Homesteading Forum banner
21 - 40 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,680 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Actually I am off grid and have the energy surplus to run it, I have already researched price, easily within budget. I am also a prepper for as are all that live and work on my ranch, not something I broadcast about though.
You're in the same boat as me.. and I'm still wrestling with it.. We're not off grid though, just grid tied.

Remember that machine has to run for 24 to 48 hours without shutting down so you're going to need an extra 10kW of energy during the night, pure battery juice. You have batteries big enough to spare an extra 10kW at night? That's impressive if you do..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
You're in the same boat as me.. and I'm still wrestling with it.. We're not off grid though, just grid tied.

Remember that machine has to run for 24 to 48 hours without shutting down so you're going to need an extra 10kW of energy during the night, pure battery juice. You have batteries big enough to spare an extra 10kW at night? That's impressive if you do..
I can thank my brother for my solar set up, actually he's pretty impressive when it comes to solar. He doesn't think it will be a big problem battery wise. He has plans for wind power for the assorted households in the family to add to the mix. Living in this area we have lots of sun and wind all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,680 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I can thank my brother for my solar set up, actually he's pretty impressive when it comes to solar. He doesn't think it will be a big problem battery wise. He has plans for wind power for the assorted households in the family to add to the mix. Living in this area we have lots of sun and wind all the time.
I was going to build a 5kw turbine but scrapped the idea after surveying my property.. The tower alone would cost me a small fortune.
I live on the side of a hill and we have mature trees all around us.. I'd have to get at least 20ft above them which means just my tower would cost about the same as a decent solar array. Might be worth it in a windy area but we don't get that kind of wind.

My main concern, being in Michigan and now having some experience with PV Panels in the winter, is just December mostly.. There's a window of 30 to 45 days around December where our solar output was just horrible and would not support even half the house.

So if SHTF happened, my alternate plan is to power a home generator with a wood gasification reactor. We have lots of wood and wood-gas can power both a generator, cooking stove, and even a water heater.
Use the combination of the poor December solar activity and fire up the generator every three days to keep batteries charged.

Best I can do.. Turbine is not practical here..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
Can see where wind power would not work for your area. I bought this valley I'm in now several years ago for the way the wind funneled through it, helps with the heat in summer, which is our problem time. It gets hot here but dry. Not much in the way of snow here and when it does it's melted in very soon.

Not much available wood here for a wood gasification set up. Would be a problem for us LOL.. Wood for cooking and what heat we need in winter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HeavyHauler

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,680 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Can see where wind power would not work for your area. I bought this valley I'm in now several years ago for the way the wind funneled through it, helps with the heat in summer, which is our problem time. It gets hot here but dry. Not much in the way of snow here and when it does it's melted in very soon.

Not much available wood here for a wood gasification set up. Would be a problem for us LOL.. Wood for cooking and what heat we need in winter.
I would go huge on solar to power air conditioner(s).. most of the summer heat is the daytime sunshine and that means solar would be at near full power (minus the thermal de-ratings). So just when you need the most air conditioning, you also get the most sunshine to generate energy for it.

Where I'm at, the wind turbine would only do well in the winter.. seems we always have at least a 10 to 15 mph wind blowing snow around in the winter time. But its just not enough to justify it.

If you're really that dry in the hot summer, I would strongly suggest trying out some evaporative cooling.. It doesn't work as well as folks claim in most areas, but where the air is really dry, it does quite well.. and its energy efficient so long as you have some water available.

Funny how everyone has very different problems with energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
Yeah, we are doing evaporative cooling now and fan, that's all we used when I was a kid. Nights here are very comfortable, once the sun is down it cools quickly. It is plenty for us and very comfortable, the moisture put back in the air helps, humidity is usually below 20%, most of the time around 15%.

We all have to work within our enviroment. I've seen people come to this area and not last a year, they just don't adapt, even with help from locals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hold your horses there lassie.. you might want to consider a few things before dumping three grand out the window....

If you're just interested in putting away your garden extras for the winter, that freeze dryer is going to cost you a small fortune in both its price and the energy to run it. They suck down power like crazy.

Each batch in that thing uses up almost 30kW of energy so you need to reference your power bill, see what you're paying, and then add that to the cost of each batch. Just storing food for the winter isn't going to make it economical.

As for me, I'm a prepper and working toward enough food storage for 5 or 6 people for three to five years, and I have an excess of solar power on top of that.

In fact, after doing a financial analysis, I can't see how that that machine would be a benefit unless one was a prepper.

My math starts out with "How much does the freeze dried food I need cost to purchase", and then goes to the cost of the energy and the machine itself. Then beyond those considerations, I also consider the benefits of having that freeze dryer should the grid go down for a long time since I'll have the ability to run it.

