Power in the Greater Depression (Ch. 4)

Confessions of “A Battery Slumlord.”  As  our “superior prepping” for whatever comes has evolved, we began with a survey of  basic energy economics in a society that literally would starve without lots of power.

After that, we ran through the process of “Scoring Power Sources” in chapter two.  On Wednesday, we rolled out some of the basic design parameters of any alternative power system by looking at lifestyles and load sheets.

This brings us to this morning’s chapter where you will learn more than most about how to select batteries.  We will “go light” on the chemistry, but we will share some critical theory.  Because with the exception of large ICE-driven sources, it’s nice to be able to store a lot of power for future use.  You’ll learn how to “run the numbers.”

First, however, a few headlines and some focus on the charts because we seem to be breaking higher in the markets.  We’ll dust off our Elliott wave prediction spreadsheet in here, too.  So coffee and headlines and then we’re off.  Doing what few will on such a football-oriented weekend.  Wasting none of our precious time in life, except, perhaps, to marvel at today’s demonstration of a time machine on national television.

Wait!  Did I just say time machine?

Sure did!  How else can you explain 2 minutes on the clock taking more than 20-minutes to occur out here in the hinterlands?

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29 thoughts on “Power in the Greater Depression (Ch. 4)”

  1. Rally for 2-3 months or 2-3 years….wow…just wow Geo……Nothing like pinning it down…..I think most of your paying clients care more about better market analysis than about minutia around batteries…..

    • Several things to keep in mind:
      1. The Golem data is in the Small Trader Power Tool spreadsheet which is in the Master Index. Along with that, I also provide an Elliott Wave estimator which the markets may, or may not, follow. If I put in the numbers and conclude the Aggregate on this run will go to up another (fictional number, right?) 1.8428 percent to peak in 3-5 weeks at 2,655 and then head down to 2,133 before July, June being more likely (fictional, right?) what good would that do? What I’m telling you is that IF you read the reports and use the tools, then you can get to an S&P within a couple of years at the 737.69 level… When that happens, batteries will not be minutia…
      2. Problem 2 is if I make a forecast that is as specific as you seem to want, that could be construed as offering financial advice, rather than commentary, theory, discussion, and some tools, then it might be construed as trading advice. I am not licensed, nor interested in such liability. This is why an alternative, and often opposite is expressed to put the decision in the hands of the subscriber, not the author.
      3. A HUGE number of PN subscribers do take alternative power seriously and have requested a
      complete “how to” on the topic. Whether for a home, gentleman farm, bug out, RV, boat…it matters to many. Sure, the day before SB it maybe reads as minutia, but when a car doesn’t start, or a generator, and the net is down, you’ll need to be able to resolve power problems without going to someone who may not be available
      4. Finally, one of my personal agenda items is to “dual purpose” a bit more of my Life now that 70 is reality. Between Urban and PN, you get 60-hours of work/effort over a fairly wide range of topics. Everything from woo–woo to economics (if there’s a difference, lol). PN subscriptions pay for the whole lot and when it no longer does, then I will actually retire.
      I think you’re telling me that day is closer than I’d like, at least that’s how I take it?

      • To all of you independent makers etc.
        re; worrying about storing diesel fuel, batteries, etc.;
        ‘when your car doesn’t start!’
        Really, an engine you have to start, how ridiculous!

        If only there was some kind of archaic revival proven alternate engine technology that ran on anything…and had max torque at zero rpm…and didn’t need a transmission and was environmentally clean and not difficult and toxic to repair, yadyadayada…
        And fire inside your motor so a cooling system to waste heat energy, so the motor dosen’t melt, can you see really bad design???

        >Have you watched Jay Leno’s vids of the Doble Steam Car yet? perhaps build one, metal lathe in a home workshop for simple engine no oil changes no sulfuric acid or nitric acid contamination, and you love to weld all 600ft. of steam tubing…automatic pressure and temperature control by quartz thermostat,

        And I won’t have to get all dirty when I have to work on it. no pain and suffering.
        ‘But It Doesn’t Make Noise When I try to Go Fast’ we can’t have that, no Macho Akk!

