Emergency, safe, alternative low-budget heat for apartment?

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SolutionsDIY

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Dec 1, 2021, 9:42:32 AM12/1/21
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I strongly suspect that our country may also creat-- I mean, have a
Dark Winter as Joe Biden is threate-- I mean, warning about in the
U.S.

I don't have a lot of money but is there anything that one can do to
get an alternative yet safe heat source in an urban apartment setting
that is not like a gas-run generator, etc.? [I don't have a place in
the country with a stove and woodpile, so trying to come up with a
viable solution here. <g>]

I know it's a tall order and likely impossible, but today's
technologies sometimes offer up great yet not exhorbitantly-priced
solutions that one might not be aware of.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, if anyone would be so kind.!!

Went to school in the 70s, so though I don't have much more than
basic, handywoman skills, I do have a bit more than most women I know,
if that's any help ...


TIA!!

--
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
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Jim Wilkins

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Dec 1, 2021, 11:34:16 AM12/1/21
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"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:082fqgh1cglq4joo0...@4ax.com...

I strongly suspect that our country may also creat-- I mean, have a
Dark Winter as Joe Biden is threate-- I mean, warning about in the
U.S.

I don't have a lot of money but is there anything that one can do to
get an alternative yet safe heat source in an urban apartment setting
that is not like a gas-run generator, etc.? [I don't have a place in
the country with a stove and woodpile, so trying to come up with a
viable solution here. <g>]

I know it's a tall order and likely impossible, but today's
technologies sometimes offer up great yet not exhorbitantly-priced
solutions that one might not be aware of.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, if anyone would be so kind.!!

Went to school in the 70s, so though I don't have much more than
basic, handywoman skills, I do have a bit more than most women I know,
if that's any help ...


TIA!!

-----------------------

Lined, insulated shirts, pants and boots and sometimes a hoodie from Walmart
keep me comfortable at 55-60F. I do have a wood stove and solar electricity
but they aren't enough to fully replace the expensive automated fossil
energy sources we've become so accustomed to. I grew up in the 50's with
coal heat, downstairs only. Put on "La Boheme" or "Rent" and remember you
are better off than Mimi and friends.

I reduced my house's heat loss considerably by adding two layers of clear
plastic (polyester, Mylar) film to the windows, as covering for wood framed
rectangles that press into the inside trim. The construction is similar to
picture frames or flats for theatre scenery. I made them 3/8" smaller than
the opening to allow for foam weatherstripping that seals the gap and keeps
them in place in the window. 2" package tape over the foam makes it much
more durable.

In Germany where they kept their winter indoor temps considerably lower than
the US they had "featherbeds" which were bed-sized pillows of down &
feathers, like a duvet or comforter but thicker. I sewed one with polyester
fill which was warm but heavy, then replaced the fill with a doubled over
down comforter that's much lighter.
https://www.ikea.com/de/de/cat/bettdecken-20529/

I have a wide range of mechanical and electrical construction skills from a
career of building prototypes and experiments. If I knew of something better
I'd build and try it. Alternate energy requires more user attention,
involvement and education, a lite version of farm chores.

jsw, currently comfortable at 57F without a fire, waiting for a repair to
the wood stove door gasket to set, and testing a new Alpicool T60 solar
powerable refrigerator/freezer.

Bob F

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Dec 1, 2021, 11:48:41 AM12/1/21
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On 12/1/2021 6:42 AM, SolutionsDIY wrote:
> I strongly suspect that our country may also creat-- I mean, have a
> Dark Winter as Joe Biden is threate-- I mean, warning about in the
> U.S.
>
> I don't have a lot of money but is there anything that one can do to
> get an alternative yet safe heat source in an urban apartment setting
> that is not like a gas-run generator, etc.? [I don't have a place in
> the country with a stove and woodpile, so trying to come up with a
> viable solution here. <g>]
>
> I know it's a tall order and likely impossible, but today's
> technologies sometimes offer up great yet not exhorbitantly-priced
> solutions that one might not be aware of.
>
> Any tips would be greatly appreciated, if anyone would be so kind.!!
>
> Went to school in the 70s, so though I don't have much more than
> basic, handywoman skills, I do have a bit more than most women I know,
> if that's any help ...
>
>
> TIA!!
>

Make sure you have lots of insulated clothes and blankets.

SolutionsDIY

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Dec 1, 2021, 11:57:38 AM12/1/21
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Thank you! Great tips.

I also found on YouTube since I posted this message the terracotta
flowerpot tealight candle plus the Crisco emergency candle tricks.
What the heck, I have enough money to try the simple solutions. At
the very least, cheaper than the candles I've been buying, if not a
lot of heat in the end.

Thanks!

SolutionsDIY

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Dec 1, 2021, 11:58:01 AM12/1/21
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Thanks. Good point! Appreciate it.

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 1, 2021, 1:41:31 PM12/1/21
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"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:b9afqgt2qa4hrctqj...@4ax.com...

Thank you! Great tips.

I also found on YouTube since I posted this message the terracotta
flowerpot tealight candle plus the Crisco emergency candle tricks.
What the heck, I have enough money to try the simple solutions. At
the very least, cheaper than the candles I've been buying, if not a
lot of heat in the end.

Thanks!

------------

Walmart's black suede pile-lined boots at $20 are good foot insulation. I
buy the flat soled ones, which are pretty much unisex, since they don't
offer a mens' equivalent. The pair I'm wearing has lasted through 4 winters
of outdoor work. They remained fairly decent looking for two years. Now they
look like I just crawled out from under a car, which happens to be true. I'm
checking the alternator.

Insulated hunting garments, especially the coveralls, are made for sitting
still for hours in freezing weather. They are softer and more comfortable
than the equivalent work clothes, and cheaper at the end of the season. I
buy them large enough to fit over my regular clothes plus a sweater or
hoodie, and pin up the cuffs. In them I can comfortably sit watching TV at
40F, while experimenting to find minimally adequate electric backup heat for
my wood stove. Frozen plumbing is my insurance company's only concern with
wood heat.

I hope you are extremely careful with open flames indoors.
jsw

Bob F

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Dec 1, 2021, 2:41:39 PM12/1/21
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Using candles for heat sounds dangerous and unhealthy in several ways.
Hard on your paint job too.

