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Category Archives for "Alternative Energy"

Will Solar Panels Survive An EMP? Solar Panels vs EMP

Every prepper appreciates the importance of energy. With electric energy generated and transmitted through the modern-day supply lines expected to experience a catastrophic failure in the event of an end-of-the-world event, preppers are now beginning to turn to renewable and highly portable energy-generation options such as solar power.

The usability and suitability of solar power, however, is doubtful, especially given the concern as to whether the solar panels and their connections can withstand a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emanating from a large nuclear detonation. With the nuclear threat on the rise, every serious prepper should endeavor to understand the vulnerability of solar panels to EMPs.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Living Off The Grid

To effectively understand and accurately answer this concern, it is important to understand the origin and concept of an EMP wave. EMPs can emanate from various sources including a nuclear detonation, solar flare, or a large lightning strike.

Any equipment made of microchips and circuits is highly susceptible to being destroyed by an EMP wave. This fact implies that virtually every electronic device today could be affected, paralyzed, and rendered dysfunctional.

The vulnerability of Solar Panels to an EMP

The vulnerability of solar panels to an EMP wave, therefore, depends on their internal structure. Solar panels generally depend on electronic components and micro-circuits, though not huge or highly integrated. The internal working anatomy of many solar panels contains and depends on diodes to control the flow of current harnessed from the sun.

The diodes, being made of semiconductors, are highly vulnerable to high-current surges. In the event of an EMP, therefore, the diodes would certainly melt and render the whole solar panel useless.

Inverters and controllers, which are intricate components of solar panels, also render the solar panels highly vulnerable to EMP waves. It consequently implies that an EMP damage on the solar system would affect and paralyze the entire solar system at multiple points.

Also, EMP wave damages also occur in situations where electronic components are wired up into circuits since they complete the flow of current. The nature of installation of circuits in a normal electric configuration demands that every connection is earthed.

This very nature of the configuration makes the solar circuits’ connection vulnerable to an EMP wave. The high energy from the blast would flow through the inverters’ integrated circuits to the controllers, all the way to the battery; instantly destroying them all.

However, the nature and size of the damage would highly depend on the volume or size of the charge and the relative distance between the center of the detonation and the solar panels and circuits. A weaker detonation would imply that the wave would not be strong enough and this would cause minimal damage to the panels.

On the other hand, a denotation from a long distance would imply that the wave’s energy would significantly attenuate before reaching the solar panels to cause any damage.

Should You Keep Your Solar Panels in a Faraday Cage?

The only way to ensure the protection of solar panels from EMPs is through the use of Faraday cages which essentially encase the vulnerable parts such as the panels, inverters, controllers, and batteries.

It would, however, be impractical to encase the solar panel since doing so would hinder solar energy from hitting the surface of the panels. However, the inverter, battery, and controller can be encased and thus protect them from EMP damage.

We still recommend getting and using solar panels. We partnered up with a company that can give you a free estimate of how much you’ll save by switching to solar.



3 Things You Should Know About Alternative Energy

Considerations to keep in mind before going off the grid

When most people think about alternative energy, the first thing that comes to mind is solar panels and solar power.

Where this is a great way to harness renewable energy, there are many more ways in which you can use alternative energy and ways it is being misused.

Understanding the various alternative energies available is the first step in deciding which method is best.

However, even with a basic understanding of the 5 types of renewable energy many people have had the wool pulled over their eyes concerning some factors of alternative energy.

Here are three things you should know.

Number One: Hydropower is the cheapest form of Alternative Energy

Hydropower (power which relies on water) accounts for only 7% of the electricity generated.

However, the costs to implement hydropower plants are cheaper than any other renewable energy source.

Why is it then that we are not seeing more of these plants available, especially since an executive bill was just signed stating that the goal is to harness renewable energy?

I would venture to say that it is still all about how much profit can be gained.

To make the point Idaho, Washington, and Oregon which rely primarily on hydropower have the lowest energy bills in the United States.

Where every state uses hydropower, not every state uses it to its fullest potential.

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Most states use no more than 10%.

Some would claim that creating hydropower negatively affects the ecosystem. To this I would state that watermills and dams have been working well for thousands of years.

With the advances in technology, new methodologies have been implemented into newer dam designs that allow for fish and wildlife to move about freely, thus the argument is bleak.

