Alternative Energy

10 Alternative Energy Sources You Can Use Today



Feature | Solar power on the roof blue skies | Ways To Generate Electricity At Home

There are different alternative energy sources we can use for our everyday needs. It is great to know that we can get electricity from these sources when SHTF.

RELATED: Life Lessons Of Living With No Electricity

10 Great Alternative Energy Sources When SHTF

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1. Chemical Sources of Electricity

battery-pack-room-power-plant-supply Alternative Energy Sources ss

Storage batteries are popular for producing electricity. They have been around for years generating electricity, and the technology is consistently improving.

The chemical interaction between the battery cells and electrolyte produces a voltage that can drive the current through a connected device. Battery power can energize lighting, drive small motors, pump water, and even provide electricity to an entire home.

This is one of the best alternative energy sources for off-grid living.

Batteries are sold in multiple capacities — 2V, 6V, 8V, 12V, 24V, 36V, 48V, 72V—and are constructed in various shapes using materials such as manganese-dioxide-zinc-nickel, carbon-zinc, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride, and lithium.

Batteries can be made of dry cells, wet cells, or gelatin oozing sludge and be single-use or rechargeable depending on the application.

Homeowners typically use dry cells for flashlights and small electrical devices, and wet cells for driving inverters to produce AC power. A special battery is the fuel cell.

It converts chemical energy from the oxidation of fuel into electric DC energy. You can even build small voltage, low current batteries to light LEDs or operate MP3 players, and they are fun to make.

Check out the lemon battery, potato battery, bleach battery, earth battery, and crystal diode. These typically generate 0.6 to 1.9 volts and 0.58mA to 0.95 mA.

The earth battery can produce 12-14 volts and 200mA of current. You are never without a way to generate battery power.

Crystal Diode Definition:

Also known as Cat's-whisker diode, it is a microwave semiconductor device where current flows in one direction.

2. Solar Power

single-family-house-solar-system-photovoltaic Alternative Energy Sources ss

By placing a panel or module covered with solar cells in direct sunlight, photon energy can be converted into DC voltages between 1V and 46V with a current from 20mA up to 9 amps depending on the module.

An array of solar modules can be applied to a high voltage inverter to produce AC that can be tied to the local electrical grid. A smaller solar panel can charge a landscape light or drive a DC motor or lamp. Solar panels can charge a whole bank of batteries.

At night, the batteries can provide power to the home. Some solar homeowners have added a transfer switch and a battery bank, so they don’t have to be without electrical power when the solar panels are not active.

Several new inverter products can convert solar energy into electrical grid AC with a grid power-out feature. It allows the homeowner to draw solar DC through a transfer switch in the inverter and provide up to 1500 watts of AC.

This lets the homeowner continue to use solar power as long as the sun is shining while the grid is down. Solar power is one of the greatest sources of renewable energy.

3. Wind Power

wind-turbines-on-beautiful-sunny-summer Alternative Energy Sources ss

Moving wind can cause a propeller to rotate and turn a generator shaft producing electrical energy. Harnessing the energy in the wind is like harnessing the photons in a solar array to produce electricity.

Like solar, wind energy is available and is one of the best renewable sources. You can install home wind generators that typically create 400-800 watts for charging 12V batteries.

New bladeless wind turbines operate without large rotating propellers endangering passing birds. The wind can be put to good use to generate electrical power.

Photons Definition:

The basic unit of light particles in constant motion. Photons are responsible for transmitting light.

4. Water Power

water-dam-on-elster-height-rosenthal Alternative Energy Sources ss

Moving water has performed useful work for thousands of years. It can move great objects, turn wheels that process grain, pump water uphill, and rotate turbines to generate electricity.

You can create your own electrical power using flowing water that turns a turbine or propeller shaft with a generator attached. It converts water action to electricity.

If you have moving water on your property, consider a simple hydroelectric generator. They produce about 100W of power 24/7 and can charge a bank of batteries for your home.

Small voltage hydroelectric power also includes a submersible propeller generator you can place in fast water environments and a submersible sailing boat turbine generator that produces DC.

