So, I have been looking into solar backup systems for several low voltage pieces of equipment.  I’ve been looking into this now for probably about a year.  Of course, I’ve done nothing about it partly due to cost, and partly due to the fact that I have to retrofit some items with lower voltage bulbs, etc.  I think I may have done that, and now have to price a system that can run charging several items such as my netbook, iPhone, iPad, battery charger, and several other items I have been thinking about.  I have also been thinking about buying one of those Coleman PowerChill Coolers, but before I do, will need to calculate the draw on the inverter and the battery(s) in the event I do.  I figure, having something to keep what needs to be cool, well, cool.  If you have ever used on of those coolers, you will know they do not keep things extraordinarily cold, but do a good job of keeping things cool.  I guess if I make a quart of powdered milk in a pinch it should do the job.

Where is all this coming from?  Well, to be honest, I was listening to the Chip Monk Podcast about cheap solar power this evening.  In doing a rough calculation it looks like the whole setup may cost me between 700 and 1200 dollars for ample power in an extended power outage situation…

Here is what I am looking at:

What makes me feel really good about this, is that I have a sliding glass door on the back of my apartment that opens onto my deck. I can put the whole unit inside the apartment, as the glass doors get direct sunlight approximately 50% of the day… This way the panel can recharge what I use from the previous day, every day.  Winter is a little harder for this since the days are shorter, but if I have ample battery power to begin with and do not over use it, I should be okay.

Honestly, I am not sure when I am going to get around to doing this, but I would like to do it before winter sets in so that I can feel a little better about incidental power outages…

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.