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We’ll See How Long the Power Lasts

Yay for backup power! We lost our main power a few minutes ago. Everything was fine and stifling hot, and then the wind came up out of no where. It went nuts. I regret having put the garbage out already since it is already knocked over. I checked radar on my phone and there’s a wall of red headed this way. Sebastian is at the gun club a few minutes east of here, so I called to give him a warning since they are shooting outside.

(And now we’re back on for a few more minutes.) What a world we live in that I can call him to tell him exactly what the radar looks like even as the power starts to flicker here at home. I guess it shouldn’t amuse me any more than tweeting during the multiple blizzards we had just a couple of winters ago.

Sorry for the somewhat off-topic commentary about home life. But I just have to admit that while we don’t have flying cars yet, life is still pretty damn cool.

UPDATE (By Sebastian):  UPS power is definitely a Godsend, but one interesting thing is that no one bid on our natural gas powered generator at work. It could be had for three grand. This is a 30,000 KVA three phase setup. If I had the land, and a pad, I’d totally go for it. As it stands now the blog is backed up by about an hour’s worth of battery. The downside to natural gas power is that you still need some kind of grid to run it. Diesel engines could probably run off fish oil if you needed them to.

4 Responses to “We’ll See How Long the Power Lasts”

  1. Old NFO says:

    Nice- And good on ya for giving him a heads up! Wet guns are NOT good!

  2. Bitter says:

    That and the crazy high winds blowing crap all around plus predictions of massive hail aren’t good for his body standing outside. :)

    Seriously, this wind came out of no where. It was loud & crazy, and creeped me out when it went totally still and silent a few minutes ago. But it’s back now, so the creepy is gone. Now I’m just waiting on the power to go out again when the storms actually hit.

  3. Fiftycal says:

    You might take a look at this.
    http://www.centralmainediesel.com/order/GHS7000.asp?page=GHS7000

    Pretty cheap for a auto back up unit. If I had the bux, I’d put one in here. My electric was out for about 6 days several years ago after a windstorm knocked down a bunch of limbs and the city couldn’t get to me before then. I lucked out that the nursing home next door let me run a cord to power my freezer, fridge, tv and computer.

  4. Sigivald says:

    On the diesel generators, yeah you could run them off any sort of random oil – for a while.

    But the combustion chambers and injectors are designed for diesel fuel, and its specific heat and combustion and flow characteristics (not to mention, in the longer run, its additive packages).

    Vegetable or fish oil has different viscosity and heating characteristics, that the engines aren’t designed for.

    Lots of cheap veg-oil conversions in cars last for a year or two… and then trash the engine or the injection pump, by running too hot, or burning unevenly [because the injector pattern is wrong with the different viscosity], or leaving carbon buildup, or damaging seals designed to tolerate diesel fuel rather than straight vegetable oil.

    It can be done, and done safely (for the engine’s durability, that is – there’s no safety hazard in the broader sense), but it’s not an automatic “just works”.

    (If one is really worried about very-long-term power “off the grid”, one has to wonder where the oil’s going to come from, just as with piped gas.

    I’d almost say it’s better to get a gas generator that’s switchable from LP to NG – many of them appear to be switchable in the field, like the Kohler ones – and just get a big LP tank as a backup.)

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