Knowledge Publications: Solar Energy Books
Combo Deal $66.95: Sunshine to Dollars, Solar Air Heating Systems, Movable Insulation
Steve Harris Website Projects: http://steven1234.com/
As many of my regular readers know by now, this column is about actually surviving a complete collapse of our infrastructure. Headlines titled “Bug Out Bags” and “Which Gun is Best for SHTF” get a lot of clicks, but compared to food, water, shelter, and keeping warm in the winter, they are virtually immaterial. Those who survive are going to be those who sat tight and waited for everyone else to kill each other. If you live in the northern climes, it is coming to be that time of year again where you’ll have to consider keeping warm in the winter, without city gas, or an oil or propane delivery. I have covered a simple and cheap woodstove, a military heater that burns home heating oil and gasoline without a pump, and even a cookstove that would also heat your home. If you live where firewood is plentiful and you don’t have worry about people shooting you for taking wood off their land, a woodstove can be a long term solution, but if not, you probably should think about the sun.
Most people think about traditional electric solar panels when they consider the sun, and to heat your home you would need a heck of a lot of solar panels. It isn’t feasible. Direct heat to heat solar systems however are feasible. The sun heats a surface, that surface is trapped under glass, and the trapped heat is funneled with air or liquid to where you want it, heat to heat. This method can heat your home, at least to liveable conditions, and it can heat your water, and even cook your dinner. You have to build these things of course, and that is where your survival budget comes in.
The headline of this article is not a bunch of BS. You can get get free electric solar panels, and you can get free tempered glass to build your heat to heat solar heating system. You can make a giant sun oven out of free materials, and you don’t have to steal anything or dumpster dive. A few weeks ago I ran across an old guard survivalist publisher called “Knowledge Publications,” owned and run by Steven Harris, who is something of a legend in the disaster preparedness community. He is also probably the most widely known name in the field of hydrogen generation, but don’t get too excited about hydrogen. Steve would be the first to tell you that from a long term survival energy perspective, there is no replacement for the good old sun.
Sunshine to Dollars
Most of the books that Steve publishes are out of print and mostly lost old books that he purchased the right to republish. That is where he got the name “Knowledge Publications,” as in lost knowledge. This book, about getting free stuff for solar projects, Steven wrote himself, and it is mostly a “look what I did” kind of book. For $15, I’m not going to spill the beans on Steven’s “secrets” that he details at length. What I can tell you is that I have the book, and it is for real. If you are not afraid to get out of your computer screen isolation box and go talk to people about stuff they would otherwise throw away, Steve tells you exactly the places where you will find all the free materials you’ll need for comprehensive solar projects.
Solar Air Heating Systems
If you live in the cold, this is the first of two books you must own. It was written in 1984, which if you think back was 4 years into Ronald Reagan, where people still remembered the energy crunch of the late 70s. There was a pretty big “off the grid” movement back then, because everyone knew that energy prices were going to continue to increase. At the time, electric solar panels were still a new technology and they were very expensive. Today the panels are much cheaper, but the battery tech has not improved, and the long term sustainable costs are prohibitive. Again, to heat your home, electric solar power probably isn’t going to be a reality, but the book outlines both passive and active hot air and hot liquid systems that are not hard to build yourself with hand tools, and they will probably keep you warm enough to melt water and live in reasonable comfort without an absolute need for wood or fossil fuels.
The book also explains how to analyze your region, your area, and your home for how much success you’ll have with solar, down to the actual BTUs. It explains how to read your oil, gas, or propane bill to figure how much heat your home loses in the winter per day, and how to compare that to how many BTUs of heat a solar system can generate per square foot. Don’t be surprised if you would need a total of several hundred square feet of solar space to live. That is why I started this article with Steven’s “free stuff” book.
From a survival perspective, this book isn’t going to give you hard any answers. It was written for people who wanted to save money, to offset their fuel bill by a percentage, and it assumes that you will have to live within building codes and a nice looking framework. I don’t think you can discount their designs based on the “acceptable in my neighborhood” factor, but as I explained in my first article on water, a hoop greenhouse next to your home may be the cheapest and easy to erect survival heat generator you can buy right now. Running some of those free solar panels and a couple sealed lead acid batteries on 12 volt squirrel fans to blow some of that heat into your indoor living area would be a great idea too, as would all of the designs in the book for adding solar walls to your home with tempered glass.
They also cover heat retention, and even if you don’t think that you would ever build something specifically to retain solar generated heat, I would check it out at the very least. They have a basic plan to use the dirt floor of a crawlspace as a heat storage media. I assume that would also work for a basement floor. They explain that you are better to circulate colder air underneath your living space and let the overall heat radiate up rather than blow warmer air directly on yourself.
It all comes down to what you can plan for now, and this book will give you a really good overview of just how much heat you can get from the sun, with the actual plans to make systems to convert it to heat for your home. If you get Steve’s book on free stuff, there is no reason why you can’t start filling up your garage or shed with free large panels of glass. Add some wood, black paint and Liquid Nails and you’ll be all set for the collapse. This isn’t a joke at this point. If you live in the cold, you better think about heat now.