Properties that have rivers and streams should strongly consider harnessing some of the renewable energy.

Keep in mind that if the water is seasonal (being that the river dries up in the winter or that you have a drought season) you will want to use an additional source of renewable energy such as solar panels or wind turbines.

Number Two: Biomass Energy affects your food prices directly

You would think that alternative energy would lower the overall cost of living.

Idealistically, this is true.

Yet, then biomass energy is used and the supply is not increased to meet the demand, then the overall costs rise.

The primary example of this is found in Ethanol.

Ethanol is fuel which is made from corn.

Since the implementation of ethanol into most gas providing stations, corn has seen an increase in both seed costs as well as consumer costs.

Where this does not mean a lot to a person that does not eat corn, consider:

If corn seed is increased then the price per bushel will increase. This will drive up the price of gas (for those of you who use gasoline).

If corn prices increase, other produce will fluctuate to make the margin of increase seem smaller.

For example: If corn goes to $6 a bushel then carrots may go for $4 instead of $1. Consumers are more willing to spend more money on corn when the overall cost of produce increases.

If corn prices increase then the cost of meat will increase as animals eat corn.

The solution, of course, is to increase the number of crops to facilitate the demand.

Do not combine both the eating and the energy crops into one.

By allocating our biomass energy into a dedicated crop sector, we can effectively and efficiently have an alternative energy that does not drive up economic spending.

Also, exploring additional biomass power options will expand the diversity of power options on the consumer market, lowering the overall demand for a particular crop.

For example: if it was found that milkweed can be used to make gas (which it does not) then the corn crops would be lowered because a second option is available. It is common sense.

Diversify the market and dedicate more crops to the production of the biomass power and you will have better results.

Number Three: Solar power may soon become taxed

Solar power may not be living off the grid for much longer.

States which have seen an increase in residential properties implementing Solar Panels have begun to push for solar power taxation.

Arizona has proposed a bill which would charge a monthly tax for solar panels. Oklahoma also will charge you a fee if you install solar panels or wind turbines on your property.

The main advocate for taxation on alternative energy is the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).

As you would expect, the members consist mostly of corporate activist and those who have their hand in the oil and gas industry. ALEC is an active “anti-green” and against off grid living calling those who do “free riders”.

In 2014 77 energy bills in 34 states were submitted by the council in an effort to tax those who install solar panels on their home.

With the executive bill signed on mandating renewable energies in corporations and having states meet target CO2 levels, states are going to have to make up for the loss of profit from companies which cannot comply.

The standard way in which to do this (governmentally speaking) is to tax something. Since the culprit of the lack of funds is renewable energy, the chances that the alternative energy will become the next ticket item for taxation is high.

A final note

Where it is true that there are negatives to alternative energy, it still holds more benefits than traditional energy consumption.

For example solar panels last on average 25 years or more. 

Those wishing to live off the grid should consider which natural resources are most abundant in the area and use the best method.

You will want to check what regulations your state and local area has about installing alternative energy power on a residence.


The Unconventional Guide to Home Aquaponics Systems

In today’s world of advanced technology and multi-national industrial expansion, there is constant and growing concern about ecology and how to grow natural foods in a clean, healthy environment.

One solution is to initiate and oversee the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants grown together in a completely health-promoting structured interior, called aquaponics.

The Unconventional Guide to Home Aquaponics Systems

What is an Aquaponics System and How Does It Work?

Aquaponics is symbiotic cultivation of aquatic species and plant life within an environment that continuously recirculates.

An aquaponics system combines the two types of aqua-farming—aquaculture (growing fish) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water).

Fish effluent (waste) accumulates in the system tank’s water supply, making the water rich in plant nutrients but toxic to the tank’s aquatic animals. Within this nutrient enriched water, plants are cultivated and absorb these nutrients.

During the process, the plants lower and sometimes eliminate toxicity levels in the tank water, rendering the water healthy for the fish. This cycle continues, benefiting growth of both plants and aquatic animals.

No water is drained or exchanged, and fresh water is added only when significant amounts of this tank water have evaporated or been absorbed by the plants.

When the fish produce ammonia, a bacteria named Nitrosomonas sp transforms this substance into nitrite.

