Our lives revolve around energy. We rely on electricity to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter, to freeze, heat, and cook our food, and to power the various devices we use for countless tasks every day. In first world countries today, almost everyone has power.
In a crisis, though, life without power is a very real (even likely) possibility. If you find yourself in that situation, you have one of two options: try and make do, or get to work and solve the problem. In this article we’re going to discuss five different types of off-grid energy, some of the pros and cons that come along with each, and how you can utilize them to make your off-grid experience as easy as possible.
Please note that even more important than having all the right materials is having the knowledge to carry out the plan. In these circumstances, you can’t call in an electrician to do the dirty work for you. You have to be the expert at every stage, or else all your other preparations are for nothing. So take full advantage of the unlimited resources on the internet (while you still have it) and educate yourself as thoroughly as you can. You’ll thank us later.
So without further ado, here are 5 off-the-grid energy alternatives and everything you need to know to choose the best option for you.
Wood is a survival staple. You can use it for cooking, cleaning, boiling water, sanitizing tools, and providing heat. If you don’t have a fireplace, fire pit, or wood-burning stove, we highly recommend investing in a Dutch oven or two, a kettle, and any other cast-iron cookware you might need. You can also purchase laundry-hanging racks to make use of the heat to dry your clothes.
Of course, this energy method does require that you stock up on a large amount of wood ahead of time. Wood fires also create smoke, which, if you’re trying to keep your location secret, may make them a less desirable option.
Windmills are good tools to have on their own or even in addition to solar panels on the not so sunny days, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you set up your own at home. The downside to windmills is that they can breakdown or become damaged during use, and so they require more maintenance.
They may not power everything in your home, but it never hurts to have a few solar panels up on your roof. You can even find portable solar panels that you can roll up, stick in your go-bag, and pull our whenever you need them. They’re relatively easy to put into place, and during spring, summer, and fall, you’re basically golden. Winter proves to be more of a challenge, though, with the dreary days and snowfall not providing much useable sunlight.
A gasifier is made up of two containers. The first container holds the heat source (fire) and directs heat into the second container holding the wood. The resulting wood gas is channeled into the carburetor of your engine and is directly used for fuel. The engine turns a flywheel that’s connected to the alternator, and power is produced.
All you need for a bicycle generator is a belt to hook up to the front wheel of a bicycle, a battery, a generator, and a voltage regulator to ensure that you don’t blow out or overload your battery. Remember that this generator runs solely on the pedal power of an unmoving stationary bicycle; only the front wheel turns.
These are our top five recommendations for alternative energy resources. Whether you’re looking to keep it simple with a basic wood fire or you’ve always had an itch to give solar power a shot, now it’s your job to decide which method is the right fit.
And most importantly, do your research. Right now you have all the information in the world at your fingertips, but it may not always be that way. You need to have your game plan laid out and ready to go before disaster strikes.