A Prepper’s Primer on Renewable Energy – Part 2, by Kevin R.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)

If you are preparing a retreat to be abundantly supplied when you bug out, but are not always using and replenishing wood, make sure that the wood is protected from rain and snow. Rotten wood does not provide as much energy. Also, make sure that you know where you can get more wood, should you start living in your retreat full time. Do you own your own timber? (Good thing to keep in mind when buying land.) How will you transport your logs to your home if you are in a crisis situation? It takes several medium sized trees to make a cord of wood. You need get into it before you will fully understand the investment of energy required for a season’s worth of wood.

To get wood into your fireplace, a tree needs to be felled, the length of tree needs to be sectioned into shorter lengths that will fit in your fireplace, and finally the wood is split longitudinally so that it is a diameter that burns well in your fireplace. Under normal conditions–that is to say, the society has not collapsed and you can obtain parts and fuel–a chainsaw is the ideal tool for felling and sectioning a tree. I currently use a Husqvarna 16” bar saw on trees that are typically 6” to 12” in diameter.

Each year I replace the spark plug and bar, and I typically purchase and use one or two new chains in order to process 6 to 7 cords of wood. Along the way, I sharpen the chains with a fine, cylindrical metal file. I keep telling myself that I’m going to get a Stihl 18” saw because it seems to work its way through the wood better and last longer, but the old Husqvarva keeps going well enough that it has been easy to put off that purchase. The macho in us all leans toward getting the largest, longest chainsaw available. However, when you are wielding a very unforgiving tool for hours on end, macho inclinations can be tempered. Be safe and thoughtful; get enough chainsaw, but not too much.

However, what about abnormal conditions; that is, conditions where you can’t buy parts or fuel. Under those conditions, I use a Collins axe or 30” bow saw to fell the tree, and the bow saw to section the tree. It is sometimes convenient to use a hand sledge to drive in a wedge into the tree to keep it from collapsing around your saw blade, regardless of what kind of saw you use. A bow saw and extra blades is a critical low-tech prep. These tools are very inexpensive, durable, easy to maintain, and long lasting. Good traits for when the grid is down.

Wood Splitting

To split the wood, my favorite and most versatile tool for splitting is an inexpensive Collins axe. (At the onset of the current coronavirus crisis, I bought an extra one just to be well equipped.) The Collins axe is heavy enough to fell a tree and easily split slightly damp wood, and it is wielded easily enough to split dried wood sections like a hot knife through butter, with little effort. Some people buy either a gas powered or hydraulic hand driven splitter, but for me the added gas guzzler or machine that needs parts is not worth it. A good axe gives me the feeling that I can provide wood in all situations, regardless of how long I will be providing wood. (Right now I am 63 years old; perhaps when I’m 80 I’ll break down and buy a mechanical splitter.)

When splitting wood, stand with your feet well apart so they are never in the path of your axe. Pay attention to what you’re doing, without distraction, so that the axe blade lands where you intend it to. Many a trip to the hospital has been as a result of someone looking away halfway through their swing, and the axe blade ricocheting off the log onto their shin or foot. When a beginner, practice with short swings on dry logs to build your confidence. I tend to split the wood right before it is used, so it has been dried for over a year and is therefore quite easy to split. That makes splitting wood a welcome, easy exercise during the winter, parceled throughout the season, so it is never an ominous task.

Once we have collected our wood, we stack it under a shed roof that keeps the rain and snow off it. It is not an entirely enclosed shed, so wind will get the wood wet on the sides. However, this amount of moisture doesn’t seem be excessive, and what is lost with a little moisture on the outside of the wood is more than compensated by the air flow moving through the stack, which we depend on to age and dry the wood. Usually I collect the wood that I will use a year later, and the wood that is used for the immediate winter was collected more than a year before. This does two things for me. It gives me a reservoir of wood that exceeds my needs for the immediate winter; and it assures that I am burning dry wood–which gives me the greatest amount of energy for the wood that I have collected.

Firewood Varieties

People who use wood heat will burn the species of wood that are most available to them. In our area (mountainous Idaho), we have pine, spruce, fir, and aspen. We burn about 70% pine, 25% aspen, and 5% fir and spruce. The pine burns hotter than aspen, and gives off more creosote. Creosote is a product of incomplete combustion that, if it builds up in your chimney, will cause a chimney fire and potentially burn down your house. It will build up if your fire is not hot enough, or if it is not getting enough oxygen. Dangerous creosote buildup can be avoided by installing a fireplace thermometer (available at the local hardware store for a few bucks). The thermometer will help you keep your burn at a temperature that will not build up creosote.

