Best backup power?

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ZoWie
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Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

Here's the problem:

Los Angeles is not prepared for wind storms. These are getting worse every year, and it's completely due to climate change, and everybody knows it. They had several days notice on the latest one which was Sunday and Monday, with tropical storm force wind for 12 hours, and hurricane force gusts in places. I thought our house was going to come down. The power company was unprepared, again, and didn't know what hit them. This is normal. No one prepares. No plans. You're on your own. Again. Just like every year.

To make a long story short, Los Angeles does not have reliable electricity. It has similar problems in heat waves, which are also getting worse. Parts of it (Edison parts) even do the PSPS. I need a backup.

The choices seem to be solar panels plus a big battery, and standby generators. The solar panels are expensive, you need a lot of them, and the cost gets over budget pretty fast. The generators are complicated, carbon producing, and prone to deterioration with time. There seem to be three companies making them, and all three have gotten rotten reviews online. Of course, online reviews are pretty useless, since only pissed off people write them unless the company puts everyone else up to doing raves.

Ideas?

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rainwater
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by rainwater »

residential wind turbine.
they can attach to house itself which likely isnt going anywhere.
they can free stand as well.

id say the goal is to have some solar and some wind.
my son put a generator on his place. elec goes off gen comes on. think its propane run and you
dont have propane so...back to the complaint of wind and using it for some power.
Who are these..flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids, They speak
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Sam Lefthand
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Sam Lefthand »

ZoWie » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:25 pm wrote:Here's the problem:

Los Angeles is not prepared for wind storms. These are getting worse every year, and it's completely due to climate change, and everybody knows it. They had several days notice on the latest one which was Sunday and Monday, with tropical storm force wind for 12 hours, and hurricane force gusts in places. I thought our house was going to come down. The power company was unprepared, again, and didn't know what hit them. This is normal. No one prepares. No plans. You're on your own. Again. Just like every year.

To make a long story short, Los Angeles does not have reliable electricity. It has similar problems in heat waves, which are also getting worse. Parts of it (Edison parts) even do the PSPS. I need a backup.

The choices seem to be solar panels plus a big battery, and standby generators. The solar panels are expensive, you need a lot of them, and the cost gets over budget pretty fast. The generators are complicated, carbon producing, and prone to deterioration with time. There seem to be three companies making them, and all three have gotten rotten reviews online. Of course, online reviews are pretty useless, since only pissed off people write them unless the company puts everyone else up to doing raves.

Ideas?
I have an idea, buy a 20 to 40 dollar phone battery backup charger, then reevaluate that part about your need.

I have the phone charger, a Coleman lantern and cook burner which operate on white gas, and a 200 gallon water tank. I might want more but that's all I need.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ted »

#1 - natural gas generator

#2 - propane generator

#3 - gas or diesel generator (fuel is smelly and requires constant refilling)

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Motor City »

pull the energy out of the storm and store it up for later use. if the wind wants to blow hard enough to turn a generator then graciously accept its gift.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

Windmill is impractical. It's in the middle of the city and in an airport approach pattern. I doubt it would ever be approved.

We are well prepared for earthquakes. I have a Coleman lantern with spare fuel, and we have all manner of battery powered things including a cell phone charger and emergency radio. The lantern is impractical on cold days, and the wind storms usually bring these. You can't ventilate it.

It's the disruptions in work that are the main issue, plus the inability to safely heat the place when it's cold, which it usually is. UPS on computers only last so long, and kerosene heaters have the usual monoxide problem. Not much point heating a place with all the windows open and the wind coming in.

I'm through with gasoline. It's not a safe or practical emergency fuel. It has a limited storage life and it's iffy due to vapor and such.

Natural gas seems more practical than propane. It'll go out in an earthquake but c'est le guerre.

Solar is the best and most climate friendly solution if there's a practical way to power the refrigerator, heat, and a few lights. Sounds like some rewiring might be needed.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Doremus Jessup »

I’d try and find Hydrogen Fuel Cell systems.

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Number6
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Number6 »

ZoWie » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:05 am wrote:Windmill is impractical. It's in the middle of the city and in an airport approach pattern. I doubt it would ever be approved.

We are well prepared for earthquakes. I have a Coleman lantern with spare fuel, and we have all manner of battery powered things including a cell phone charger and emergency radio. The lantern is impractical on cold days, and the wind storms usually bring these. You can't ventilate it.

It's the disruptions in work that are the main issue, plus the inability to safely heat the place when it's cold, which it usually is. UPS on computers only last so long, and kerosene heaters have the usual monoxide problem. Not much point heating a place with all the windows open and the wind coming in.

I'm through with gasoline. It's not a safe or practical emergency fuel. It has a limited storage life and it's iffy due to vapor and such.

