Portable Power Station – Urban Survival


What would you do for light if the grid went down? I put some components together and created an emergency lighting solution. The wind generator is a 10W vawt, and the solar panels are 1.8W each. They trickle charge a 12V battery that can be used for emergency lighting or recharging batteries, cell phones, etc. I’ve used this system and it works. VAWTs (vertical axis wind turbine) work well in a surburban and urban environment. They have lower cut in speeds than horizontal props, which means they’re creating electricity even in low winds. Plus, they run silent so they won’t bother neighbours. I made this after reading Patriots by James Rawles.

25 Comments on "Portable Power Station – Urban Survival"

  1. siafulinux | July 9, 2010 at 1:44 am |

    Awesome idea!

  2. wind4watts | July 9, 2010 at 2:38 am |

    Yep seen the panels at motor factors,is there room for K Rations Ingrams & a few boxes of 9×19 for when Israel H bombs London Europe ha ha, if so send me one.

  3. meancoyote | July 9, 2010 at 3:04 am |

    a square box instead of a barrel would allow you to use the lid to face the panels in the right direction to see the most sunlight. I think you are loosing the full potential of your components by using the barrel setup. also you could use some slip fit poles and guy wire to make a tower to get the wind turbine higher(15 to 25 feet?) and produce more power. just a thought.

  4. can you put a link to where you found the vertical wind turbine

  5. MrGreenbudha | July 9, 2010 at 4:08 am |

    that is a cool idea!

  6. pissedoffpatriot1 | July 9, 2010 at 5:02 am |

    That’s sweet! Dude, you should see if you can incorporate a water wheel too. I’ve never seen all three working together at the same time. A water wheel/wind turbine/solar setup built into one apparatus at a cabin or something would be rad. 😉

  7. Nice looking turbine. Given that size I’d guess it would probably need 15 – 20 MPH winds to make 10w.

  8. syncmaster710n14 | July 9, 2010 at 5:37 am |

    cool.
    I just have a 100w 12v floodlight and a car battery I keep charged.

  9. hooya1111 | July 9, 2010 at 6:07 am |

    I like the concept, but I think you could expand it a bit better. I visualize the barrel filled with several layers of deep cycle batteries and a large watt capacity inverter. Then, on the outside, four vertical solar “wings”, the length of the height of the barrel, that could be rotated up, and then tilted toward the sun. By mounting the barrel on a wheeled base, you can do away with the dolly. That would make a very nice “power pod”!

  10. envirosponsible | July 9, 2010 at 6:35 am |

    @romeoneverdies Thanks.

  11. envirosponsible | July 9, 2010 at 7:14 am |

    @holajim I bought it from four seasons wind in New Jersey.

  12. Thanks for the vid. Where did you get the vertical axis wind turbine???

  13. @envirosponsible he’s right. Check all the lawsuits against tekna for their underwater scooter. A guy triggered one in a dive shop out of water. Blew up, broke the guys jaw and took out the ceiling. My cave diving buddy blew his up in his house. He didn’t get hurt but needed a ceiling job. Take the ventilation seriously.

  14. romeoneverdies | July 9, 2010 at 8:21 am |

    nice turbine … good vid

  15. envirosponsible | July 9, 2010 at 8:47 am |

    @XCritonX Ha! I almost spit out my water. I mean it could be taken in a vehicle.

  16. Portable? I am happy you are carring it and not me.

  17. sirmasterpimp | July 9, 2010 at 10:05 am |

    @frankthetank112244 Doesn’t really matter, since the battery is an agm battery used in industrial ups systems. The battery only releases hydrogen gas in an extreme overcharging situation (his little 1.8 watt panels aren’t going to put out that many amps), It’s fully sealed with a rubber gasket and then a plastic cover glued over that. However it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a small computer fan in the top or the side , the battery’s life can be shortened by excessive heat (outdoors in summer).

  18. TogieTung | July 9, 2010 at 10:49 am |

    I suggest you use KONARKA thin film flexible PV solar fabric, so you can roll it up & pack it inside the barrel. BTW very good concept keep up the good work.

  19. Great concept. I would add a rubber grommit where the solar charger cables pass through the barrel just to add a bit of weatherproofing and prevent edges of barrel wearing cable insulation through movement and vibration. Even better, fit a waterproof cable gland/connector as used in outdoor swimming pool/jaccuzi/water feature electrics.
    Five stars by the way.

  20. envirosponsible | July 9, 2010 at 11:58 am |

    @frankthetank112244 It does have some ventilation, but perhaps not enough. Thanks for pointing that out.

  21. frankthetank112244 | July 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm |

    does the barrel have a ventilation? otherwise you have a portable bomb (oxyhydrogen)…!

  22. nellynell77 | July 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm |

    how long would it take to charge the 12 v driving down the road . lets say your driving the speed limit 55mph

  23. seanmulhall | July 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm |

    What a great and novel idea. Thanks

  24. cool looks like a probe UFO

  25. envirosponsible | July 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm |

    @johnny102marvin These solar panels have that feature built in. They’re meant for long term trickly charing.

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