Subsequently, a second form of bacteria, Nitrobacter, causes conversion of the nitrite into nitrate. Absorbing the nitrate, the plants cleanse the water, creating a purified tank environment once again for the fish.

Aquaponics systems can contain fresh or saltwater, and system sizes can range from compact indoor units to large commercial systems.

Plant and fish types cultivated vary according to water type and system capacity.

While fresh water aquaponics systems depend on plants, aquatic species and nitrifying bacteria for operation, saltwater systems need just the two life forms of saltwater fish and seaweed or algae.

Going Off-Grid with Solar Panels to Power Your Aquaponics System

A major reason for using an aquaponics system in your home or as a business venture is to increase your self-sustainability or promote this idea and system to other people.

For this reason, it is sensible to power your aqua-garden with solar energy.

300x250square01It also makes good sense to operate your ecologically sound, purifying aqua-farm with the natural power of the sun’s energy.

You will save a tremendous amount of money by eliminating your need for costly electrical power supplied by your local utility company.

Once you have installed solar panels for operating your aquaponics system, you will most likely want to convert your entire home energy source from electrical to solar energy power.

Important benefits to be gained from solar power for your aquaponics system include:

1. Major Energy Supply Problems Solved with Solar Panel Use

There are strong advantages to utilizing solar panels to power the operation of your aquaponics system.

If you have been practicing aquaponics cultivation for a while, you most likely have encountered problems with an electrical power interruption. You may have even had a power outage lasting a day or two, especially during harsh weather conditions.

If so, you probably had to rely on temporary power from a noisy gas-powered generator. By installing solar panels, you can start operating your aquaponics system with the sun’s pure, natural and reliable energy source.

2. Safe, Pure, Cost-Efficient Power Directly Harnessed from the Sun

Solar energy is a totally eco-friendly, inexpensive power source.

It is also completely safe.



You will never need to worry about fires or harmful gas fumes in your home when you use solar power.

In addition, generation of solar power produces no annoying sound like the noise from many gas generators. With batteries as a backup for power, you can benefit from energy from your solar panels for many hours at a time.

Although the presence of bright sunlight throughout the year in states like Florida and Arizona is a great benefit for consistent use of solar power, it is not a necessity.

Solar panels can store energy from the direct light on sunny days for use on cloudy or overcast days and, of course, during night hours.

3. Easy Installation of Your Solar-Powered Aquaponics Cultivation Environment

The first major item you will need for installing your solar-powered home aquaponics system is a pump with low amperage.

With an efficient, dependable pump, you can have steady power for your aqua-farm with fewer solar panels.

A pump drawing just 24 watts of power can support water elevation up to nine feet. It is best to install your solar panel or panels in close proximity to your aquaponics setup.

You may want to mount solar panels on the roof of your home or on a high pole support.

Your panels should face south if you live in the northern hemisphere and north if you are located in the southern hemisphere.

Taking into consideration the voltage of your solar panels and voltage needed for your pump, it may be necessary to wire a pair of panels placed together to achieve correct potential difference.

You should obtain a pump controller that will regulate the power flow from the solar panels to the pump.

This controller should also include a battery for storage of extra energy from the panels to be used during night hours or on cloudy and overcast days.

The solar panels and the pump should be properly wired to form a complete and secure control circuit for operation of your aquaponics system.

4. Simple Power Generation and Maintenance for Your Modern Aqua-Garden

You can charge your solar-powered aquaponics system using just a few essential elements for generating power.

A typical solar energy charging kit for a home aquaponics system includes four 15-watt solar panels with sturdy mounting frames and a 200-watt modified sine wave inverter device along with a 7-amp charge controller for solar power.

An installation wiring kit and accessories will also be provided. Nighttime battery discharge will be prevented by the diode blocking technology that is built-in.

This convenient kit has other handy capabilities as well.

It can be used to sustain a 12-volt battery charge. It can also be used as a charging source for electric-powered vehicles, equipment, boats, computers and other items.

With a 250-watt charging kit, you can gain more power, and with use of an expansion kit, you will have power increases of 310, 375 or more wattage.

Once your new aquaponics system is in place and powered with solar energy, you are ready to start populating this ecologically sound environment with aquatic animals and plant life.

You will soon be reaping the benefits of this pure, simultaneous cultivation of fish and plants.

