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Old 12-19-2017, 09:21 PM   #1
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Life at the hook is a great lesson

Good evening fellows!
2h ago we lost power in the house maybe due to icy rain, or lack of maintenance of the network, but thing is we do not have any power anymore.
So here I am, as I was cooking, I switched to my portable propane stove I was using before on the boat, I switched on my portable led lights from the boat (that is in a winter sleep), I connected my tablet to my cell phone to watch some video on youtube (and watch life here) and connected the phone on the phone and lights on my portable battery pack so I won't miss power.
And then I thought... what a blessing to learn how to live off grid while at the anchor!
Now will finish my cooking and enjoy he dark night
(ok I also have a backup genset at home and the baby yamaha from the boat but don't the feel the need to use them yet)

L
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:11 PM   #2
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Independence is good.

We’ve lost power up to three days from heavy snowstorms, but manage quite well with our Nectre wood stove/oven...made in Australia
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:47 PM   #3
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I see my trawler as plan B in a power outage. Empty my refrigerator and freezer into a cooler and head for the boat until the power comes back on. Nice having it less than a half hour away.

Ted
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:58 PM   #4
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I see my trawler as plan B in a power outage. Empty my refrigerator and freezer into a cooler and head for the boat until the power comes back on. Nice having it less than a half hour away.

Ted
Me, too. Mine's 1:15 from home. And it works both ways...

Last year, my home fridge gave up the ghost but the freezer was still working well. I went to the boat and grabbed my countertop apartment fridge which saved the day for a good part of a week before we got the fridge replaced.

Someday, eventually, my onboard Honda generator will be needed at home for a power failure. I can say that with confidence because I live in California.
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:11 PM   #5
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I see my trawler as plan B in a power outage. Empty my refrigerator and freezer into a cooler and head for the boat until the power comes back on. Nice having it less than a half hour away.

Ted
At this time mine is more a backup for my freezer than a plan B
No need to put my fridge or freezer in a cooler, just need to open the door

L
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:20 AM   #6
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...


Someday, eventually, my onboard Honda generator will be needed at home for a power failure. I can say that with confidence because I live in California.
That likely will be handy. With the state planning to have all-electric cars in the future but not providing for the needed massive increase of electrical power production, we can look forward to future brown and black electrical outages.

With some 25 million automobiles in California (not counting trucks), can anyone calculate the electrical demand for a similar all-electric fleet of cars?
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:09 AM   #7
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At this time mine is more a backup for my freezer than a plan B
No need to put my fridge or freezer in a cooler, just need to open the door

L
I can see mine as a summer storm refuge. Can visualize a storm knocking out the power when I'm in Salisbury on Chesapeake Bay. Then comes the stifling summer heat and humidity without the benefit of any refrigeration. Thankfully the boat can take care of all that.

Ted
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:11 AM   #8
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I'm like most - my boat is my escape figuratively and literally if there is an issue.

With 350 gallons of diesel I can run the genny and sit at the dock for at least 14 days without needing to refuel.

We keep a duplicate of everything at the boat.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:16 AM   #9
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With the state planning to have all-electric cars in the future but not providing for the needed massive increase of electrical power production, we can look forward to future brown and black electrical outages.

With some 25 million automobiles in California (not counting trucks), can anyone calculate the electrical demand for a similar all-electric fleet of cars?
Power engineers can calculate it and they (along with grid managers, FERC and electrical reliability organizations) will call out any schemes that actually put the grid at risk (having learned from California’s initial debacle with restructuring). In a fully integrated grid of the future, the bulk of electric vehicle charging would be done at night when loads are much lower and more lower-cost generating capacity is usually available. In this scenario, a vast number of electric vehicles also would be plugged in during the day while many people are at work and would take relatively small amounts of power from the grid when needed to maintain a full charge; they would also serve as storage for the grid and inject power back into the system when needed and cheaper than running the next increment of more expensive generation.

If and when all this happens is still up for debate—it will require a massive investment in infrastructure—but it’s almost certainly not going to be your grandfather’s power grid any more.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:34 AM   #10
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they would also serve as storage for the grid and inject power back into the system when needed and cheaper than running the next increment of more expensive generation.

An interesting concept that I had never considered. The batteries that are being charged can serve as the power supply in the event of a catastrophic system failure. Kind of like crowd-sourced power storage for the electrical company. This is when you wake up, your alarm and coffee pot still work, but your car is near empty? Hmmm....
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:07 PM   #11
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Power engineers can calculate it and they (along with grid managers, FERC and electrical reliability organizations) will call out any schemes that actually put the grid at risk (having learned from California’s initial debacle with restructuring). In a fully integrated grid of the future, the bulk of electric vehicle charging would be done at night when loads are much lower and more lower-cost generating capacity is usually available. In this scenario, a vast number of electric vehicles also would be plugged in during the day while many people are at work and would take relatively small amounts of power from the grid when needed to maintain a full charge; they would also serve as storage for the grid and inject power back into the system when needed and cheaper than running the next increment of more expensive generation.

