Sustainable Prepping: 5 Alternative Energy Types for When the SHTF

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There are actually a lot of different types of energy sources to tap into after a disaster strikes. One of the major differences is that unless you have formed some kind of intentional community or have a group of like-minded individuals in your area, you will be the engineer, the mechanic, and the maintenance man all rolled into one. To digress just a bit, this is why shows such as “The Colony” (the reality show, not the aliens), and “Doomsday Preppers” are productive for the introduction of ideas. Those ideas need to be researched and employed, in that order.

Let’s cover some methods to generate energy and provide power, and discuss the positive and negative aspects of each one.

  1. Wood:  absolutely a mainstay after disaster strikes. I’ve written several pieces on the benefits of wood stoves: for cooking, boiling water for washing, laundry, and drinking, and of course, for heat. For those with a fireplace and no woodstove, a set of Dutch ovens (cast-iron cookware) and a kettle that can be hung within it are good for starters. There are also racks out there for hanging laundry and taking advantage of the heat from the fireplace or the woodstove. The main problems with the woodstove are fuel and security. First, you need to lay in a good supply of wood long before either the winter and/or the disaster strikes. Secondly, the wood fire produces smoke, something that cannot be concealed, and this will alert others to your location.
  2. Solar:  It’s always worthwhile to throw some panels up on the roof, as these can give at least a trickle charge, if not power everything you have. Undertaking this is fairly uncomplicated. During your spring, summer, and fall months, you’ll get a lot out of it. Winter is a different matter: not just for the snow, but also for the gray days where you won’t receive that much light. There are even solar generators with high-capacity lithium power packs or portable solar panels you can take with you in your bug-out bag.
  3. Wind: There are plenty of kits out there that will enable you to throw up one or more windmills, and these can take up the slack for the solar panels on days that there is not much in the way of the sun. Windmills also need to be maintained a little more, as they can be damaged or have a breakdown from the moving parts.
  4. Bicycle Generator: Please take note: this is a generator that runs from pedal power, as in a stationary exercise bicycle that doesn’t move…just turns that front wheel. The wheel provides the power to turn a generator flywheel. There are many different plans and kits available here, as well. Basically, all you need is a generator of some type, a belt to rig up on the front wheel of the bicycle, a voltage regulator (so you don’t overload/blow out your battery), and the battery itself.
  5. Wood Gassifier: this contraption is made from a container holding a heat source (fire) that in turn heats another container filled with wood pieces. The resulting wood gas is then channeled to the carburetor of an engine and directly used by that engine for fuel to run on. The fuel tank is bypassed, as the wood produces a gas. The engine then turns a flywheel that is hooked up to an alternator, and your power is then produced…that can charge a battery array. There are plans all over the Internet for these gassifiers.

The time to begin undertaking these projects is now, prior to needing them. One other problem has to do with the human element, an element more inhumane than anything else. Local building codes, community and residential codes, inspectors, permits, and the usual “conga line” of loser-bureaucrats coming out to steal your money and prevent you from doing anything…these are sure to materialize. You may have to build everything and not employ it until after a disaster hits. Not to mention “friendly,” nosy, intrusive, vicious, snooping neighbors will swoop in to denounce you or cause you other forms of trouble. I’ve written about these “gems” before in the past: more deadly to deal with after the S hits the fan than the disaster itself.

Those are some basics, and you need to do some research and figure out which one (or ones) can be viable for you. There are plenty of resources out there all over the Internet, as well as in your local library or county extension office. Take some time working with each to come up with the best possible courses of action. Then when the time comes, if you’ve prepared, you’ll be able to sing the song, “I’ve got the power,” although it will be getting kind of hectic. You’ll be able to handle it.  JJ out!


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Amazon is full of wind

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Amazon (the dot com, not the rain forest) is in the wind business, who knew? Well, as one of the larger businesses in the USA and the world, I find it a good thing! I have certainly given plenty of my own money to Amazon, not complaining though, living out here in the rural wilds of far west Texas, stores are not easy to come by, it takes hours of highway driving to get to any sort of major shopping venues, so having a world of products delivered to my door is nearly a necessity.

This article popped up in my Facebook newsfeed, I was surprised, I didn’t know that Amazon had this sort of thing on their website, I assumed it was just sales and sales related, it appears they write articles as well, hope you enjoy! Link to the original story can be found at the bottom.

Powering a Clean Future
How Amazon Wind Farm Texas impacts a community

Amazon’s largest wind farm to date is adding more than 1 million megawatt hours of clean energy to the grid each year.

Growing up here in West Texas, wind is something that you cussed, not something that you considered an asset to our community.
– Judge Ricky Fritz

Amazon Wind Farm Texas is an array of 300-foot-tall, white turbines that dot the landscape just outside the West Texas town of Snyder. There are more than 100 turbines and their scale is enormous. When the blades are spinning, they cover an area nearly equal to two football fields.

Amazon Wind Farm Texas was built and is owned and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy, a leading developer of wind and solar projects across the United States.

