Author Topic: Grid Outages  (Read 3244 times)

mike90045

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Grid Outages
« on: March 16, 2018, 04:40:59 PM »
Last Tues, I was on one of the 3 flights into Boston after the Nor'easter blasted the state.
 Airport was a ghost town, 150 passengers leaving the plane & 1 TSA agent holding the exit door open. 90 min wait for a taxi. all hotels sold out.
I got to Cape Cod the next day, and much of the cape was out of power. I heard 3600 RPM generators buzzing like bees all over.  Today, noon Friday, still areas out of power, many business still shut down.
 My Dad dumped a load of bad gas into the tank of his generator, ran for a couple minutes, and then died. Going to flush the thing out Saturday and try to put it away after it's run a bit.  Got my seafoam and carb cleaner spray to de-goop the rig.

LowGear

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 05:47:22 PM »
Sounds like the opening for a discussion on the advantages of propane or the disadvantages of propane.
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Quinnf

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 12:07:55 AM »
We had a power outage on Fox Island last month.  Whole island was out and part of the mainland.  Wind was howling out of the South and a tree dropped over the lines somewhere.  Power was out for 5 hours and it was around freezing outside.  It doesn't get very cold in Puget Sound, but it's damp, so it feels cold.  I went out to the shop and fired up the Lister ST-2 generator and came back to the house and we were warm, well-lighted and comfy.  As the evening progressed neighbors started showing up, and I drove and picked up an elderly lady friend of my wife's.  We sat around and played cards 'cause the cable was out.  A few people had generators, but said they hadn't run for years and/or didn't know how to make them work, etc. 

It's nice to have (Diesel) standby power. 
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BruceM

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 01:25:51 AM »
Propane is a decent fuel for backup power short runs- the small 3600 rpm 4KW units being sold by Walmart (was Buffalo Tools distributor) work well and my neighbor loves his for portable tool use or backup for his Listeroid propane conversion. It's fairly good on noise and has been reliable for occasional use over the last 3 years. He has it in a Rubbermaid deck box just outside the Lister/battery bank shed, with a power plug in and plumbed up to propane, so all he has to do is open the deck box and pull the starter cord.  A selector switch inside lets him direct it's output to the 230VAC distribution instead of the Lister.

I had to modify it to be 230V, with a switch to select 120V for portable power tool use with a 5 gallon propane tank.


LowGear

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 06:26:51 PM »
We have a neighbor (6 miles away) that was quoted almost $20,000 for three poles - not wires.  They installed stand alone solar with propane backup for $16,000 - very small quarterly bills.  Four years later everything is still warm and fuzzy.
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buickanddeere

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 02:03:51 PM »
The problem is not the technology and equipment . It is the persons unwilling or unable to properly maintain and operate said equipment .
   If every home and business had wind turbines , solar panels , inverters and batteries . How many systems would be fully functional in 5 years ?
  The majority of the population is challenged or unable to change a tire, fill the washer fluid reservoir, check the oil levels , add air to a tire or change out a failed lamp. Letís not even mention change the oil, change a battery, replace a fan belt or replace wiper blades . A simple brake job...... maybe one on a 100 could if they had to and were provided with parts, tools and a shop.
   Utility power is the answer for 99.9% of households .

oldgoat

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 03:10:56 PM »
Their lack of knowlege and in some cases plain stupidity has paid for a lot of stuff over the years.

BruceM

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 04:27:21 PM »
I've often thought that people should not be able to use ANY technology they can't pass a basic knowledge exam for. This would quickly raise the technical level of the population, as well as temporarily lower energy use, greatly reduce highway congestion and improve internet speeds. It would be good for the candle and firewood businesses. Seriously, I suspect treating everyone as children is self fulfilling.

Most people catch on to the essentials of off grid living pretty well.  Having to replace their first set of batteries for thousands of dollars after killing them in 1-2 years usually motivates them strongly. 

Managing your own power isn't the big hurdle the power co.s would like people to believe.  Lots of folks with no technical training or knowledge do it without too much trouble, and their solar provider (with not much technical training either) does the rest.

The conspicuous consumption actively promoted by the US power co.s has been a big contributor to the mess we're in now.






BruceM

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 04:14:39 AM »
I do know some locals who have had small commercial windmills as a supplement to their PV for the last 25 years.  They are happy with them, vocally defend their usefulness and reliability .

I don't see it for myself, in this sunny climate, but back in the day when PV was very spendy, they were a big boon for power production during a few days of winter storm.  My battery/power shed was intentionally located on a hill, which would be fabulous for wind power without much of a tower.   It is the highest point around for miles.  Alas my health is failing so wind power isn't on my project list.  I'll leave that for the next owner.  PV is too cheap and reliable and very dark days are few here.

The one thing that concerns me about what is presently being sold is that there is absolutely no concern nor effort made to reduce conducted emissions by inverters and PV charge controllers.  While passive filters can be added, in the EMC field that is well known as the worst way to deal with the problem; it should be addressed in the initial design for the best and most cost effective solution.  In most off grid or grid tie homes with inverters, the emissions radiating from all of the house wiring is substantial and typically the entire AM radio band is swamped.  I get contacts from families with sick kids, with behavioral problems, ADHD like behaviors and insomnia that all go away when they stay elsewhere.  Both Genesco and RFIcorp now have high performance passive filters which I helped to spec for inverters.  Spendy but better than moving for the couple involved. They also moved the inverter and panels well away from the home, with metal conduit from the filter to the home, which was cheaper than filtering PV inputs and shielding the inverter itself.

