
Very nice Keith a have thought about solar power myself. Lovely bit of homesteading Keith. It's a must have for prepping imo
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
Looks like a fantastic spot,i think you need a bigger shed :whistle:
Tongue in cheek I know :), but I agree. The solar company who installed this set-up built the shed, & I really could do with more room inside. However, it is enough, it does the job. It is separated inside with a wall, batteries on one side, generator & power boards on the other.
Keith.
 

lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
we've got a friend in Somerset who has a small (domestic) wind turbine, 1 solar panel and a small water wheel off the stream, the electric from this powers her computer, and the lights for a couple of hours, its not a lot but it is enough for her simple needs.
I know nothing about setting up these systems, and in a post SHTF world i'm not sure we would need them.
i'm going for the simple life, as I have lived before.
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
we've got a friend in Somerset who has a small (domestic) wind turbine, 1 solar panel and a small water wheel off the stream, the electric from this powers her computer, and the lights for a couple of hours, its not a lot but it is enough for her simple needs.
I know nothing about setting up these systems, and in a post SHTF world i'm not sure we would need them.
i'm going for the simple life, as I have lived before.
The main advantage for us is the use of the fridge/freezer. It saves a lot of work having to dry certain foods. I made a coolgardie safe when we had no electricity, & it worked up to a point. We only kept small amounts of cheese so it would not go off. But the fridge/freezer allows us to preserve foods by freezing, keep things for longer periods. Bread lasts longer so we do not have to be continually baking. But yes, we can go back to no electricity if needs be & cope quite well.
Keith.
 

lonewolf

Neo Luddite Prepared Survivalist.
Messages
7,964
Points
1,180
i'm sure post SHTF we would be eating different foods and having a different diet, bread-if we still had it- will probably be more akin to flatbreads than the loaves we have today.
 

Prime

Very Addicted
Messages
1,828
Points
820
Keith , firstly nice set up.

Secondly , in order of importance to Human Needs can you describe your Water set up a bit more - either here or elsewhere - How much water do you Store /Can You Store ? Is it all rainfall based collection system or is there a well on the homestead? Local other sources.????

Thank you for the original post.
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
Keith , firstly nice set up.

Secondly , in order of importance to Human Needs can you describe your Water set up a bit more - either here or elsewhere - How much water do you Store /Can You Store ? Is it all rainfall based collection system or is there a well on the homestead? Local other sources.????

Thank you for the original post.
All rain water collection Prime. Two one thousand gallon galvo tanks on the cottage plus water butts for garden use. Two five thousand gallon cement water tanks plus a one thousand gallon poly tank on the main house plus water butts. A large dam below the main house.
At present water is pumped from the lower 5000 gallon tank to the higher tank via a petrol powered pump, but we can do this by hand if we have to. Water can also be pumped up to the cottage & the main house from the dam. The high 5000 gallon cement tank feeds the main house via gravity. I am also thinking of getting another pump run off the solar power to back-up the petrol motor.
Keith.
023.jpg

Dam_&_Flats.jpg
 

Prime

Very Addicted
Messages
1,828
Points
820
Damn. Thats a really nice place Keith.

Very Jealous although not sure how I'd fare with the heat.
 

Keith

Very Addicted
Messages
1,630
Points
780
Age
73
Damn. Thats a really nice place Keith.

Very Jealous although not sure how I'd fare with the heat.
The top picture looks a bit scrubby, but that image was taken a long time ago. The heat not too bad here in New England, that is one of the reasons we chose this area. I can remember when it got so hot in West Sussex that the tarmack was sticking to the tyres of vehicles & ripping up the roads!
Keith.
I still prefer winter though :)
Carolyn_s_Snow_Pics_016_2.jpg
 
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