Is your hot water heated with gas?

ads

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Dec 1, 2021, 9:28:15 PM12/1/21
to
On Wed, 01 Dec 2021 09:42:30 -0500, SolutionsDIY
<NoSpamJun...@NoSpam.com> wrote:

>I strongly suspect that our country may also creat-- I mean, have a
>Dark Winter as Joe Biden is threate-- I mean, warning about in the
>U.S.
>
>I don't have a lot of money but is there anything that one can do to
>get an alternative yet safe heat source in an urban apartment setting
>that is not like a gas-run generator, etc.? [I don't have a place in
>the country with a stove and woodpile, so trying to come up with a
>viable solution here. <g>]
>
>I know it's a tall order and likely impossible, but today's
>technologies sometimes offer up great yet not exhorbitantly-priced
>solutions that one might not be aware of.
>
>Any tips would be greatly appreciated, if anyone would be so kind.!!
>
>Went to school in the 70s, so though I don't have much more than
>basic, handywoman skills, I do have a bit more than most women I know,
>if that's any help ...
>
>
>TIA!!

Easiest "warm" is usually adding layers. An overshirt - something you
like in a size larger than you usually wear - is often the easiet to
find and you'll find lots of things - for women and men - at Goodwill
or the like. In a few months, LLBean and others will be having their
end-of-season sales on winter clothes and that can be a good time to
buy things you wouldn't otherwise consider - my down vest was half
price, as was the lined flannel shirt. I'm an old guy - approaching
80 - and although I still sometimes try to do what I did at 50 my body
refuses and it doesn't produce as much heat as it did when I was that
active :-(

If you have space (windows, patio walkway) for 200+ watts of solar
panels and a 500WH or larger "solar generator", an electric blanket
with a lightweight thermal blanket over it could have you sleeping
warm at night. Part of it is psychological - have the blanket just
high enough for the bed to "not be cold" when you get in it and then
turn the electric blanket down to the minimum needed to keep you warm.

In your "layers", look for a housecoat that's thick enough to be
considered "a blanket with sleeves" - and get some wool socks. Long
underwear - tights and a long sleeve tee shirt may also work, just not
as well - provides that inside "layer" which can make a lot of
difference. If you hands are cold, perhaps some "fingerless" gloves
so most of your hand is covered and only the last joint of your
fingers is uncovered. There are also battery-heated gloves, socks and
vests - probably more practical is you have some backup power which is
independent of the grid to recharge batteries for the gloves, socks or
vest.

Drink warm beverages - holding a warm cup also warms your hand. We go
through a lot of hot tea and hot chocolate in the winter months ;-) We
cook with gas so power outages aren't that big an event. We also have
gas logs which run on batteries (remote and gas valve) so they work
without commercial power. If you can't cook or heat beverages without
power, the small butane stoves are indoor safe and can provide
hot/warm food and beverages without power.

Heading back to the fireplace to click the remote for the gas logs and
get my hands warm...

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 2, 2021, 9:09:14 AM12/2/21
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"ads" wrote in message news:peagqgtsmnuq9b46o...@4ax.com...

On Wed, 01 Dec 2021 09:42:30 -0500, SolutionsDIY
...

>Easiest "warm" is usually adding layers. An overshirt - something you
>like in a size larger than you usually wear - is often the easiet to
>find and you'll find lots of things - for women and men - at Goodwill
>or the like. In a few months, LLBean and others will be having their
>end-of-season sales on winter clothes and that can be a good time to
>buy things you wouldn't otherwise consider - my down vest was half
>price, as was the lined flannel shirt. I'm an old guy - approaching
>80 - and although I still sometimes try to do what I did at 50 my body
>refuses and it doesn't produce as much heat as it did when I was that
>active :-(

Mid-70's here and all I have left from distance running and mountain
climbing is sore knees and feet.

In "Coppelia" on PBS, the baker was once principal dancer in the Bolshoi,
and the girl with glasses is his daughter. It's plain that his legs have
given out.

I found some nice insulated vests at Goodwill when the stores were out of
them. I was looking for cheap work vests, instead I found Eddie Bauer,
Vineyard Vines, Columbia etc at <10% of their original price. Washing in
cold water with Woolite and air drying on the clothesline didn't hurt the
goosedown Bauer. Goodwill has since caught on and raised their prices.

>If you have space (windows, patio walkway) for 200+ watts of solar
>panels and a 500WH or larger "solar generator", an electric blanket
>with a lightweight thermal blanket over it could have you sleeping
>warm at night. Part of it is psychological - have the blanket just
>high enough for the bed to "not be cold" when you get in it and then
>turn the electric blanket down to the minimum needed to keep you warm.

A heated pad on the mattress also works well. The one I have (Xmas gift)
preheats and then idles at lower power, making it more compatible with the
thick down duvet over it if I stay up late.

I wish I could recommend solar panels because I've been experimenting with
using alternate energy sources to power standard appliances, but so far I
can only justify them for power outage backup. They will probably never pay
back their cost, mainly because of the expense and fairly short lifetime of
storage batteries which are essential for almost all uses, the exception
being heating water. Unless you buy an overpriced Jackery or similar power
pack, or can modify a jump starter, storage batteries aren't well suited to
indoor use.

The Alpicool T60 I mentioned is a 12V DC-powered fridge/freezer that's well
suited to solar power although it's likely too small to be most peoples'
only cold food storage and costs twice as much as a larger compact fridge of
similar power consumption. The difference is that the T60 doesn't need a
pure sine wave inverter to generate motor quality 120V AC from battery DC.
The idling power consumption of my inverter is about as much as the
refrigerator it powers, halving battery-only run time or doubling battery
cost to reach a run time goal.

I've set up a smaller Alpicool C20 to run all day on only solar power. My
control circuit for it automatically reverts to grid power if there isn't
enough sun, or battery power during a night grid outage. The C20 is small
enough to use in the car and can hold up to a week's frozen or refrigerated
food.

>In your "layers", look for a housecoat that's thick enough to be
>considered "a blanket with sleeves" - and get some wool socks.

There are actual blankets with sleeves for reading or TV. The Dollar Tree
chain sells thick socks of reasonable quality for $1 a pair.

jsw

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 2, 2021, 12:56:52 PM12/2/21
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"Jim Wilkins" wrote in message news:soak27$5kc$1...@dont-email.me...

...
A heated pad on the mattress also works well. The one I have (Xmas gift)
preheats and then idles at lower power, making it more compatible with the
thick down duvet over it if I stay up late.

