Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

Dear Editor: Although I shouldn’t have been, I was once again amazed at the panic and last minute attempts to prepare, as Hurricane Matthew approached Florida. Florida’s geography dictates that there is only one way to travel to get out of the state, and that is north, unless you own … Continue reading

Letter: Circling Back on My Preps

Dear Editor, My preps are in five areas, per the “group think” of SurvivalBlog. I have worked from area to area starting with what is easiest and cheapest up the ladder in each area. As I circle back I am working my way up but also looking back and questioning … Continue reading

A Micro Solar Power System With Maximum Utility, by B.C.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I recently stumbled backwards onto an inexpensive and truly totable way to power two-way radios, shortwave, and other receivers; charge smart phones and iPads; provide lighting; quickly purify water on the go; keep night vision functional; enable electronic security systems; and pump rainwater to … Continue reading

Letter Re: Backup Electric Power Design Considerations

Hugh, The largest draw on your power is for the refrigeration of both you and your food. These guys have some interesting solutions that are direct connect DC. They seem to be fine folks, but the solutions are pricey. Danzer makes an interesting refrigerator that runs on 24 volt. I … Continue reading

Letter Re: Backup Electric Power Design Considerations

Editor, I found KK’s recent letter interesting in that he, as an experienced solar installer, recommends DC coupled systems. In particular, I would like him to expand on how his clients cope with using DC rather than AC on their properties and how and where they buy DC appliances, tools, … Continue reading

Letter Re: Backup Electric Power Design Considerations

HJL, I believe R.V. and Expat are referring to AC Coupled inverters. I’ve installed hundreds of offgrid solar systems from 300 to 30,000 watts and I have never used an AC coupled system for an offgrid install. Mainly because it requires more fancy equipment and customization. I don’t feel it … Continue reading

Letter Re: Backup Electric Power Design Considerations, Expat and Other Thoughts

HJL: Welding cable is a fine way to cut amperage loss in your line. However, since it is intended by the manufacturer to be used for welding and not solar system, it is labeled for welding and not labeled for building installation. Code inspectors want to see a certain label. … Continue reading

Letter Re: Backup Electric Power Design Considerations

Editor, As a full time user of off-grid power I’ve a few quibbles with this article. One is the casual reference to rooftop solar panels. Solar panels get dirty-fast. Solar panels in general are not all that wonderful in generating concentrated energy and dirty panels generate far less than optimal. … Continue reading