If and when all this happens is still up for debate—it will require a massive investment in infrastructure—but it’s almost certainly not going to be your grandfather’s power grid any more.
The ability of anything to inject power into the utilities power lines, to power a down grid especially is not going to happen. At least for a very long time.

There are a whole bunch of technical and organizational challenges that will have to be overcome, long prior to that happening.

From a technical standpoint we require that the switchgear that connects small generators (pick your technology, but mostly solar) to fully disconnect from the grid in the event of a grid disruption. This is vitally important because the linemen making repairs need positive isolation and grounding to safely make repairs.

Yes, maybe someday in a popular science conceptual way this kind of thing might happen, but we are so far away that it is literally a popular science magazine topic.

Where I see the industry going is that we will end up with more solar generation at the individual customer level as the technology matures. That will help us burn less hydrocarbon, but that is about it. I also see more localized generation as technology improves. This reduces the problems and the expense of long distance energy transmission.

Few people know that almost all of our nations major power outages have been caused by transmission lines tripping out of service. Local generation solves that issue.

Things like fuel cell technology at the local level, and even possibly microturbine technology will allow local competivly priced generation.

The next thing for the indstry to work on is utility scaled storage for solar energy. Solar is wonderful energy who’s cost per megawatt is droping quickly. The problem is that it is not currently storable at a reasonable price.

In a recent class I learned (but have not personally verified this) that at certain locations there is so much solar power available during peak solar times that there is an excess of energy Vs load and that utilities have been required to sell those megawatts even to the point of paying for the sale (negative pricing), because we are required to accept all the solar produced. Again I have not personally verified this, but during a class on grid disruption analysis I attended this spring, that was presented as an issue.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:25 PM   #12
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I enjoy a power outage, at least unti the freezer thaws out. Candlelight dinner and conversation around the fireplace is always a nice change.

In regard to the battery banks supplying power during an outage - as Kevin mentioned, there are some issues with this.
However - battery banks will be a used during a power shortage. It is often a shortage of power that causes system instability which progresses to generator shutdowns and blackouts. Battery banks will stabilize the system, as wind and solar power fluctuate their electricity output.

Tesla has just installed a 129 MWhr lithium-ion battery bank here in South Australia exactly for this purpose.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:33 PM   #13
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The ability of anything to inject power into the utilities power lines, to power a down grid especially is not going to happen. At least for a very long time.

There are a whole bunch of technical and organizational challenges that will have to be overcome, long prior to that happening.

From a technical standpoint we require that the switchgear that connects small generators (pick your technology, but mostly solar) to fully disconnect from the grid in the event of a grid disruption. This is vitally important because the linemen making repairs need positive isolation and grounding to safely make repairs.

Yes, maybe someday in a popular science conceptual way this kind of thing might happen, but we are so far away that it is literally a popular science magazine topic.

Where I see the industry going is that we will end up with more solar generation at the individual customer level as the technology matures. That will help us burn less hydrocarbon, but that is about it. I also see more localized generation as technology improves. This reduces the problems and the expense of long distance energy transmission.

Few people know that almost all of our nations major power outages have been caused by transmission lines tripping out of service. Local generation solves that issue.

Things like fuel cell technology at the local level, and even possibly microturbine technology will allow local competivly priced generation.

The next thing for the indstry to work on is utility scaled storage for solar energy. Solar is wonderful energy who’s cost per megawatt is droping quickly. The problem is that it is not currently storable at a reasonable price.

In a recent class I learned (but have not personally verified this) that at certain locations there is so much solar power available during peak solar times that there is an excess of energy Vs load and that utilities have been required to sell those megawatts even to the point of paying for the sale (negative pricing), because we are required to accept all the solar produced. Again I have not personally verified this, but during a class on grid disruption analysis I attended this spring, that was presented as an issue.
I agree with many of your points and certainly did not mean to imply that batteries can sub for massive generation outages on a “down grid”— now or in the near future. But I would never say “never.”

Batteries are currently providing frequency regulation and ready storage for intermittent renewable generation on many systems across the US and Europe. The company I recently retired from has a 1 MW array on-site and dispatches a 32-MW installation on the grid in West VA. There were, when I retired, about 300 MW of battery storage across the US, with much more planned. That said, it would take orders of magnitude more battery capacity—and probably breakthrough technology—for batteries to reach the potential that many in the industry envision, that of displacing significant amounts of nuclear or fossil generation. The key word here is “envision.”

