Introduction: Be Prepared Everywhere

Picture of Be Prepared Everywhere

Dufferin County where I live is home to one of the largest industrial wind farms in Canada, with more turbines planned, proposed and approved. But even the nearby wind turbines don’t guarantee we don’t have blackouts in bad weather.

Step 1: Backup Systems

Picture of Backup Systems

Many of the farms near my home have wind turbines and solar panels as well as three point hitch generators the good thing about the solar panels and wind turbines is the local utilities buys the excess hydro from these systems. The down side of depending on one system no wind or not enough wind and you have no power, and the solar panels don’t generate power if it is night or overcast. That’s why multi stage systems work best as well as these systems are just too large to hang off the balcony of your condo.

Step 2: Coalman Generator

Picture of Coalman Generator

I live in town and the bylaws don’t allow me to install a windmill, large solar array, or a wood burning stove so I make due with other means of dealing with blackouts and other natural events. The size of a push mower this Coalman 3750 portable generator and two jerry cans of gas to run the refrigerator and freezer in the summer and the furnace in the winter. In the winter I can put the refrigerator and freezer outside in the cold. I could not build one for the $175.oo this one cost me. For the generator fuel, additive will make the gas last a year in storage.

Step 3: 400 Watt Inverter

Picture of 400 Watt Inverter

This 400 watt power inverter is strong enough to run my satellite and TV, it cost me $25.oo easier and cheaper to buy than to build. This can be connected to a car battery, a boat deep charge battery, an ATV, or a riding lawnmower.

Step 4: Solar Cells

Picture of Solar Cells

Other than the solar array I built the other 12 volt 2 watt cost me $20.oo for the pair. I use these to charge batteries for power packs.

Step 5: Power Packs

Picture of Power Packs

Other than solar arrays I build power packs, this portable power pack I built from components I retrieved from the garbage consists of a 12 volt 10 watt hour deep charge battery and a 200 watt inverter all of which I got from the garbage. This power pack combined with my laptop can keep me connected to the internet all evening while it charges and runs off my solar cells during the day.

Step 6: Flashlights

Picture of Flashlights

As well as the emergency lights I make from scanners and photocopiers, I have flashlights that don’t need batteries the little one you pump to charge up, the larger one you shake to charge up. 12 of them at $2.oo each I can’t build them that cheaply.

Step 7: Barbeque

Picture of Barbeque

In town the bylaws don’t allow me to install a wood burning stove so I have a propane barbeque with a stove burner and extra tanks for cooking when the hydro is out. These things fit in towns and cities as well as they fit on a balcony or patio. MOST IMPORTANTLY keep extra fuel and water on hand as well as nonperishable food at least a weeks supply.


GeorgeP70 (author)2016-03-04

Selling your excess power to the power company isn't cheap.Hydro One charges a fee of $40,000 just to hook your system into the grid.They say it is to protect their grid.

They have lost a challenge to that over by Mansfeild when people first did it they would take the hydro and not pay for it.

I like the Emerg in Markdale over Orangeville better treatment.

rimar2000 (author)2012-11-11

You are very well prepared, but need a solar cooker too. In main winter I roasted meat, sausage and hamburgers, boiled noddles and made compote. The only requirement is SUN. You could cook marmalade and candy, too, at zero fuel cost.

We are lucky to get 10 days sun a month in the summer. in a really good year 140 sunny days. right now our nights are 14 hours long and the days are overcast and most day time high is 0C.

It would work if we had more sun.

What latitude is your house? Mine is about 35°, and the solar cooker worked very well. In Spain, with about 40°, they use them.

Shelburne Ontario is Latitude 44.09020 N Longitiude 80.2005 W and Altitude above sea level 511 m.

The next town north of me is Dundalk Ontario Canada the highest inhabeted point in ontario altitude wise.

I live in Markdale just up highway 10

WOW, you are REALLY northern. But If I were you, do a test. A mirrored surface of 1 m2 is effective here in midwinter, maybe you need 1.20 m2 or something. My "parable" was an arrangement of mirrors that converged sunlight into food. If you can use solar cooking occasionally, that day you can cook free and environmentally.

Nice Dish, they do work on occasion and if I was still on the farm I would build one, but in town if it is not chained down kiss it good bye. You can see the cable and lock in the photo of my Coalman generator and I don’t have a lot of space.

