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Electricity needs when the grids down.
25 March 2020, 22:00,
#1
Electricity needs when the grids down.
While we are in lockdown/self isolation i intend try and test as many of our preps as possible, so here are my thoughts on electricity, and our preps.

I think it’s most important to work out what your electricity needs might be in a grid down situation, and try to balance perceptible needs with what you want to spend or what you can afford.

I don’t mean try to run your home at the same level as on the mains, but at a level that suits your plans at a price you can afford, and to give you some flexibility. Our plans are quite basic. As seasoned campers we can mostly live without mains electricity.

However if we were of an age where we could guarantee twenty years of use of a full off-grid solar system we would not hesitate, but we are both in our mid seventies, in reasonable health at the moment but who knows what the future will bring.

So these are our thoughts, I don’t intend to attempt to run the freezer on solar, this would be a huge electricity drain on any system and would need a fairly large array and a large financial commitment, which we have ruled out.

A generator running a few hours a day would keep it going, but you have to store fuel and the noise could draw attention, even so s/h genny’s can be cheap (a couple of months ago i was offered an old honda ec2200 for £50, i nearly snatched the guys hand off).

This is completely different from my previous plans, which were as the freezer packs up just to dry-salt or brine food as it thaws if we don’t want to or can’t eat it immediately.

Another high user of electricity is laundry, we keep plenty handwash detergent, and we are on the lookout for an old fashioned mangel/wringer.

For our needs all we want is charging for 12v batteries (leisure and vehicle) usb devices, AA and AAA rechargeables, these are our very basic requirements for led lanterns , cb, walkie talkies, flash lights etc.

All house lighting is now 240 volt led and can be run from the genny or a leisure battery and an inverter, not indefinitely but for a couple of hours while we assess the situation, and decide if it’s a short or long term event.

For our main charging needs we have a 100 watt folding solar panel with built in charge controller, good summer sun gives us 6-7 amps, quite useful, i haven’t tried it in winter weather i expect only 1-1.5 amps, so we will probably get a second one. These will be used to charge our leisure batteries (we have two) or any vehicle battery as necessary.

We also have a couple of 20 watt panels (and an old 5 or 10 watt, can’t remember which) which will be used mainly to charge usb devices and the AA and AAA rechargables. We have two 12 v 7 Ah sealed batteries out of an emergency lighting system these are gaffer taped together and wired to a cigarette lighter socket as a portable CB power supply.

These are our current electricity plans.
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25 March 2020, 23:11,
#2
RE: Electricity needs when the grids down.
Very short term would be generators ,solely for freezers and gas boiler controls . Solar setup 1 is a 50 watt panel for USB ports and 750 watt inverter ,solar setup 2 ....3 100 watt panels 3 deep cell leisure battery bank good charge controller and a good quality inverter.....12 volt dc water pumps 2 off 12 volt dc Emerson water heating coil , 12 volt switches , connectors , cables , led lighting , fold out solar panel, crimping set and shrink tubes all sizes .....I was going to setup S2 in a purpose built greenhouse/shed but we intend to use this in a BO situation so undecided .
A few years back HIGHLANDER gave a good tip on this forum regarding freezers ....using a timer to control the use and running where he calculated the run time /against the down time a freezer could operate efficiently by turning off the supply for a few hours with no negative effect on frozen foods so long as it is in opened , a bloody good tip !

We also have facilities for charging double a and triple a and most others , a power pack with inverter Built in torch USB ports and 240 volt point .

From a washing cloths point of view .....some good metal calv buckets and a good scrubbing brush , and a good washing line .......we got em all ! .
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
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