Localized generation and micro grids are hot topics right now. But when a local grid goes down, few people will be satisfied not having a backup to other grids. So the notion that we will be without a wider grid—with its inherent flaws—anytime soon is a fantasy.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:35 PM   #14
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I'm like most - my boat is my escape figuratively and literally if there is an issue.

With 350 gallons of diesel I can run the genny and sit at the dock for at least 14 days without needing to refuel.

We keep a duplicate of everything at the boat.
That's some thirsty genset.
If the sun stopped working we would use about 16 gallons over a 14 day period to keep everything at 100%

With the sun working we don't need genset at all.
It hasn't been started in over a week and we live 100% on the hook for nearly 2 years now.
Most of the stuff on board is 240v.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:55 PM   #15
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Solar is wonderful energy who’s cost per megawatt is droping quickly. The problem is that it is not currently storable at a reasonable price.
I disagree.
The battery bank we are using flawlessly for 2 years cost about 4 years worth of land based electricity.
I would like to think they will last longer than 4 years.
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:46 PM   #16
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I agree with many of your points and certainly did not mean to imply that batteries can sub for massive generation outages on a “down grid”— now or in the near future. But I would never say “never.”

Batteries are currently providing frequency regulation and ready storage for intermittent renewable generation on many systems across the US and Europe. The company I recently retired from has a 1 MW array on-site and dispatches a 32-MW installation on the grid in West VA. There were, when I retired, about 300 MW of battery storage across the US, with much more planned. That said, it would take orders of magnitude more battery capacity—and probably breakthrough technology—for batteries to reach the potential that many in the industry envision, that of displacing significant amounts of nuclear or fossil generation. The key word here is “envision.”

Localized generation and micro grids are hot topics right now. But when a local grid goes down, few people will be satisfied not having a backup to other grids. So the notion that we will be without a wider grid—with its inherent flaws—anytime soon is a fantasy.
Agreed, My utility does not use battery banks for regulation and spin, but other utilities on the interconnection do.

Wind is a great example of such an application, and I suspect that your battery installations are to regulate wind, or provide short term spin requirements with enough capacity to bring generation online.

Hopefully some day soon we can make enough progress to to store solar energy cost effectivly for use at night. That will be a big win for everyone.

If you are doing this now, please provide a link because as you can tell I am highly interested in this. Here in Alaska we do not mix with our counterparts in the lower 48 enough to keep abreast of what you are doing.
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:06 PM   #17
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Tech and investment aside, the energy power brokers have their lobbyists working overtime to punish (in some cases) anyone that dares to hook up to the grid with a solar system. Anywhere they are required to buy home generated electricity they want to sell it to you @ say $.15 a kWh and buy @ $.03 a kWh.

Seems if the roof tops were loaded with panels and the cleanest plants on line with less clean coming on line as needed, cleanest first we could whip a lot of the battery issues and save fossil fuel. The safety issue is already solved with smart meters that could open the circuit to the grid through existing cables and/or the cellular network. They havee to be installed. House gets energy producing capibility then put in a fail safe meter.

Bottom line is the energy companies bottom line.
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:40 PM   #18
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I think in the future houses will all have some storage built in, so that in peak usage times you can run get 75% of your need from the utility and 25 from your stored supply....then when the peak drops.....you recharge your battery/capacitor.

I think the issues of home generated power going back into the grid being a safety hazard is way overblown by the utilities because they are doing everything they can to hang onto their monopoly. I could see the electric car in your driveway being used as your storage capacity I described above.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:41 PM   #19
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According to my son who is a IT and special projects guy for a major company and volunteer fireman who toured the local brand new power substation.... super capacitors not batteries were to provide back up power for small towns long enough for quick repairs or rerouting power from other places.

I didnt get the details, but his description of these super capacitors was impressive and the firemen had to get special training based on this new tech.

His tech background enabled him to really understand what the tour was about.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:44 PM   #20
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According to my son who is a IT and special projects gut for a major company and volunteer fireman who toured the local brand new substation.... super capacitors not batteries can provide back up power for small towns long enough for quick repairs or rerouting power from other places.

I didnt get the details, but his description of these supwr capacitors was impressinve and the firemen had to get special training based on this new tech.

His tech background enabled him to really understand what the tour was about.


Or locomotives
A decade ago during the icy rain crisis in Quebec, CN (Canadian National Railways Company) brought locos to serve as generators and provide power to a lot of homes.

L
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