If I was just considering the cost based upon a desire to store some extra garden stuff in case we have a bad growing year, or so they don't go to waste, I don't think it would add up as being a good investment.

With all that said, I'm still having a hard time justifying it.. I can purchase a lot of rice, beans, and other "30 year storage" foods for the cost of that machine, and its a lot less work and hassle to process it into Mylar..

Here in Michigan, if you ran that machine continuously (20 batches per month), it would suck up about $75 in electricity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hold your horses there lassie.. you might want to consider a few things before dumping three grand out the window....

If you're just interested in putting away your garden extras for the winter, that freeze dryer is going to cost you a small fortune in both its price and the energy to run it. They suck down power like crazy.

Each batch in that thing uses up almost 30kW of energy so you need to reference your power bill, see what you're paying, and then add that to the cost of each batch. Just storing food for the winter isn't going to make it economical.

As for me, I'm a prepper and working toward enough food storage for 5 or 6 people for three to five years, and I have an excess of solar power on top of that.

In fact, after doing a financial analysis, I can't see how that that machine would be a benefit unless one was a prepper.

My math starts out with "How much does the freeze dried food I need cost to purchase", and then goes to the cost of the energy and the machine itself. Then beyond those considerations, I also consider the benefits of having that freeze dryer should the grid go down for a long time since I'll have the ability to run it.

If I was just considering the cost based upon a desire to store some extra garden stuff in case we have a bad growing year, or so they don't go to waste, I don't think it would add up as being a good investment.

With all that said, I'm still having a hard time justifying it.. I can purchase a lot of rice, beans, and other "30 year storage" foods for the cost of that machine, and its a lot less work and hassle to process it into Mylar..

Here in Michigan, if you ran that machine continuously (20 batches per month), it would suck up about $75 in electricity.
The Cost to run this machine is not that much if you put a Kilowatt Meter on it you will find the cost around to be around $2 to $2.50 each batch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
I like the idea that most things that are freeze dried can be stored for years if done properly. Also when comparing the cost of store bought freeze dried foods compared to the cost of doing it your self in a Harvest Right there is no contest. The cost of doing it your self is much lower even when you factor in the cost of the unit, power and the ingredients. There is also the added benefit of being able to store food you eat and not having to adjust your diet to something that Mountain House or some other company provides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: GunMonkeyIntl

·
Read Only
Joined
·
3 Posts
I like the idea that most things that are freeze dried can be stored for years if done properly. Also when comparing the cost of store bought freeze dried foods compared to the cost of doing it your self in a Harvest Right there is no contest. The cost of doing it your self is much lower even when you factor in the cost of the unit, power and the ingredients. There is also the added benefit of being able to store food you eat and not having to adjust your diet to something that Mountain House or some other company provides.
above is very true
ALSO you know what went into the food AND you store what you like to eat. also don't forget drinks! i've read you can freeze dry coffee and tea. i just got mine so it's on my list to try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
above is very true
ALSO you know what went into the food AND you store what you like to eat. also don't forget drinks! i've read you can freeze dry coffee and tea. i just got mine so it's on my list to try.
I don't know that freeze drying coffee and tea is worth the effort, they store pretty well in their dry form if vacuum packed. The issues with freeze drying are it doesn't work with fatty foods, and some things don't re-hydrate well, like bread products for example. For fatty foods, traditional canning or perhaps vacuum packing in retort bags would do the trick. The retort bags would be cool, it would be like DIY MREs (Meals Rarely Eaten :)).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,564 Posts
I finally bit the bullet and put my order in today. The wife and I looked at them a few times in the past, but then spent the month since I saw this thread researching them further. They’re running a “sale” (I’ve found that they’re pretty much always on sale), but also free shipping which is supposedly only done periodically. Being that it comes LTL on a pallet, from UT to NC is probably not a cheap shipping charge.

They say 10-12 weeks, but the sales rep told me they’re generally much quicker than that. I figure it will still be at least July or August before it gets here. It’s pretty telling about our times that a company that makes a $4k food preservation machine currently has a 2-3 month backlog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,122 Posts
I finally bit the bullet and put my order in today. The wife and I looked at them a few times in the past, but then spent the month since I saw this thread researching them further. They’re running a “sale” (I’ve found that they’re pretty much always on sale), but also free shipping which is supposedly only done periodically. Being that it comes LTL on a pallet, from UT to NC is probably not a cheap shipping charge.

They say 10-12 weeks, but the sales rep told me they’re generally much quicker than that. I figure it will still be at least July or August before it gets here. It’s pretty telling about our times that a company that makes a $4k food preservation machine currently has a 2-3 month backlog.
They could have a difficult time getting parts. We are slow at work because of the microchip shortage, and we don't do anything with chips.......
 
21 - 40 of 60 Posts
Top