I ran across this article today, I found it very interesting and informative, I hope you can get something out of it too.The article is about keeping your food cold when you don't have much power.
We might be getting a propane refrigerator, I have been learning more about them, they sound like a really perfect way (for us) to keep our food cold, we have been using a small, cube fridge, it's pretty small, and doesn't use THAT much power, but it is our biggest power drain, if we can get a propane powered fridge, it would help us conserve the power we generate each day for use on other things, like surfing the internet! :) Ever since we got internet access, we use the laptop much more often, surfing the internet for hours each day, more at night, so we pretty much use up our batteries, the inverter starts complaining each time the fridge powers up, if we don't shut down the computer, the inverter will eventually continually beep and shut down. When that happens, nothing works until the next day when the sun comes up.
Our Newest Test Project
Bob has been experimenting with a smaller windmill style generator. We found out that you can use a cordless drill motor, it contains a permanent magnet motor, combine that with a fan and a tail, set up in a windy spot, and you get electricity.
Yes, that is a Ryobi drill mounted there, this is the test model, the wire isn't really hooked up to anything, though Bob just walked through with a 12 volt (?) led light, we are going to test it. We had had it hooked up to a volt meter, with a fairly light wind, the highest we have seen is 6 volts so far.
Bob got this put up yesterday, it's been windy for the last few days to a week, once he got this up, the wind just died... typical huh... anyhoo, there is light and variable wind today, so we will be putting our test model through it's paces.
Update, the led lights do light up, woo hoo!