-------------------
I didn't explain that enough. Electric blankets can overheat under other
insulation.
https://www.ajdanboise.com/blog/2017/august/dos-and-donts-of-using-an-electric-blanket/

Bob F

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Dec 2, 2021, 2:03:14 PM12/2/21
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A thick comforter or two does the job fine, is dependable, and never
needs any power.

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 2, 2021, 5:35:38 PM12/2/21
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"Bob F" wrote in message news:sob59g$9ii$1...@dont-email.me...
-------------------------

True, that's my solution too, but there's no harm in seeing other peoples'
efforts, to demonstrate that there's no cheap/easy alternative.

Bob F

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Dec 2, 2021, 5:41:05 PM12/2/21
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Solar alternatives are not cheap or easy.

ads

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Dec 2, 2021, 7:23:47 PM12/2/21
to
If you're knowledgeable enough to build your own from available parts,
LiFePO4 cells can make batteries which are good for 5,000
charge/discharge cycles (about 13 years at one charge/discharge cycle
per day) at prices comparable to AGM sealed lead-acid batteries
(what's typically in the older jumpstart packs).

I've done that on a very small scale when the manufacturer wanted $50
for a replacement AGM battery for a small UPS - more than twice what
the UPS cost me. The LiFePO4 cells plus a BMS plus tax and shipping
were under $20 and I spent less than an hour building the battery
pack. The new battery lasts longer than the original at the same load
and, at my age, it might be a "lifetime" battery ;-)

If you have some hours of sun available, then solar might be your
fallback power source. No one who has built even a small solar system
would say it's cheap - even the solar-charged LED lighting in the shed
out back was about $200 for parts - but MUCH cheaper than having an
electrician out to run power under a concrete driveway to get lights
out there for maybe 20-30 minutes a day.

That "cheaper than" is the key - what would the other alternatives
cost or are they even available? I can use a kerosene heater for heat
with zero power needed and I have a place outside to store the
kerosene (that shed with solar-powered lighting) but that won't work
for most apartment dwellers.

There are some nice solar-powered air heaters IF your windows are on
the South side and you're on the ground floor - one design that
outputs 140F air and doesn't need a fan to move that air through the
heat box. Those might work for some during the day, but they're not
any cheaper than solar power unless you can build your own - not
likely for most in an apartment.

The "low-budget" in the title may limit the OP to plastic film over
the windows, tape around the door and extra layers. You need more
details to work out what will work for someone else.

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 3, 2021, 11:29:35 AM12/3/21
to
"ads" wrote in message news:jdniqgt3jvgnrnavu...@4ax.com...

On Thu, 2 Dec 2021 09:08:43 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"
<murat...@gmail.com> wrote:
...

If you're knowledgeable enough to build your own from available parts,
LiFePO4 cells can make batteries which are good for 5,000
charge/discharge cycles (about 13 years at one charge/discharge cycle
per day) at prices comparable to AGM sealed lead-acid batteries
(what's typically in the older jumpstart packs).

I've done that on a very small scale when the manufacturer wanted $50
for a replacement AGM battery for a small UPS - more than twice what
the UPS cost me. The LiFePO4 cells plus a BMS plus tax and shipping
were under $20 and I spent less than an hour building the battery
pack. The new battery lasts longer than the original at the same load
and, at my age, it might be a "lifetime" battery ;-)

If you have some hours of sun available, then solar might be your
fallback power source. No one who has built even a small solar system
would say it's cheap - even the solar-charged LED lighting in the shed
out back was about $200 for parts - but MUCH cheaper than having an
electrician out to run power under a concrete driveway to get lights
out there for maybe 20-30 minutes a day.

-----------------------
I don't say isolated DIY solar is cost-effective compared to grid power, or
grid-tied solar, but it's about the only alternate source that's easy to
experiment with, so I claim what's installed and working on my Form 5695 and
write off the rest as a hobby or education. I've also built windmills and a
water wheel and briefly looked into bio and wood gas generation.

Solar certainly does work well enough to be part of a backup plan if your
area suffers from extended power outages, such as New England's ice storms.
With full winter sun my batteries recharge to float voltage by ~10AM after
running the fridge all night. Cold panels are more efficient, the other day
I saw 440W from the four 100W panels. At float voltage lead acids don't gas
but revert to a slow taper charge. I've read and tentatively confirmed that
the battery is at 70~80% SOC when it reaches float voltage. When the grid
returns I can fully charge and equalize them outdoors.

Wishfully dividing the lower purchase price of flooded marine batteries by
the longer claimed cycle life of AGMs, the cost of battery depreciation per
KWH is still higher than my $0.18/KWH grid power. Depth of discharge doesn't
seem to matter if you keep total capacity constant. I've seen a graph of DOD
vs cycle life that revealed the same lifetime total delivered power for all
combinations.

The obvious alternative is a generator, if you don't mind running it all
night for the fridge. I found a small used Honda that I can completely drain
to store indoors and carry out to a small shoveled patch to quickly recharge
the batteries if it's overcast, while I struggle to clear the path half way
around the house to a larger generator in the shed. I already had a
feedthrough to pass other wiring through the wall. At my age I have to plan
for injury from falling on ice and thus have an easy to carry backup. I also
rigged the wood stove chimney so that I can flip open the rain cap and run a
cleaning brush through it (weekly) while standing on the ground. The unusual
chimney, handrail and antenna structures up there are painted to disappear
against the surrounding trees.

I've been lucky enough to find fairly reasonably priced AGMs for enough of
my second-hand UPSs, from Amazon or replaced-on-schedule ones from a flea
market. The dealer told me some had to be swapped out from critical devices
after 3 months. He has a conductance tester and lets me check the promising
ones with my HF carbon pile tester. As a favor I tested all his stock and
found that one of the brands he bought for nearly his selling price wasn't
worth salvaging while another was excellent.

If you can run a low-cost UPS at greatly reduced load it may be OK with
larger external batteries, unless it has shutdown timer. A common
cost-cutting trick is to match the heatsink's thermal mass to battery
capacity to avoid fan cooling. A larger battery can overheat them. Even my
originally expensive APC1400 has quirks to avoid or reprogram.

