So what to do when the power fails? I guess the recent earthquake and tsunami got me thinking, again, about "preparedness." All things considered, I'm on track to be pretty self-reliant in a disaster, with the following items (not even counting the garden):
- food storage in cans
- manual wheat grinder
- water storage
- 72-hour emergency kits
- solar oven
- manual washing machine
- makings for a 'loveable loo'
A glaring omission in this sea of preparedness is electrical power generation.
I really like the idea of being able to create my own power, particularly now that I've got dozens of fish who wouldn't survive long if there were a prolonged power outage. (My family would survive, they'd just be irritable...)
Even though I'm a physicist, I've not previously wrapped my head around how one might make a good solar panel. But tonight, I chanced across the following series of videos from the folks at Affordable Solar Frames, down near Mobile, Alabama:
After watching these videos, I "get it." As I scope out my greenhouse-enclosed polyculture backyard aquaponics system, I'll be seeing how little power I can get by with.
It would be sweet to be able to run that outdoor system off solar panels!