Also, most stoves have some kind of air intake control. We keep ours at the maximum air intake to make sure the fire is getting enough oxygen to burn the wood as completely as possible. So far, using a fireplace heater to assure a hot fire and keeping the air intake at the maximum level has prevented creosote from accumulating. We brought out a chimney sweep to clean our chimney after about 25 years of seasonal use and 3 years of full-time use, and he found almost no creosote.

So when we want to warm our cabin quickly and thoroughly, we burn pine. When we want put a large log on the fire before we go to bed on a cold night, we’ll use aspen; which will burn at a lower temperature, less explosively, and produce less creosote.

A Quick Word About Wind and Hydro

Two renewable options that have not been discussed here are wind and hydro energy. Both wind and hydro energy sources can be wired to the inverter discussed in this article, but I haven’t used either of them, so I can’t comment much on them. I chose not to install a wind generator because we do not receive constant enough wind, and I didn’t want to mess with the maintenance needed for consistent energy production from wind. Hydro was not practical for us because of a lack of usable water source. However, in some circumstances, preppers may have the wind and water resources that would make either of these two options realistic.

In conclusion, energy planning is a vital component of planning and building your retreat. Using simple solar and wood energy sources, you can cover all of your needs in a cost effective manner, for an indefinite length of time. Good luck with your preps, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe!




33 Comments

  1. Just had the opportunity to read part one from yesterday. Consider the Iron Edison batteries made from LiFePO4. They are very long lasting. Some of Thomas Alva Edisons original batteries are still in operation. That’s over 100 years ago. Iron Edison does not warranty their batteries for that long. They are expensive, but if TSHTF and there is no longer any replacement for your old batteries imagine having a set of batteries that could last very very long. Next consider that Iron Edison batteries might last longer that two, three, or more than four sets of AGM or lead acid deep discharge batteries. Consider that you only have to haul these batteries into the back country once instead of many times with conventional batteries. Iron Edisons also allow you to discharge to about 30% without degrading long term performance as opposed to 50% to 70% with conventional batteries. In other words you get more watts per battery before they have to be recharged with Iron Edison batteries.

    1. There is a bit of misunderstanding here. Iron Edison Company sells two types of batteries. LiFePO4 batteries are completely different from Edison’s Nickle Iron batteries. They have only been around for 20 years or so, their actual life span is unknown and they are still part of evolving technology. It is no where near the Edison batteries life span. Nickel Iron batteries are flooded cell batteries using Potassium Hydroxide for the electrolyte. The electrolyte must be replaced completely at approximately 10 year intervals for optimum performance.
      Each battery require different charging and discharging parameters, Please consult with the sellers for complete information.

      1. Sorry LiFePo4 is the lithium iron battery. The iron edison is NiFe. It is warrantied for 10 yrs with a life expectancy of 30+ yrs. Some still in use date back to the 1940s. In the past, I have read that Exide bought the rights to this technology when it was developed and shelved it to get rid of the competition.

        Again sorry for the error.

  2. We are working on the basics. Up until now, always believed a situation without power was something we could live through and adjust to. After reading your article the idea presented of not using batteries sparked our interest. Thank you.

  3. Concerning chainsaws; don’t think length of bar, but size of motor. I own a tree business and use Husqvarna saws. Why? Because that’s how I started. If I had started using Stihl saws I probably would have stayed with them. They are both good companies.
    Both brands make two saw grades. Homeowner and professional. You pay about a third more for the pro models. You would have to decide if the upgrade was worth it. If this is for survival I would go pro. A medium size saw would be 55 to maybe 70 cc’s.
    Weight is a consideration. Get the largest you can comfortably handle.

    1. I don’t own a tree business, but I process quite a bit of wood both at work and on the farm, and I can echo what you say. I’ve never regretted having more power in a saw, and the professional models are well worth the extra money. I run Stihl saws for the same reason you run Husqvarna, I started out with them, and even though Husqvarna builds a good machine, I’m just partial to the Stihl. I currently run a MS461 with a 20″ bar and a 3/8 full chisel chain, and a MS 660 with a 28″ bar and a 3/8 full chisel chain. I prefer the 461 for everything except very large trees. The longer bar and extra power of the 660 is nice when cutting large logs, but most of the time I prefer the 461. I have an older Stihl 026 with an 18″ bar and a .325 full chisel chain (my first saw that I bought used) and I still run it for cutting small stuff, pruning, cutting fence posts, etc, but once I bought the bigger saws I find myself rarely reaching for the 026 any more.
      Quality chainsaws and extra chains and parts are definitely a lifesaver when handling a lot of wood. And good quality filles!