I was a Lithium battery tech and know how to build a BMS, and I keep an eye
on Lithium prices, but for liability concerns I assembled my solar system
from purchased power modules and packaged batteries and wired it according
to published standards. The solar>grid>battery switching was accomplished
with diodes and careful voltage adjustment, not active control. If there's a
fire here anything I built is automatically suspect. Although I've been on
the build teams for prototype electric vehicles I don't have the experience
or equipment to make a safe plastic enclosure for bare cells, I can only
fabricate from sheet or "billet" metal.

At Segway we used only the manufactured battery modules to build
experiments. Mounting them on other than the normal chassis casting was my
problem. The dimensioned CAD print says "see the pattern" for the battery
studs so I had to reverse engineer them and cut-and-try the locating taper
on the old manual metal lathe in my basement, which was easier than getting
time to fiddle with the CNC machines or learn how to use the CMM.

My wet batteries are in boat boxes and were wired according to boating
specs, mainly waterproof inline fuseholders on 7" leads, just outside the
box where they won't ignite hydrogen if they blow. Some of my inline
fuseholders have needed their Fastons tightened with needlenose pliers. The
AGMs are replacements in jumpstarter and power pack housings, with added
PP45 connectors.

I use my homebrew controllers only as temporary battery chargers and
testers. Much can go wrong in a battery powered system, such as the battery
backfeeding into an unpowered supply, overheating when recharging a drained
battery at high current, or failure of blocking diodes, so I overspecify and
bought the equipment to test components and systems thoroughly.

For example a blocking diode on the input of my HF "45W" controller shorted
and sent battery voltage to the panels, which fortunately did no harm. I
have meters everywhere and saw it, and found they had used two undersized
Schottkys in parallel instead of one with an adequate rating and larger
package, which is what I installed. Afterwards I added blocking diodes to my
panel wiring and curve-traced the leakage at night.

The returned Li battery packs (not Segway) I investigated for warranty
repairs showed a wide range of performance. The BMS recorded their history
of charges, discharges, temperature, etc. One from a vehicle in hot Arizona
had deteriorated in less than a year. Many showed significant loss of
capacity in 3 years, with a wide spread of values between packs and cells. I
have obtained up to 15 years of useful life from flooded lead batteries at
half the price of AGMs and 1/4 to 1/10 the price of Lithiums, so my
new-old-stock of $1 tabbed 18650s is reserved for rebuilds.

I've seen similar results from AGMs, including complete failure in 3 years
though I have one that's still strong after 10. A common fault has been a
bad cell that caused the other 5 cells to overcharge at 120% of the float
voltage. I suspect but can't prove that as the reason they swell. I got the
APC1400 UPS for my solar system for free from a dealer because he couldn't
figure out how to removed the badly swollen AGMs. Its fairly high idle power
drain appears to be typical of true sine inverters, so I'm exploring DC
appliances such as the T60.
jsw

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 3, 2021, 1:56:15 PM12/3/21
to
"Bob F" wrote in message news:sobi1v$1g2$1...@dont-email.me...

Solar alternatives are not cheap or easy.

-----------------------------
Solar is getting cheaper.
https://hqsolarpower.com/100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-solar-panel-kit-w-30a-pwm-charge-controller/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAnaeNBhCUARIsABEee8XIIJYAmm3nb252reEibE91XrewQyptgs_ryQYJftgkFa12ENtiZCAaAj6NEALw_wcB

I paid about the same $120 a few years ago for a 100W panel and a 20A
controller, minus the cables. You still need a battery and probably an
inverter to have 120V AC that will run some but not all equipment. A laptop
with an auto/air power supply can run directly from the battery. I bought a
Bestek 300W true sine inverter for $50 that removes the difficult question
of if the crude output of a modified sine inverter will damage something,
though 300W isn't a lot of power. That makes a small practical system for
around $170 in hardware plus the price of the battery. Without the inverter
it's marginally enough to run my Alpicool C20 as a freezer all day and maybe
all night, with two 12V 18Ah AGM batteries, and it looks like it could
handle the 3x larger T60 fridge + freezer.

Adding a second $100, 100W solar panel gives a comfortable margin for a
laptop and other small loads. A laptop running Win7 can be set up as a
television so you'd be well equipped for comfortable dry camping. If you
have a larger AC-powered refrigerator you need a true sine inverter that can
deliver its starting surge, perhaps 1000 - 1500W briefly though my two small
fridges each draw less than 100W after the surge.

A larger system quickly raises the difficulty of making your own heavy
electrical cables. The wire and accessories sold for high power car audio
are somewhat helpful. Otherwise you need heavy duty crimpers for battery and
inverter terminals and the MC4 connectors on solar panels. Don't waste your
time with too-thin wire and its excessive voltage drops.
jsw

Bob F

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Dec 3, 2021, 2:30:55 PM12/3/21
to
And you think this is a solution for an apartment dweller?

Not that I have any objection about solar. I would do it myself except
for all the poplars in the yard south of mine, and the limited southern
exposure of my roof.


Jim Wilkins

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Dec 3, 2021, 5:02:08 PM12/3/21
to
"Bob F" wrote in message news:sodr9b$v5o$1...@dont-email.me...
-------------------------

That's for the reader to decide, based on their individual circumstances. A
south facing balcony or patio might make it physically possible if not
economically wise. It's quite practical if you have no other source of
electricity, i.e. 'dry' camping or a grid outage.


Jim Wilkins

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Dec 3, 2021, 6:33:55 PM12/3/21
to
"Bob F" wrote in message news:sodr9b$v5o$1...@dont-email.me...

Not that I have any objection about solar. I would do it myself except
for all the poplars in the yard south of mine, and the limited southern
exposure of my roof.

-----------------------

Mine is limited too, by trees and the roof alignment. I installed ridge
safety anchors and suspended a 120W rack of small surplus parking kiosk
solar panels from them at a better angle, a "ballasted" panel mount minus
the ballast, without any exposed thru-roof fasteners since the safety eye
straps nail to rafters under the ridge cap shingles.