A piece of related technology is the Tesla turbine. It uses closely-spaced disks that rotate when fluid or gas enters and exits.

Holes in the disks cause a connected shaft to rotate providing kinetic energy to a generator or alternator creating DC or AC electricity. The shaft must rotate at 16,800 RPM to produce 12V DC, so it can be noisy.

RELATED: Bring Dead Ni-Cad Batteries Back to Life | Prepper Skills

5. Fuel-Based Generators

gasoline-powered-portable-generator-home Alternative Energy Sources ss

Fuel-based generators produce AC, although many units have a DC output available for charging batteries. You can use them as independent standby power sources during emergency conditions.

Standalone gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, or propane (LP gas) generators convert burning fuel into AC electrical power. A stationary generator can produce up to 200 kW of AC.

For example, I have a 15 kW stationary generator that runs on propane and backs up the utility grid power to my home. This generator provides power to my whole house if the local grid fails.

Portable generators can produce 140 W up to 30,000 watts of power.

I also have a portable 2,000-watt gas-driven generator that provides up to 13.7 amps of 120V AC. The gas tank is good for 5 to 9 hours of operation before refill.

It’s been a reliable power source for camping and even for energizing field lights during school activities.

6. Steam Power

shovel-coal-historic-steam-locomotive-industrial Alternative Energy Sources ss

A steam power generation system uses fuel such as wood, coal, gas, wood gasification, or nuclear energy to heat a liquid in a boiler producing high-pressure steam.

This steam passes through a turbine rotating an attached generator that produces electricity.

Many power plants today use geothermal energy function on this principle. Steam power is an excellent source of renewable energy.

While steam engines were common in the 1800s, only small demonstration steam power generators are currently available for the home user. They can produce 10V to 15V of DC power for charging a 12V battery.

7. Thermoelectric Power

thermoelectric-power-station-plant-color-corrected Alternative Energy Sources ss

A thermocouple or thermoelectric module can convert heat to DC voltage which you can use to charge a battery or bank of batteries. The Stirling engine also runs on heat.

It produces DC power based on heat applied to a cylinder containing a movable piston. A nitinol wire can become a heat engine that uses the temperature difference between the same wire immersed in two tanks of water to turn a generator and create electricity.

These all produce low voltage and current, but enough energy to charge a wet-cell battery.

8. Invisible EMF Power

country-side-cell-tower-mast-head Alternative Energy Sources ss

This is an up-and-coming technology, although the concept has been around since Nikola Tesla conducted his first experiments to transmit electricity without wires.

Tesla’s experiments included energizing light bulbs spaced out from a power source without connecting wires.

After Tesla died, no serious research and experiments followed until recently. Now, Tesla coils can cause wireless light bulbs to glow in your hand and high voltage electrical sparks to fill the room.

We are just beginning to exploit this technology. Products are now available that use invisible EMF energy to charge mobile phones.

Perhaps, soon, we’ll be able to harness Wi-Fi energy to create electricity that can drive appliances and even vehicles.

9. Hydrogen Power

hydrogen-fuel-car-charging-station-white alternative energy sources SS

Hydrogen power is another up-and-coming technology, focused to give power to motorized vehicles. As one of the cleanest alternative energy sources for cars, hydrogen mixed with oxygen can power up a car through its fuel cell.

10. Biomass Power

pellets-flames-oak-biomass-close alternative energy sources SS

Biomass is one of the alternative energy sources that produce power through combustion. In usual cases, renewable organic waste is used to create carbon-neutral electricity.

In the process of burning these wastes, the combustion will produce high-pressure steam that will then turn powerful turbines to spin and power up a generator creating electricity.

How to Generate Electricity by Harnessing Power from Earth thru Alternative Energy Sources

Native American Indians believe the earth is alive and pulsing with energy. Scientists found that the earth does indeed resonate (at a frequency of 7.8 Hz).

Our brain resonates at the same frequency, and when people become “tuned” with nature, many become healthier and actually heal from ailments. This suggests that “earthing”— connecting your body to the ground may have merit.

Are people healthier when their bare feet touch solid ground or fingers touch plants and trees growing in the soil? Perhaps life is related to the energy that flows in the earth and in our bodies.