This biologically balanced system will operate in continuous harmony. Now that your cultivation system is up and running, your role in the growing process is to maintain water levels, feeding and harvesting the fish appropriately so the tank is never overcrowded.

You, your family and friends can now enjoy the benefits of a completely safe, ecologically balanced source of sustainable food supply.

Want step by step plans to build your own Home Aquaponics system?

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12 Reasons Every Prepper Regrets Not Doing This Sooner

Every good survivalist wishes that they had started sooner. Becoming a prepper requires a keen awareness, and cultivating this heightened level of attention leads to the revelation that precautions have always been needed.

The Woes of Becoming a Prepper Too Late

Most newcomers to the ways of preemptive vigilance realize that they have been missing out on vital tools and skills. This list shows 12 reasons why most preppers regret not initiating their safety practices earlier in life.

1. The Community is Invaluable

Preppers happen to be some of the nicest people on the planet. Safety is their top concern at all times, and the group efforts of survivalists are creating extra stability for society.

Because their philosophy revolves around disaster prevention, these are the kind of individuals to raise children around. Their mere presence ingrains a sense of well-being that is indispensable, and it is hard to imagine reverting to life before their help arrived.

2. Total Preparedness Takes Time

Survivalists are attempting to prepare for every kind of emergency situation. Logically, it takes plenty of time for amateur preppers to accumulate all of the necessary resources.

There are always more potential problems to anticipate, and new dangers must be countered every single day. Those who have been doing this for a long time will naturally be better suited for moments of crisis.

3. One Can Never Have Enough Supplies

There is no such thing as too many rations. Inevitably, the people who have been prepping for the longest amount of time will possess the most materials. Unfortunately, a limited budget can slow down the process of collecting supplies. Starting sooner would have permanently remedied the fear of being caught off-guard.

4. Self-Defense Becomes Internalized

Personal security will never have to be left to others again. An enormous quantity of prideful self-defense can be instilled. No bodyguard has as much to lose as the person they are protecting.

This factor generates significant risks that can be avoided by managing one’s own safety. Preppers will feel scared for their past selves whilewhile looking back at all of the risks that came with letting others take care of serious concerns.

5. Confidence is Maximized

Being able to handle any scenario will create a heightened level of self-esteem.

Most preppers cannot believe that they ever lived without the extreme confidence engendered by implementing a philosophy of total protection.

This self-assured composure could have been useful for years, but most incipient preppers are only just discovering it now.

6. Useful Disaster Education is Acquired

There are countless possible apocalyptic scenarios that mankind knows about, and knowledge is the sole key to surviving these potentially devastating worldwide incidents.

Once the information has been passed down, the previous level of ignorance is absolutely terrifying. Most preppers regret the period of their life where oblivion took precedence over facts.

7. Survivalism is Surprisingly Fun


300_300The lifestyle surrounding the prepper approach is fundamentally invigorating. Survivalism involves endless pasttimes, pursuits and hobbies. Becoming a prepper is an especially favorable endowment for those who appreciate the outdoors.

Firearm enthusiasts will also be pleased with ample amounts of gun training and collecting. All of these wonderful additions to life can be enjoyed right away, but today’s survivalists often hesitate until the undertaking becomes a chore instead of a mindful practice.

8. Preppers Always Have a Reliable Vehicle

The days of dealing with a broken car are long gone for preppers. Their worldview stresses the importance of a trustworthy vehicle. They usually have a couple back-up cars and trucks for emergencies.

While this is intended as preparation for cataclysmic events, it is also quite convenient for handling daily hassles.

Many preppers can looked back at times that they were stranded, and they will fill with remorse knowing they could have staved off misfortune with practical reasoning.

When getting stuck on the side of the road no longer happens, preppers know they made the right decision in switching their philosophy towards life.

9. A Capacity to Travel Anywhere is Gained

Here is an extension of the previous entry on this list. Because of their vehicular expertise, preppers are rarely restricted on the basis of geography. In truth, they like to travel a lot.

This allows them to sample various survivalism techniques, and it makes their activities difficult to trace when they are bugging out.

10. Preppers Only Need to Trust Themselves

Self-reliance is vital and useful, but modern culture deprives people of this trait through excessive comforts and forced complacency.