I added folding V legs to the four 100W panels and stand them in the yard or
driveway for experiments and outages and periodically topping up vehicle and
spare batteries. Shifting them 3 or 4 times a day is enough to maintain
output, they aren't very sensitive to small misalignment. The junction box
that combines four panel outputs into one cable to the house has analog volt
and amp meters for diagnosis and aiming. Once the batteries reach the float
voltage the battery acceptance current decreases fast enough to leave the
panels alone.

bob prohaska

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Dec 3, 2021, 9:00:07 PM12/3/21
to
Jim Wilkins <murat...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I reduced my house's heat loss considerably by adding two layers of clear
> plastic (polyester, Mylar) film to the windows, as covering for wood framed
> rectangles that press into the inside trim. The construction is similar to
> picture frames or flats for theatre scenery. I made them 3/8" smaller than
> the opening to allow for foam weatherstripping that seals the gap and keeps
> them in place in the window. 2" package tape over the foam makes it much
> more durable.
>

A quick-and-dirty alternative is to use clear bubble wrap. Just wash the
glass clean, spray with water and apply the wrap, bubbles to the glass.
If the glass and wrap are both dust free it'll stick for years.

It won't fix air leaks in the frame, but it will noticeably reduce conductive
heat loss (or gain). Bubble wrap at retail outlets is insanely expensive,
but 4 by 250 foot rolls are much, much cheaper at warehouse supply places.

hth,

bob prohaska

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:51:14 AM12/4/21
to
Thanks for the boots tip!

ads

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:53:59 AM12/4/21
to
On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 11:29:03 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"
Thank you. There's a lot of good experience in that post.

I stretched the previous set of used AGM batteries to 9 years and
thought I got a great deal (90AH batteries for$35/each or close to the
salvage price for the lead in the battery when I got them. I paid a
bit more for the current set - two 100AH and two 110AH for a total of
$305 - but they were only a year old and had seen service a backups
for security cameras. Unfortunately, the person with the batteries
didn't know that AGMs need to be charged when stored if the voltage
drops to 12.4 or less (depends on the brand). Although he had 4 more
batteries of similar size and age, they were all at 8 volts and the
likelihood of recovering those is very slim. I did offer him $5 each
for those to use as cores because the core charge on any new battery
of size will be at least double that.

I can view the status of the charge controllers remotely - they're
monitored by an ancient Dell laptop running Win 7 (Ultraviewer is free
and works from XP up to at least Win 10 and is cross-platform XP-W10
or W10-XP). I added a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher within feet
of the shelving holding the batteries, the charge controllers and the
2000 watt pure sine wave inverter.

I've done my own residential electrical work for years, complete with
permit and the city inspector checking it out. The last time, the
inspector had one question: "Are you an electrician?" so I must be
doing things right. I'm not a licensed electrician but I plan to
sleep in that house - plenty of reason to get it right.

Grid power here is about $0.10/kWH.

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:55:14 AM12/4/21
to
I live in an apartment. And the idea is a large, heat-proof tile with
2 bricks and you put a flowerpot suspended over the bricks and tea
lights inside. I'm not even thinking it's going to be a great source
of heat, but it's better than nothing. And it'll be a source of
light, too, much safer than a candle in a holder, I believe. I have a
supply of candles and tea lights, just need a terracotta flower pot.

Hey, not everyone has tons of money and at least this might help.

For light, there's also the Crisco and candle bit. If I put in a
large coffee tin, might prove as a good source of light. So I bought
a tub of Crisco and a package of tapered candles from Walmart.

If all this never gets needed, great! But what if something is needed
and I didn't have these things on hand. People learned from the power
outages in Texas a few months back. Good to listen to what they have
to say as bargain solutions.

Thanks.

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:56:31 AM12/4/21
to
Thanks. Great tips!

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:57:45 AM12/4/21
to
Thanks!

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:59:29 AM12/4/21
to
Boy, wish I could afford even a small panel but they're too pricey
here. So will make do with low-tech cheap alternatives. Better than
nothing.

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 1:42:01 AM12/4/21
to
lol. Good thing I have a couple of thin duvets. But I also have a
medium-thick comforter, along with a couple of winter coats. I think
sleeping may be okay.

*************************************************
The windows will be the next thing to address.

I did buy window plastic in the past from the hardware store. I know
these work as I used the technique below for 3 whole years in my old
apartment.

The only thing I modified was how I put the window plastic up. The
tape provided in the kits is completely useless, esp. when you're
applying when the wall surfaces are cold (like when you're having to
insulate the windows after the cold sets in the first time).

What I used instead of the tape was my own solution - I cut out an
unfolded file folder into a continuous 1/2 "spiral" continous
rectangle and just folded up each "corner" to end up with a long ―
inch strip of cardstock! I rolled this up into a roll which was then
easy to apply, as follows ...

I used the tape that comes with the plastic to just temporarily hold
the plastic in place. Then I went and unrolled the strip and placed
near the end of the window plastic and started stapling and unrolling
the stirip and then stapling. I found that I had to space the staples
no more than 1― inches apart, or so!

This works really, really well and would withstand the poorly
insulated windows in my old apartment which building management
refused to fix as the entire apartment complex had serious window
drafts. And this plastic would hold up the ž foot, or thereabouts, of
ice that would gather along the bottom after a warm spell created
condensation inside.

Like I said, I had 3 entire years of experience with this type of
window plasict I never had a problem with my stapled plastic.

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 5:25:45 AM12/4/21
to
I love the idea of solar, and if I saved up, might be able to buy one
of the cheaper panels after many weeks of saving but I live in a
north-facing apartment, so don't see how it would work with any degree
of worthwhile success.

I think some sort of wind turbine on the balcony might do better, but
I just don't have those kind of skills as well as never having seen
any wind technology on any small scale.

I DIY a lot, but not electrically and I just don't have the skillset
for that, nor the kind of money for those types of solutions.
Fortunately humanity has existed on low-tech for millenia, so
hopefully more such ideas will come.

SolutionsDIY

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Dec 4, 2021, 5:30:35 AM12/4/21
to
Great idea; thanks! Will have to see if there's a 'warehouse supply
place' somewhere in town.

SolutionsDIY

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 6:36:31 AM12/4/21
to
On Thu, 2 Dec 2021 17:35:05 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"
<murat...@gmail.com> wrote:

>"Bob F" wrote in message news:sob59g$9ii$1...@dont-email.me...
>
>On 12/1/2021 6:28 PM, ads wrote:
>> On Wed, 01 Dec 2021 09:42:30 -0500, SolutionsDIY
>> <NoSpamJun...@NoSpam.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I strongly suspect that our country may also creat-- I mean, have a
>>> Dark Winter as Joe Biden is threate-- I mean, warning about in the
>>> U.S.

