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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My main reason for joining this forum is the threat of our power grids going out next spring with the solar flare issue. I've assembled a good weapons and ammo supply locked in safes.
My biggest concern to begin with is what type of backup power supply to go for. I live in a residential community with a backyard, a small shed, and if I buy a small gasoline generator,
very fuel efficient , maybe 2000 watts, storing enough fuel to run it is daunting. There are fuel stabilizers to consider , and my first thought would be a solar panel array with a down converter
with several storage batteries. I only plan to use electricity to charge my good collection of lithium ion, nimh, and D batteris for lanterns. I'm not planning on running household items like a
refrigerator because there will be no food to put in it. I'm torn between trying to amass enough fuel to sparingly use an efficient generator and to charge my mobility scooter, I'm retired and have
a walking disability. I'm thinking of:
1.- a honda EU2000i generator
2.- a small solar power system with several deep cycle batteries with an inverter.

I live on the coast, minimal sun but if this solar emp (solar flares) happen, it could take out pretty much the whole power grid and
everything not protected by a faraday cage. I've been reading and researching for the last 4 years and all the top astrophysicists are
on board with the possibility of this horrific event happening and congress and senate are doing nothing. At present, the only thing I have
are a good wife, weapons ammo to protect my home. I've been researching 5 gallon water box containers, 5 gallon gas containers and
a bit about solar panels. I am having great difficulty getting the solar part down because the mass of morons out there believe there solar
panel on grid systems will protect them, and of course, once the grid goes down, the only thing that will provide electricity is an off grid system.
I am not going to give somebody $20,000 to install a few250 watt panels and cheap associated electronics wholesaling for $1000 plus maybe $800
for 4 deep cycle batteries, I've been trying to put something together and can't make up my mind on fuel vs solar, fuel is only a short lived solution,
like for a long week end or two week ordeal when in fact, it might take years to get things back.
I read some statistics where people were speculating that if the grid goes down there might be a 90% casualty rate, not sure what the time frame will be,
but I want to survive the initial back to animal in 72 hours horror. There will be gangs of thugs trying to take whatever you've got, I'm not spry anymore but
I was a world class arm wrestler once upon a time and I will not go meekly. I have tow revolver holsters with on belt cartridge storage, two 50 shot bandeliers to
criss cross my upper torso and between my .357 magnum and .44 magnum revolvers as backup, my 3 8 round shotguns are a good start. I will be commencing to
try to create some kind of battery charging system after new years with water and lots of canned food to follow. If people can survive the first month or two, things
should thin out a bit.
I am just on the southern boundry with San Francisco and it's pretty dense population. My immediate area are single family homes and in the end I have a couple
of greyhounds which are the ultimate original desert hunters, if it moves they can run it down reaching 45 mph in 1.5 seconds.
anything you can add to the battery charging issue , fuel storage or solar off grid set up would be wonderful.
 

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Hi Keith and welcome. Please take some time to go to some RV owner's websites. Yes, I mean recreational vehicles. There is a vast community of RVers who live off-grid 24/7/365 and many are experts at solar power. I'm not talking about the weekend warriors or the tent campers. These folks are from all walks of life and many are retired electrical, electronics, mechanical, industrial engineers with many years of experience. Many of their RV rigs are $200k and much higher but their solar power systems will offer some great information and they are happy to share.
 

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First of all welcome. I think gasoline treated with sta-bil or something similar will last an entire year or more. There is a propane generator, generac model 3250 . Cant help you on the solar panels..My number one concern is water. Do you have a well?
 

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Welcome Keith. You might look to go to a more old school, non-powered style of backup living for your situation now if you're planning around solar flare activity. If there were activity to knock out the grid, why would you think it wouldn't fry your generator and/solar panels. Unless you've got them very protected they should be toast just the same and you'll still be in the same spot. Setting up non-powered means also to keep on living in some kind of comfort and safety compared to the millions around that won't be seems a wise choice to go with your powered means if they fail.
 

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Welcome Keith. You might look to go to a more old school, non-powered style of backup living for your situation now if you're planning around solar flare activity. If there were activity to knock out the grid, why would you think it wouldn't fry your generator and/solar panels. Unless you've got them very protected they should be toast just the same and you'll still be in the same spot. Setting up non-powered means also to keep on living in some kind of comfort and safety compared to the millions around that won't be seems a wise choice to go with your powered means if they fail.
Hi Keith and welcome. I was thinking the same thing.. That a solar emp would fry everything up to and including some pacemakers. So your generator, etc would be toast. I've grappled with the same question and have come to the conclusion that being able to sustain with zero electric is the first thought and then go up from there.

