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#228607 - 07/26/11 07:20 PM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: Eugene]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
That's the one thing that's kind of annoying about green technology. You have a lot of people in that field that are willing to trade a significant amount of overall practicality for maximum green environmentalism. When you want something outside of that, they often scoff at you, tell you what a terrible person you are, ect, ect.

A while back I was talking to some guys who are big into 'green' vehicles. I asked them about the Tahoe hybrid, as I was thinking of maybe replacing my old diesel suburban with it. All I got back from that was a lecture on how SUVs are the devil, how I should buy a prius instead, and so on and so forth. Not for nothing, but if I wanted a small car, I would have asked about a small car. I wanted to know about greener suvs, but apparently they aren't 'green enough' so they aren't worth talking about.

If anything, that kind of thinking only hurts their cause. Instead of helping to sway me towards something potentially more green, I'm still driving my 16 year old noisy smokey diesel.


Oh well, I guess that's my rant for today. blush

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#228615 - 07/26/11 09:30 PM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: Paul810]
GettingThere Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/27/02
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: Paul810
Grid tie inverters are designed to shut down in the event of a power failure. It's a protection feature that both prevents the power you generate from keeping the grid hot while technicians are working on it and prevents too much power draw from your system if the grid suddenly dies.


So just as you wouldn't plug a generator into an outlet to prevent harm to a lineperson, you wouldn't leave the grid tie active. OK, got that.

Originally Posted By: Paul810
In my buddies case, he already had a transfer panel setup for a generator, which meant, basically, the only things he needed were a charge controller, a battery rack with disconnect, and an inverter that could tie into said transfer panel. Then he could run a solar charged battery back-up just like one would run a back-up home generator. Now, you could technically run directly off the panels with just an inverter, but it's not a stable power source.

In essence, it's two systems on one set of solar panels. The grid based system and the back-up system.


So a transfer switch is viable, but it turns your solar panels into a separate power source, not a continuous source that supplements the grid. To do that requires extra gear. Add a battery backup system and we're talking even more gear and money. By George, I think I've got it !

Thanks for the enlightenment. grin

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#228628 - 07/27/11 07:00 AM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: GettingThere]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 428
Loc: Somerset UK
Yes, as others post, no common grid tied system provides any backup power.
The grid tie inverter provides line voltage accuratly matched to the grid. It is required by law to automaticly shut down very quickly indeed if the grid connection is lost.

For backup power you need either a generator or a battery bank and off grid inverter, or ideally both.
The battery bank may be charged from grid power when available, from a generator, or from a PV system.

My ideal system would be a large grid tied PV system for the financial and enviromental gains, though it is useless in a power cut.
I would then install a large 12 volt battery bank with an off grid inverter for backup power.
This battery should be kept charged by its own dedicated PV module. This will keep it charged and replace any small or infrequent discharge.
After any deep or frequent discharge, this backup battery may be charged from grid or generator power.

In the event of TEOTWAWKI, then the PV modules in the now useless grid tied system could be re-purposed for battery charging.
I would advise against this for routine power cuts whilst times are normal. The grid tied array works at lethal voltages, and there are often warrenty issues involved in any modification.

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#228635 - 07/27/11 12:38 PM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: KenK]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: KenK

*Drinking water wasn't an issue - we just bought bottled water.

*We ate out more than we normally would, but it was kind of fun. Our family did spend more time together. We tended to gather in the family room with the light of my son's Coleman LED lantern.

*Eventually we would have had to take a trip to do laundry.

*we bought milk on Sunday and had to throw much of that out. We used this as an opportunity to give both a nice thorough cleaning (using pool water).

*Mid-way I bought a generator (they were hard to find),

*we have a seasonal camp site in northern Wisconsin - about 5 hours drive, and might have just headed up there,


What would you have done if you couldn't have gone outside to buy those things? It's not out of the realm of possibility in some places. People near Edmonton AB were stuck inside the last few days because of a chemical fire near them.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Police+...5762/story.html
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#228666 - 07/27/11 05:30 PM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: KenK]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1539
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
again, if you haven't been there... a battery powered fan to provide some air movement to allow you sleep in a boarded up house should be a priority consideration...ear plugs in case your neighbors are running their generators helps...a battery powered digital TV, and a copy of Carl Hiaasen's "Stormy Weather" for leisure reading by the flickering lamp light..TEVA sandals and nylon shorts..welcome to sub tropical Florida

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#228668 - 07/27/11 05:44 PM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: LesSnyder]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
ear plugs in case your neighbors are running their generators helps


Ear plugs are essential as I found out during my BOB test weekend. I didn't bring them along. frown Even despite the noise of the 50mph gusts rattling the tent, the noise of what sounded like a herd of wildebeest spending the whole night in/at the edge of the loch was almost unbearable. You have to find out if anyone who joins your group actually snores (was in another tent about 10 yards away). The amphitheater effect of the bug out location didn't help either.

And yes I have been able to sleep through a Hurricane (without ear plugs) when I was in Cuba even though it was raining in the hotel room bathroom.


Edit - http://www.soundboard.com/sb/Wildebeest_sounds.aspx

Actually sounded like a wildebeast death cry + the wildebeast walk water combined all night long. eek


Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (07/27/11 06:01 PM)

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#228761 - 07/29/11 07:23 AM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: LesSnyder]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 428
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
again, if you haven't been there... a battery powered fan to provide some air movement to allow you sleep in a boarded up house should be a priority consideration...ear plugs in case your neighbors are running their generators helps...a battery powered digital TV, and a copy of Carl Hiaasen's "Stormy Weather" for leisure reading by the flickering lamp light..TEVA sandals and nylon shorts..welcome to sub tropical Florida


Absolutely, in any warm area a battery fan is important.
Good ones dont seem to be sold here in the UK I purchased from a USA ebay seller.

Ideally you need two, one to work from a car battery or similar, and one that uses disposable alkaline cells.

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#228765 - 07/29/11 11:52 AM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: KenK]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1539
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
adam2...my small original is a two D cell magnetic base tent fan.. after 04 hurricane season purchased a larger one.... Coleman with a plug in port for 12v pack of D cells....a 12v plug adapter to cigarette lighter, and female cigarette receptacle to auto battery clips... that way I have a 12v tap...and more amp hours...3500w Honda and GoalZero panel just in case

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#228766 - 07/29/11 12:32 PM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor


And yes I have been able to sleep through a Hurricane (without ear plugs) when I was in Cuba even though it was raining in the hotel room bathroom.


Was it raining in the bathroom or were you in the bathroom while it was raining? Two different sets of challenges. wink

I second the call for earplugs, especially if there's a violent storm with weird noises, or if you'll be sleeping with someone you're not used to (That came out wrong) or WITH more than one snorer.

Battery powered fans are a great idea too. They can improve air flow and help lower or raise temps. I've got a couple of 2 X D cell ones that are designed to hold magnetically to a tent. They work great!


Edited by bacpacjac (07/29/11 12:35 PM)
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#228801 - 07/30/11 12:42 AM Re: Six Days Without Power [Re: bacpacjac]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
[quote=Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]

I've got a couple of 2 X D cell ones that are designed to hold magnetically to a tent. They work great!


I did not know nylon could be made magnetic.... crazy
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