[SNIP ]

>> If you have space (windows, patio walkway) for 200+ watts of solar
>> panels and a 500WH or larger "solar generator", an electric blanket
>> with a lightweight thermal blanket over it could have you sleeping
>> warm at night. Part of it is psychological - have the blanket just
>> high enough for the bed to "not be cold" when you get in it and then
>> turn the electric blanket down to the minimum needed to keep you warm.
>
>A thick comforter or two does the job fine, is dependable, and never
>needs any power.
>
>-------------------------
>
>True, that's my solution too, but there's no harm in seeing other peoples'
>efforts, to demonstrate that there's no cheap/easy alternative.

Now I _really_ want to try the flowerpot, bricks, tile trick just to
see!! <lol>

-----------
My experience has been the opposite re there not being cheap/easy
solutions to many things ...

Human ingenuity is a god-given miracle, I've found, with so much
invaluable information I've found over the years re DIY'ing one's own,
as much as possible. One has much more control over the quality of
the ingredients which is great because just this last week alone,
found out even more just how the FDA _cannot_ be trusted with what
they allow in our foods!!! It's horrifying and just so unbelievable
what came out this week!

A few years ago, due to a hypothyroid condition, I developed a serious
rash on my feet. Apparently we hypos can be prone to this. I've
suffered with this now for about 5 years. Expensive antibiotics and
antibiotic cream did nothing but put a drain on my wallet that first
week when I went in desparation to an allopathic doctor (once again
proving how they don't have any good answers).

My mom's people have calendula salve and she gave me some when I told
her of my troubles back then. I was skeptical of this particular
thing as I'd only used food-related solutions for health issues for
decades, but was in such agony, I gave it a try.

Incredibly, it cleared up the majority of the most severe of the skin
issues in THREE DAYS and the problem was under control in just ONE
WEEK while I'd live with this excutiating issue for over 3 months by
then!! It doesn't get rid of this, the underlying causes have to be
dealt with, which means in my case a very restricted diet which I've
been working on ever since (I only recently had a breakthrough re
growing mold-free wheatgrass ...), but this salve got rid of the pain
and brought the visual evidence of the rash under control and
extremely quickly!

I found a health-food type of store where I could buy the organic
salve locally but at a bit over $20 or so after tax, each! After the
3rd jar I couldn't afford anymore, and the store had to close to make
way for a new transit line (which the city is _still_ working on!).
So I was in trouble!

But God provides!

The original 3 jars cost me about $75 or so the buy originally ... but
I made nearly FIVE jars with my first batch at, you may never believe
this but I swear it's true, for $4.95!!!! JUST UNDER FIVE (5) JARS OF
THE SAME SIZE as I'd originaly bought for just under $5.00!!!

The ingredients for this calendula salve are: organic medicinal
calendula petals, organic olive oil, and organic beeswax I grate
myself as a small ungrated bar of oganic beeswax costs just $2 in
price and much, much more expensive if bought pre-grated! (I do the
grating while watching a movie -- no brainer!!).

The 3 hours or so for the crockpot to "cook" the calendula and oil on
low heat is the most 'tedious' aspect, which is not tedious at all as
I put the 2 ingredients into a ramekin bowl into the crockpot and set
a timer and walk away! _And_ the crockpot can still be used
completely safely for cooking because I don't use it directly by
placing the ramekin dish in over a piece of scrunched up aluminum foil
and then I pour water in for a double-boiler type of heat.

I could even skip the crockpot way by putting up some calendula
petals/oil in a jar in the pantry for a couple of months for an even
healthier end result, but have never managed to do that yet <lol>.

The other benefit is that now I just need to do 'maintenance' and
apply the salve and work it in very, very well onto my feet for 3-4
minutes about every 3-4 weeks or so! Not a hardship due to how it
keeps the pain non-existent in between flare-ups.

God's FARMacy works better than any drug I've found consistently over
the last 40 years, whether internally or externally. Time and time
again, every single time! One doesn't rely on fake products and
recipes, only tried and true things that actually work. And they've
_always_ been cheaper than allopathic snake-oil salesmans'
pharmaceutical products that are very expensive and filled with side
effects!!

Cheers and if anyone knows of anyone who has a skin condition this
might help and would like the recipe, I'll be happy to post. Not
exctly the right newsgroup for this, but this is about people helping
people.

**************

p.s., the other skin condition tip is aloe vera. Where the salve
hasn't worked, which is rare (it even works on itching insect bites!),
I try aloe vera. My experience is from 2004 when I developed
bleeding red welts in a reaction! I was given a 4" piece of aloe
vera stem. I applied the gel from half of the stem on the affected
area and it stopped the bleeding within 5 minutes and 'disappeared'
the welts completely within 10 minutes, just leaving a vague
discomfort which I controlled via a dusting of cornstarch, if memory
serves. I just had to re-apply the rest of the gel the next morning
after I woke up. By that second night I was okay as the aloe vera
seemed to accelerate the healing! (I kept the second half of the stem
in plastic wrap in the fridge overnight.)

Jim Wilkins

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 7:21:52 AM12/4/21
to
"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:ot0mqgtvaq3p5kdbq...@4ax.com...

>
>The "low-budget" in the title may limit the OP to plastic film over
>the windows, tape around the door and extra layers. You need more
>details to work out what will work for someone else.

Boy, wish I could afford even a small panel but they're too pricey
here. So will make do with low-tech cheap alternatives. Better than
nothing.

-----------------------

As you can see some of us who own our houses and can build what we think up
haven't found any magic solutions. Another simple one I forgot to mention is
using a sweat suit and socks as pajamas so the bed doesn't feel so cold when
you first get in. Hospital socks with rubber treads can double as slippers.

Personally if I have warm comfortable clothes and boots and enough to eat I
don't mind primitive conditions, living in an Army tent on a frozen mountain
top or in the rural South without electricity or running water. Some friends
of Native American lineage lived that way here in cold New Hampshire, and I
learned from them. Hint: leave enough water in the stove kettle at night to
thaw the pump in the morning.
jsw

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 4, 2021, 10:21:51 AM12/4/21
to
"ads" wrote in message news:p0vlqglr23e76f656...@4ax.com...
.........