I'm not a scientist, nor have I researched solar activity. Would a flair act the same as an emp and fry everything or just knock out the major grids?
 

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From the way I understand a flare big enough would fry just about everything. Real big could fry the atmosphere too from what I understand.
 

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I would also add some primative tools, axe,shovel, old fashioned cultivator etc....Lehmans hardware located in holmes county ohio has alot of these kinds of things as they cater to a largely amish population. I believe they have a website.
 

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I'm an electrician and I am not getting my head wrapped around this. Are you guys saying my generator, which is sitting in the garage, not connected to anything, and not running, will be fried by a solar flare?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm an electrician and I am not getting my head wrapped around this. Are you guys saying my generator, which is sitting in the garage, not connected to anything, and not running, will be fried by a solar flare?
the rv link was good, and I could put a gas generator in a cardboard lined metal garbage can,hence , a faraday cage. I've learned just enough to feel stymied and ignorant. I usually have really good problem solving capabilities and the only good long term solution would be some kind of solar panel off grid system. I came up with weapons and ammo first and thought I was halfway home, when I couldn't even see home. Usually people make basic assumptions like, oh, just get a generator , run it, get back up food and water, and it all comes down to fuel storage????????
 

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Welcome to the forum Keith.

Yep, fuel storage is what it is all about. There are lots of ways to do it depending upon your resources and space - but it is very very important if you intend to use that gennie much - that and keeping that gennie running.

I've seen many a gas generator go kaput after using it for only a few days or so during a power outage and/or remote situation while camping. Most people know how to fill them with gas, that's about it. Few know how much regular maintenance they require to keep them running.

So have plenty of oil, spark plugs, spare brushings, etc., and be prepared to do maintenance every 50 hours run-time or so, if you intend to run that gennie as your main power source.
 

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it all comes down to fuel storage????????
Consider your vehicle. One of the best fuel storage units you can get. My truck holds 35 gallons and I keep it full. That will run the generator for quite a while running it intermittently on a as needed basis. I look at the generator as a temporary thing. Good for a month or three but not for 20 years or a mad max type apocalypse. In those type of cases we will need to get back to the pioneer mode The generator will help getting there. Even solar panels and batteries, how long does anyone expect them to last?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I've decided I am going to convert a small Honda or Yamaha to propane(actually trie fuel ) , clean burning , doesn't degrade, cheaper than gasoline and I plan on buying several 100LB (24 gallon propane tanks) I am going to buy some type of RV type agm battery to store what I charge from the generator. I'm not thinking forever power but maybe a couple of months, longer than that , I will have to forage like everyone else. If the grid goes down, after a couple of weeks there would
be beginning disease and people returning to base animals. I have many lethal firearms and ammunition to top it off, next comes water, probably in sealed 55 gallon drums with a siphon hose like the ones that costco sells and plenty of canned
food. I am not going freeze dried food because it takes too much water to rehydrate. I have a large supply of rechargeable batteries, AA and AAA nimh and 3.7 volt lithium 123 and 18650 lithium batteries, and mostly a wife that has gone to firearm practice with me so she is proficient and like I told her, we have two doors, which one do you want. My wife joked about our two greyhounds could be the family hunters and neighborhood cleansing tool.
btw, specs on the small chargers give them an hour of runtime on 1/10 a gallon of gas and 150 gallons of propane would provide over 1100 hours of generator time.
On the west coast 150 gallons of propane would cost around $500 and another $800 for propane tanks.
 