“Investing in renewable energy is a win-win-win-win – it’s right for our customers, our communities, our business, and our planet,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon’s Worldwide Director of Sustainability. “We now have 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S. with more than 35 projects to come. These are important steps toward reaching our long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy. ”

Officials in Snyder, Texas say the investment has already given their community a boost, since the wind farm pays out cash directly to landowners, schools, and the community-at-large for the use of local property. And tax revenue has increased 200 percent in the county, thanks to the massive investment.

“The wind energy and those turbines have directly affected our bottom line positively and helped stabilize us in a tough economic time the last several years,” said Scurry County Judge Ricky Fritz.

Judge Fritz said the community has undergone a massive shift. Traditionally, residents made money off of what was underground, namely oil. But prices are constantly fluctuating, making revenue difficult to rely on. They also make money from the land itself, through ranching. Today, they’re profiting from what’s just above that same land – the wind.

“Growing up here in West Texas, wind is something that you cussed, not something that you considered an asset to our community. So now, with the wind energy here, we’ve taken something that was an irritant and made it a source of income for our communities,” said Fritz.

Amazon has launched 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S., with over 35 more to come. Together, Amazon’s projects will generate enough clean energy to power more than 330,000 homes a year.
Amazon Wind Farm Texas



The post Amazon is full of wind appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

How to Run the Economy on the Weather. An interesting read.

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Stoneferry (detail), a painting by John Ward of Hull.

Nationals party votes to remove all subsidies for renewable energy. Sabotage!

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Barnaby Joyce: “We have no problem in coal fire power.” Photo: Andrew Meares

The greed & corruption within our government knows no bounds. We could have been a leader in alternative power, but due to our corrupt government we have missed the boat. Now we see more sabotage for the sake of money in politicians pockets!!! What will it take for the Australian people to revolt & kick this government & the whole corrupt system out?!

Our farmers are doing it hard with the government prioritising mining over farming, some farmers having committed suicide! Protesters against mining companies on farm land can now be arrested! What we have in Australia is “Big Government” & “Corporatism”! Every day it seems we are losing more human rights, more freedoms. We are seeing more attacks on law abiding firearms owners, WHY?
Wake up Australia! Do something!

The Three Ring Circus… Election!

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The Three Ring Circus… Election! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! So the three ring Circus we call the Election has wound up & the fat lady has sung. Happy Now? Did the world end for you? Has a new day dawned? Or have we all just awoke, thinking Wow! What a Nightmare? All … Continue reading The Three Ring Circus… Election!

The post The Three Ring Circus… Election! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How A Wind Powered Sawmill Works

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Ever wondered how a wind powered sawmill works? Check out this amazing demonstration from Wranglerstar. It looks very much like an old 1800’s water powered sawmill in my area that was shut down in the early 1900’s.

Now, if you want to BUILD your own sawmill you can actually get some kind of plans showing how the sawmill in the video is constructed. Check them out here.

The post How A Wind Powered Sawmill Works appeared first on Walden Labs.

Low Tech Prepping!

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Low Tech Prepping
Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps

Prepping for a Low Tech Life Powers-outElectricity is a great thing, until it is no more. We get so used to having light at a flick of a switch. But what happens when those lights go out? On Survival and Tech Preps we have talked about high tech vs low tech in previous shows, now I want to talk about prepping for a low tech lifestyle.

2-29-16 imagesElectricity is great to have and a lot of preppers are planning solar, wind, and other means. The fact is these other sources are temporary, it is not sustainable. Batteries die, the solar panels wear out, the chargers go bad. So what then? Well in my opinion the best thing to do is prepare for the ability to survive without electricity.

2-29-16 images (1)In this episode I will talk about key aspects we need to think about when going low tech. How do we cook? How do we prepare water, how do we communicate. All of this might sound simple to some and hard for others but I hope to bridge the gap between what is myth and what is realistic.

We all have heard those say they can survive for years by themselves, well lets back up there a second it isn’t that easy. Those that claim this will most likely fall very short. This is not a topic that will be summed up in one episode but I hope to get a little stepping stone for those of you that might want to plan on going off grid if shtf happens.

I will also talk about diet, weapons that are low tech, bug out items, food preps, and other things that we may need to start our journey on the low tech life. There are many aspects to this that you may or may not have thought of, but with a little knowledge and a little planning one can thrive if done right, so sit back and enjoy the show and hope you and I can learn something!
Join us for Survival & Tech Preps “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Low Tech Prepping” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE! 
Archived shows of Survival & Tech Preps at bottom of THIS PAGE!

The post Low Tech Prepping! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Storm To Unleash Rain And Chilly Winds On Spain, France Into Saturday

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Survival World News

By Eric Leister – AccuWeather

A moisture-laden storm from the Atlantic Ocean will bring a variety of disruptive weather to the Iberian Peninsula and South of France into Saturday.

