Author Topic: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"  (Read 3558 times)

fuddyduddy

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Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« on: August 31, 2006, 04:11:56 PM »
There are those in the US who are NOT "doomsdayers", but are very concerned about the future, and how to provide for loved ones and self.

One of the troubling aspects is energy.  For whatever the reason, when your family has no hot water, and it is freezing out, and you have no power,  you are in a heap of trouble.

Most folks who use this forum do not experience these problems, at least not on a daily basis.

The folks who DO, such as remote "off-grid" users hotater, JohnF, and others, are more valuable than gold because they let all the rest of us know when there is a problem with  the solution(s) they use, not just daily, but minute by minute, continuously, to provide for their energy needs. It is a most comforting sound,to be at a remote farm or ranch, and hear that leisurely, measured, putt, putt, putt, putt, putt, of a working slow-speed engine. 

Slow-speed diesel engines are just one solution to this energy problem, and especially, when used with alternative fuels.  The great thing is, they are a very practical, affordable solution. 

One of the discussions recently with hotater was about the Indian "Listeroid" engines.  Those engines, as built for the Indian and African markets, are expected to operate before rebuild for only around 1,000 hours! 

In order to have a product here in the USA which  meets our needs, it is a MUST to have folks who can use these engines daily, and report back in a meaningful way about problems, so they can be corrected.

The objective, of course, is to have an engine which can be reliably operated without failure for many years.

IF PROFIT WAS THE PRIMARY MOTIVE, then no seller would ever make an effort to correct problems.

However, it is not that way for some sellers, and most of those who read and post in this forum are NOT like most folks in the US,  who have their heads in the sand,  not doing anything about potential issues with energy supplies, electricity, etc,  in the future.

Yes there is also a wealth of information and solutions which come in a steady stream from users who are NOT remote, but have the same urge to have that reliable energy to fall back on when it is needed. A wonderful synergy indeed!!

And so, this post is a  heart-felt thank you to all of you who make it possible for all the rest of us to have practical solutions for our energy problems because of your hard work and dedication.





mobile_bob

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2006, 04:26:28 PM »
Great post there FD!

you are spot on , right on, buddy :)

folks like hotater et al. are as you say invaluable, as they do the serious testing, make the mistakes, form methods or improvment, pass along all sorts of observations, and info to the rest of us, so we can learn from what they have without having to duplicate every step of the way.

and it is also very obvious that folks like yourself do this out of love of old engines, and not for the money.

we need more guys like You, George and Russell.  more Hotaters, Quinn's, and their like.

bob g
otherpower.com, microcogen.info, practicalmachinist.com
(useful forums), utterpower.com for all sorts of diy info

oldnslow

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2006, 05:36:22 PM »
Yep, no doubt this is a proactive group. If conventional energy supplies wane suddenly, the masses will struggle. It will be too late to do much about it then except live through it.

Thanks to the forum, many readers like myself can know beforehand what *will* work and how to deal with problems that occur as we build our own AE systems. I hope the website can continue to exist as a great body of reference for everyone.

Energy is one thing; food will be a whole 'nuther problem.....
Mistakes are the cost of tuition.

t19

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2006, 07:01:21 PM »
I'm not a doomsday type of guy.  I am a realist.  I know that Ontario Hydro is over extended.  I know that mother nature will and can cause problems with power.  I researched the Internet and found the Lister/Listeroids.  Burns damn near anything... just what I need, quiet, long lasting... again, just what I need.  Are they perfect?? no, electic autostart would be nice, but hey I can live with that.

Do I expect the end of the world??  no.  Do I think we are war with the fundimentalist Islamists?  Yes and I expect them to make life here in North American difficult, but hey thats what war is all about.

But come the next Ice Storm, or major power outage, my family will be taken care of.  And to me that is just doing my job.

cheers

Andrew
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 02:04:48 AM by t19 »
There is plenty of room for all of Gods creatures... right next to the mashed potatoes...

cujet

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2006, 01:57:21 AM »
It is true that Listeroid ownership is part of doing your job. As those of us here in Florida know, there are all sorts of generator options. Some work over the long haul and some don't. As a very general rule, the only gensets around here, that I see with high hours on them are diesel. Yup, the Listeroid does seem to fit the need of emergency backup power.

