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Emergency power

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Old 10-18-2008, 04:44 AM   #21
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^ That is actually a key condition cpttango. I used to live in a rental on the same circuit as a Safeway, which is a major accounts style grocery store on the West Coast for you in the Midwest/East.

We specifically rented the place based on the circuit information since I worked for the power company at the time. That circuit was one of the FIRST brought back on line EVERYTIME there was a power outage.

One of the key reasons was that circuit had a TON of residential units on it ( condos, apartments and small neighborhoods ) and Safeway has a Corporate/Major Account with the provider, PSE, to ensure that they are up and running in the time of need.

People spend, approximately, 250% what they would normally spend on ANY item in the state of a "crisis", according to across the board studies in our region. Both the utility and Safeway KNOW that, so they work together to INSURE that the store stays open.

When we moved, I pulled the circuit information and it was not good. There are NO major stores, no hospitals and no multiple dwelling units ( MDU's ). I knew we were going to be hung out to dry in the event of a serious power outage.

The key is, how many people are on your circuit? The power service provider HAS to answer that question for you according to FEDERAL LAW. So call them, bug them until you find out. If the number is something like 577, you need to consider a generator, or else you might find yourself WITHOUT POWER for a week like the good cpttango here....

Anyone with questions can always PM me, but calling your service provider is the best way to start. They are REQUIRED to report, to the feds, their circuit reliability and the number of "subscribers" on the circuit that you are on.

If the number is low, and you can't see a hospital, or a health care facility isn't on your circuit, I would definitely RECOMMEND a generator, either wired in or portable, for your house....

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Old 10-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #22
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If I could I would rig my kids bikes up to a generator and make them peddle their butts off.
Well, the MOST power you are gonna get from a healthy ADULT is about 60 watts, pedaling like crazy.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. And people are not real good sources of energy. (That's why things are rated in HORSEPOWER )

Have my eye on a bit of property near me that has a nice small year round stream. Flow and fall of the stream is enough to run about a 3KW turbine. Nice thing is that's 3 kw 24/7- which allows you to bank some power for peak demand. Setup will cost some, but I like fooling around with this sort of thing. (One of my SHTF books is the Audel Engineers Guide to Electricity- published in 1910. Know how to wind a motor? I do now!)
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:10 PM   #23
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Credit Crisis Meet Power Crisis - New Study Warns US Blackouts Loom in ’09; California Looks Like ‘Ground Zero’
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Quasi View Post
Credit Crisis Meet Power Crisis - New Study Warns US Blackouts Loom in ’09; California Looks Like ‘Ground Zero’
You know I grew up in California and we never had any kind of rolling blackouts. It was not until the guberment stuck their noes in and said you had to deregulate it did we start having that problem. My dad worked for PG&E for over 35 years. He said that was one of the dumbist things they ever did other than caving to that w&*re Aaron Brokivitch. Thats a differnt story.

We would not be in an energy crissis if we would make a few simple changes. If we required all these McMansions to had the roof covered with solar pannels on 75% of the roof Then all that power could reduce your power bill to nothing on many months and actulay give you money back. But here is what I say. Don't give money back but spread it around and lower everyones bill giving more money back to the community with lower bills. solar energy is free once your set up.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:24 PM   #25
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Kalifornia's problem is that they have not built any new power generation in over 10 years. They count on surrounding states when they need more power. When surrounding states need that power, Kalifornia suffers.

Don't worry, before too long you will be living in Aztlan, and you won't know where your next meal is coming from, let alone your electricity.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:35 AM   #26
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You have used your utility experience very wisely as you have rented and moved about the country. I'm impressed! Not a lot of people know some of the things you mention and it's good knowledge to put out there. Of course you know like others have said that you local utility has to buy any power that you can supply to their grid. So if you propane generators run cheap enough you may have a money maker your hands with big units like that.

Back in the day several of us considered buying old Electromotive diesels, setting them up off an old rail road spurs close to substations and demanding a hook up from the utility to buy power from us. The larger power company's were scared of this occurring and bought off some smaller company's who started to produced these rolling peakers. (converting the DC to AC) This was back when ENRON was making millions by wheeling power and producing none. I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about.

This still may not be a bad idea for running a survival camp if you had enough people to kick in on cost. Once you fill them with fuel you could run them conservatively and probably get by with the aid of solar panels for years on two full engines, and using the DC power. Just some mind food....
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