      No matter what kind of saw your run though, wood makes such a wonderful renewable energy source here in the Southeast.

      1. This will sound funny compared to both of you and your equipment, but I’ve regularly used the same little 14″ Homelite (Home Depot brand) saw for almost 20 years now. I’ve taken very good care of it, and it’s returned the favor year after year. The small, lightweight size is perfect for cutting branches and smaller logs up to about 10″ diameter. Just runs like a champ. A couple of years ago, I bought a second Homelite model (20″ bar) and it immediately failed due to the inferior quality. Returned it and got the highest quality brand listed as a “pro” model (though, of course, Home Depot sells homeowner models). It also failed within a week, so I returned it as well and just made do with the 14″. The quality of the newer saws just isn’t there.

        Still using that little Homelite and loving it. If/when I find myself in need of a large saw again (e.g., the next time an oak comes down on the property from a storm or age), I’ll just bite the bullet and get a Stihl or Husky.

        1. The problem with Homelite as you have discovered is the lower quality. I would always pick either a Stihl or Husqvarna if I had the choice. Yes, they do cost more, but also have much better quality and in a SHTF situation having every advantage that you can is significant. The FULL CHISEL chain (as I mentioned to another SB reader below) is also the best way to go.

          1. One piece of additional advice. If your intent is to use the saw for years and wood is necessary to heat your home than buy two at the same time and use them both alternately. That way your saws will last twice as long as one would and if SHTF happens and you have one break down you will have extra parts. But buy them both at the same time, they make changes and a same model two or three years ago may not be 100% compatible with that model today. Also buy two extra chains. I would pick a middle of the homeowner line Stihl like the MS250 with an 18″ bar. Easy to use, affordable and a good saw. One last point; two MS250’s will cost about the same a one larger professional grade Stihl saw especially if you take advantage of a sale which happen regularly. So you actually can afford to buy two if a chain saw is important to your lifestyle.

        2. I like professional model saws, but I won’t knock the older Homelites. I’ve never personally owned one, but I do know that my Dad has a homelite string trimmer that he ran heavily for many, many years, and it was one of the most reliable two cycle machines he owned. It was nothing fancy, but it ran right alongside his Stihl chainsaws.

        3. I’m like you I have run a 14″ McColluch saw for the last 20 years and that saw just keeps running. It’s provided me with countless cords of firewood and in my opinion a small saw is safer to run which should be a consideration especially to those who are not pros. I also have an older Homelite with a 20″ bar for the larger wood. The key is not the saw used but proper sharpening and tension of the chain.

    2. My daily use saw is proudly a 40 year old L65 Husqvarna, a medium sized saw that is heavier than modern saws. I’m not a professional that uses saws everyday, so please correct me if you believe I’m off. I’ve worked on many saws, and just love this thing. IMHO, the modern saws are too sophisticated for long term dependability. They cannot used thick gear oil, and old gas like the low tech saws. The old saws, although heavy and parts hard to impossible to get, are better saws in general for the survivalist. Sthil’s are the saws to own around here, and I am constantly working on them. I would not go out and buy a modern saw if I could avoid it. When the octane rating of stored fuel decreases in about year or three, it can damage high tech, high performance modern saws, especially if run hard and hot in the summer, whereas these old saws will not care. They are lower revving and can soak up heat better too, and do not require modern high performance 2 cycle oil in the fuel either. Yes, they are heavy, but they are also build like tanks. The old L65 has been running on 32:1 low tech oils for the last 40 years. It does not run better on synthetic 50:1 3 cycle mixes, but prefers the heavier and low octane of 32:1. Any type of 2 cycle oil I can find, that is not recommended for modern saws, this thing will use. If I had to run 16:1 using motor oil, it might survive that. I have many brands, and only one modern one and it broke on me after one cord. I’d recommend getting several of the same model, older and in good shape Sthil saws, professional models if possible, and several replacement carburetors kits, and other spare parts, and chain, and files. The Sthil 038, or 028 would fit that recommendation. Btw, I’ve got old Echo, and Homelite, and I am working on getting an old Johnsered. They are heavy, old and ugly and cheap, and I love them! Their carbs to not get plugged up like high performance Sthils, and often I find bargains that need to be cleaned up and only new fuel added. My last Husky was $20 bucks, and ran great with new fuel. Usually these old saws go from zero to $10 bucks each at yard sales.

