12V Lighting Circuit
When we worked in Uganda, they rationed the electricity so the mains power went off for several hours each day. In effect, every other evening ... plunging us into darkness. So, I set up a 12V light circuit. It made life so much easier. If you have intermittent or no mains electricity, you could do the same.
You will need:
Several 12V Lights (one for each room?) - caravan lights work well, or you can buy low voltage spot lights and bypass the transformer/mains circuit in them. Bright LEDs are also now available and use less electricity.
A Car Battery - don't try to ship this internationally. Get one locally.
A Roll of two core wire - source this locally too. You can use mains wire or something like speaker wire, whatever is cheapest. Get enough to run from the battery to each light.
A Battery Charger - If you have internmittent electricity, you can get one which automatically charges the battery when the mains power is on. If you have no mains electricity, you will probably need a solar panel.
Inline switches - as needed, if each light doesn't have a switch.
Battery Terminal Clamps - To connect the wires to the battery terminals
An Inline fuse - Ideally connected between one of the battery terminals and the wires to protect the wiring and lights if there's a short or fault.
Lights should be connected in parallel (i.e. each one has it's own wire from the battery). Place the battery central in the house. Switches can be put in the wires at a convenient places, if required (e.g. by the door). The charger or solar panel can be left permanently connected to the battery. Hey presto, lighting when you need it!
I'm a follower of lifehacker.com and came across this page - thought it was worth posting here just incase anything is of use to you guys.
If your breakfast cereals go soft in the humid climate, you can spread them on a tray in the oven on a low heat for a few minutes and they will crisp right up again!
Air Conditioner without Electricity
Has anyone tried/seen one of these working: