Archive for the ‘compound’ Category

I am starting to do some research into solar panels, because after the grid goes belly up then a little bit of juice would be a wonderful luxury.  The problem with solar panels however is they are not easy to hide.    You can’t exactly put big-ass panels hidden away in a corner because then they would not get any sun.  This principal is also why Goth kids tend to be very pale.   But if one puts them proudly up on the roof, then after society crumbles you are just asking for the barbarians to come to your driveways gate.  So……

Maybe portable Solar Panels are the way to go?   For example a solar back pack?

My local Fry’s electronics has a got one shelf of other options as well……
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Thank you Tommy Cannon for showing me how!

I am starting my research into Solar Power and I am just generating lots of questions.

How much Juice do I need?

I am surprised how much my total kilowatt hours (kWh) jumps around from month to month.  No surprise the summer months use the most juice at around 600 kWh.

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Based on the info above I think I should try to make a solar system that generates 200kWh a month.   But how do I break that down by day?   If a kilowatt hour is equal to 1000 watt hours, does that mean I need 4 separate 50 Watt solar panels to equal 200kWh a month?  I read the Wikipedia entry on kilowatt hour but it just made me more confused.

How much will this cost?

The cost might add up to somewhere between $15,000 to $30,000.  The Fed. Gov. helps somewhat, currently 30% of the cost of the system can be used for a tax credit. Arizonagoessolar outlines Arizona incentives.   A post- incentive price tag of $15,000 to $20,000 gets mentioned a lot in the random examples.   This is a lot of money, it is also possible to lease a system, would this be better?

What type of system is better Grid-tie or Off-the grid?

Grid-tied are hooked into the grid.  During the day, the power generated goes into the grid and at night I pull of the grid.  Some companies have “net metering” which is if your system generates more than you use you get paid by the power company.  It looks like SRP (my local company) has a plan like this in place.  SRP also has a incentive plan to help lower the cost of installing the system.

Off the grid systems are not hooked onto the grid. Because you are now dealing with own storage they seem to be a little harder to figure out at first, but I would expect might be worth it. After all, the Grid-tied system makes you still dependent on the electric company system. In my mind a big hunk of a reason to go through all the trouble of building a solar system is to free oneself. Figuring out how to have both grid-tied and off-the-grid systems just overwhelms me.

One site said if your monthly bill is not at $75 or above, than the cost of establishing the systems may not be worth it.   Plus a full solar panel system on top off a house is like a giant ad to the post-APO hungry hordes. Maybe I should just get a back-up emergency solar system, like this one they had at Fry’s electronics…

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I finally got around trying to learn some basic carpentary skills. Thank you Tristan for showing me the basics of a saw, hand drill, wood, glue, and screws. Lord knows, I still got a lot to learn.

The DVD Disaster Preparedness for dummies is not bad for the first level of mulling over natural disasters.  Probably the most valuable reason to watch it is when one is debating (as I am) of what to put in a GTFOOD bag.  Phoenix is not likely need to flee (no hurricanes, tornadoes, minimal earthquake threat, and why in the world would a terrorist care about AZ?)  But a good “Get the F out of dodge” (GTFOOD) bag is the first level of the stockpile kit, or as I like to call it  “How to make a home into a compound.”

What stuck out for me from watching the DVD:

What to start packing: Think the basic needs of life, water, food, clean air.  Good things to add is basic medicines, flashlight, a crank powered radio, gloves, change in clothes and shoes.

Use that flashlight, avoid use of matches or candles when you are not sure about gas leaks.