The future may look a little bleak at times. Predictions of a global catastrophe caused by climate change or nuclear war are commonplace. Oil and water shortages are predicted to become more of a problem over time.
What can you do against these looming monoliths of an unknown future?
1. Get ready!
Too dramatic? Absolutely understandable, but these ideas are also useful to know regardless of your opinion of what should happen. All of the following are ideal for remote locations or for projects in countries where the infrastructure is not as reliable.
The first thing to determine when drawing up a preparation plan is what will be important in a survival situation. Today we will focus on:
- Light coloured
- The quality of life
All of these things are either directly related to technology created in the future, or fed back into systems that will help you stay on top of any long-term survival situation.
Having a stable long-term energy source that is renewable is essential to everything else on this list. Not only will you rely on it for lighting and any other survival technology, but it will power your Pi, and therefore one of your survival assets.
There can never be enough batteries.
A good sustainable alternative power source is a great thing to have no matter what your current situation is. Even in far less catastrophic circumstances, like a power outage in your area, being able to turn on some lights, play a few tunes, and maybe even have a retro gaming tournament waiting for it is a real bonus.
There are two types of batteries to consider here. Smaller power packs that can be operated remotely and a larger battery pack for charging and mass storage.
Another path you can go down is to buy a solar bank. These battery banks have the advantage of having a solar panel built into them so they can recharge over time. Unfortunately, none of these chargers are efficient enough to provide unlimited power under load, as even under ideal lighting conditions, charge times are slow.
Despite this, a reliable, weatherproof and shockproof power supply is a big advantage. At the time of this writing, this battery combines a 12,000 mAh capacity with its own solar charging and rugged housing.
If the Sun is still there, use it!
User Instructables koff1979 created the solar battery 12V for my Raspberry Pi using simple parts.
The advantage of the setup above is that it can be used to charge any 5V batteries you have. Constantly charging several batteries of different types is the key to not being left in the dark.
While this setup will likely keep your Pi running, it might be worth spending on something more if you have the space. User Instructables Jonathanrjpereira built a bigger 12v solar power system and documented how you can do it.
To take it one step further, you can use the power of the wind. John Showick put together a great in-depth article on running your Raspberry Pi on both solar and wind power, running various tests to get the optimal setup, including confusing pedestrians with your car to test power generation!
Pedal to the floor
But what if the sun doesn’t shine? What if it’s night, the weather is still and you need power? Then you need to work for it! Pedal power is another way to generate power in all situations, and the Adafruit K-Tor pedal generator is a portable and compact solution. It can power devices directly or charge 12V batteries, though you’ll have to pedal a lot to do so. Given that it’s likely that being fit and healthy is very important for survival, this idea seems like a good idea to get in sooner rather than later!