By Guy W. Spotts
What follows is a look at the use of electrical power after the End of the World, there will be a number of sources of electrical power. First off the power grid may continue to function for months on some level or it could die as part of the great End of the World collapse. But I think it is important enough to say that as long as grid power is functioning you should continue to take advantage of it, you could be running food dehydrator units, a deep freezer, or refrigerator. Until such time as you have dehydrated everything resist any idea other then doing scheduled tests of your generator and solar panels. A side note monthly maintenance and testing of your generator and solar panels system is painfully important. In an industrial maintenance plan, monthly maintenance and testing is spit out of a computer as a work order, that would be handled by the Maintenance Electrician.
As part of the work order he would run and test the generator monthly maintenance check the oil, coolant and fuel topping off each. Solar panels would be cleaned to remove the dirt and bird droppings batteries cleaned and topped off and for example if the are used to power a sump pump the intake screen and operation would be check at the same time.
The idea of a maintenance work order system may seem like over kill, but think about how much easier it is to know that you have a cheat sheet to run through a check list on your power system. Now think about adding two or three extra families to you own you can’t do everything some one needs to be able to help you. You could just have a calendar item pop up on your computer every day to give you your to do list but printed is better.
Now lets talk about management of your power sources. Generators it is my humble opinion are for short term use, fuel will not be something to waste and unless the world can recover quickly they won’t be making any more of it soon. A generator is to be used for life and death situations like treating wounds, repairing a vehicle, if it has to be done at night. Your solar panels system can do all this and has one more important trick up it’s sleeve it is totally silent It will give you power on every sunny day for about 8-10 years.
A word of warning the bright blue of a solar panel will be easy to spot and identify so placement where they can’t be seen is going to be an important consideration when setting up a system.
After that you will need to be able to light your house with animal fat and oil. At some point soon after the End of the World I may be seen driving to the old fast food places and emptying the deep fryers of there oil and waste fat tanks using old 55gallon drums in the bed of a pick-up truck and a hand pump to horde and stock pile it for later. I will not let all that free energy go to waste and it is my humble opinion that short term this material will be left to rot, long term it will become a critical survival commodity.