The storm first arrived on Friday with a band of rain sweeping from west to east across Portugal and Spain. Heavy downpours with the storm caused poor visibility and ponding on roadways. Localized flooding issues in low-lying and poor drainage areas will continue to be an issue into Saturday, especially along the northern tier of the country.

In the Cantabrian Mountains, the rain will persist into Saturday evening. Along the northern slopes, rainfall totals of 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) can be expected with local amounts up to 100 mm (4 inches), elevating the risk for flooding throughout the region.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Storm To Unleash Rain And Chilly Winds On Spain, France Into Saturday

Europe spring forecast
MinuteCast® for…

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Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

How To Build A Mini Wind Turbine

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This is sure to tickle your imagination! Claimed to be “one of the simplest, most versatile Mini Wind Turbines you will ever find”, made out of an old printer and other scavenged parts.

It can be built for demonstration purposes, or to be taken along in camping trips, backpacking, hiking, on a boat, to a mountain cabin or a myriad of other uses. It probably counts as one of the world’s easiest to make and smartest small Renewable Energy projects around. For the curious minds and a great idea for school projects and science fairs.

What do you think?

The post How To Build A Mini Wind Turbine appeared first on Walden Labs.

Building A Wind Turbine From Scratch

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There are several DIY wind turbine projects on the internet. This project is appropriate for high school level science projects and was originally sourced from Vela Creations a very good site, maintained by a couple living off-grid. Their site is definitely worth a look. Another good website to visit for wind turbine projects is OtherPower though these turbines can be fairly large.

DIY Wind TurbineDIY wind turbine project

We have included some modifications to the original instructions for a larger treadmill motor which weighs more, takes larger blades, requires better fastening for the blades and uses a bearing to attach to the tower.

Making a wind powered generator from scrap materials helps keep those materials out of the local dump.  Most of the items you need, can be found in your local hardware store, your own garage or from one of the “Freecycle” groups in your area.

Try doing a search on Google for “freecycle” to see what parts you can pick up for free. For the wind turbine built in these pictures, we picked up the motor on eBay for $10 plus shipping and the PVC pipe for the blades from a junk pile. The tail is made from an old roller paint pan.

Safety should be your first priority.  Your health is more important than a DIY project, so please follow all safety instructions you read, use common sense and get help if you are unsure about something.  Wind turbines can be heavy, dangerous machines, with fast moving blades and the chance for electrical shocks.

This wind turbine is based on the Chispito Wind Generator with it’s simple and efficient design and assembly. We have included several photos showing our changes, using the larger 20 amp motor.


The Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) – You’ll need a PMG that produces at least 1 volt DC for every 25 RPM, thus if your wind turbine blades turn at 400 RPM it would generate 16 VDC. A 260 VDC, 5 A continuous duty Treadmill Motor with a 6 inch threaded hub is well suited for a small wind turbine. These motors are available locally and on eBay or other internet sites. You can get about 7 amps in a 30 mph wind. In other words, it is a simple, cheap little machine to get you started.

20A Treadmill Motor

I picked up a 90 VDC, 20A treadmill motor off eBay for $10 plus shipping. This motor requires an upgrade to most of the original instructions due to the increase in size and weight. It also produces a lower output voltage. The motor is better suited for a system with gearing to increase the RPM.

You may use any other simple permanent magnet DC motor that returns at least 1 V for every 25 rpm and can handle upwards of 10 amps. The Ametek 30 is one of the best motors but is hard to find and the price seems to be getting rather high.

Try to find a motor that comes with a 6″ hub to attach the blades too – a circular saw blade with a 5/8″ shaft adaptor might work. For our larger motor we initially used a metal slow moving vehicle sign, bolted to a 3.5 inch pulley. The triangular shape was just what we were looking for. We reinforced the sign with a wooden ring. This hub ended up blocking much of the wind on the smaller blades and we eventually switched to a six inch wooden hub, reinforced with metal plating. When hurricane Ike went through, that hub was also damaged. Thus we’d recommend a metal hub such as the saw blade or a used thick metal frying pan bottom.

Mounting the Generator


  • 6 ft of “L” tubing
  • misc nuts and bolts
  • 3/4″ Self-tapping Screws
  • For the larger 20Amp motor, I used a caster wheel with a hole in the center(Caster with a Hollow Kingpin) to attach the motor to the tower. This allows the heavy motor to turn very easily and doesn’t provide dolley-with-holewear to the tower or flange.


  • 90 VDC, 20 A continuous duty Treadmill Motor
  • 30 – 50 Amp Blocking Diode (one-way)
  • 4 x 5/16” x ¾” Motor Bolts
  • 8″ X 16″ PVC Pipe – or larger depending on the size of the treadmill motor (cover)


  • 1 sqft (approx) lightweight material (metal) – used roller paint tray will work
  • 2 X ¾” Self-tapping Screws to attach the tail


8 inch PVC tubing for turbine blades

  • 24″ length of 8″ PVC Pipe
  • 6 X ¼” X 20 Bolts
  • 9 x ¼” washers
  • 3 sheets of paper and tape

Wind Turbine Assembly

Cutting Blades – makes 8 blades (or 2+ blade sets) and a thin waste strip.

I have created a separate page with more pictures and expanded on this process a bit. After you’ve done this once, it makes sense. These instructions could use a little help for the first time wind turbine blade maker.

Here’s the link to the page: Making PVC Turbine Blades

  1. Place the 24″ Length of PVC pipe and square tubing (or other straight edge) side by side on a flat surface. Push the pipe tight against the tubing and mark the line where they touch. This is Line A.
  2. Make a mark near each end of Line A, 23″ apart.
  3. Tape 3 sheets of A4 paper together, so that they form a long, completely straight blade linespiece of paper. Wrap this around the section of pipe at each of the two the marks you just made, one then the other. Make sure the short side of the paper is straight along Line A and the paper is straight against itself where it overlaps. Mark a line along the edge of the paper at each end. Call one LineB and the other Line C.
  4. Start where Line A intersects Line B. Going left around Line B, make a mark at every 145 mm. The last section should be about 115 mm.
  5. Start where Line A intersects Line C. Going right around Line C, make a mark at every 145 mm. The last section should be about 115 mm.
  6. Mark each line using a straight edge.
  7. Cut along these lines, using a jigsaw, so that you have 4 strips of 145 mm and one strip about 115 mm.
  8. blade splitTake each strip and place them with the inside of the pipe facing down.
  9. Make a mark at one end of each strip 115 mm from the left edge.
  10. Make a mark at the other end of each strip 30 mm from the left edge.
  11. Mark and cut these lines, using a jigsaw.

Shaped turbine blades

Note: we also made a set of blades 38 inches long using the same measurement – only the length was changed – 24 inches to 38 inches.

Sanding the Blades

You should sand the blades to achieve the desired airfoil. This will increase the efficiency of the blades, as well as making them quieter.

The angled (leading) edge wants to be rounded, while the straight (tailing) edge wants to be pointed.

Any sharp corners should be slightly rounded to cut down on noise.

Shaped mounted turbine blades

Making The Tail

The exact dimensions of the tail are not important.  You need about one square foot of lightweight material, preferably metal.  You can make the tail any shape you want, so long as the end result is stiff rather than floppy, we used an old aluminum paint tray (flattened). Our 6 foot long rail has holes already in it, so we will simply bolted the tail in place near the end of the rail – see instructions below about “balancing” the complete setup. Note that this design has no FURLING to take the blades out of the wind, in very high wind conditions. You can read more about furling designs here: FURLING YOUR WIND TURBINE

Drilling Holes in Blades

…using the ¼” drill bit

  1. Mark two holes at the wide end and along the straight edge of each of the three blades. The first hole should be 3/8 ” from the straight edge and ½ ” from the bottom. The second hole should be 3/8 ” from the straight edge and 1 ¼” from the bottom.
  2. Drill these 6 holes – 2 per blade (3 blades in total)

mounted pvc bladesDrilling Holes in Hub

…using the 7/32″ drill bit and ¼” tap

NOTE: You may want to modify these instructions. Try replacing the hub with an old, used 7 1/4 inch skill saw blade. The larger surface area will give you more space to screw or bolt the blades to. We also used 1/4 inch bolts rather than drilling and tapping holes. I’ve also see old aluminum frying pans used for this purpose. They are light and solid!

  1. hub layoutIf the Treadmill motor comes with the hub attached, take it off, hold the end of the shaft (which comes through the hub) firmly with pliers, and turn the hub clockwise. This hub unscrews clockwise, which is why the blades turn counter-clockwise.
  2. Make a template of the hub on a piece of paper, using a compass and protractor.
  3. Mark 3 holes, each of which is 2 3/8″ from the center of the circle and equidistant from each other.
  4. Place this template over the hub and punch a starter hole through the paper and onto the hub at each hole.
  5. Drill these holes with the 7/32″ drill bit.
  6. Tap the holes with the ¼” x 20 tap.
  7. Bolt the blades onto the hub using the ¼” bolts. At this point, the outer holes have not been drilled.
  8. Measure the distance between the straight edge of the tips of each blade. Adjust them so that they are all equidistant.  Mark and punch each hole on the hub through the empty hole in each blade.
  9. Label the blades and hub so that you can match which blade goes where at a later stage.
  10. Remove the blades and then drill and tap these outer three holes.pulley



Ring SUpport for mounting PVC blades

Note: the metal slow moving vehicle sign is not solid enough to stand-up in high winds. We screwed on a wooden ring to the back of the sign to give it the required strength. This blocked to much wind so we ended up replacing it with a 6 inch wooden hub, reinforced with a metal plate on the back. Even later, we ended up replacing this hub with a 6″ metal hub for added strength.

smaller hub for HAWT

Make a Protective Cover for the Motor

  1. sleeveDraw two straight lines, about ¾” apart, along the length of the 8 ” x 16” PVC Pipe. Cut along these lines.
  2. Make a 45º cut at the end of the pipe.
  3. Slide the cover over the motor and secure in place.