No one is equipped to handle today’s challenges through regular means, and isolation is becoming increasingly prevalent. Fortunately, being alone is never an issue for preppers; in fact, they usually appreciate a little bit of solitude.

11. The Security of Loved Ones is Assured

Many preppers live with the regret of knowing their family’s safety was improperly enforced all along. Before the transition in lifestyle, everyone was at risk and they didn’t know it.

In hindsight, this perceived mindlessness was very reckless and feckless. This is why the majority of survivalists will never turn back. They have learned through experience that life’s lurking dangers are not worth encountering in any manner.

12. The Apocalypse Could Have Been Yesterday

This notion is at the center of all preppers’ mentalities, and it is the scariest thought in their minds’ collective repertoire. Doomsday could arrive at any moment, and it just as well could have happened at a time when preparedness practices were non-existent. This threat of worldwide annihilation is constantly looming over humanity, and it is only a matter of luck that we have survived this far into the future.

When preppers commit to the survivalist lifestyle, they intrinsically discover the fragile nature of reality. Mankind’s perseverance up to this point has been downright miraculous, and preppers know that a lack of precaution in the wrong moment would have been devastating.

They may be ready to face any future emergency, but it is only a consequence of fate that they lived long enough to confront these hazards in the first place. This realization is frightening, and it culminates in a deep regret for having previously risked everything by not paying attention to today’s pervasively imminent dangers.

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Top 10 Reasons To Use Green Energy

You are moving your family to a vast homestead in the country.

You have an excellent start on your prepper plan: a large wood pile, plenty of backup medication, a huge stash of non-perishable food and water filtration tablets, a strong method of home defense.

What plans have you made for alternate energy?

It is essential to remove your household from the grid. The following are the top 10 reasons why you should consider using green energy instead.

1. The inevitable energy crisis.

The fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil) many Americans currently rely heavily on have become very limited resources. One day they will completely dry up. You need to ensure your home’s continued functioning by implementing green energy practices.

2. An energy crisis is critical.

Americans continue to drive around in gas-guzzling Hummers, leave lights on around the clock, and keep television sets running day and night. Once the fossil fuels are gone, panic will ensue. Cars will not be drivable. People will be at a loss regarding how they should function in this new, powerless world.

3. Water will be in short supply.

Without power, water will no longer magically appear from your kitchen faucet. There are over 300 million people in the United States alone. While it is usually easy to find a body of water, not everyone has the knowledge or means to ensure this water is properly and safely filtered.

4. The modern oven will no longer cook food.

Most American households are only equipped with electric or gas fireplaces and stoves. Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves have become unwelcome dinosaurs in our modern age.

5. All forms of communication will effectively be cut off.

Most people will not be able to get in touch with loved ones living far away. There are many devices out there that run off of solar or hand-crank power, such as radios, phones, and flashlights.

6. Solar panels are an excellent source of energy.

They are unbelievably easy and fairly cheap to build from scratch with tools and materials you can find at your local hardware store. The guide found here will give you all the information you need to build them. Solar power can be used as an energy source, it can be used to heat your water, and it can also be used to cook your food. It is clean, free, and readily available. Just ensure that you have a suitably sized battery bank to store your solar power for nighttime use and cloudy days.

7. Windmills as power generators.

Windmills as power generators are another excellent energy source that is easy and cheap to build by using the instructions in this guide. You will need to ensure you have an appropriate sized battery bank to store this wind power for times when the wind is low or not blowing.

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8. Hydropower is an effective way of generating home energy.

If you live near a flowing stream of water, you can build a water mill that will provide continuous power.

9. Vegetative roofs

Vegetative roofs are a fairly new enterprise for America, but they have been around for centuries and they offer many benefits to the user and the environment.

They provide insulation, reduce rain runoff, and you can even plant a vegetable garden up there. Get rid of those shingles and add some vegetation.

10. Geothermal is a method of using the internal ground energy.

In this technique, fluid is piped through the ground to capture the Earth’s natural heat. It is then piped into a geothermal heat pump located in the house. The pump then uses this energy to heat and cool your house.

These are ten important reasons to convert to green energy. There are many more reasons that can be found with a little research. In the end, the crucial question is just how ready do you want your home and family to be for an energy deficiency?