The bad part is that it can set fires.
I've done the off grid thing up in the mountains for over a year, so I've had all the seasons.
It's expensive, depending on what you want to run.
E=I*R and P=I*E. Those things never change. AC adds an element of .707 spice to things.
I’ve had a thought, although it probably won’t work due to some of the features of Natural Gas. We have a surplus of Natural Gas in this country, how about if a house that has gas already hooked up were to install a generator powered by Natural Gas, ready to power up as soon as the power goes out. Would that work? If not an internal combustion engine, how about a gas fired steam engine run off of Natural Gas, would this be feasible?
I would go with a hybrid system of DYI solar and an outside generator that runs on LP gas. I wouldn’t even think about selling back to the electric company as I don’t believe it really works (educate me if it does).
If you had gas to the home I would use a dual system of city gas, and a 100 gallon LP gas tank. I don’t know if you can resevoir the city gas or if you even want to safety wise.
But a combo of solar and LP gas ... if you have the sunlight for it could last 3 months.
If you’re really wealthy, throw in a backup packet switched ham radio internet connection.
Awww Come on! Texas has their "own" seperate grid. I have lived in TX, NM and OK. And I see NO difference in the reliability of them. They are all good. Even the Rural Electrical systems are not that bad, and they offer cheap electricity.
And we have 2 gasoline AC Generator/Welders. One of them is a very large unit.
Here is what I posted a while back, still works great, completely off grid.::
Do it yourself, I did
Magnum ms4024pae 24 volt 4000 Watt/240 volt pure sine inverter $2000
6 175 watt 24 volt Solar Panels, Craigs List $175 each
8 Trojan T105 Batteries $100 each
miscellaneous wire,boxes,breakers... $500
Runs my Well, any lights and TV I want, refrigerator....as is will provide basics plus a little extra. All is needed is to add panels and batteries and will run a modest home,(in progress) add another inverter and more panels and batteries and will run an average size home.
Xantrex C60 Charge controller $100
This is a pretty basic and small system that with upgrades is a real powerhouse for those times in need. total cost about $6000. no credits,incentives, all out of pocket and nobody but you and your family know about your preparedness, especially your Power company which by the way has RIGHTS to your SOLAR ELECTRICITY if you pursue Government Incentives to offset costs, which also doubles initial out of pocket costs.
Purchase the items I listed and you will be pretty well off to start. The guy on craigs list has an endless supply of panels but he is in Long Beach, Ca.
If you plan on running any kind of electronics, you better get a Pure Sine inverter. Inverter is The MOST IMPORTANT part of your System, this one is a Grid Tie or Stand Alone, Have Generator back up also, 105 amp built in charger fully charges batteries in 2 hours with 6000 watt generator, also with control module add-on and generator auto start option, it will start generator for those times needed. Also I needed 220 to run my Well Pump. I did a lot of research and searching to put together a system for about half the price of a 1000 watt system, and this system will run 2 computers FOREVER, All the Water I want as well as TV,lights,basic cheap fridge(nothing fancy) FOREVER, limited use coffee maker, microwave, ,... Am going to add 8 more Batteries and 4 more Panels next week, then I wont need generator very often. Microwaves and coffee makers use the most power,as does the Well Pump, but the rest is NEGLIGIBLE.
all from this thread:
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.
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.
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.
There is no way I understand this well enough to do anything. I would like to say goodbye to the electric bill though. And I would like to be able to run my well pump when the grid is down.
I bought a military surplus MEP-003A diesel generator. Rated at kW continuous output at 7,000 feet elevation. It is about the equivalent of a 17.kW commercial unit. I will hook it up with a 300 to 400 gallon diesel tank, auto start and auto switch. It should run the whole rural house and outbuildings for weeks.
The nice part is I can re-jumper it to 3 phase and use 3 phase shop equipment.
Here’s an interesting article on what may well have been a solar event that was roughly 20 times larger than the Carrington Event of 1859: