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Heating in a Polar Vortex

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:52 pm
by carefix
I guess that many in the USA have thought of this. If not for next time:

Take energy from the grid before the cold gets worse and grid down is threatend. How? Remove all shelves from the oven(s), put in a layer of bricks, turn on the oven, and periodically put in a new layer of bricks until the oven is full of hot bricks at high temperature. Turn off the oven at a time when it is important to reduce grid demand.

Use the kitchen as your house warm room. Cut down on your electricity use in the depths of the cold with the oven inputting heat into the room at a rate you can vary via the oven door. Use kerosine pressure lamps for light. These will typically give an extra 600W of heat when running.

Put box carboard over the windows and an extra layer of heavy drapes. Extraction fans can bring in extra air if needed, ideally via other rooms in the house.

Cook on the hob, in a microwave or with a kerosine stove.

This keeps you alive and grid demand low.

It is something to suggest to your neighbors and may come in handy as the GSM becomes the new normal. Beds in the kitchen can be OK as can blankets and coats. Easy emergency prepping.

Re: Heating in a Polar Vortex

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:02 pm
by dirtmurphy
Clever brick idea!

Re: Heating in a Polar Vortex

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:47 pm
by Natty Bumppo
so, have you tried the oven method with bricks? Please get back to me after you do.

I do not expect it to last very long. Radiant heat is just not very fun.

If you do have a wood stove, I would suggest looking into a wood stove fan that sits on top of the wood burner. This will spread out your radiant heat. I do not remember the last time we turned on the electric blower (its been years) and the wind chill was -25 here yesterday at its lowest.
So while most, if they even have a wood burner will be huddling around it like frightened chickens, those of us able to spread radiant heat will be enjoying some mobility in the house as the GSM assures us of much longer and worse experiences than the country just had this week.

I am of the opinion that many who prep for the GSM do not consider that the electrical grid is on its last leg now and will not be here much longer. Transformers are gonna freeze and blow. And btw, with increased cloud cover, don't put to much into your solar units.....better learn to just live without it.

Re: Heating in a Polar Vortex

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:11 pm
by carefix
Natty Bumppo... Not sure if this reply is linked to you.... I have not sussed the system yet.

The bricks idea is strictly for an emergency prep which is good for the collective (your neighbors) as well as good for you. It is not a long term plan for the GSM, would it were that simple...

OK I am from the UK and we do not get so much continental (cold) climate as the States. I am not going to test the bricks idea as it has already been done. In fact in the UK we have things called "night storage heaters" which work in the sameway. Maybe in the states too? They use cheap night-time electicity to store heat in bricks. They will be special high thermal capacity bricks I'm sure. The containing heater can then be switched on (open slats) to recover heat when you need it. All I am suggesting is turning your ovens into thermal storage heaters so people do not load the grid during polar vortex events. If you have updated on-line info and know your part of the grid has spare capacity you can also re-charge the bricks during a freeze.

I GUESS using house bricks and an oven full you could keep a kitchen at <10 celcius, <50 fahrenheit, for 2 days when it averages -15F outside. Loads of assumptions here of course and it depends on oven insulation, house, kitchen insulation. Better to do some numbers for your situation, here is a US maker or supplier of storage heaters:

Note the use of special ceramic iron oxide storage blocks. They can be bought used and as removed from their one-time storage heaters.... in the UK.

Re: Heating in a Polar Vortex

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:26 pm
by carefix
OK... I have not tested this idea myself.... but thinking about it.... I may well do so for next year.

We are somewhat spoiled in the UK with a very solid electricity grid and 80% of houses on piped natural gas. Electrically we link into Europe and find mutual benefit in buffering each others supply and demand. We are also well practiced in sharing out what available power there is 'cos we got lots of practice in the "Winter of Discontent":

I am well prepped for Brexit/Financial collapse (obviously NOT for the GSM, that is not possible here) so I just need to get 140 litres of kerosine and some spare petrol for the generator and I am set up for a very harsh winter. This year has not been bad at all here, no snow in my town. The polar vortex loop stayed mainly to the East so the BBC is still larding on the Globalist Warming Propaganda. It still has some traction here.

Re: Heating in a Polar Vortex

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:24 pm
by MarkG
When I was a kid in the UK, our house heating pretty much did this; it heated a metal box full of bricks at night, and the bricks released the heat during the day. It was pretty crappy heating, because it only heated up the area around the heater, but it was good enough for surviving in the UK if you had lots of blankets on the bed at night.

I'm guessing it was an early version of the storage heater mentioned above?

Today the best solution would be a passive house design, so you rarely need heating. Though increased cloud cover might make that more difficult, since it relies on solar heating during the day to keep it warm at night.