It is such a marvelous symbiotic relationship.

Nikola Tesla also believed the earth has energy. His work in 1909 showed the earth resonated with energy.

It wasn’t until 1952 when a German physicist, W. O. Schumann actually measured its 7.8 Hz base frequency. Tesla wanted to know how to make free electricity using invisible energy in electromagnetic fields.

He joined others seeking ways to produce electricity from the energy that is all around us. Today, we recognize ten technologies that can be used to produce electricity and are considered alternative energy sources — chemical, solar panels for homes, fuel-driven generators, steam turbines, hydroelectric, wind, thermal, and EMF.

This article will introduce you to each.

Here’s an instructographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy instructographic for reference:
SL_10 Alternative Energy Sources You Can Use Today_INFOG_Revised

When SHTF, we need to find alternative energy sources of electrical energy to increase our chances of survival. Watch this video from Alltime10s and find out the new yet somewhat weird ways to harness energy:

The earth is a giant source of energy, both renewable and non-renewable — ready at our disposal. Thanks to the work of Weber, Faraday, Maxwell, Hertz, Edison, and Tesla, we have electrical power to make our lives easier and more comfortable.

As technology developed, some of the innovations from those days were neglected. Today, those technologies are being revisited, refined, and reintroduced, giving us multiple ways to generate electricity at home thru alternative energy sources.

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Know other alternative energy sources? Tell us about it in the comments section below! 


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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 24, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. InklingBooks

    July 24, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    You failed to mention the least-expensive, least complicated, and most reliable source of power.

    That’s the car you have sitting in your driveway or garage. Make a point of refilling the gas tank when it drops below half full and you’ve got a reliable source of power to keep its battery charged for use in an emergency.

    If you want to go a step further, get equipment to turn that 12 volts DC into 120 volts AC and adapt systems that boat owners use with a second battery. Place that deep-cycle battery in your garage and charge if off AC power (normally) or your car’s alternator (in an emergency).

    Why spend thousands of dollars to buy and constantly maintain equipment that you’re likely to never use when you already own a perfectly serviceable power source?

    • Deborah Foehr

      January 7, 2017 at 3:56 PM

      There is a much better and cheaper solution. Steam energy. You can finde how to make it in less thn 3 hours on the 4 Patriots or Survival life website. Costs about $100 in parts and some tool you probably have. Can run an entire house, heat, ac, refridg, anything for s long as you need and big plus, produces clean drinking water.

      • daniel

        March 21, 2018 at 9:12 PM

        hello deborah i was reading your post im living almost fully off grid i read your post were can i find all the info im very interseted thank u hope to here from you soon and gob bless you my email is thx again let me no any info will be greatly appreacited

    • Benn

      January 7, 2017 at 11:03 PM

      Good idea if u have a 10,000 gallon gas tank on your property but if u don’t and the power grid goes down how are u going to keep the engine going

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  5. Meathead

    November 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Get a 12-volt car alternator. Get a cheap 5 or 10 speed bike. Replace the pulley on the alternator with the rear sprockets of the bike. Construct a simple double-A frame to mount the generator and rear of the bike to. Peddle to get exercise and recharge 12-volt storage batteries. Deep-Cycle batteries are the best to have.

  6. zach w.

    November 18, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    Simple simple and cheap battery people always seem to forget about.
    Wet cell earth battery.
    What is it?
    Copper metal and galvanized steel metal in close proximity, buried under damp dirt.
    Best part?
    It produces endless DC power at about 1.6v per cell as long as the soil is kept not-dry.
    better part?
    If your neighbors use a similar system, you both help each other out by multiplying the overall output!

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  11. ramakrishnan

    July 4, 2018 at 3:36 AM

    This article contains very useful information on ways to generate electricity. Thanks for sharing this article.

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  14. IAB Associates Pk

    October 27, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    Hi this article is very informative thanks for sharing keep up the good work

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  25. JF

    July 10, 2019 at 8:46 AM

    Another suggestion is the ‘magnetic generator’ takes no fuel, self reliant on nature. there are plans to build a generator that runs from the force of magnets on the internet that I purchased years ago.

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