Some of my AGMs had charging parameters written on the side. I found I
didn't have to monitor them if I stayed within those parameters, which
requires only a voltage adjustable and current limited power supply. The
home made one that works best for me is based on an LM350 regulator. I added
a digital voltage+current meter from Amazon and a Schottky diode in the
output to protect the regulator and its power source from reverse feed from
the battery. A large discharged cap in the supply could cause a heavy surge
current from the battery through the regulator's intrinsic reverse diode.
The caps in my homebrew supplies are 78000uF, bigger than beer cans.

Available meter brands and models change so I didn't reference mine. The 3A
flavor resolves down to 0.1mA which is nice for other testing, the 10A is
good enough for charging larger batteries.

The input supply can be a solar panel or an old 19V laptop supply, etc. For
Dells power is the inner and outer shell rings, the center pin is data that
indicates the brick's wattage. I made a mating connector from hobby store
brass tubing to test them non-destructively.

The LM350 self-limits at around 4A which the 3A version of the digital meter
has survived. I haven't needed adjustable current limiting for this use.
When the AGM reaches full charge at ~14.7V the current drops below 1% of the
A-H rating, for instance 180mA for a 12V 18Ah battery. That's from the spec
sheet, not my experiments. If it doesn't the battery may have a weak cell,
which will soon show up as <12V if you load it though it might not from
charging voltage alone.

A sulfated (high impedance) wet battery may respond to charging at 16-17V.
If so the charging current will slowly rise so a current limit or series
resistance (brake light bulb) is needed. I've read and seen experimentally
that this doesn't work on AGMs, but it's greatly extended the life of U1
tractor batteries. AFAICT the only advantage of pulse desulfating is that
it's inherently (and cheaply) current limited, whereas DC desulfating
requires more care from the user. OTOH the pulse voltage can damage
connected equipment.

An extreme case of this is when a car battery connection vibrates loose
while the alternator is producing full power. The magnetic field in the
rotor winding turns into a high voltage pulse of considerable energy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_dump
I built a machine to simulate this for GM and watched it quickly destroy a
prototype fuel injection computer they hadn't hardened well enough to absorb
the rapidly repeated pulses they had requested from my machine because they
couldn't generate them with normal lab equipment. That may have been why
they changed to side terminal batteries. I've built some pretty odd stuff on
special order, projects the degreed engineers wouldn't risk their
reputations on.

With practice you can quickly determine the SOC and condition of a battery
by the charging current it draws as you vary the voltage. I haven't seen
this in print and am not ready yet to write it up, since I don't neglect my
batteries enough to encounter all conditions. My neighbors do so I have a
few data points. I don't think they understand why I'm so happy to mess with
their dead batteries.

The LM350 charger may revive a discharged NiCd or NiMH power tool battery
that an automatic charger rejects. I bought a batch of Lithium cell phone
chargers whose voltage had fallen below the BMS cutoff and used it to
restore most of them.

An LM317 works pretty well too. They self-limit at around half the current.
I was once the tech for the test stations Analog Devices used to confirm
their product met data sheet specs so I know better than to give close
values, some devices were a little better than spec and others were way over
it, depending where they were on the wafer.

At Unitrode rejected IC wafers went into a box that was set out like a
cookie bowl, take what you want. The ink-dotted bad devices formed blotchy
patterns that hopefully revealed correctable nonuniformity in the
fabrication processes. I used rejects to practice the delicate skill of
probing to test them.
jsw

Jim Wilkins

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 10:37:59 AM12/4/21
to
"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:ue0mqgdaapivdsmiu...@4ax.com...

I live in an apartment. And the idea is a large, heat-proof tile with
2 bricks and you put a flowerpot suspended over the bricks and tea
lights inside. I'm not even thinking it's going to be a great source
of heat, but it's better than nothing. And it'll be a source of
light, too, much safer than a candle in a holder, I believe. I have a
supply of candles and tea lights, just need a terracotta flower pot.

Hey, not everyone has tons of money and at least this might help.

For light, there's also the Crisco and candle bit. If I put in a
large coffee tin, might prove as a good source of light. So I bought
a tub of Crisco and a package of tapered candles from Walmart.

If all this never gets needed, great! But what if something is needed
and I didn't have these things on hand. People learned from the power
outages in Texas a few months back. Good to listen to what they have
to say as bargain solutions.

Thanks.

----------------------

What matters is that you are willing to experiment, risk failure and try
again. I call that the Re in Research.

My degree is in Chemistry. I found that all you can expect from the first
few attempts at something new is to learn how to do it better.

bob prohaska

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 11:14:34 AM12/4/21
to
The idea wasn't mine, I found it on the Internet 8-)

I should have emphasized that there's nothing wrong with re-using old
bubble wrap if you can find it. The only thing that matters is being
free of dust and other contaminants. It's neater and easier if the pieces
are big enough to cover the whole window, but a well-fitted patchwork
is better than nothing. IIRC I paid ~200$ for 1000 square feet for a
3 bed 2 bath house and used roughly half of it about 13 years ago.

hth,

bob prohaska



Jim Wilkins

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 11:18:47 AM12/4/21
to
"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:ev0mqgdnghf8pagop...@4ax.com...
.................
The windows will be the next thing to address.

-------------

I hunted down the air leaks in an older apartment with a helium balloon
ballasted to neutral buoyancy. It rose up at the gas stove (the only heat),
crossed the ceiling, and rushed down alarmingly fast where cold air was
leaking in, then floated back a few feet above the floor on the cold layer.
Helium won't explode like hydrogen but the plastic will melt if you let it
be drawn into a hot surface.

A variation for rubber balloons that slowly leak is to dampen attached paper
for decreasing ballast. Mylar holds the gas longer.

Tape sticks to woodwork better than to wallpaper though the residue may be
difficult to clean off later. Your staples are probably the most secure if
you can get away with them. I was very careful not to do anything I couldn't
undo, but when I came back for my deposit the landlady had stripped and was
refinishing the place. She was good at it, too.

It was the third floor in a two story neighborhood and fully exposed to the
wind. I measured 45F in the winter there, and 105F in the summer. I still
felt lucky to find it, for its low rent, parking and clothesline in a barely
affordable city.

Bob F

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:26:21 PM12/4/21
to
My concern would be that you will be breathing in what you burn. If you
are thinking about a Texas level event, make sure someone in your
building will be able to drain the plumbing before it freezes up.

Bob F

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 12:29:51 PM12/4/21
to
Such insulation will only work for a short event if there is no
significant heat available. Once the inside gets down to the outside
temp, insulation is doing nothing.