This is the other no nonsense lost knowledge book that I strongly recommend. The difference between this one and Solar Air Heating Systems is that I originally thought this one was silly. I meant who can’t figure out that if you cover your windows you will retain more heat? But the book goes into far more useful concepts than that. They explain the actual numerical benefits of extra layers of glass (assuming you want to see out of your windows), and they show you actual designs of proven systems that you can easily raise at night and lower during the day, for both warmth and security. As I’ve explained in this column a few times, and the comments many times, it is a lot different to say to yourself “oh yea I could just…,” and actually doing it. In this insulation book you’ll see dozens of actual designs that have been implemented on solar heated homes and tested over a number of years. Depending on where you live, this could be really useful information.
The Solar Cookery Book
I reviewed a product called “The Sun Oven” a while back, and it did actually work, to my absolute surprise. After further research, I’ve found that sun ovens are commonplace all over the globe, except, ahem, in the West, (ie people who have too much fake prosperity to have to worry about being able to cook). Africa and South America have been able to buy an umbrella style sun oven for decades. It isn’t a fringe product.
That Sun Oven product appears to be a product of this book, or a few like it that came out at the same time. The idea is a sealed box with foldable reflector fins that make the oven heat to over 300 degrees, while keeping it portable. If you want to see a bunch of solar oven options, I found this place that has about a dozen of them. I found that resource by Googling the suppliers in the appendix of this book, and I also found a $59.99 option from a scientific projects company. I don’t have a lot of time for construction projects, and I figure most of you don’t either. This is a learning experience for me, so I ordered a few of the cheap ones to see how they stack up to the $329 Sun Oven.
This book is mostly a recipe book, and they do have a lot of good ideas for survival food type recipes. They also keep things real and share experiences with the recipes cooking at 300 and sub 300 degrees, because more than that is tough on most days, even if you track the oven to the sun.
There is plenty of free information on how to make a solar oven online if you just want that, but if you are ordering from Steve anyway, you’ll like this book and it is well worth the price.
More Sun or Less Sun in our Future?
To me this is the million dollar question. As I explained in my May article on the real purpose of Jade Helm, the fact that we are all living in the middle of a top secret weather control program is not a conspiracy theory anymore. All you have to d is look up. Those white trails behind the planes are called Solar Radiation Management, and the trails are made up of sub-micron sized particles of aluminum and a few other heavy metals. They are trying to reflect the sun off of the planet, and it is happening worldwide. The trails are over China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Africa, South America, friends, enemies, it doesn’t matter. The oligarchs of the world have turned us all into a global science experiment in the hope of stopping what is a very real global warming that is well past the hockey stick point. You’ll find a lot of information at http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org.
The past couple weeks, as I predicted in my article, have seen the arctic ice thin to a point where there will most likely be blue water by the end of this month, if it isn’t all melted already and they are trying to hide it. I follow the Arctic News Blog, and he seems to have gone dark on the thickness of the ice at this point. That researcher, Sam Carana, is a proponent of Solar Radiation Management, along with other man made answers to the runway climate chaos that is coming, so you won’t see him exposing anything about fully operational geoengineering programs today.
So the question becomes, what is in our future? We have asked this time and again in this column, and we are no closer to an answer. The planes are still flying as of this week. I took a picture of one just the other day. We had a Hurricane Erika squashed here in South Florida last week by their HAARP style atmospheric heaters. It is funny when you remember 10 years ago like it was yesterday, and you can remember when a record number of hurricanes came to Florida. Then nothing for ten years. No hurricanes at all, and not even close. It used to be that the weather chicks (we don’t have hardly any men on any news in South Florida) would say that the hurricane might lose some strength over land in Puerto Rico, or Haiti, or the Dominican Republic, and now they say that it might just break up and dissolve. Then lo and behold, it does just that!
What is in our future? Are they going to be called to the carpet? Are we going to see a leadership crisis when that happens in the US? Are they going to start a war to cover it all up? A worldwide financial crisis?
Will the planes stop and will the sun shine like never before? We are used to cloudy days, worldwide. Rarely have you seen a pure blue sky anywhere in a decade. Will they blow Yellowstone to try to block the sun with 10 years of ash clouds? Solar Radiation Management has already killed solar panel uptake by up to 80%, and that would go for home heating as well.
Eh, who knows. Maybe it’ll just all work out right? Maybe the minds of man can find an answer after all. But if you want to learn some genuine lost knowledge about how to heat your home without wood or fossil fuels, check out these books from Knowledge Publications. I wouldn’t waste your time with the hydrogen books for anything other than brain food.
Most likely I’ll be back with an overview of Steve’s How-To videos. But from what I have seen, my articles that cover things like solar generators and Rocket Stoves are much more comprehensive, and I of course don’t sell anything. After poking around Steven’s sites I did find some good info. But the products are not always the cheapest you can get them, nor are they always the most recent and best option. For example, his radio page mentions the SDR radios that I tested for last week’s article, but he doesn’t show you how they work or explain the limits of the VHF/UHF bands as compared to HF. His $60 Rocket Stove can be found for about a third of that on Ebay, even though there seems to be only a few of everything he has to sell left to buy. But if you like what you find and want to support his efforts, he uses an Amazon affiliate link to link his suggestions on some of the articles and podcasts (we do not).
The material is geared toward temporary local disasters, not long term off grid survival, but hey, a medical pack is a medical pack. My next medical pack article will steal a few of his ideas actually, and I bought some of the Pri fuel storage products he suggests on his fuels podcast interview. I didn’t know, for instance, that diesel fuel actually collects mold in storage cans without treatment. You can learn something from everyone.