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Refrigeration

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Refrigeration

Without electrical power, refrigeration is not possible, unless you happen to have a supply of ice that will last your for months.

Luckily, we have electrical power at base-camp and refrigeration is now possible – in a hi-tech kind of way.

There are 3 kinds of cooling base-camp needs:

1) Medicine refrigeration to keep medicine (mainly insulin) cool for weeks

2) Food refrigeration – if you have this then insulin can be kept here

3) Air Conditioning (A/C) to keep you cool

The same technology (thermoelectric) that generates electricity from a hot fire can be reversed when electricity is sent into a thermoelectric device – one side of the plate gets hot and one side gets cold.  Reverse the positive and negative leads and the reverse happens.  This kind of cooling is used for small insulin cooling refrigerators to keep them cool, or larger units can be used to cool cans of soda/beer in your car. Thermoelectric coolers keep the inside temperature 30-40 degrees cooler than the outside of the cooler; they can not make ice.

Another kind of refrigeration is like your refrigerator in your kitchen or A/C in your car – freon is pumped in a closed system to generate much cooler temperatures of -20 to 40 degrees F.  It is possible to make ice with these units and they can easily be run from your electrical grid, but they are very expensive.

A/Cing your house from the small electrical grid you have built is out of the question.  But, what do you do if you live in Arizona in July?  Without A/C your family will die in their house.  Luckily, evaporative coolers are available that can be powered by your electrical grid and lower the temperature 40 degrees F by evaporating water – just like you feel cold when wet. If you live in a house where the basement, or coolest room can get over 90 degrees F then you need to buy an evaporative A/C unit – they are not that expensive.

I can’t over emphasise the fact that if the temperature gets to 90 degrees F on any day in your basement or room you use for base-camp you MUST have A/C or folks will get sick and die.  You have no idea when an emergency will strike and you can’t spend much time outside since that will attract bandits and freeloaders to your location.  People die of heat stroke all the time during hot summer days – you don’t want to be one of those statistics.

Neighbors who don’t have A/C will find your location and if you offer them shelter, from the heat, you now have a permanent “guest” that will then want food and water too. Heat stroke can happen in a matter of hours and sadly there is nothing you can offer your neighbor since they don’t have an electrical grid to power a spare A/C unit you might have. My suggestion is to tell your neighbor to move outside and spray water on their cloths and NOT let them into your base-camp. It’s hard but once you let someone inside you can’t kick them out since they will be back with others and weapons to take what you have.

This is similar to folks who work hard, save money, and become successful – other citizens, who work less and don’t save money, simply vote in politicians who steal your wealth with tax laws, and then curse you for not wanting to share your wealth.

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