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Consider your vehicle. One of the best fuel storage units you can get. My truck holds 35 gallons and I keep it full. That will run the generator for quite a while running it intermittently on a as needed basis. I look at the generator as a temporary thing. Good for a month or three but not for 20 years or a mad max type apocalypse. In those type of cases we will need to get back to the pioneer mode The generator will help getting there. Even solar panels and batteries, how long does anyone expect them to last?
JRCLEAN If you plan it right. You'll be able to have renewable energy for quite some time. With proper charging and discharging of batteries you can expect to have them for over 10 years. I know quite a few families that are using AGM Batteries for more than 10 years. A wise investments would be to add an sufficient amount of solar panels and if applicable use wind turbines as well. Your solar panels operate in the daylight hours and your wind turbines run both in the day and especially at nights. You add low wattage appliances and light bulbs with solar or rechargeable batteries and man you can do a lot of things for a very long time. I'm getting a 7watt portable TV with DVD Player to use for long term usage it will provide some type of TV information/communication and entertainment. I can take that same TV/DVD Player and use it in my vehicle on trips and family outings that gives me benefit even when I'm not in prepper mode. The price of solar panels have come down in long way. I know of a source where you get them for $0.82 a watt for 24V panels and $1.15 a watt for 12V panels. Now that's awesome. Throw a 400-600watt wind turbine or two in the mix and man you're on cruise mode. I live in wind zone 4 and that means there is wind over 10mph for over 300 days out of the year. Tons of free renewable energy. I love it. My Generator is just that a huge battery bank charge if all else fails.
 

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Great ideas Desert Marine. I will look in to the AGM batteries. And I have been researching solar panels. Thanks.
 

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Consider your vehicle. One of the best fuel storage units you can get. My truck holds 35 gallons and I keep it full. That will run the generator for quite a while running it intermittently on a as needed basis. I look at the generator as a temporary thing...
If I buy a small genny for the house, I'd like to look into propane conversion. I keep five spare BBQ size propane tanks here at the house, easier to pick up and haul. I bought one new at Wally World, but the wife kept an eye out and picked up the rest in garage sales at $5 apiece, and one of those was full of propane with seal still attached. Have been thinking of buying some metal Jerry cans, for extra range and/or spare Genny fuel, but decided to rethink the issue until I can check on the Aux fuel tank that look like a tool box mounted on the back of the truck.
 
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If I buy a small genny for the house, I'd like to look into propane conversion.
That is a thought. I do have a 500 gal propane tank in the yard for the furnace, stove, and water heater. The drawback is getting propane after a SHTF scenario. I think there will be more gasoline laying around than propane, but perhaps not. You're right about the reasonable price on the 20 pounders. Watch the valves though. Most places will no longer fill the tanks with the old valves. At least around here.
 

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..... Watch the valves though. Most places will no longer fill the tanks with the old valves......
Yeah, your right on that item and thanks for the reminder. After purchase, with the exception the one that was full, I immediately take them to a bottle exchange, generally Lowe's or to the base exchange, and get a new clean bottle. Got the wife looking for more. I'd like to pick up at least four more.
 
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Welcome from Florida
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
after much research, I've decided to buy an 8kw Generac generator running from natural gas which in my area is not connected to the electrical grid. I will not have to buy containers, fuel, or any associated equipment.
I just have to install the unit with the 100 amp transfer switch that comes with it. I have to run a 45 ft length of pipe from my meter to my backyard. The generator sells for $2204 delivered price. I am really excited about
being able to have a whole house standby generator and I can't believe I over looked this solution with all of the difficulties of gasoline and propane storage. The generator is rated at 62db and I know that it is not really quiet
but any input on the practicality of this would be appreciated. Water, and food will be much easier to deal with. Any suggestions about best type of water storage containers would be appreciated. water heater, furnace and stove
are all gas but water may not be provided if electrical pumps are required, and it would be nice if some local utilities used natural gas for generation. The area I live in does not have any propane tanks, and may be illegal to place
in my backyard. A simple gas pipe run to my backyard would be really cool. I did call PG&E (my local energy company) and they said the electric grid and gas generation were not tied together in any way. My wife is very negative
about any of my plans to provide us with options, but she is a woman who has a natural bent ( like many women) to criticize everything. I spent 40 years helping contractors problem solve building and construction issues, with virtually
zero complaints about my solutions , so I'm confident that my methodology in being analytic in problem solving is effective. At any rate, if power goes down and I have power , we'll see then if she changes her tune. First thing I did was
to make sure I have weapons and plenty of ammunition to protect that which we get. 3 shotguns and a collection of .357mag revolvers and at least my wife can shoot.
I could use some help with whether to get 5 gallon or 55 gallon water containers and whether canned food is sufficient. I don't want dried food that all has to be rehydrated.
any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I don't have the luxury or property to be able to install anything underground, and I believe the main problem we might have to face is a the electric grid going down.
Having some power to run main household power would be great. My house has been using 900 plus kwh per month, which is 30 kwh per day, or very little demand per hour
I
 
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