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 4, 2021, 1:29:41 PM12/4/21
to
"Bob F" wrote in message news:sog8id$b75$1...@dont-email.me...

Such insulation will only work for a short event if there is no
significant heat available. Once the inside gets down to the outside
temp, insulation is doing nothing.

----------------------

That's true for unoccupied, unheated spaces. A person releases around 100W
when sitting (office/theater) and all electricity used becomes heat. I found
it really difficult to get my house down to 40F when the outside temperature
was 20F and below, to test the adequacy of small electric backup. 500W was
enough to make the temperature measurably rise. In summer fans won't cool
the house lower than 10F above outdoors overnight.

Jim Wilkins

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 1:46:35 PM12/4/21
to
"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:ev0mqgdnghf8pagop...@4ax.com...

I used the tape that comes with the plastic to just temporarily hold
the plastic in place. Then I went and unrolled the strip and placed
near the end of the window plastic and started stapling and unrolling
the stirip and then stapling. I found that I had to space the staples
no more than 1½ inches apart, or so!

--------------------

When building theatre scenery I learned to staple the canvas across the
middle of the flat, then at the centers of the ends, and finally work along
both edges into each corner. The canvas shrinks and tightens when sized but
not enough to remove wrinkles.

Jim Wilkins

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Dec 4, 2021, 6:10:42 PM12/4/21
to
"SolutionsDIY" wrote in message
news:qqgmqgt4r1l7ctat3...@4ax.com...

>My experience has been the opposite re there not being cheap/easy
>solutions to many things ...

I meant energy. I have plenty of unorthodox solutions to other issues, like
a sink spray on a long hose replacing the shower head. Unlike the fancy
units it shuts off the hot water when released, instead of wasting it down
the drain. I watch and record TV on laptops connected to an antenna, no
expensive cable. Broadcast TV isn't completely barren, this afternoon I
recorded a concert with Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks, and Coppelia is on PBS
again tonight.

>The ingredients for this calendula salve are: organic medicinal
>calendula petals, organic olive oil, and organic beeswax I grate
>myself as a small ungrated bar of oganic beeswax costs just $2 in
>price and much, much more expensive if bought pre-grated! (I do the
>grating while watching a movie -- no brainer!!).

Good for you, for finding your own solution instead of remaining helplessly
codependent!

Apparently calendula is easy to grow indoors. I wouldn't really know, my
efforts to harvest and utilize nature are limited to solar power and the
trees I turn into firewood and lumber. The glacial soil here barely supports
grass.

Goodwill has been a useful source for kitchen equipment to repurpose, like a
soup --> molten wax pot to coat the porous ends of lumber-candidate logs so
they dry evenly without cracking (much). Their stuff may not have been
washed or tested and I've had to make some minor repairs.

Bob F

unread,
Dec 4, 2021, 9:26:26 PM12/4/21
to
You could buy/build a "bicycle" generator to charge a large battery
which you could use for re-charging devices or operating a small LED light.

Bob F

unread,
Dec 5, 2021, 12:31:51 AM12/5/21
to
I believe the discussion was about an apartment in a no power winter
situation.

Jim Wilkins

unread,
Dec 5, 2021, 9:10:29 AM12/5/21
to
"Bob F" wrote in message news:soh80f$l24$1...@dont-email.me...

You could buy/build a "bicycle" generator to charge a large battery
which you could use for re-charging devices or operating a small LED light.

----------------------

IMHO crank power is practical only for rarely used flashlights and radios.
It makes them immediately usable when and where needed. For flashlights it
gives enough light to find a better light source and change its dead
batteries. The problem is that you need both hands free to frequently crank
it, making it less useful than a headlamp for retrieving boxes from storage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_power
"Over an 8-hour work shift, an average, healthy, well-fed and motivated
manual laborer may sustain an output of around 75 watts of power."

"While attempts have been made to fit electric generators to exercise
equipment, the energy collected is of low value compared to the cost of the
conversion equipment."

A solar electric system already has most of the conversion equipment, MPPT
controller, batteries and inverter. I think the bicycle and alternator would
be the only added cost. If I find a cheap enough used exercise bike I might
try to fit a PM motor I already have as the alternator. I'm not going to
spend much on it, as competing solar panels are now under $1 per Watt.

75 Watts won't do much. It's more than a laptop consumes but less that that
laptop showing TV or movies on a larger monitor. It would keep up with a
small refrigerator but I'm not going to sit pedaling and watching it stay
cold. Unless I'm completely iced in I can have a generator supplying power
in 10 minutes.

Everything reduces to the fixed and operating cost of energy, dollars per
watt. Firewood is only economical if you collect it yourself. I was lucky to
have a nearby wood lot where I could cut any dead trees. The capital
investment was a $300 chainsaw, 'garden' tractor and log splitter. I
acquired the last two free/cheap and rebuilt them, they would have cost
$2000~$3000 new. My truck was useful at first but it couldn't leave the few
narrow trails, and winching logs to it filled their bark with sand that
rapidly dulled the saw. I considered time in the woods equal to time in the
gym, without the dues, so that part was a gain. At current prices heating a
NH house like mine with the average amount of purchased wood costs around
$1300-$1500 per winter.

The wattmeter estimate of the T60 DC-powered refrigerator's operating cost
has settled at $2.42 a month, at our electric rate of $0.187/KWH, no cheap
TVA or Tallulah hydro power here. For grid power only, a compact fridge with
more internal volume at half the price and similar electricity consumption
would be a better choice. I'm looking for ways to avoid running the inverter
constantly.

Jim Wilkins

unread,
Dec 5, 2021, 9:47:50 AM12/5/21
to
"Bob F" wrote in message news:sohis5$ai3$1...@dont-email.me...

I believe the discussion was about an apartment in a no power winter
situation.

-----------------------

I understood it to be about reducing the rising cost of available energy.
That essentially means conservation plus insulation unless you live out
where firewood is practical, but it doesn't provide electricity (yet). My
experiments have been directed toward applying alternate energy to existing
houses and appliances with little modification, and the results so far have
been such as only the inventor would tolerate, AKA "still in development".

It's 56F here as I type this, and my fingers are a bit stiff. At least I've
acclimated enough that I didn't feel the cold when I got out of bed. Maybe
that's from Viking ancestry, or I'm becoming numb.

Bob F

unread,
Dec 5, 2021, 11:12:33 AM12/5/21