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  1. highwaymanlee

    highwaymanlee Active Member

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    i need help

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by highwaymanlee, Feb 29, 2012.

    im writing a story in which all electrical power is gone(this is a post Apocalyptic story) i need to figure out a reason for the loss of electrical power ive been thinking solar flare but im not sure if that would cause a Permanent loss of electricity if anyone out there knows more about this or has any other ideas about how this could happen let me know
     
  2. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nothing is going to permanently get rid of electricity. Like gravity or force, it's one of those things that just exists. At best, a solar flare or EMP might knock power out for a few hours (or days if the power plants are poorly equipped and require repairs). Short of bombing the power stations and infrastructure into dust, there will still be power in the grid.

    But, even under those circumstances, electricity will still exist and a savvy survivor can find numerous ways to generate power. The average automobile has two generators built in. (One's the alternator, which is already a generator. And the other is the starter motor, which is basically a generator wired in reverse.) How much juice can you get out of them? I don't know, but I know they would still function after an EMP or solar flare. Actually, just about anything with a fuse box or circuit breaker will function -- anything equipped to survive a power surge.
     
  3. jeffm

    jeffm Member

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    How long after the event is the story? If it's a significant time (as in decades) you can have the infrastructure breakdown due to lack of maintenance. The only real way a society is going to regress is if they loose the knowledge of how specific technologies work. This would mean that nobody knows or remembers how to fix the generators anymore.

    A Zombie apocalypse handles this by removing the people. An end of days brought on by atomic or conventional war will take out the infra structure and destroy the ability to repair it. You could use a cosmic event like an asteroid strike to remove a large amount of the population and then have the dust cloud ruin farming crops to thin down the survivors. A global famine would significantly lower the population and make some areas wasteland like.

    If you are looking at something closer to the event (a year or so after) you are going to find people trying to rebuild to the best their ability and resources. You can destroy the nationwide infrastructure, but that isn't going to prevent pockets of civilization from repairing power.

    Basically you have to limit the people or the resources, there is no single event that will break all machines permanently. A generator is a VERY simple machine, all it needs is some wire, magnets, and input power. Even a simple waterwheel will do for input.
     
  4. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can't change the science, unless your apocalypse somehow changes the laws of physics (which would open more cans of worms than you want to think about). Electricity works.

    My best idea on this would be to have a small but powerful organization of people (a religious group, maybe), who believe that the reason for the apocalypse in the first place was that people put too much trust in technology. They take it upon themselves to ensure that electrical technology is not used. They ban it. They bomb power plants, assassinate those who promote the rebuilding of the electrical infrastructure, even mass-destroy engineering textbooks to prevent people from finding out how this stuff is done. It would be a social movement, not a breakdown of known science, not a failure of technology.
     
  5. CheddarCheese

    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi highway,

    Like the people above me have mentioned, electricity isn't removable. Electrical appliances and human-generated electricity, however, is.

    The simplest method to remove conventional electricity, is the destruction/removal of the major power stations/grids (perhaps by an attack, or some sort of failure). The removal of certain key power providers can often cause a frightening amount of power loss through a large amount of area. For example, the 2005 Java–Bali blackout effected over 100 million people, and was caused by a transmission line failure. Imagine if such soft-spots were targeted and attacked? One thing to keep in mind about this situation, is that batteries and generators will still work. Cars would be fine, watches would work, and hospitals would stay online.

    If you want to take it to the next level, and disable all remote electricity, you'll have to rely on some sort of electromagnetic disturbance which would completely blow the fuse in all electric devices or otherwise disable them. An example of this would be a global EM catastrophe, which can be delivered by EMP/nuclear weapons, solar radiation, extra-solar gamma radiation, or any other mass fluctuation of magnetic fields. This is much more damaging, as it can destroy singular electronic devices. Unfortunately, this also has ways around it. People can rebuild electronics, or could have had electronics designed to withstand such an event.

    Thus, to completely wipe out all electrical applications (or at least get as close as you can), you have to kill off the creators: us! Like jeffm said before me, the removal of key persons and populations would render it hard, if not impossible, to recreate electronic devices. If something like a nuclear war, global cataclysmic event (asteroid impact, supervolcano), or some other method (pandemic, conventional war, ...zombies?) wiped out a good number of people, it would finalize the losses, at least until humanity has rebuilt enough.

    Hope this helped!
     
  6. highwaymanlee

    highwaymanlee Active Member

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    i have decided to get rid off the no electricity thing but thanks for the help
     

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