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White76Knight's Survival Plan - Page Two
|White76Knight's Survival Plan|
Bugging In and Bugging Out
Digging In for Awhile
Living in the Aftermath
|Page Two B: |
Fortifying The Citadel
|Page Two C: |
The Curtain Wall
|Page Note: |
Many of the images on this page are "clickable", with links that can provide a larger version of the image itself, further information on how the pictured item is supposed to work, or information on where it should be obtained. Should you have any questions, however, or if anything doesn't make sense as written, feel free to browse these links before you ask, to see if that information makes the situation any clearer. Now, on with the show...
Section C: Digging In
This section will mostly be imaginary until I work out where my BOL is going to be. I have a fortified home that I would like to build someday (actual details to follow) but as of the time of this writing I don't know where, when or even if this fortified home will be built. As I am new to the area, I haven't had a chance to scout out a good location. For obvious reasons, I would like to find an existing building that could be modified to suit the purpose, but I am willing to build from scratch if a suitable building is unavailable. My primary concern is location, as I'll need a place that is easily defensible with an abundance of farmland, good sources of fuel (firewood, or whatever) and water etc. The way I see it, even the most heavily fortified compound in the world won't save you if you don't have enough resources available to keep your community alive. Finding all of these features in one place is no easy task.
I have written up a page detailing most of the actual construction details and defensibility features that could hopefully be included in this eventual fortified home, and it can be found under Fortifying The Castle.
My goal for this fortified home will include several interconnected systems for heating, power generation, defensibility and supplying food and drinking water. Procurement of food and potable water are described in detail on the following page in "Section D: Living".
Heating and Cooling
We now live in the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, where there are just under 950,000 people spread over some 20,000 square miles, with just under 88% of the population distributed amongst its ten largest counties. This means that the population density in the rest of the province is relatively low, so no matter where I set up shop (presuming a rural-ish area), the numbers of infected that we'd have to contend with will also be relatively low. The climate here is warm enough during the spring and summer to allow many different crop types to be grown, but it is cold enough in the winter to ensure the freezing of any infected dead caught outside. Unfortunately, the frigid winters also mean that providing heat will be a concern. For this purpose I've developed a three part system of interconnected heat sources.
The first part is a TAP (Thermosiphoning Air Panel) wall upon the south side of the structure. This is basically no more than a shallow glass box attached to the exterior surface of the wall. Painted in flat black on the inside, the sun warmed air inside the box is vented into the structure to provide free heat as long as the sun shines. These are even capable of providing some heat on overcast days. If necessary, ducts and blowers can be included to distribute the sun heated air to parts of the structure that are not adjacent to the south wall. Many solar collectors such as this include an awning over the TAP wall to prevent overheating the interior of a house during the summer, while still allowing it to provide heat during the winter when the sun remains at a lower angle in the sky. If my system were to include any awnings at all, they would be retractable, because there are a few other uses planned for such unused residual heat.
In order to provide structures with heat at night, and during overcast days as well, heat from the TAP Wall will be redirected with ducts and blowers into a concrete thermal storage bin filled with rocks in the basement. These rocks can absorb excess heat during the day, then radiate it back into the furnace ducts at night. Such a system is diagrammed below.
At nighttime, however, or should you get several consecutive overcast days, the TAP Walls would not be able to provide sufficient heat to warm a larger structure, and for this reason there are two primary back-up systems included to generate heat when needed. While I was trying to decide what to use in my back-up heating system, the first two alternatives that came to mind were the standard forced air furnace and an electric baseboard heater. The obvious problem, of course, is that neither would be operable independent of outside resources. An electric heater, of course, will require electricity to function, and while power generation for lights or small electric devices is already a part of my plan, I can't be sure of generating enough electrical power to operate a high demand system such as the number of heaters that one would need in heating an entire structure. Furnaces, on the other hand, use only relatively small amounts of electricity, but would require a supply of fuel, whether oil, natural gas or other, and the continued availability of these would be unlikely after the SHTF. Wood Burning furnaces might also be available, but leaving the safety of the compound for long enough to gather sufficient firewood to see a compound through a whole winter would leave those doing the gathering vulnerable to attack. Therefore, wood burning furnaces will be included but, for such reasons, they would be a secondary back-up rather than a primary system.