Natural gas seems more practical than propane. It'll go out in an earthquake but c'est le guerre.

Solar is the best and most climate friendly solution if there's a practical way to power the refrigerator, heat, and a few lights. Sounds like some rewiring might be needed.
If you're looking for something to operate your stove, microwave, washer/dryer, TV, etc.. when the electricity goes out I think that might be expecting too much. I'd recommend you have the following:
Solar battery charger you can put by your window and charge batteries
Rechargeable batteries for you items like flashlights and radios
Battery power backups for your phone and tablet
Battery operated lantern
Windup radio/flashlight

Although the electricity might be out for a couple of days, eating cold meals really isn't an imposition. You might want to buy some civilian-type MREs if you don't have a way to cook regular meals.
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ZoWie
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

> stove, microwave, washer/dryer, TV, etc..

None of those are necessary. It's mostly the refrigerator, so we aren't throwing out $100 worth of food every time the power company screws up, and the gas furnace, because it gets extremely cold (by LA standards) after these wind storms and they don't insulate houses in LA.

We have stashes of dried earthquake food that should be rotated in periodically anyway. Also the gas burners can be lit with a match, the old fashioned way.

I already have a generator and a cable that would reach the refrigerator, but a number of basically insoluble problems came up and I don't want to do it that way any more.

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Sam Lefthand
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Sam Lefthand »

ZoWie wrote:> stove, microwave, washer/dryer, TV, etc..

None of those are necessary. It's mostly the refrigerator, so we aren't throwing out $100 worth of food every time the power company screws up, and the gas furnace, because it gets extremely cold (by LA standards) after these wind storms and they don't insulate houses in LA.

We have stashes of dried earthquake food that should be rotated in periodically anyway. Also the gas burners can be lit with a match, the old fashioned way.

I already have a generator and a cable that would reach the refrigerator, but a number of basically insoluble problems came up and I don't want to do it that way any more.
Yes a cord draped through a door way does make it hard to close and lock the door. It can't be solved facing into the kitchen perhaps it can be solved facing back toward the generator source. Don't move the power, move the refrigerator. Like this:

Image

Or by scrounging up an old working refrigerator which would cost less than that hand truck, and set it next to the generator awaiting the next power outage.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Number6 »

ZoWie » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:09 pm wrote:> stove, microwave, washer/dryer, TV, etc..

None of those are necessary. It's mostly the refrigerator, so we aren't throwing out $100 worth of food every time the power company screws up, and the gas furnace, because it gets extremely cold (by LA standards) after these wind storms and they don't insulate houses in LA.

We have stashes of dried earthquake food that should be rotated in periodically anyway. Also the gas burners can be lit with a match, the old fashioned way.

I already have a generator and a cable that would reach the refrigerator, but a number of basically insoluble problems came up and I don't want to do it that way any more.
Depending upon how long the power is out, if you don't open the refrigerator door the food should remain cold enough for a day or two. Even longer in the freezer. You might want to get a large ice chest cooler and when the power looks like it will be out for awhile you can get a couple of bags of ice from the local grocery/liquor/convenience store and keep refrigerated items there. Also, put a couple packs of ice packs in the freezer so when the power does go out you can put them in the ice chest cooler until you can get some ice.
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rainwater
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by rainwater »

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine On The Roof - Installation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uh9eToMu28" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Who are these..flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids, They speak
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Motor City »

ZoWie » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:09 pm wrote:> stove, microwave, washer/dryer, TV, etc..

None of those are necessary. It's mostly the refrigerator, so we aren't throwing out $100 worth of food every time the power company screws up, and the gas furnace, because it gets extremely cold (by LA standards) after these wind storms and they don't insulate houses in LA.

We have stashes of dried earthquake food that should be rotated in periodically anyway. Also the gas burners can be lit with a match, the old fashioned way.

I already have a generator and a cable that would reach the refrigerator, but a number of basically insoluble problems came up and I don't want to do it that way any more.
maybe a giant lithium ion battery to keep the fridge cold enough till the power comes back

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

They do make these. Tesla has one. Not cheap. Actually since the fridge and furnace run off the same sub-panel in the garage, maybe there's some way to put just this panel on a transfer switch, disconnecting it from the main panel outside at the service entrance. I doubt it, but it's worth checking out.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Number6 »

