Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mobile Solar Power for Survival

Events can and will happen that are out of your control.  This will require adaptation. Here we share a synopsis of events in the hope that those who are now, or are going to be, hit with challenging times.

From 2004 to 2006 our family actively lived off the grid.  For much of this time it was in tents. Camping is a way of life for us. We came back to the rat race in 2006, but we took with us the skills in case of TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) or in case a more personal SHTF took place. Well.....then it happened.

Our 4-month Real-Life SHTF!  
My wife and I own a legal and medical transcription service. Starting in 2012, as the Affordable Health Care Act was being implemented, we lost close to 50% of our clients to the emerging EMR (electronic medical records) system. Foreseeing that we had to reduce costs requiring us to downsize and accommodate the reduction of revenue, we took two years depleting our savings to acquire the gear and tools we needed. In early 2014 we moved out into the wilderness in our Chevy Avalanche 4x4 truck, tent (Eureka Assault Outfitter), and a mobile power system that we designed. It had to be strong enough to power our communications and laptops as well as provide lighting and power a water pump. We prepped ahead and acquired what we needed for our SHTF scenario. We did not have a gas generator. We had a 12 volt RV pump attached to a portable Triton hot water heater system. 

Showers and Dishes
Water was critical while camping in Arizona. We had on hand 8 Reliance AquaTainers holding 7 gallons of fresh water each for cleaning, showering, and dishes. Easy to handle and an excellent way to haul water as 56 gallons is heavy. Each container acted as a baffling system to maintain vehicle stability.  We ran poly-tubing from the containers and used a self priming RV pump to deliver the water where we needed it.
350 watt solar power system ran everything.

Having power was the key to run our laptops and (boosted signal) cellular internet. We produced a simple design solar power unit that had to provide enough power as well as be safe, quiet, and easy to maintain, but mobile and tough enough to meet our demands. This has saved our business and our way of life. It made long-term camping enjoyable by running not only our computer systems, but our water pump and lighting systems for security. Arizona is known for sun, but also known for harsh environments. 
Our power system and the Eureka Assault Outfitter tent survived high winds, dust, rain, snow, and sleet. It worked great during those challenging times.