[an error occurred while processing this directive] Energy


by Bryan A. Thompson

Last Updated 2/10/2003



Here you will find information about energy needs when living off-grid, and for a blackout, disaster or other emergency.  My purpose here is not to cover any topic in-depth, but to provide basic information needed to prepare for a blackout, disaster or other emergency.


Energy-Related Information

Fuel Comparison Chart (or as an Excel file) - compare the amount of stored energy in various fuels, energy available from each, costs, weight, densities, etc

Energy Efficiency Comparison Chart (or as an Excel File) - The most efficient fuels, and the most efficient devices

Electrical Energy Requirements (or as an Excel file) - An itemized list of electrical energy consumed by everything in my apartment

Emergency Fuel Requirements (or as an Excel file) - How much energy will be needed for an extended 3-14 day emergency

Sources for emergency energy - ice, charcoal, wood, propane, the sun, a car battery, newspaper, and car gas to name a few

Sustainable Energy Sources - wood, solar, geothermal, hydro are possibilities depending on where you live - Under Construction


Emergency Energy Needs

Communications - TVs, cordless phones and cell phones all require energy

Cooking - How to cook off-grid

Heating and Cooling - You can have heat, AC, and refrigeration during a blackout

Lighting - How to minimize power required for emergency home lighting

Security - Smoke detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors and alarm systems

Transportation - How to get to work or the doctor during an emergency



Canned Heat - Sterno, Trioxane fuel bars, alcohol, candles, etc

Electricity - Generators, Solar, Wind, Hydro, Fuel Cells, Inverters, and emergency distribution methods

Gasoline - Needed for Emergency Transportation, Electricity, Cooking and Lighting

Propane - It turns out that ALL my energy requirements can be provided by Propane

Wood - Cheap and renewable

Human Power - Lose weight while lighting your house

Solar - It isn't free, but it is sustainable for an indefinite period of time

Wind - Under Construction


Energy Storage

Batteries - Really expensive but necessary

Refrigeration - Blackout?  Don't open that door...

Thermal Masses - water/ice, Blue Ice, and concrete - Still Under Construction


Conservation of Energy - Consider adding benefits of each if possible


Minimizing Energy Conversion

Time Sharing and Load Shedding



It is possible to live off-grid in an apartment or other rental property if it becomes necessary to do so.




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