Chris
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rsnapper

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2006, 02:10:47 AM »
I got my 28/2 and 24 KW ST for when, not if, the next hurricane comes close and knocks the grid out for an unspecified time. May not be this year or the next, but it will happen. I'm too old to sweat while atempting to sleep. I don't mind working hard and sweating but not while I sleep! I am finally in a position that I can afford a generator to power my whole house. Took long enough! I do like to tinker, so I bought the Listeroid and worked a while getting it all rigged up. Diesel has always been available so far, and I can get a decent supply in stock a few days prior. I have a small, 5 KW gas unit that I used during Katrina, and we got by without loosing anything in either refrigerator or the freezer. In fact, I had my pool clean within 3 days after the storm and we cooked and the stove each evening. We made and gave away all the ice we could make. A few guys at work said that since I bought the generator I probably would never use it. My reply was "That 's kind of like buying insurance, isn't it? No doomsday stuff here, just pure comfort.

Rick

mobile_bob

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2006, 05:31:35 AM »
doomsday,,, hmmm interesting concept!

consider the following,

there is such a  thing as supertransformers, the really big boys that feed the major grid, i think here in the US we have 6 or so, there are somewhere around 15 in the whole of the planet.

there are only 2 places that build these collosal beast's and the lead time is about a year, so...

what if instead of a twin tower terrorist event, they decide next time to take out one or two of these beasts,,, might be kinda dark for a significant length of time,,, maybe 6 months, or longerif they took out 2 or 3, certainly a year of severe shortage, brown outs, and blackouts. 

is it likely who knows, but i would never have thought those whack jobs would have taken out the twin towers either.

then of course there is the astroid thing.... :)

seems like cheap insurance to say the least.

bob g
otherpower.com, microcogen.info, practicalmachinist.com
(useful forums), utterpower.com for all sorts of diy info

buickanddeere

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Re: Heads in the Sand, or "why we do it"
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 09:32:21 AM »
  My 1st posting here.
 I agree Ontario Power Generation is stretched but at least is in better condition than 2003. Pickering 1 & 4 are pretty much up and running plus Bruce units 3 & 4. Plus there are a few more private co-generation units. Something on the order of 1500+ Meg Watts generating capacity. However transmission capacity into Kitchener/Waterloo and Toronto are undersized/overloaded. Downtown Toronto are in for rotating blackouts should any transmission line or transformer station fail during summer/winter peak demand.
  I was laughed at when suggesting in the late 1990's/early 2000's that a "loss of grid " situation wasn't a matter of if but when. Even when reminded of the mid 1960's Eastern Seaboard blackout and the New York blackout. The answer was " it won't happen again, we are prepared and was told "get lost"or something like that.
   As for anybody who relies on electricity and not having backup resources of some sort? That is pure and utter denial,cheapskating or ignorance.
   As for myself I'm looking at some sort of a 28/2 or 30/2 slow speed diesel for a co-generation project. The price of LP to heat the swimming pool is unreasonable. And my hydro bills have approximately doubled since the stiff 30 year old meter was replaced with a freshly calibrated unit.
  It's taking some research to find a 600 or 900rpm twin with enclosed, pressure oiled pushrods/tappets,TRB and not having 1/2 a pound of casting sand included with the deal.   15 to 25KW generator heads are an easy find however.
  Around here "everybody" was enthused about wind turbines until they found out they were to be installed in their community. Then the NIMBY's showed up.
  Apparently there are a couple of dealers in Ontario and another in western Quebec?   
  Rumor has it. To the British people, old original running real Listers and Petters are considered old junk. They go for scrap price to anyone who can haul the brutes away. I'm soon getting in touch with a character who exports "all-fuel" two cylinder Deere's to Europe. The price of kerosene is apparently much lower than gasoline or diesel. They want spark ignition tractors that can burn just about anything that is flammable and pours at room temps..