Thus, my first back-up will be a Ground Source Heat Pump, whereby yards and yards of pipe is buried in trenches or bore-holes under the ground, cris-crossing as large an area as would be needed, given the size of the structure. As you go beneath the frost line, the temperatures under the ground stay pretty constant all year round. The Ground Source Heat Pump carries heat from the structure in the summertime, via a system of heat exchangers that allows heat to be absorbed by the Heat Transfer Fluid in the pipes (a kind of anti-freeze) and stored in the thermal mass of the Earth itself. Contrary to what one might guess, this absorbed heat does not dissipate throughout the year, but it is instead held in storage beneath the ground until it is needed. In the winter the Heat Transfer Fluid will absorb the heat out of the ground, then carry it back into the structure where it is stored inside of the Thermal Mass Bin, to be distributed in simple ducts and grates, similar to the ones used in any conventional forced-air furnace. This Heat Pump will still require electricity, of course, but according to one neighbor of mine, who currently heats his home this way, he operates his system with less than a third of the energy requirement of conventional electric heat.
If the TAP Wall and the Ground Source Heat Pump together can not provide sufficient heat energy to warm the entire structure, then, as stated above, my final back-up heat system could be wood burning forced air furnaces. If the TAP Wall is not producing sufficient heat, and there is insufficient residual heat remaining in the Thermal Storage Bin, then differential thermostats installed in the system will activate the Ground Source Heat Pump.
If for some reason the Heat Pump system cannot produce sufficient heat alone (unlikely, my neighbor has only had to use his back-up heat system twice in six years since his Heat Pump was installed), then occupants of the compound can light up the wood burning furnaces. If such a structure is of a relatively normal size, say the size of a large house perhaps, then a single furnace will no doubt suffice. Should it end up being of a greater size, though, say the size of a small warehouse or apartment building for example, then additional furnaces may easily be installed throughout the structure so that the overall heating load may be distributed more evenly between floors. In any case, even when they're not burning, the furnaces integral fan blowers would be harnessed to deliver preheated air from the Thermal Mass Bin to its intended destination.
It goes without saying that one of the most critical aspects of keeping a structure warm and cozy in defiance of the elements is keeping warm air in and cold air out. For this reason, our structure should include a couple additional features to help maintain climate control. Firstly, every window will be of double paned glass, as shown to the left, which (for those living in warmer climes who may be unfamiliar) is two panes of glass separated by an air or other gas filled space which can help to reduce heat transfer through the window.
Further, each window can be equipped with insulated shutters (PDF), operable from inside, seen below to the right. The basic design is one or more sheets of rigid foam insulation, encased in a weatherproof and aesthetically pleasing cover. Foam will avoid the need for a strong case, which keeps weight down. The shutters as shown below were designed to slide horizontally across the
outside of the windows via a simple hand cranked mechanism that passes through the window frame, similar to the ones in common use for standard crank casement style windows. A standard double glazed window has an R-Value of only 2, whereas the R-Value of the same window with insulated shutters can, in some cases, get as high as 10-12. A shutter having an R-Value of only 5 can reduce the heating costs in any given room by as much as 18%, with a higher R-Value shutter, of course, being expected to provide even more efficiency.
Temperatures and R-Values aside, however, our shutters and windows alike should be designed to be opened in the event of attack, so as to allow outgoing fire.
Doors, though, provide a different problem in that no matter how weatherproof a given door is made, by design, they must frequently be opened and closed, which allows an undesirable exchange of interior heated air and exterior cold air. One solution to this is the Insulated Vestibule, as shown to the left. The addition of a fully insulated enclosure like this, either on the exterior of the structure or inside the structure by partitioning off one section of the entry hallway, will sort of serve as an Airlock. As long as your inside door is properly closed before the outside door is opened, or vice versa, the volume of heated air that can be exchanged is limited.
While you do not want to unduly block your lines of sight so as to allow an attackers approach to go unnoticed, if defensibility permits, it is also possible to plant any one of several types of trees and shrubbery to help minimize the impact of the elements upon the structure. As shown to the right, coniferous trees planted to the north and northwest would serve as a winter windbreak, significantly reducing any cold winter breezes that strip away heat. The deciduous trees planted to the east and west are also valued, with their leaves providing shade during the summer months, avoiding unwanted solar gains, while allowing the sunshine to fall on the structure to provide additional warmth in the winter after the leaves have fallen away.
Cooling in the summertime is another matter entirely. The primary means of cooling will be via Solar Chimney. Close cousin of the TAP Wall, a Solar Chimney is also an enclosed glass box, in this case on the roof, that is open to the structures interior on the bottom and has a wind powered spinning vent cap at the top. The sun heats the air inside of this glass box, where the natural tendency of hot air to rise is combined with the draft provided by the spinning vent, allowing warmed air to escape. In doing this, though, it will also suck the warm air that naturally gathers near the ceiling of a room up into the glass box allowing it to escape as well. In my case, I will implement the principle on a larger scale. As my plan already included a fairly large greenhouse built on the roof of the structure (see Section D for additional details) I've decided to integrate it into my heating and cooling plans. Hot air registers could be added to the floor of the greenhouse space, opened up from the ceilings of the rooms below, and spinning vent caps can be added to the greenhouse roof. Thus this greenhouse can serve, in the summertime, as a giant solar chimney. During the winter, however, the registers and spinning vents would be closed, and a return duct suspended near the peak of the greenhouse ceiling will carry hot air back to the Thermal Mass Bin.