Turbine Assembly

  1. Remove the rubber wheel from the Caster. Drill through the caster and bolt to your tower assembly (top pipe of your tower)
  2. diodePlace the diode on the “L” tubing, about 2” behind the motor, and screw it into position using a self-tapping metal screw.
  3. Connect the black wire coming out of the motor to the positive incoming terminal of the diode (Labeled AC on the positive side).
  4. Connect the red wire coming out of the motor to the negative incoming terminal of the diode (Labeled AC on the negative side).
  5. Place each blade on the hub so that all the holes line up.  Using the ¼” bolts and washers, bolt the blades to the hub.  For the inner three holes, use two washers per bolt, one on each side of the blade. For the outer three holes, just use one washer next to the head of the bolt. Tighten. This points the blades away from your tower.
  6. Hold the end of the shaft of the motor (which comes through the hub) firmly with pliers, and turn the hub counterclockwise until it tightens and stops. Our motor didn’t come with a hub, thus we attached our “pulley-hub” to the shaft.
  7. Attach the caster dolly to the motor and “L” rail. Balance this whole setup by moving the 1 square foot tail section along the 6′ long rail. Once you find the spot where everything is balance, bolt the tail to the rail at that spot.
  8. For our larger (heavier) motor, we used a rotating caster with a hollow kingpin, bolted to the top of the tower. The dolly/caster needs to have a hole in the middle that you will run the power wires down, through the tower. The dolly is bolted directly to the DC motor which made the complete mounting system much easier.


testing assembled wind turbineassembled-wind-turbine

For a longer life span of your wind generator, you should paint the blades, motor sleeve, mount and tail.

8 foot sweep wind turbine at Lake Huron

On the larger 20A treadmill motor, we attached a dolly bearing directly to the bottom of the motor and then onto the top of the tower. Get a dolly wheel with a hole in the middle, which you thread the power wires through.

We also used the same PVC Blade Pattern to cut 3 foot blades. Just make the length 3 feet rather than 2 feet. The measurements at both ends stay the same – 145 cm wide sections that are next cut into 2 blades. This gives the same curve to the blades.

Depending on the size of your motor, you may want to experiment with different lengths of blades. Our larger blades were not balanced as well as the shorter blades initially and thus turned slower. We cut them down in length from 36 inches to 32 inches and balanced them. To balance the blades, we placed the blades and hub, onto a long pointed nail. We than slid a washer along the blades to find the balance point. Then epoxy the washer in place (try to account for the weight of the epoxy as well).

How much power can we get from the wind?

Power AVAILABLE in the wind = .5 x air density x swept area x (wind velocity cubed)

Example: air density = 1.23 kg per cubic meter at sea level. Swept area = pi x r squared. Our 2 foot blades = 0.609m, 4 ft = 1.219m. 10 mph = 4.4704 m/s, 20 mph = 8.9408 m/s.

How much power is in the wind: 2 ft blade, 10 mph winds = .5 x 1.23 x 3.14 x 0.609squared x 4.4704 cubed

= .5 x 1.23 x 1.159 x 89.338 = 63.7 watts

With 4 foot blades and 10 mph winds = .5 x 1.23 x 4.666 x 89.338 = 256 watts

With 4 foot blades and 20 mph winds = .5 x 1.23 x 4.666 x 714.708 = 2051 watts

That’s the MAXIMUM power in the wind. However, it’s impossible to harvest ALL the power. The Betz Limit tells us that the maximum percentage of power we can harvest from the wind is 59.26%.

Thus our maximum power from these turbines would be:

2 ft blades, 10 mph wind = 37.7 watts

4 ft blades, 10 mph wind = 152 watts

4 ft blades, 20 mph wind = 1,215 watts

These values are the maximum power achievable. Your results will be less, depending on how well you shape the blades, how well balanced the blade assembly is, drag going over the hub, copper losses, etc. A very well built DIY HAWT would not likely get more than 50% of the above numbers.


Gearing for a higher RPM motor

If you can’t find a good, low RMP motor such as the Ametek 30 and need to gear-up the motor you have, here’s a video of one possible layout:

Originally published on Green Terra Firma

The post Building A Wind Turbine From Scratch appeared first on Walden Labs.

Coastal rain, wind to batter western US; Feet of mountain snow to disrupt travel

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By Jordan Root – AccuWeather

Windswept rain and snow will slam the western U.S leading to treacherous travel during the holiday week.

Those taking to the road during one of the busiest times of the year will likely face slow travel and delays each day.

“Every day through Wednesday, a storm will barrel into the Northwest with rain and interior snow,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

Rain will soak the western coast through the middle of the week while heavy snow will bury mountainous inland areas. In addition, strong wind gusts will sweep through the area.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Coastal rain, wind to batter western US; Feet of mountain snow to disrupt travel

US interactive radar
White Christmas forecast: El Nino to dash hopes of snowy holiday for two-thirds of US
Eastern US to remain mild as El Nino keeps the Polar Vortex at bay this winter

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

Blustery December

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Winter is officially here, we have had a few hard freezes, it even snowed a bit the other day, fortunately the snow and other weather doesn’t tend to last long out here in the high desert, I always look forward to the sun coming out and warming up into the 50s, 60s and even the 70s (F). Of course it almost always cools off as soon as the sun goes down, and going into fall, I have to remember to take a jacket with me when I go anywhere, even if it’s warm out during the day, because guaranteed once the sun goes below the mountain, the temps drop like a rock.

