One of the threats that our homes constantly face, especially in the spring or right after a rainstorm, is flood. Flash floods can strike in an instant and are very devastating when they do. When one does strike, chances are high that the power system in your town will go out and it will take several days if not weeks to get it up and running even after the flood has subsided. To be prepared for this, you’ll need a system that allows you to power your home until after the flood has ended and the power is back up.
Fortunately, making such a power system to power your home during and after a flash flood is not nearly as complex as you may suspect it is. There are five different safe and effective do-it-yourself (DIY) methods that we will explore in this article.
Method #1 – Archimedes Screw
This method is easily the oldest one on this list, which is why we’re going to start out with it. And when we say ‘oldest one,’ we don’t just mean a few decades or a few hundred years old. We mean a few thousand years! Yes, the Archimedes Screw has been around for several millennia. All that it is, really, is a device that transfers water from a body of water to a irrigation ditch via a pipe that houses a screw-shaped system inside. There is evidence that the Archimedes Screw system was used in the days of the Ancient Mesopotamians, with even more evidence that it was used by the Ancient Greeks. And we still use it today because it still works.
To set up an Archimedes Screw system in your home, you will need a location that is the site of plenty of flowing water. An example would include a backyard with drainage points. The size of the actual screws will be dependent on how much water is flowing. You can also partly influence how much water is flowing by constructing drainage points on your own where you direct where the water flows.
Method #2 – Motor Assembles: Gravity Driven
This method is derived from a system that uses gravity to build a fan in place of an air conditioner. Similar to that method, the gravity driven motor assembly will be constructed on a roof in a higher level of your house, which is somewhere you might have to hold up if the flood water seeps into the lower levels of your house.
To get this system to work, all that you will need is magnets to be attached to the blade of the fan and then wire coils that will generate the current. Alternatively, you can make use of a bicycle that will run a generator and power your home, since gravity is used to turn the wheels of the bike.
Method #3 – Motor Assembles: Gear Driven
It’s hard to think about, but you technically can make your own robots or engines that use gears and operate based on motion and gravity. Look around at the things that you own and think about which of those can be used to produce power. With the aid of the same kinds of magnets and wire coils from Method #2, you can then set up from lightweight devices that are easily transportable.
Method #4 – Earth Batteries
Earth batteries are simply two electrodes, each of a different kind of metal, that are then buried in soil. When activated with water, they can tap into electrical currents and supply yourself with power. This truly is the easiest DIY power method in this list.
Take planters, buckets, and pots and then fill them up with soil. Next, you will need two different kinds of metal to be placed into the soil a short distance away from each other, water that will be poured into the soil to activate the electrodes, and electrolytes in the form of salt to be poured along with the water as well, to increase the overall power of the battery.
Method #5 – Water Wheels
Our final method is a method that most of us should be at least somewhat familiar with: water wheels. These are a popular option on off the grid homesteads to power electricity, and knowing that flashfloods can occur after a period of very heavy rainfall, it would seem that they were exclusively made to power homes during flash floods.
To make an effective water wheel system, you will need a barrel or drum with a capacity of at least fifty gallons. Then, construct a water wheel and make sure that each of the shafts is larger than the width of the barrel, with the central shaft being free to turn. Next, make a tent out of plastic and have the point be aimed down towards the water wheel. It should hit one side of the paddles so that it can spin more freely.
Next, cut a hole into your tent where the water can pass through. Raindrops will be collected onto the tent, and then they will slide down the tent through the hole and onto your waterwheel. Once it begins raining hard enough, a stream will develop in no time.
Finally, install magnets to your water wheel that will stimulate the electrical currents into your wire coils, which would then be hooked up to your generator to supply you with power. So long as you keep the motorized component of the water wheel covered from the rain and water, it will work beautifully.
In addition, if the flooding is high enough, it could possibly reach the bottom of the wheel and turn it on its own. The same purpose would then be fulfilled. But if the flood waters start to get too high, there’s a chance that they could rip the water wheel and at that point you would have to intervene to try and save it if you are in a safe position to do so.