      1. I agree with what you’re saying as well. I have my great grandfather’s old Stihl 031 AV, and it was a GREAT saw. The only reason it doesn’t get used now is that it needs a set of points and I haven’t found any locally, and haven’t gotten around to ordering a set on Ebay. I have considered trying one of the electronic chips, but haven’t done it yet.

        Tunnel Rabbit, for what its worth, one thing to add to your post, the newer Stihl saws now have computerized carburetors on them, and they have to be hooked up to a dealer computer to adjust them. You can’t do it without a computer, and my local dealer told me that only Stihl dealers have the software. I can’t verify if that is true, but I did tell them that I wont be buying another new saw, that they could call me when a nice used Stihl saw comes in.
        And I am definitely not a professional either, I just cut a decent amount of wood and have a big soft spot for nice saws…

        1. Hi wwes,

          Thanks for that bit of important news, that the new Styhl saws have computer controlled carbs. That is a deal breaker. I also found that they are using oil pumps with reduced volume that requires a lighter all season bar lube. It is now difficult to find the correct bar oil that is thick and sticky enough for older saws. This means old saws are use oil at twice the rate, and needs to be fill every time one fills with gas. The new Styhl has such reduced capacity oil pump with a tiny inlet holes, it easily plugs up. I already had to disassemble a nearly new 018 to get at the pump. They are not making good saws for survivalist’s anymore. I also heard bad stuff about new Husqvarnas, so stay away from those too. In my experience, used saws generally have plenty of time left on them, and it is easier to get replacement parts for Styhl, and Styhl is less expensive and easy to find parts on the net. The last 3 new carbs from China I installed this year work good and are so cheap that rebuild kits are obsolete. Styhl carbs do plug up with corrosion if any moisture condenses out. Get spare carbs. Also the new Husqvarna chains are not user friendy to sharpen, and I use after market brands on Husqvarna.

          1. I can’t remember who told me about the carbs to start with, but I asked my local dealer and they confirmed it. I appreciate having them as a dealer, they will be up front and honest with you, even when they know it’ll cost them a sale.

            The brand of bar oil that I have been running is Itasca, I don’t know if it is available in your neck of the woods, but it is a heavyweight oil, and I think it is produced by the Warren oil company here in NC. I know that Agri Supply carries it for around $10-$12 a gallon. I don’t know if they would ship it or not, I usually pick it up in store.

  4. Chainsaws aren’t something I’ve done a lot of research on yet but I went with Jonsered (which is owned by Husqvarna) because they are what my local hardware store carried and they gave me a great deal. I’ve had no problems whatsoever in three years and it’s been a great saw.

    What I wanted to contribute is that for new chains, the ones I get from my local auto parts store are much heavier and cheaper than anything I was getting pre-packaged from Amazon or Home Depot. He sells them by the inch, you give him your saw make and model and bar length and he does the rest. They last a lot longer and stand up to more sharpenings. I cut mostly hardwoods so need to sharpen more frequently than my pine and aspen friends and these heavier chains make a difference.

    I agree with Roadkill, get the largest saw you can comfortably handle. The longer the bar, the more teeth you will have on the chain doing the cutting work, meaning an 18″ saw will not get as dull nearly as quickly as a 16″ saw will.

  5. Chain saws are certainly the way to go if you can keep them running. And certainly professional grade is the way to go as well. Years ago I bought Stihl 310. It was OK probably good for starting out. But Not really suited for cutting lots of heavy timber.

    So then I got a Stihl 362 which is a professional grade saw. A huge difference. I would not recommend one as a first saw for anyone. But for heavy cutting they are the way to go.

    Bow saws have been mentioned, and they work well. I have several of them and use them from time to time. But to go one better in terms of providing oneself with a lot of wood. It is better to go with a crosscut saw. There is one outfit that still makes and sells them here in the US.

    https://crosscutsaw.com/product-category/all-products/crosscut-saws/

  6. Since chainsaws seem to be a hot topic…
    If you could only have one chainsaw to handle ‘whatever needs’ during SHTF (and before), would you then go with a Stihl or Husqvarna 18″ with a certain cc?

