Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: solar power

Keeping Battery Chargers Updated With Modern Technology

Battery charger using a solar panel

A question to the reader, have your battery chargers keep keeping up with modern technology?

In the mid-2000s I started using simple battery chargers for stuff like AAA, AA, C and D batteries. It was easier, cheaper in the long run, and easier on the environment to use rechargeable batteries then to buy new ones.

Just about all of my gear used wither AAA, AA or D batteries.

  • GPS – AA
  • Flashlights – AAA, AA, and D
  • Camera – AA

All that changed when I was contacted through YouTube and asked if I wanted to review some flashlights. As various companies sent me free samples which used 18650 batteries, I realized my old battery chargers were not going to work. The chargers I had would only do AAA, AA, C, D and 9 volt.

I got on Amazon and shopped around for a battery charger which would charge 18650 batteries. It was at that time I realized how badly out of date my charging devices were. I had always used a charger that plugged into a wall outlet. The new chargers were USB compatible. To use with a wall outlet, simply get a 110 volt / usb adapter.

New Battery Chargers

Starting With Solar Power

Solar panel with emergency radio

I finally bought a solar panel. In all honesty, I do not know why I waited so long for. It is a Nekteck 20 watt solar panel and I see this as a starting point for bigger and better things.

Before I bought the solar panel I asked myself, what purpose will the panel serve? I decided to go with a foldable solar panel with USB outlets for recharging flashlights, AA batteries and radios. Something to keep flashlights, lanterns and radios charged in a power outage. For right now, the focus is being able to have light and staying up to date on news when the power goes out.

The plan is to have two foldable solar panels – one for charging USB battery packs, and the other panel for charging cell phones, radios and flashlights. Hopefully, the next foldable solar panel will be a 40 watt.

The next project is going to take a little while, and will be about supplying the house with water off 12 volt batteries and solar panels.

Running Water

Using Kerosene Lanterns After SHTF

kerosene lanterns

Kerosene is one of those things that just does not fit into my survival preps. Since I tend to think about long term survival plans, and kerosene will run out sooner or later, so how does all of that fit together? And then there are the hazard of using kerosene lanterns – fire hazard, health risk from fumes, glass breakage, storing kerosene,,,,. Because of all of this, I have decided to put kerosene into the short – mid term survival plans. In other words, kerosene would probably only be used for a couple of months – or until supplies run out.

On the other hand, I’am thinking of just phasing kerosene out all together – except for very limited plans and supplies. The question your probably asking is “why would you want to phase kerosene out?” The answer – there are too many risk. Why should I use something that poses a fire hazard and children can knock over? Fire + children = do not go together. If a fire and fume risk can be eliminated, then why not?

This is where solar powered lights come into effect. Solar is cheap, its free (besides the initial investment), its renewable, is safe, poses very few fire risk,,,, so why not use it?

Solar Powered Sidewalk Lights Instead of Candles

Most people do not realize that they have a renewable light source right at their feet. And that is those solar powered lights along the walkway. If you do not have any solar powered sidewalk lights, take a look at a local hardware store, or big box mart – such as wal-mart, lowes and k-mart. They are usually in the garden section.

When shopping for a solar powered light, do not get the cheapest ones on the shelf. But then again, dont go overboard on the price either. There are usually 2 different colored lights – clear and amber. Do not get the amber colored lens, they do not put out as much light as the ones with the clear lens. Be sure to get the lights that use an LED and not a regular bulb.

The way those lights work, during the day the solar cell recharges 2 AA batteries. As the sun starts to go down, a light sensor tells the unit when to turn on. Depending on how much sun light the solar cell got, that defines how much light the unit can provide. The more sun light the cell is exposed to during the day, the longer the burn time at night.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018