        The piston rings last 600,000 miles or more on a Doble!
        Roller bearing crank shaft. ~500 rpm at cruise.
        Howard Hughes had one, because it was faster than anything else.

        Enough info and plans are out there, check out a Stanley Mountain Wagon. a club in Vermont? has well documented, museum.
        Re heat losses are a bane of steam, well ceramic cylinders and coatings are now available.

        Then there is the eCat tech, held hostage in Italy, BM(business model, oilgopolies) if it ever gets out.

        Just keep thinking outside the box of ‘ad Hominum’, but every body does it, must be the right thing to do.

    • As a “paying client” I enjoy the “minutia” of batteries and anything else that can improve my Quality of Life today or tomorrow. Can I use ‘all’ of it? No, but it does keep the brain active which seems to assist in preventing dementia. Also, it helps in “Critical Thinking” which most of the world seems to have a great lack of!

      Where is the world going in the next 5, 10 or 20 years? I would say down the tubes! So, is it better to prepare so you can live a better life or help out your kids and friends? If we don’t go down the tubes then we have stuff that reduces our dependence upon Governmental Services. That to me is a plus.

      The last phase of my current project is ‘solar’. Batteries are important to this effort. It doesn’t matter if I use the all of the information, but it provides input which is critical to making a somewhat informed decision. Grid tie – Off grid- Or backup? Cost? Payback doesn’t matter as Surviving or Comfort is more important than ROI and time period.

      Same with SW, SSB or 2 meter band. Information is critical! Thinking is critical.

      George, thank you for stimulating the grey matter and keep mumbling about survival issues As finances are part of surviving. Information very important to us who plan on surviving, what ever the powers toss our way.

      • If Anarchy comes to the U.S. and it includes wide-scale power outages lasting more than two weeks, you have to be mobile.

        The bad people will come like locusts and will grab the components for power taking them back to Bartertown to barter for social position.

        Some people like to cite “The 4th Turning”. The book indicates destruction of the previous order.

        Instead of clinging to the previous order think of ways to live without power all together – live as the Morlock or Amish.

        Start building mantraps in the yard. Men can be used as bait for other foodies.

        “Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, anything made by man can be overcome.”

        – General George Patton

    • Cheddar: What the market is doing is irrelevant; downturns just create a buying opportunity. You need to buy stocks that are going to lead the market over the next 2 to 3 years. My guess is chip stocks will lead the AI Revolution coming to America. Establish a position at prices you view as a good & go to sleep (actually called stock ownership in strong hands vs weak hands who sell at the hint of trouble usually at the low.) When the chip stocks turn is over, look for the next trend.

    • I love what he has been doing..
      Another one I’d love to get my hands on is the battery cerametec is working on. A third of the cost and twice the power.

      My battery bank is a monster .heavy..wow the extra batteries I set up tor a 12 volt inverter..( was trying to give them away to family and friends but they weigh to much..now I will put them in the storm shelter. I was afraid with the ends exposed a grand child could be electrocuted instantly if they touched it .the rest are sealed up and locked.)that one set of six batteries is just shy a ton in weight and fragile as can be. The real reason I love the tesla system is its relatively light and compact hanging on a wall in comparison.


      • The Model 3 battery pack uses Tesla’s next generation 2170 cells (21mmwidth, 70mm height) that contains 33% more energy when compared to the Model S. Tesla has managed to pack 4,416 cylinder cells(2170) into four modules that weigh around 1,054 lbs. The modules on the ends are rectangular in shape. 67.5” long and the middle two modules are 73” in length. All are 11.5” wide and 3.5” thick. Each module has cells grouped into a brick of 46 cells. (Cylinders) Each module has its own BMS circuit.

    • I just love the idea of a large battery being made up from thousands of tiny interconnected cells. All those connection failure points !

      • In truth, they are pretty robust – especially in an AGM because the plates are supported.
        What causes failure of anything mobile is movement. That’s why in mobile ham radio gear the choices are stranded wire rather than single-strand because one strand seems more subject to vibration than stranded… ditto in the plane.

