Skip to comments.DIY electricity
Posted on 12/06/2012 5:20:29 PM PST by Kartographer
The Dallas Observer published a report1 recently that Texas has worst electric grid in the nation. This was based on a North American Electric Reliability Corp report2. Thats not very encouraging. They are also reporting that there is the possibility of rolling blackouts in 2013.
For a couple of years I have had the interest in setting up a backup power system for home use. There is a mobile system that provides power for work a couple of times per month, and is a backup system when at home. It provided power for 2 freezers, a refrigerator and a fan during 3 days of outage one summer several years ago. But we really want a system that has the specific purpose of supporting the house.
When looking for a mobile 120 volt (V) system I did talk to an expert who wanted to sell the best system that they had. He wanted to get me excited about selling power back to the electric company. After redirecting the talk with the expert to a mobile plan, and taking some of his advice, it proved to be an exercise in frustration.
(Excerpt) Read more at thesurvivalistblog.net ...
The Main Interconnections of the U.S. Electric Power Grid and the 10 North American Electric Reliability Council Regions
ECAR - East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement
ERCOT - Electric Reliability Council of Texas
FRCC - Florida Reliability Coordinating Council
MAAC - Mid-Atlantic Area Council
MAIN - Mid-America Interconnected Network
MAPP - Mid-Continent Area Power Pool
NPCC - Northeast Power Coordinating Council
SERC - Southeastern Electric Reliability Council
SPP - Southwest Power Pool
WSCC - Western Systems Coordinating Council
Note: The Alaska Systems Coordinating Council (ASCC) is an affiliate NERC member.
Source: North American Electric Reliability Council.
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I think someone could make a lot of money selling a cheap, safe, wood/coal powered steam turbine engine, suitibale for hooking up to a 12v car generator.
Solar costs vs return. Got to see the figures for a solar system to effectively change your home to zero energy. Panels alone cost $70K, plus switch gear, etc, more like $85K. Based on the size of the home and average electric rate, savings was apprx $2500 per year. Given the probable life of the system, changes in technology, etc, probable life is less than 15 years.
Given that blackouts are very seldom, unless it really gets to be a problem, just live with them as they generally last for only a few hours. An inexpensive gas generator ($500 used) will do the job for some lights, refrigerator, etc. Get an UPS for the computer if not running a laptop.
If you are a survivalist, then that’s another story, but make your own solar generating system from the parts as opposed to buying one.
Buy a used genset from a junked motor home. Most of them don’t have high hours and they operate at 1800 RPM which means they last forever. You can buy them pretty cheap.
Most can also be converted to propane or n. gas.
I’m thinking hydro power for my place. I’ve got a stream that you can’t stand up in, even in the widest spot where it’s only 3 feet deep! Perfect for a zero-head system.
Texas has had a population explosion between the illegals from the south and the loony toons from the north. The last census showed us at an extra 25% and we got 4 more electoral votes this time. There’s no way the electric companies can keep up. Yes, we had one of those winter brownouts where they “forgot” to turn ours back on and after a lot of phone calls they managed to flip the switch which caused their old equipment to blow.
I paid a LOT less than that for my grid tied system.
I bought it years ago, and it’s pert near paid for itself by now.
Where did you get your numbers?
One step at a time.
Besides... it's good enough for rough order of magnitude SWAG calculations.
I am a cook. What do I know? ;)
It is bad here. We have an ongoing joke about every time a squirrel runs on a wire or a bird lands on it, the power goes out. I just posted above how during the winter brownout last year, they blew everything trying to turn it back on. I have a decades old argument with them over a tree limb that will one day zap out the neighborhood. At least once a month one service goes out be it the power, the cable, internet or the phone so we have the public utilites’ number posted on the fridge.
Most children survive that training method.
I can teach Ohm's law in about an hour where local laws don't prohibit it.
Gold or silver comes at the end to indicate +/- % accuracy.
It's a color code indicating a value.
Cost depends on how much power you want and how much sun you get.
You can get a system which will run a few lights, and perhaps a small fridge for $4-5k.
It’s messy and you have to be careful about storing and handling your feedstock but it’s only moderately challenging to convert an old six cylinder truck engine to wood gas. My folks were back to the earth sorts in the seventies and subscribed to Mother Earth News, I recall their wood gas truck plans clearly, smokestack in the bed and all. An acquaintance of theirs with a small sawmill operation actually converted an engine to power his equipment, since he had sawdust coming out his ears and not much else to do with it at that time, lol. It was not uncommon in England during WWII either, but I think they may have used peat.
Big Bad ROY gave Buena Vista Great Weight.
Of course I also remember your version.