Are You Ready Series: Off Grid Refrigeration
October 27th, 2013
It is a fact that our entire way ofÂ life is dependent upon gadgets of convenience and being tied to theÂ grid. Â The grid supplies us with electricity, provides air conditioning to cool our home, the homeâ€™s main water supplyÂ is pumped by a fuel source, and our food is kept cool and fresh by the refrigerator in your kitchen.Â Did you know that your refrigerator consumes on average 8% of your monthly electric bill?Â IfÂ a sudden emergency were to occur, all the food in your refrigerator is spoiled.Â Some individuals do not see this as a real threat to their well being.Â However, the threat is real and entirely possible.
In an article atÂ SHTF Plan, a physicist states that a solar flare is a real possibility and couldÂ pose a serious threat to our way of life.Â This type of threat is such a concern thatÂ in the physicistâ€™s own words believes, â€śWeâ€™d be thrown back 100 years.â€ť
If we do find ourselves in a sudden long term emergency where the use of electricity is non-existent, what are our options as far asÂ keeping foodÂ re-refrigerated?Â Are you equipped and prepared to live in an environment where there is no electricity?Â Â Many off-grid homesteaders have found a fewÂ solutions that could help us out of with this predicament and save us on our monthly electric bill.
Off-Grid Solutions for Refrigerating Food
Battery Powered Refrigerators -Â Many of the refrigerators thatÂ operate on 12v or 24vÂ DC battery were designed for those that live on boats or in smaller living quarters such as an RV.Â The DC motor compressor operates on 12 or 24 VDC.Â Â In comparison, the average off-the-shelf refrigerator operates at 250v-300v.Â Â However, a drawback to this type of refrigerator is the insulation wallsÂ can beÂ quite thin making itÂ inefficient in terms of preserving itâ€™s fuelÂ source.Â Another drawback is these types of refrigerators are expensive andÂ could be maintenance intensive.
Gas/Propane Refrigerators â€“Â AÂ gas or propane refrigeratorÂ has no moving parts and use gas or propane as their main energy source.Â Many boats, RV and off-grid homes use this type of refrigeration method.Â Â The average cost for a propane fridge is $800.Â Many would argue that these types of refrigerators eat through gas, so plan on lots of trips to fill up on fuel.Â Of course,Â if you can afford a little extra, there are models that are â€śmulti-fuelâ€ť â€” propane/AC, propane/DC, and propane/AC/DC (which might be the best way to go for â€śinsuranceâ€ť against possible shortage of one fuel/power supply).Â Ideally it would be advisable for the homestead using this type of refrigeratorÂ to have a natural gas well in order to have a continual free source of fuel.
Solar Powered Refrigerator -Â These innovative types of refrigerators use evaporation to cool the box off.Â Another type of solar powered refrigerator works with the help of a solar panel.Â By creatingÂ electricity with the help of the solar panels, it then uses the electricity like a normal plug in refrigerator.Â Battery free refrigerators such as the SunDanzer DDR165 Battery-Free DC can be hooked right into the solar panel.Â Many believe that solar refridgeratorsÂ are expensive, however, old refrigerators can be converted into solar powered refrigerators.Â An article onÂ Mother Earth NewsÂ explains it all.Â Â Layout Plans for a SolarÂ Powered Ice Maker
Prototypes â€“Â The prototype zero-emission fridge doesnâ€™t need gas, propane or kerosene and is powered by regular fire.Â According to an article onÂ ecogeek, â€śAt that point it begins to grow cold, and it is inserted into an insulated container of some sort of a jug, or even a hole in the ground. It gets colder and colder, bringing the temperature of the container to just above freezing, and keeping it that way for about 24 hours.â€ťÂ It is also fairly affordable to.Â At $40 per unit youÂ canâ€™t get any better than that!
Ice HousesÂ â€“ This is another alternative refrigeration source.Â For more information on this refrigeration source,Â click here.
What Â Do I Do WithÂ My Current Refrigerator?
If a long term emergencyÂ occurs and you no more have use for your electrically operated refrigerator,Â convert it into a solar dehydrator or a solar cooker.Â It could also be used as a bulk storage container for preparations.Â This would be a great way to keep bulk preparedness items like wheat out of contact with insects and temperature fluctuations.Â Additionally, some feel thatÂ due to theÂ zero oxygenÂ inside theÂ refrigerators can be used as anÂ anaerobic digesterÂ to create bio-fuel.
Whether a person is planning for a hurricane, EMP or TEOTWAWKI,Â electricity or lack there of, will pose a problem to those that are not prepared.Â There is a lot of great information out there regarding this topic.Â Finding which alternative refrigerator source works best for your family, requires some researching on your part.Â Here are some additional articles that may be helpful:
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
Contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster.Â Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook,Â which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.Â
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