The Ideal Zombie Apocalypse Home Part 3

Continued from 2 previous blogs addressing the need for a Zombie Apocalypse ready home…

 

In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse (Zopocalypse), most public utilities will eventually be unavailable as zombies overturn cities.  While many “green” alternatives for attaining water, heating, and food can be independent of public sources, many of these methods will still require electrical assistance.

Solar panels, technically called photovoltaic panels, transfer heat energy from the sun to electrical power.  In Idaho in 2010, the average household used 40 kwh (kilowatt hours) of energy per day.  On average, one square foot of photovoltaic cells generates 8-10 watts.  Since Idaho is not one of those year-around sun bathed regions, it is best to estimate that Boise will receive a lower level of average solar energy (AKA solar irradiance)  at 8 watts or 0.008 kwh per square foot.  To satisfy our 40 kwh per day, we will need approximately 1,000 square feet of solar panels.

(0.008kwh/sq ft) * (5 hrs/day)=(0.04 kwh/sq ft day) and (40kwh/day) /( 0.04kwh/ sq ft day) = 1,000 sq ft.

This would cost over $20,000 just for the panels.  There are additional charges for installation, the battery bank, inverter, and other necessary mechanical parts.  In short, solar panels are currently a widely available source for obtaining electricity, but they are fairly expensive and may be very unreliable if you live you an area prone to overcast days.

Rather than putting all your eggs in to one basket, it might be best to use a combination of solar panels and something else such as wind turbines.

The smaller wind turbines generally used for residences can only harness about 20-25% of the wind’s energy, and before you commit to purchasing a commercial sized turbine, you should know that even those cannot capture beyond 45% of the wind’s energy.  A small residential wind turbine might have a blade that is 1 meter or 3 feet across. If located in a breezy area in the Treasure Valley receiving an average of 13.4 mph winds regularly, you can expect to gain 20.3 watts per hour and 487.2 watts in a day which translates to about 117 kwh per day.  While some days will have raucous winds, others will be absolutely still, and the average wind speed in Boise is only 8.7 mph meaning that wind turbines alone are not a perfectly reliable provider of electricity by itself.  The combination of solar panels and wind turbines a good pair, since many stormy days in the Boise area are accompanied by strong winds, while hot summer days ten to be still.

Wind turbines and solar panels have become the most common residential forms of harnessing “green” electricity, but there are other options out there.  The ideal Zopocalypse home will take advantage of whatever elements are the most abundant and constant on its site.  The important thing is too have an independent method for providing the heating, cooling, and electrical appliances needed to out live the Zombie population.

Stay tuned for the next blog in the Zopocalypse series addressing the impenetrable structure!

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