  2. If you want to retire…then retire….Makes a lot more sense from the way I see it is to drop URBAN to 1-2 days a week and hone the twice weekly PEOPLE site

    • For someone who seems to enjoy their work a day world drop the BS about retiring. Take it from someone who has been their and done that.

  3. I used my Black & Decker Power Handsaw on some 4 x 4’s today. Like a knife thru butter. Good idea George.

  4. Hi George,

    The battery problem is THE central issue for alternative energy, IMHO. All we need for an Electric Civilization is a battery that is lightweight, made from non-toxic materials, has a 10,000 cycle charge life, and can charge in 15 minutes and power a truck for 600 miles. Of course, that’s currently crazy talk, but — a question–

    Is there currently a technology prize or contest to develop such a battery?

    Historically there have been prizes offered for tech development;


    Is there one for batteries?

    • Not that I know of for batteries, per se. I used to be peripherally involved in my battery and power days in the Argonne national Labors HEV challenge – our company did instrumentation. As to the dream battery? Yep, just a matter of the right materials, though it’s a tough one. I watched the German post Office pour huge dough into zinc-air technology, but lost track of how well that ended…

  5. When a battery no longer responds adequately to equalization, assuming it’s a “tar top” or snap-case, can it be disassembled, the plates manually cleaned, and its function restored? If so, how would one properly remove the sulfation?

    Most British sportscars post-1950 used two 6v 17HF batteries, installed behind the seats. I’d pull the 6ga jumper cable and open-weave ground cable and replace them with 2-0ga welding cable as a matter of course, unless specifically told not to. At that time (1970s), I used Penetrox on the clamps and ground, now I’d probably use silicone grease. In my experience, people continually low-rate, or completely discount, the value of proper cabling and grounding, and corrosion-resistance…

    In shopping for batteries, do you simply search the Internet? Farm stores (TSC, Rural King, Fleet & Farm, Big-R, etc.) carry an amazing array of, what are now apparently called “6-V Commercial Batteries,” I guess because someone thought that sounded sexier than “tractor batteries…” They’re made by either Exide or Deka, depending or who’s selling them, and priced at a serious discount vs retail. In theory, my local stores’ inventories, both shelf and drop-ship, are I-searchable. In actuality, not so much. I haven’t checked labels or types, but ISTM might a 6-V battery that’s 12x16x30 and in the $130-$150 price range be worth investigating further…?

    • EMP – like any other event – is all readily addressed with good electronic design.
      EMP is not the end of our world. We’ve written voluminously on TVS (transient voltage suppressors) and how to install them on your car, solar, and other mission critical systems.
      EMP won’t end life and won’t kill batteries.
      Bad design, on the other hand, sure as hell will

    • An EMP can’t hurt a conventional battery. However, the chips in “smart batteries” are highly susceptible to EMP — a static burst wouldn’t affect the battery itself (it’ll still hold a charge and work normally), but because the function of the chip is to moderate the charging cycle, and prevent overcharging, when the chip craps out, the battery ceases to be able to be recharged. You can buy 17650 and 18650 Li-Ion batteries (that’s the 3.7v/3.6v batteries which look kinda like AAs) in both chipped and unchipped flavors. With DeWalt, Ryobi, and Makita, there’s no such option. I’ve a Makita LXT battery with a dead chip (it doesn’t take a static burst to kill the chip — the things are damn’ fragile.) One of these days, I’ll see if I can remove it and charge the battery with the factory charger…

  6. New, long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep

    Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production.

    Entire article may be read here:


    • In today’s world of predatory IP, I am not holding my breath. Unless, like Martians, it “BEATHES OUT OXYGEN AND PISSED 100 OCTANE…” beyond THAT, slimy IP lawyers will make the money and screw the lil peeps

      • Since it’s a lab at Harvard, it may be released either PD, or with such a low licensing fee that as IP, it’s worthless.

        I posted this ’cause I figured you’d read the article and leave your (considerably more-knowledgeable than I) opinion on its feasibility…

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