This week has been a bit chaotic weather wise, we have had some 70+ degree days, but they warned of a cold front coming in along with some rain, and wind. Lots and lots of wind. And wind we got, it reminded me of our first year out here, the difference is the SkyCastle is hardened against the wind now and doesn’t shake and rattle like it did. But I’ll tell you, that first year, even the first few months were a trial for us, the wind out here does try to scour you off the mountains.

I read on Facebook, an internet friend of mine near Presidio lost her chicken coop and lots of fencing, the wind just snapped it right off, I saw the pictures and it was quite a mess, but later she posted that all chickens were accounted for even though they were free range all night in the blowing wind.

We did receive some damage ourselves, it was the covered area where we like to sit in the summer, PB built a hoop style covering, in the past we used tarps on it to make shade, but the tarps only last one season (because of the wind). Last year PB replaced the tarps with metal sheathing that was scavenged from an old shed. It worked very well and made a very nice place to sit and relax.
Sitting spot

This latest windstorm pushed the whole thing right over, it also blew a few of our lighter plastic chairs away, we will go collect them from the neighbor’s property soon. Now we are debating on moving that sitting area closer to the SkyCastle, maybe in a more sheltered place, though I do like the view where it is now. We have plenty of time to decide before next spring.

Sitting spot

The wind is still gusting, but I’m not complaining, it’s just part of living in the wilds, and it’s true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 🙂

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The post Blustery December appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

How To Ensure Your Livestock Survive The Winter

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How To Ensure Your Livestock Survive The Winter

Image source: Pixabay

Winter usually means the end of the growing season, shorter daylight hours, and possibly bitter cold temperatures.

That means your livestock will need to be handled very differently. The preparation leading up to winter will determine how well your livestock come through the winter months.

Following are some tips to prepare your livestock and homestead for the cold months ahead.

First, make sure your animals are in the best condition possible going into the winter months. Nothing takes more of a toll on livestock than to enter into the winter in poor condition.

Fall is a time to rid your stock of internal and external parasites. That will help them gain and maintain their weight during a time when temperatures are lower and fresh green growth is not available. In cold climates, an enormous amount of calories are used simply to maintain body heat.

Everything You Need To Know To Keep A Cow Healthy, Happy, And Productive…

The next area to look at is your shelter arrangements for the winter. The three winter rules are:

  • Keep them dry.
  • Keep them free of drafts and wind.
  • Provide housing large enough to accommodate all the stock.

Not providing enough space for your stock can mean injuries from crowding or more submissive animals being forced out in the cold.

Don’t confuse “free of drafts and wind” with ventilation. Any building structure needs to have adequate ventilation to keep air quality acceptable for the animals and avoid moisture problems.

Check buildings for loose or missing roofing, and repair any leaks. Keeping animals dry will go a long way toward keeping them healthy and comfortable.

All The Answers To Every Chicken Question And Quandary …

The best way to cut down on wind chill is to make certain barn openings are on the downwind side of the structure. Know your prevailing winds, and position openings to be the least affected by the wind.

Image source: theschoolofthetransferofenergy

Image source: theschoolofthetransferofenergy

A common mistake is not providing enough bedding material for animals in the winter. It makes no sense to spare bedding while simultaneously feeding more feeds to keep the stock warm and maintain condition. If they are young and growing, it’s even more important.

An easy way to provide solar heat to your livestock housing is by adding some clear panels to the roof. If you have metal roofing, this is accomplished by removing the screws holding on the metal and replacing it with clear sheets of roofing material. This will add extra light and heat during the day that your stock will enjoy.

The time to check water systems is before the temperatures drop below freezing. Make sure everything is in proper working order and insulate or add heat tape where needed.

Livestock need access to clean water at all times. If they are rushing to get a drink when you break the ice on your water troughs, it’s a sure sign that they aren’t getting enough to drink. Water is the body’s temperature regulation system. Dehydrated stock have a hard time maintaining body heat.

Cold or wet animals eat more feed, have lower immunity, and lose condition during winter months. This can be avoided by making certain they have dry, draft-free housing with plenty of room and bedding for everyone.

Winter can be a trying time for livestock, but following these guidelines will help with creature comfort, and you’ll sleep better at night as the cold winter wind blows outside knowing your livestock are dry and warm.

What advice would you add on keeping livestock warm during the winter? Share your advice in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

hydrogen peroxide report

The Power Grid: America’s REAL Glass Jaw

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You’re cold. And your family is hungry. But all the stores locked their doors weeks ago, when the shelves were emptied by frenzied crowds.