    1. My best friend is a retired lumberjack and he prefers Husqvarna, but he says that Stihl makes good saws. Husqvarna is from Sweden originally, but has manufacturing plants around the world. Stihl is a German company founded in 1926, but the Stihl 028 that I have says made in Virginia, but both companies have started using parts made in China to reduce cost and remain competitive. I like doing business with American companies whenever I can. I noticed that JWR recommended Stihl and even though he did not go into the details behind his choice I would guess that the concept of supporting the local economy may have at least been a factor in that choice. They do have a good reputation as well. Why ship parts and supplies half way around the world when they can be sourced locally?

      Roadkill has mentioned buying a large enough saw to get the job done and I totally agree with that. Just common sense. My Stihl 028 is a bit under powered for heavy work in big logs, but I got it for a good price at a pawn shop several years back and it was in good used condition so I put up with it being a little “weak” for the big jobs. For trimming it might be considered a bit overkill, but for many jobs it does OK. Another thing is buy a FULL CHISEL chain. Don’t ever bother with the old ROUNDBACK. If anyone has ever used both of them side-by-side they will know why. The former cuts more efficiently – bigger chips come flying out faster and it gets the job done quicker. A FULL CHISEL chain tends to cut straighter on bigger logs as well. My overall advice would be look at a mid-sized saw first, but always ask the question: How big of a tree will I normally be cutting? Then get a saw that is big enough to handle 95% of what you will ever deal with. The remaining 5% might be a very large tree that gets blown over in a bad wind storm and then you might be wanting a larger saw, but you can if careful and with a little extra time handle the occasional tough job.

      I mentioned to another reader a few days ago about having a set of wooden wedges instead of metal ones. The metal ones can break the chain if they hit it or worse causing the saw to kick back at you possibly causing a serious injury. As always wear proper protective gear.

      1. The is a good description of why the old Stihl 028, or the similar 250 is a good all around saw for most work. If tackling a large job, putting a fresh edge on the chain really helps. Go easy on the raker, and the chain will not bite more than the motor can handle. Avoid lugging the motor that may do it harm, but keep the revs up and in the power band. Chain sharpening can be an art. Experiment with angles, and get good files, not Oregon brand for sure. Swiss brand and Stihl bands cut faster than the cheep Chinese things, that are called ‘files’.
        One larger saw such as the old 038 with a full size bar is also good to have, and can also use the bar and chain of either the 028 or 250, and likely more recent models. Husqvarna models can use the larger or smaller bars and chains. Larger bars can use ‘skip chains’ that won’t bog down the motor and cut more efficiently. If pressed to do so, a longer bar on an 028 or 250 that is design for a larger motor, can be used to extend your reach and be easier on the back, but do not expect it to hog through a monster tree. Having saw that have interchangeable parts, and knowing the options one has with their equipment can reduce expenditures, and ensure redundancy.

        1. Good files make everything so much easier! The same goes for metal working of any kind- I am a welding teacher and I only buy Pferd brand saws in the shop (and swiss brand for saw chains), they have served me well.

  7. I would have no problem recommending either a Stihl or Husqvarna chainsaw. I chose Stihl only because there was a local dealer. I have seen both in action and am impressed with both.

  8. I’m really glad so many commented on saws. All comments have pretty sound advice. Here’s a little more, take it for what it’s worth. On average a bar will last about three chains. Once the chains are sharpened as far as they can go the bar is probably worn out. Not always, just kind of a rule of thumb.
    Always wear proper ppe. Helmet, ear and eye pro. Chaps. Wear your chaps if your only going to make one cut. I’ve had so many friends and aquantences that have had accidents it’s not even funny. Just remember this; the average chainsaw accident takes 135 stitches.

    1. To add to Roadkill’s comment. You should invert the bar occasionally to get even wear on both sides and if there is a saw shop near by the bar can be reground to add extra life. On a side note you may need two saws. One big enough to fell the largest tree you plan to harvest and a smaller one say 14-16″ to de-limb. Wielding a 28-30″ saw to de-limb is way to much work.

  9. One option you might think of is electric saws. I can work a lot longer and get more done on wood using a a lightweight one.

    I don’t have the Oregon battery powered one everyone raves about. I use the ones with cords into 110V source, either at my building or from my portable generator. Just manage your cords so they don’t get tangled or cut.

