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"Blackout" - Channel 4
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 12652
Location: York

PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tarrel wrote:
Ahh, so you mean they're all secret "preppers" who wish to maintain Opsec by coming across as hapless, system-dependent Sheeple? Smile
I wouldn't be at all surprised.
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recent events have encouraged me to become even less grid-dependent during the coming year.

Weak spots for us are:
1. Electric circulation pump on the CH, which needs to kick in occasionally, to prevent the thermal store from boiling when the Rayburn is fired up. (Solution - battery back-up, charged from mains, with inverter - or run a bath!).

2. Mains-powered freezer (Solution as above)

3. Mains water supply with no hot or cold water storage tank (Domestic Hot Water is mains-fed and heated by a coil in the thermal store. Thermal store contains corrosion inhibitor, so cannot be used as an emergency drinking water supply). (Solution - store more water in 20 litre plastic jerries)

Apart from those, we could be fairly comfortable in a power cut or period of intermittent supply.
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Useful thoughts. I have dealt with the first, as we don't have central heating. The second I will do the same and convert the freezer into a bath.

As for water, do you have a stream nearby? With a Katadyne filter you should be ok. Alternatively some rainwater storage. The problems with storing water in 20 litre containers is they need maintaining.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Yes, if you "need" electricity that much, then either have backup arrangements or learn to become less dependant.


I thought to myself, "Power restrictions - say power being available a few hours a day - might do a lot of good".

Then I realised - everybody and her mother would end up buying Aldi generators, slurping up already-declining fossil fuel and generating more pollution than electricity. Oh, and house fires, electrocutions, noise etc etc.

So (a) if you must have a mains supplier, make sure it's Good Energy, Green Energy of LOCO2 but, more importantly, (b) take adam2's emboldened advice.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Storing water - large clear glass containers with caps would be the best, if you can get 'em. Any clear glass screw-top bottles are ok but smaller ones may not be worth it. Leave them full of water, with the caps loosened, in full sunlight for a day, then tighten the caps and store them where they can't be damaged, frozen or overheated.

Less good are the large plastic water 'bottles' sold in supermarkets. I would never buy one but neighbours do so there are zillions around and will be for our lifetimes. Sterilise the water as above. They have the advantage of being less likely to break and may even withstand freezing.

Either of the above is preferable to filtering, which may rely on hard-to-obtain components.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tarrel wrote:
Weak spots for us are:
1. Electric circulation pump on the CH, which needs to kick in occasionally, to prevent the thermal store from boiling when the Rayburn is fired up.


That is a problem I intend to tackle this year (not at your house though, T).
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick solution might be something like this, though it looks awful cheap and nasty. Razz

Here's another one.


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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I know adam2 might deride the set-up, but if anyone knows of a UK supplier of a reasonable quality rig like the above (the Duracell packs don't appear to be available outside America) then I'd be grateful - even if it's only to pass the details on to locals who might be interested.
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extractorfan



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
BTW, I know adam2 might deride the set-up, but if anyone knows of a UK supplier of a reasonable quality rig like the above (the Duracell packs don't appear to be available outside America) then I'd be grateful - even if it's only to pass the details on to locals who might be interested.


Maplin have stores in Republic of Ireland, they do similar solar stuff.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I can get the Maplin one via mail order. I was wondering if there might be something with a little bit more, errmmm, quality?
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Maplin one IS cheap and nasty, though marginly better than nothing.

For that price I expect that the output is in chinese watts.

For reasonable qaulity one might do better to purchase a battery, battery charger, and power inverter seperatly.
A vented deep cycle leisure battery will be much cheaper than a sealed one for a given capacity.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought so. The 'power pack' design of it is just about its only redeeming feature.

In the absence of a higher-quality 'power pack', maybe I'll try to devise something which can hold a battery, charger and inverter in a convenient lump, something like the old milkperson's crate without the dividers.
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mikepepler
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been wondering about a bike-driven generator to top up our off-grid PV system in the event of a run of cloudy days during a power cut... I don't think it would be that useful for regular use, as ultimately it runs on food, but for emergencies it might provide a nice extra bit of power on top of the PV.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 7257
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
I've been wondering about a bike-driven generator to top up our off-grid PV system in the event of a run of cloudy days during a power cut... I don't think it would be that useful for regular use, as ultimately it runs on food, but for emergencies it might provide a nice extra bit of power on top of the PV.
I don't know. It seems to me the kind of power that could be generated by a pedal bike would be sufficiently puny to be only really viable to power a few lights. In which case, wouldnt the money be better spent on buying some oil lamps and making a bit of bio-diesel and setting to one side to burn in them when necessary?
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5582
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An averagely unfit human can generate about 100w sustained on a cycle based generator. Get fit and that may increase to 200w. Allowing for losses that will drive a few LED lights, a lap-top, modern TV, or the water pump on a CH heating system. If you have a large household and no backup to the the CH in the middle of winter, it may be worth rewiring the pump and controls to a separate circuit to drive off a battery and inverter in the case of a prolonged power cut.

Not sure what the electricity consumption of a CH boiler itself is.
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