Even if they were open, you wouldn’t have the money to buy supplies. Credit cards have been deemed 100% worthless pieces of plastic and you ran out of cash the first week…

Along with everyone else.

That’s why, on the second week, crowds stormed financial institutions and broke into ATMs, vending machines, and even parking meters. After that, Americans quickly realized that two new currencies rule the day — barter and theft.

Planes, trains, and automobiles have long been left stranded. Gas stations were siphoned dry by panicked mobs weeks ago.

Ships were abandoned, too. Unable to unload cargoes, they were ransacked and left at sea. Air-traffic control systems have been down since day one. Not a single plane has been seen in the sky for a month.

Backup power for cell towers faded a week ago… telephone and Internet is lost completely. Radio and TV stations have stopped broadcasting. Communication systems for police and firefighters were the last to fail — but they too went down.

Water treatment plants? They’ve been inoperable for a few weeks, and potable water is now a rare commodity. As a result, raw sewage has been seeping into lakes and streams, making many people sick.

In turn, diseases like dysentery and cholera are spreading and running rampant. And without refrigeration for drugs, hospitals can’t help the sick and dying.

Forget a collapse of the monetary system for a moment: America’s grid is the REAL glass jaw that could bring this country to its knees — inweeks.

Unfortunately, we are far too dependent on the crumbling grid.

That’s why, today, we’re going to show you the BEST, most affordable solution for becoming independent of the grid when/if you need it most.

More on that in a moment.

We bring this nightmare scenario up today for a reason…

If you, like us, are on the East Coast… Joaquin just missed us.

It’s times like these, though, when we’re happy — and feel fairly vindicated — to be one of the “paranoids.” Because we’re already pretty well prepared if things get hairy.

But the “beauty” of hurricanes is, of course, you have plenty of time to do what you need to before they hit. Provided you act quickly enough before the herd.

So, if you haven’t already, at least go out there and get the essentials.

If you’re lucky enough to be out of Jaoquin’s supposed path, don’t get too comfy…

As you’ll see in a moment, given the dismal state of our grid, the whole shebang could fall apart at anytime — with or without a major storm to push it over the edge.

We hope you’re aware of what the American Society of Civil Engineers wrote in their Report Card For America’s Infrastructure.

If not… and even if so… take a quick look…

Report card for America's infrastructure

Report Card For America’s Infrastructure

Energy — D+: Outages and disturbances cost up to $180 billion in annual economic activity

Dams — D: More than 4.000 require repair or replacement

Drinking Water — D-: Local systems leak an estimated 7 billion gallons daily

Bridges — C: 26 percent either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete

Rail — C-: System reaching capacity in bottleneck areas

Wastewater — D-: More than 850 billion gallons of sewage discharged into surface waters annually

Levees — D-: About 9% expected to fail during flood events

Aviation — D: Air-traffic control system outdated and inefficient

Roads — D-: Congestion wastes some 3 billion gallons of fuel each year

In short, America’s infrastructure is crumbling. And, to be frank, it’s teetering on the brink of failure.

Unpredictable weather patterns, solar flares, cyber-attacks, EMPs, and other potential malicious attacks threaten the grid far more than our officials are willing to admit.

And because the grid is so idiotically interconnected, we’re at risk of experiencing a domino effect of one big rolling blackout — where most of our 5,800 power plants follow the first lemming off the cliff.

That’s why, today, no matter where you are, we urge you to heed the following advice from our friends at Independent Living News…

In a moment, you’re going to learn how to secede from your local utility — and get your energy independence with four simple solutions. (Don’t miss Option #5 below. It is, in our opinion, the absolute best solution on the market to free yourself from over-dependence on the grid. And hundreds of Americans agree.)

Make sure you read every word. If you’re still 100% dependent on the grid, it’s never been more important.

Read closely…

How to Secede From Your Local Utility With Five Simple Solutions

By Lee Bellinger

We’ve been warning readers for months, even years, that America’s power grid is overburdened, out-of-date and totally unreliable.

You can customize your home power generation system to fit your needs and budget. Most of the technologies mentioned below qualify for a 30% federal tax credit as well as many state and local utility incentives to cut down on your costs and keep more of your taxes in your own pocket.

If you build a big enough system, combine the technologies, and design it right, you could produce all the power you need night and day and completely cut yourself off from the local utility.

However, unless you have a property that’s far from local utility connections and generating your own power is a necessity, most choose to generate power at home to cut their costs and save money, while benefiting from a reliable backup system when the local utility’s automatic and “not so smart” systems goof up.

Option #1 – Home Fuel Cells

Out of the four options discussed here, use of a home fuel cell, also known as microgeneration, is the only one that is non-renewable.

This is not the same kind of fuel cell concept that requires space-age technology or rare elements like liquefied hydrogen to work. No, this system is actually quite robust. It requires a fuel source (i.e. natural gas) to operate and produce energy. And it is efficient because within the same unit it will generate both power and heat.