Related, of course, to general heating and cooling will also be the provision of Hot Water for washing, cooking and all the other household purposes for which it is needed. Modern hot water tanks (at least here in Canada, I have no idea about those in the US) are factory set to 60 degrees Celsius. In most households, however, there is usually only one chore that requires water of that temperature, and that is while washing dishes when hot water is needed to dissolve grease and so forth. For almost all other general purposes, hot water will be tempered with the addition of cold water so as to reduce the temperature of the water to a more acceptable level. The washing of clothes can be done in cold water with many modern detergents, especially those that are formulated for that purpose, and even normal washing and showering (though determined by personal preference) is seldom done at the scalding temperature produced by the average hot water tank.
Have you ever left a garden hose out in your driveway on a hot sunny day? The heat absorbed by that black asphalt and by the hose itself can heat the water enough that it is uncomfortable to hold your hand under it. Now if an ordinary garden hose in an ordinary driveway can do this, what more might be accomplished with a system purposely designed for the same job? The roof mounted solar collector (which consists of a shallow glass box holding a network of copper pipe, all of these soldered to a sheet copper collecting plate, and all painted flat black) would easily serve to heat water to temperatures that will be more than sufficient for most general purposes. Hot water supply lines from such a solar collector can be routed through a secondary hot water tank, powered by heat exchangers installed in the Thermal Mass Bin, to provide hot water at night, or on overcast days, when the collector alone is insufficient to do the job. As far as the washing of dishes is concerned, simple boiler tanks built into the wood and methane burning cook stoves in the kitchen will be used to provide boiling hot water for that purpose, conveniently located right in the kitchen where it would be required.
Here too, I have formulated a plan to incorporate a two part system into my compound to provide the electrical power needed for most day to day activities. The primary method of Power Generation will be a Mini Hydro Turbine system. The site eventually chosen for my compound must include a suitable river, stream or other waterway to allow for the inclusion of this resource. Unlike photovoltaic solar panels, which are still rather inefficient, or wind turbines, which are too dependent on changing wind conditions, the Hydro system will operate relatively consistently, year round. My objective, then, is to construct a compound at the top of a waterfall of adequate size to operate my Hydro Turbine, with the actual turbine itself installed at the foot of the falls and power transferred to the compound via an underground electrical cable. This will allow for the height of water and flow rate needed by the turbine, whilst allowing the compound itself to maintain a suitable position on higher ground, which would, of course, be desirable for defensibility purposes.
I doubt that they would be required, if an adequate Mini Hydro system is selected, but one or two Wind Turbines operating in the 2-3kW range (such as these or these) will be tied into the system as a backup power source. I would prefer to install a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (or VAWT) such as the ones shown here, if possible, as the more familiar propeller driven type, the Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (or HAWT), for both structural and performance reasons cannot readily be mounted on rooftops. Vertical turbines can be adapted for a rooftop mount, as they usually include quieter turbines and, when muffled by proper isolation, less vibrations. Furthermore, a VAWT is more suitable for the characteristically veering, turbulent or moderate winds found around urban and suburban buildings. The influences of nearby buildings, trees or any other obstacles significantly alters the wind flow pattern. Such increased turbulence levels yield great fluctuations in the wind speed or direction. Unlike a traditional HAWT, the VAWT may provide superior performance in this environment due to some inherent design characteristics. It has the ability to effectively capture turbulent winds, which are typical in such settings, and they don't need yaw mechanisms to keep the blade rotor facing into the veering wind directions, instead immediately capturing wind from all directions. The VAWT also typically operates at a lower rotational velocity, thereby reducing or eliminating turbine vibrations and noise; this makes a VAWT much more durable and reliable when working in such turbulent winds.
These rooftop performance characteristic are important to a Post Z-Poc survivor, in my opinion, because having your turbines mounted on your roof takes them out of the reach of Raiders who might seek to disable them to interrupt the power supply. This is also the very reason why my Water Turbine will be installed at the foot of the waterfall while my compound is built at the top. If properly disguised and soundproofed, hopefully any attackers will be so busy attacking the compound itself that the Water Turbine at the bottom of the falls will escape notice.