Yes, it is true, one of the worst limitations of a solar cooker is that it needs an open space, without near buildings nor trees, to work. Maybe a terrace...

On the rare occasion we do get sun it starts in front of the house passes over the house and sets behind the trees behind our house so we need something you can cook in four hours and eat at lunch.

Then there is the other problem.

Where I live a funny thing happens if you put something out in the front yard with a sign on it saying “Free to good home” or “Free”.

It will sit there until large garbage pickup day.

But put something on the front yard with no sign on it and turn your back for thirty seconds, it is gone.

I could just see me going into the house to tinkle and find my lunch gone when I get back thirty seconds later.

I thought these things only happened here in Argentina...

Ha Ha

turbo man (author)2014-12-28

nice instructable sir

tiffyloveskitty (author)2013-06-04

I agree. Be prepared for great tribulation!!

We have been having strange weather lately.

Blackouts are normal where I live.

Since I lost my eyesight I haven’t been able to get work so I go out with my friend Georg Squirrel every day and bag newspapers just to get out of the house. (Since I am blind I don’t need a light to see what I am doing and he can drive before sunup.)

A couple weeks ago we had an ice storm which is unusual this time of the year.

I come home 6:00 am no hydro.

Not a problem I start the coal man and the barby.

I make myself a coffee.

Now my neighbor a single mother with three wee ones, I go over and ask if the kids would like a hot breakfast.

You don’t just help yourself when your prepared.

BobBagwill (author)2013-02-08

The cheap squeeze light I got as a present turned out to be powered by a non rechargeable battery. It does work if you squeeze continuously, but doesn't charge.

change them to a rechargable If you cannot get a rechargable battery use a six volt 1000 uF cap and a 10 k resistor and pump while turned on.

Thanks! I'll give that a try.

edvannatta (author)2012-11-14

me look some thing you have me off the grid and survival and perpper to ?

If I get you right, up until I lost my eye sight and other than work I would say I lived 98% off the grid. heated with wood and cooked with wood, hunted and gathered food as well as raised livestock and crops. Now that I live in town Im more of a prepper, gatherer and fisherman.

diykiwibloke (author)2012-11-13

Inverter - what do you recommend - a modified sine wave or pure sine wave inverter?

That is a good question.

Pure sine wave inverters will work everything.
Can cost twice as much as modified sine wave inverters, small inverters start at $100 for a 150 watt.
Are less surge tolerant, (1000 watts run 1200 watts surge)
Some pure sine wave inverters are as little as 60 to 80% efficient, (1400 watts in 1000 watts out)

Modified sine wave inverters don’t work everything.
Some induction motors and some electronics won’t work everything else works fine.
Cost half the price of pure sine wave inverters, small inverters start at $15 for a 75 watt.
More tolerant to power surges, (1000 watts run 2000 watts surge)
Can be as high as 90 to 98% efficient, (1002 watts in 1000 watts out)

To be more specific almost all power tools and vacuums are made with AC/DC motors, they will run on batteries or any inverter output some just not as efficiently as others.
Many single phase induction motors will work with modified sine wave inverters many two phase and three phase induction motors won’t.
Lights and heating elements generally don’t care which, your electric stove as an example.
Electronics are a throw of the dice.

One thing you can do is get a 500 watt modified sine wave inverter for as little as $30.
Depending on how modern your house contents are this should run almost everything in your house that does not cook and try them one at a time.
Then you will know what needs a pure sine wave and what does not, buy for what you need.
If you need 10000 watts to run your home 5000 watts pure sine wave and 5000 modified sine buy that.
If you need 3000 watts pure sine wave and 6000 watts modified sine wave buy that.
This way you get the best working for the best price and the best efficiency.

After working with Inverters buying is cheaper and easier than building if you don’t have a mountain of cheap parts.

Cheap inverters

Under 5000 watts mixed systems cost the same as pure sine wave systems, so if you must have a pure sine wave inverter, go all pure sine wave inverter. If you don’t need pure sine wave go modified sine wave inverter, it costs less, is more efficient, and is more surges tolerant.

5000 watts pure sine wave inverter $1000
5000 watts modified sine wave inverter $500
10000 watts mixed system $1500

10000 watt modified sine wave inverter $1000 and up
10000 watt pure sine wave inverter $2000 and up

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started ... More »
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