    You can find many decent used ones for 5 or 10 bucks. For newer ones, get the most HP rating you can get. Blade length from 12 to 16 inches will cut a lot of wood.

    An electric makes a good backup once you have the large stuff cut with your gas powered rig. I take my gas powered Stihl to the pro shop every year for a tuneup. They make sure it cuts like a knife through hot butter, for 12 years now.

    And like JWR says often, wear ALL the safety gear All the time.

  10. Weighing cost, quality and engine size, I went with an Echo Timberwolf. It’s basically a 60cc saw with an 18″ bar. I cut,split, stack and burn about 7-8 cords a year. This saw is reliable, powerful and affordable.

    1. It hurts my pride to admit it, but I generally take at least two saws out with me partly for that reason. I have had to cut a saw out of a log more times than I like to admit. Although it seems to happen less than it used to, it still happens on occasion 🙂

  11. Maybe 12 years ago I needed a chain saw for some trees in the yard. I already had too many gas powered lawn tools that never seemed to start when infrequently used and a chain saw that never started without ether so I went electric. I bought a 16 in makita 110VAC saw with the low profile 3/8″ chain. I paid over $200 but its a professional saw. The current model is $225 on amazon. That extra money over the cheap electric saws buys you a much sturdier motor, more power and torque, all while running much cooler. I’ve used my saw for at least 3-4 continuous hours and I never needed to stop to let the motor cool. I’ve used my saw to cut down pine trees, maple trees, oak trees, you name it. It cuts great and starts every time I press the switch. I doubt it has as much power as some gas models, but at worst I only cut a bit slower. I found an 18″ LP bar that also works fine on the saw. Plenty of power for the extra two inches. I don’t think you can get bars any longer. When I need the saw for the far reaches of the yard (1.5 acres) I pull out one of the generators and tow it down in the garden trailer. Its good exercise for the generators and burns up the old gasoline in them. My saw could also be run from an inverter in a SHTF situation. In the long term I will accumulate enough solar panels to run the saw off solar panels though that power might be more valuable running other equipment. I own two fiskars axes that are my favorites and could be used to fell trees away from the house, then I just need to get the logs back to the house. Trailer with the right wheels will work fine.

  12. I’m a big fan of solar too. Right now I order a 100W panel or two a year, an additional MPPT charge controller every couple years and another inverter every 6-7 years. I have enough panels and equipment to charge phones, flashlight batteries, 18V tool batteries, run radios, computers, laptops, and at least one freezer. I don’t keep the system set up because the power output I’d be able to use is cheaper to buy from the power company compared to the deterioration and depreciation of my components. If the grid went down, from say an EMP or solar flare I’d pull the electronics from the faraday can and set the system up. I’d like to get serious and put some larger panels out in the yard, maybe on a shed, but up until recently the systems available were either grid tie or isolated from the grid with batteries. Battery off grid systems are expensive electricity (though running poles can be also). I wanted a system that would grid tie when the grid was active and feed the house when the grid was down, all without an expensive battery bank. Every solar installers at home shows has said they had no options for me.

    I check the technology every couple years and recently I ran across an inverter/charger from Schneider (Conext SW 4024 120/240 Split-phase) that does most of what I want for a SHTF system. It really a sophisticated UPS controller. You can hook batteries up to it which means you can hook up solar panels through charge controllers through the batteries for your DC input. You can hook up a generator/grid power to it passing electricity through it and charging the batteries. This capability has been around for decades. The interesting part is some of the control logic. If I’m reading it right, I can set it to mainly use battery power (panels) during day and pull grid/generator power if the batteries can’t supply the full load. this could save fuel. Or I could be running my generator, passing power through, set the capacity of my generator and the inverter will supply extra power if the load exceeds the capacity of the generator. This would allow me to run a smaller generator and save fuel. There were a bunch of interesting settings. I still need to digest the owners manual, I haven’t determined if the inverters are reliable or not, and I need try to confirm that it does what the manual says it can do. The big takeway, if Schneider is thinking outside the box there could be other companies adding sophisticated controls to their products. These could be interesting power options for your SHTF power solutions. I’ve also seen some product literature at work for a battery/generator/inverter solution for commercial applications that appears to have similar capabilities so the electronics in the schneider box might work.

  13. FWIW, Colemans surplus has excellent quality bowsaw(swedish military surplus),comes with wood blade cover and extra blade. I don’t have enough use for a chainsaw to buy one but this will cover most emergencies

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