In any event, both these systems can be connected to as large a battery bank as I'm able to provide. The larger a battery bank can be, the longer it continues to provide power in the event of interruptions. Power will be distributed throughout the compound through an inverter that switches the DC power provided by the batteries into the AC current used for household purposes. Again, keeping our goal of defensibility in mind, the battery bank and inverters will be installed in the basement below the compound. If the battery bank has been fully charged, all power generated by the system exceeding household demands still has to go somewhere, otherwise the generators simply freewheel past their safe operational limits and burn themselves out. To prevent this, alternative power control systems can include circuits to divert power to some auxiliary usages which, in this case, would be a resistance heating element within our Thermal Mass Bin and, if it should prove to be needed during the winter, a second resistance heating element in the fish pond.
The combination of all these systems should provide all the power needed by my compound and more. Should some occurrence deprive us of power, however, we will adapt. There are some members of the forum that have suggested that those who want to have power After the Fall are doomed to die a horrible lingering death if, for some reason, they are forced to live without it. This, in my opinion, is nonsense. Even the folks who think this all have power now, Before the Fall, and yet they plan to live without it afterward. How is having it now and doing without it later really any different than wanting it later, but doing without it should you have to? I'd like to have power in my compound, it can make life a little easier, but that doesn't mean that me and mine will simply not know what to do with ourselves if our lights go out on us a bit later on. As in any other aspect of a SHTF scenario, we will adapt and survive.
Related to electrical power, of course, will be the generation of Mechanical Power. In spite of my goals to include several alternative power sources in my compound, the best way to ensure that such alternative sources will be enough to get the job done is to reduce the amount of power that you are actually using. Any tasks that can be accomplished with means other than electrical power should be, but even those tasks that DO require electricity should be used as sparingly as possible. This is why the compound would use solar heat and ground source heat pumps, in addition to wood burning furnaces and cooking stoves rather than using electric heaters and electric cooking stoves. Bearing these goals in mind, I've also set my attentions to devising a well stocked workshop, one that can be equipped with as many of the usual tools and pieces of equipment that are normally seen in other Pre Z-Day workshops as possible, but without needing electrical power to run them. No small task, obviously, but I think that survivors will need such facilities to ensure the proper maintenance of the compound itself, as well as that of such vehicles and other equipment as they might own, and may well have to run those facilities without electricity.
My primary source of mechanical power will be a big antique Mill-Type wooden Water Wheel, one with a single drive shaft that extends through the wall to the inside of the workshop, and runs the full length of the wall inside. Clutches can connect the Drive Shaft to stationary tools such as a Lathe, Pedestal Grinder, Drill Press, etc, via sprockets and chains or belts and pulleys. Some tools, however, such as table saws, can't just be located up against the wall when being used, but rather must be positioned out on the middle of the floor so that the users can walk all the way around them to approach a piece of work from different angles. Others, such as a Radial Arm Saw, can be placed against a wall, but the the tool is designed in such a way that the motor needs more freedom of movement, in several different axis, than a single chain and sprocket could provide. For such tools, this Drive Shaft should instead be Clutched to a Hydraulic Pump, with the hoses running to a Hydraulic Motor to operate the Tool itself. In some cases such hydraulic motors will have to be connected to a gearbox of some sort to adjust the RPMs to levels suitable for proper operation of the tool itself, but this is not an insurmountable obstacle.
This Drive Shaft can also be clutched to a Dedicated Generator, such as the ones pictured on the left, for the use of such hand held Electric Power Tools as would prove helpful, like angle grinders, drills, circular saws, sanders, etc. Any such workshop should include suitable Tools and Equipment for most assorted Industrial Pursuits including, but not necessarily limited to, Blacksmithing, Tinsmithing, General Welding or Metal Fabrication, Woodworking, Etc.
Ordinary Diesel Generators and/or Gasoline Generators equipped with Wood Gasifiers, as was mentioned in Section B, will also be available for such projects as may be undertaken in locations removed from the in-house Workshop. The portables will be employed as infrequently as possible, though, to limit both use of fuel and wear on our generators.
Page Two B: Fortifying The Citadel
Heating, Cooling and Power are all very important, of course, but they would be of little use if those we love are going to come under attack and see their warm, dry home destroyed. For that reason, I have been working on an extensive plan to build a BOL that is fortified against any likely form of attacker, from shamblers to ragers to raiders. The Castle will be seen, discussed in further detail in Page Two B: Fortifying The Citadel.
Section D: Living
For those less concerned with fortifications, we must also acknowledge that all of the warmth and defensibility in the whole world will do you little good if those we love are going hungry. To that end, I have endeavored to ensure that the self sustainable features that are part of The Castle's design include several diverse means to feed all those that live inside our Walls. These are described on Page 3: Living.
|White76Knight's Survival Plan|
Bugging In and Bugging Out
Digging In for Awhile
Living in the Aftermath
|Page Two B: |
Fortifying The Citadel
|Page Two C: |
The Curtain Wall
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