ZoWie » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:29 pm wrote:They do make these. Tesla has one. Not cheap. Actually since the fridge and furnace run off the same sub-panel in the garage, maybe there's some way to put just this panel on a transfer switch, disconnecting it from the main panel outside at the service entrance. I doubt it, but it's worth checking out.
I’m sure an electrician could install a switch. After all, you have generators which will automatically come on when the power goes out in hospitals and emergency operations centers and it’s not much different than having a manual switch.
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by rainwater »

rainwater » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:04 pm wrote:Vertical Axis Wind Turbine On The Roof - Installation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uh9eToMu28" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
there are all kinds of vertical axis turbines out there.
some fit ON the high side of the house.
Who are these..flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids, They speak
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

Interesting. I'd never seen these.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by rainwater »

ZoWie » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:55 pm wrote:Interesting. I'd never seen these.
i think the largest cost is the invertor. the thing that turns wind to elec juice to use.
the rest is very affordable.

ive never understood why new houses arent built with these ON them, built-in.
unless...being independent is not desirable in capitalism...as they claim it is.

imagine the savings both planetary and financially if all houses had vertical axis on them.
Who are these..flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids, They speak
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Sam Lefthand
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Sam Lefthand »

rainwater » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:48 pm wrote: i think the largest cost is the invertor. the thing that turns wind to elec juice to use.
the rest is very affordable.

ive never understood why new houses arent built with these ON them, built-in.
unless...being independent is not desirable in capitalism...as they claim it is.

imagine the savings both planetary and financially if all houses had vertical axis on them.
The inverter and generator the wind turbine turns are the costly part and the engineering needs are that they be well matched.

I watched the video you linked to and what I saw was basically a centrifugal blower wheel turning in the wind on a cobbled together bearing base which wouldn't hold together for a week unless there was very little wind. There was no generator or inverted there, all I saw being demonstrated was that the wind can turn the wheel at 3 to 4 hundred RPM during the gusts.

The guy did a fair job building the turbine wheel, but had he gone to a junk yard and stripped out a large blower wheel out of a junked air conditioning unit it would have been more efficient and would hold together in strong winds better.

I have an eye for estimating power, that wheel I saw spinning looked to me like it could have generated about 16 to 25 watts in the wind I saw. Once in a while there would be a strong wind and a wheel that size would be able to generate maybe 500 watts during gusts, but in conditions like that that homemade wheel would likely come apart.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

Yes, a backward centrifugal blower, or a different take on the roof turbines used for ventilation. The particular unit in the picture does look as if it might break in one of west L.A.'s 60 MPH gusts.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by rainwater »

fine fellas....i was not looking for the precise machine to use i was linking to a method of wind power
that, as noticed, few know about. "vertical axis".

there are many variations on this theme of vertical axis. surely one can find one that works.
since um many have.

neighbor had a small (non vertical axis) turbine on a pole about, at least, 100ft from the house and it with stood
alllll the wind hitting the Divide. surely there are wind machines out there that would suit, even, sam.

better still....forget the wind. dont bother. dont bother using the wind to generate elec power when
wind is free and abundant. dont do it.
Who are these..flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids, They speak
for all that is cruel stupid, They are racists hate mongers I piss down the throats of
these Nazis Im too old to worry whether they like it, Fuck them.
HST.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

Well, wind power has some potential here, as long as it can handle 70 MPH gusts. A tall tower with blades is out of the question, but I do know that other designs exist. It's kind of in its infancy compared the large scale designs used with some success, especially in western Europe.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Number6 »

The question is How much are you willing to spend for backup power?

The local news channel had a story about a local veteran who started a company building battery power units. They're designed to run off solar panels but you could probably have it tied into the power grid and charge the batteries. The downside is the unit costs about $14,000.

Here's the link.
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Re: Best backup power?

Post by ZoWie »

As I mentioned, Tesla also makes a battery like this. This one sounds better and also you aren't giving money to Elon Musk. The high cost seems to be the primary downside here.

We're all going to have to accept that the electricity in the US is no longer reliable, and work from there. This stuff isn't unique to this part of LA. Too many years of infrastructure neglect, which is also the reason for the PSPS.

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Re: Best backup power?

Post by Libertas »

ZoWie wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:39 pm
As I mentioned, Tesla also makes a battery like this. This one sounds better and also you aren't giving money to Elon Musk. The high cost seems to be the primary downside here.

We're all going to have to accept that the electricity in the US is no longer reliable, and work from there. This stuff isn't unique to this part of LA. Too many years of infrastructure neglect, which is also the reason for the PSPS.
I have to have something....tile concrete roof makes solar difficult, would have to have battery too, so $25k AT LEAST for that.

I have a bid $10,300 for a whole home, GENERAC 22kw generator hooked up to my power company supplied natural gas, automatically goes on when power goes off and my understanding is the 22kw would be enough to power everything including my AC (which uses 3.5 kw to run, which is very costly when i have electricity)

Where to put it is one issue, sound hopefully wouldnt be for neighbors...I dont know what to do.
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