The very least someone should do is to add a dual stage common mode L-C filter which are commonly sold in home inverter sized currents for under $100. 

Find an AM radio with the old style tuner that gives you white static noise between stations and check out your house wiring.
Some switching power supplies are also horrible and can trash the whole house.  Appliance emissions are often not checked or regulated.  I'm happy to help anyone who wants to "clean up" their home power.






BruceM

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 07:16:54 AM »
The directly radiated emissions of the inverter are mostly a problem only within 6 feet or so in a situation like yours.

The problem is the conducted radiation that is on all the house wiring. 

I sure can't predict who is going to be most affected and how, since the endocrine and immune system effects are highly individual.  A power panel with meter near the bed is a serious no-no, even without a smart meter as there are seriously high ELF magnetic fields in that area.  Just moving the bed could make a big difference for ELF magnetic fields, but something silly like a plug in alarm clock can also be extremely high nearby.  An ELF magnetic field meter makes real reductions straightforward. Depression and headaches is also a very common symptom. 

It's hard to deal with for those with anxiety, as thinking about "unseen forces" can make them have serious problems.  If thinking about it makes one worse, and reducing measured fields do not clearly help, better to treat the anxiety disorder.

Before the EPA got shut down on indoor air research by industry/congress many years ago, they set out to do testing to show that industrial pollution was affecting people indoors too.  But when they did air samples and blood tests, the indoor office air they tested was about 10x worse than the polluted outdoor air, and blood tests showed the same.  The crap we put inside (carpets, furnishings, building materials) is the worst offender.  I laugh when I read about people trying to reduce their exposure to plastics and plasticizers based on some foolish greenwashed advice when they are living in homes with carpet because that's utterly ludicrous.  With the huge surface area of carpet and your lungs, you can't reduce exposure without either getting rid of the carpet or stopping breathing.




EdDee

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 11:26:47 AM »
Hey Guys....

A true recount...personally...

A while back, well quite a long while back actually, I went to a doctor because I was feeling a little run down. The immediate advice he gave me was to clean up my lifestyle - Cut down on the beers, slow down on red meat, less fatty foods, fewer take-aways, less coffee and tea, more exercise, more of this, less of that and so it went on... The "more of's" weren't particularly palatable and the "less of's" were all the nice things....

At the end of the consultation, I eventually got a word in after the ear-bashing I had received... I candidly asked him: "Will all of this make me live longer?"

Yep, you guessed it.... His answer: "NO......But it will feel like it!"

So, here I am 30+ or so years later... Only a few more aches and pains relatively speaking....

Keep on moaning....

Cheers
Ed

PS - Why donate your organs? Use them up! (I can picture the guys doing my post-mortem.... All crowded around after they unzip me....One turns to another and says "Dude....there's nothing left that's usable in here, I dunno how he stayed alive, but it sure looks like he new how to party!)
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BruceM

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 04:15:35 PM »
Finding and enjoying pleasures in life is certainly important.  Reducing needless EMF exposures doesn't have any negative impact at all.  Typically, you can reduce your night time EMF exposure by 100 fold or more by just moving things or turning some things off at night.  Sometimes you might have to add a wire nut ($0.15) or add a dielectric coupler in a metalic gas or water line.  Karl Riley's book, "Tracing EMFs in Building Wiring and Grounding" covers the ELF magnetic fields at an electrician's level.  Basic home EMF triage is something that everyone needs to learn to protect themselves and their family.

The Cornet ED-88T is an affordable meter that does ELF magnetic fields, broadband RF, and E fields. (It is not sensitive enough for those who already have severe electrical sensitivity but it is fine for normal home triage.)  This plus an AM radio like the old Radio Shack 12-467 (about $15) plus a $15 VOM for ohm measurement is the full complement of tools that you need. I am doing a home with just those tools for a friend of a friend this week- their daughter has epilepsy and the medications have stunted her growth and squashed her intellect and personality badly.  I hope to find a very bad EMF problem, as typically, when I do, the correction of same will almost always result in a slow but steady overall  health improvement over the next 90 days. Sometimes I can say, nope, you're good, EMF's are not the issue here. With my favorite handyman to help (his hands are about 5x faster than mine), I can often do evaluation and correction all in a a few hours. It's hard on my health but it's fun to help someone get their life back.

Learning about EMFs is as important as learning that power doesn't actually come out of outlets in today's world.  It's an easily correctable problem, 90% of the time.  Likewise, for kids and grandkids that are moving regularly-  why not help them choose the dramatically lower EMF apartment.  One competent guy who knows how to use a meter can do a world of good for friends and family.  Mainstream medicine is going to incorporate this in about another 40+ years, (some doctors are now) but you don't have to wait. 






buickanddeere

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 12:05:31 AM »
  Doesn't require any device to ruin a substation. Just a little knowledge, then bad sounds and smoke a few hours later.

wheelMA1

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Re: Grid Outages
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2018, 01:00:19 PM »
We had it easy this winter in New England. I only got to run my Lister-powered MEP-802A (LPW2) for 9 hours total!