A home fuel cell is relatively compact, quiet, and works a lot like a home furnace, except that it heats water, heats the home, and generates anywhere from 1 to 5 kilowatts of electricity, or more for a bigger system.

As long as you have a reliable and uninterrupted fuel source, the fuel cell can produce energy 24-hours a day.

Fuel cells may also qualify for the 30% federal tax credit. According to the IRS you must install an “integrated system comprised of a fuel cell stack assembly and associated balance of plant components that converts a fuel into electricity using electrochemical means.

To qualify for the credit, [the equipment] must have a nameplate capacity of at least one-half kilowatt of electricity using an electrochemical process and an electricity-only generation efficiency greater than 30%. The credit is limited to “30% of the cost, up to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity” and it is only available on a principal residence, not a second home.

Option #2 – Solar Power

Solar powered home

The sun is a great source of renewable energy. Almost everyone has access to the sun and even people who live in seemingly “dark” latitudes, like Germany, generate a ton of watts from solar power. So you don’t have to live in a tropical or desert environment to take advantage of solar power.

You should keep a few things in mind when considering a move to solar power. You’ll need room for the solar panels. They could be mounted on a rooftop or the ground. The panels should point in a southward direction to get the most sun exposure. And you want to make sure the light isn’t blocked by other things like a tall building, trees, or even nearby mountains, which would effectively shorten the day.

Installed solar electricity systems qualify for the 30% federal tax credit as well as many state and local utility incentives. And the red tape is minimal. Buy photovoltaics (solar panels) to generate electricity for your home and you can claim the credit.

Option #3 – Home Wind Turbine Power

Wind turbine powering a home

We’ve been harnessing the wind’s power for centuries. However, turning it into electricity and delivering that power where it’s needed most in a cost-effective manner may prove to be the biggest challenge.

After decades of government subsidies and special favors, the wind power industry still can’t stand on its own merits. However, if you live an area with adequate wind and install the right-sized wind turbine, you could generate an abundant amount of power for your own needs.

Even if the wind in your area is not constant, you can combine a wind turbine with any of the other technologies like solar power or a fuel cell and raise your level self-reliance.

Wind energy also qualifies for the 30% federal tax credit, and like solar power, it has little red tape to follow: Simply use a wind turbine to generate electricity for your home, and it qualifies.

Option #4 – Home or Micro Hydroelectric

Out of the four technologies mentioned here, this is the only one that does not qualify for the federal tax credit. But if you live in an area with high rain or snowfall, live near a flowing water source, or harvest your rain/snowmelt, this could greatly improve your energy independence.

The design of this system is simple. A pool of water at a high vertical level, piping that guides the water down using gravity, and shooting the water through nozzles at a pelton wheel turbine, which spins and generates electricity.

Combining a home hydroelectric system with other power generating systems would further enhance your overall energy independence.

First published here.

The post The Power Grid: America’s REAL Glass Jaw appeared first on Walden Labs.

Important Renovations to Prepare Your Home for the Worst

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When you find yourself surrounded by disaster (natural or otherwise), what do you do? You find safety for yourself and your loved ones. What happens to your house? What is the most efficient way to protect your home as much as possible? Perhaps your next home renovation should include protecting it from severe events.

Wild Fire

Droughts have caused wildfires in many places in the nation. If you live in one of those areas, have you considered changing your landscaping? The types of plants and materials that surround your home can either increase or decrease the effect of fire in the area. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use pebbles or gravel instead of mulch.
  • Exchange your wooden deck for a concrete patio.
  • Decorate with more rocks and fewer plants.
  • Keep dried leaves and debris from accumulating around your property.
  • Apply a fire-resistant material to your exterior walls.
  • Switch to Class A roofing. This roofing withstands severe exposure to fire from outside of the structure.

Hail Storms

If you live where these storms occur frequently, consider replacing your current roof with an impact-resistant material. Class 4 shingles are the most resistant to hail, high wind, and streaks. These shingles not only protect, but they also enhance the curb appeal of the home.


    Torrential rains, melting snow, storms, and melting snow are some of the reasons that flooding happens. What measures can you take to prevent as much damage as possible?

  • “Dry proof” your home by applying sealing materials to your walls.
  • “Wet –proof” your house with foundation vents that allow water to flow through it instead of rising inside.
  • Raise switches, and circuit breakers, etc. at least a foot above the flood level of your property.


    Heavy winds cause your home to be vulnerable. Renovation ideas to better protect them include:

  • Repair or replacing loose or missing shingles.
  • Change to heavy-duty bolts on the doors so they are less likely to blow off.
  • Install impact-resistant windows and doors, like the ones available from Storm Shield LLC.


If you live in an earthquake zone, and your home is more than twenty years old, you may need to upgrade your home’s foundation in to strengthen it. It is also recommended to apply safety film to your windows and glass doors. Fires, hurricanes, hail, wind, and earthquakes can be devastating. What is the best way to protect your home? If you already have plans to beautify it, why not safeguard it as well.

Written by Rachelle Wilber