As the chaos seems to spread daily in the Fifty States – even to locations in Wyoming, the West River of South Dakota, and the Eastern Plains of Colorado, is it time to worry about what tomorrow will bring?
Probably not – IF you are prepared to deal with the daily challenges that are common to us all. (And if you are in the right place – but that is a separate point to discuss.)
Right now, lets talk about power. My family regularly gets to do without power for a few hours or a day or two, due mostly to winter storms. It is part of what we accept to live on the edge of a small urban area in a predominantly rural and frontier state. Such things are less frequent, and perhaps even shorter in duration, in cities and large urban areas. But even more likely to create massive negative impacts.
We need electrical power, and we mostly are unable to get by with just those dozen solar sidewalk lights on spikes, the hand-cranked (or bike-pedal) lights and radios. Or even that little 1.2kW gasoline-powered genset from Harbor Freight.
In the longrun, as chaos grows, each individual home (or at least farmstead, ranchstead, or family compound) needs to be able to provide its own power, as we strive to live free in an unfree, and chaotic, world.
We have lots of options, and one is definitely solar. It meets most of the requirements for short-term (3-5 year) self-sufficiency:
- Little or no outside supplies needed to operate and maintain it.
- Low impact (noise level, odors, and other things to attract nuisances.
- Few, if any, moving parts, reducing maintenance needs.
- Relatively dependable (not counting nuclear winter, massive volcanic explosions, and such).
- Fairly cost effective for pre- AND post-crisis use.
To that end, three gentlemen are publishing a book, “Solar Power for Beginners.” Subtitled “How to Design and Install the Best Solar Power System for Your Home,” it is a great start on an ambitious endeavor. Paul Holmes, Shalve Mohile, and Shantanu Mohile are engineers and specialists in solar (photovoltaic) power systems that clearly know their stuff and have put a lot of work into this.
We don’t do book reviews very often in The Price of Liberty, but I think this is worth one.
Even now, it is a great reference for anyone thinking about a solar power system for their home, small business, or sanctuary location. It is, as I said, a great start. But much as I would like to recommend it without qualification, I cannot.
It is a good start but it is not ready for prime-time. (And the authors understand – it was submitted to me for review as a “beta” version. That is, a final draft, pre-publication edition. I give them credit for that and their hard work.)
It needs a lot of editing, some for more simplification (as it is intended “for beginners”) and some for consistency in their sample calculations and examples of basic projects. It really still requires the user to have some good basic understanding and experience in electrical work – residential at least. Otherwise it is a bit daunting and can be confusing. Even so, it is useful as-is.
Part of the value (and problem) is that the book appears to be written in order to try and fit metric and imperial units. It therefore skips back and forth, without a lot of consistency, between the two systems. Even to an engineer used to both systems, it got confusing. It was designed for multiple locations around the globe, including the Fifty States, and apparently Australia and India. But as a result, much of the text and procedures, are confusing and it has some interesting gaps and features. It doesn’t yet really accomplish that goal of worldwide utility.
Paul had asked Mama Liberty to do the review, and with her gone, it fell on me. (Of course, she would have fobbed it off on me anyway, as being more in my line than hers. Just as I passed medical subjects over to her.)
And it IS an important topic for lovers of liberty seeking to protect their families and property and wealth in a very trying time. And with an uncertain future.
I am well suited for this – I have been a licensed professional engineer for 30 years, and a practicing engineer (both Army and civilian) on three continents for 40+ years now. I do a lot of training on engineering, including occupational safety and health matters. I inspect buildings, including electrical systems frequently. And of course, I literally write thousands of words a week on politics, religion, engineering, and the environment.
As I have told them, it IS a great start, and they have the beginnings of a winner here. Please don’t give up!
You can find this current version at Amazon.com. If you are currently seriously thinking about or ready to begin a solar power project, I would recommend it to you. Sit down with it and a good electrician and you’ll save a lot of time, headaches, and money. I’ll keep you posted as to status of the final edition.