Lifelife

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 08:18 PM

I have been through hell the past 24 hours

at about 1PM yesterday some idiot too out the utility pole in front of our house (he wasn't badly injured) and managed to take out the power. Well they didn't get it back on until 4PM today. What's the big deal you ask? Well, we are self employed AND we self host all of our own data: web server, Exchange server, CRM Server, SQL server, NAS, etc. We were essentially out of business right in the middle of several important, time sensitive, and potentially lucrative deals. To make matters worse, the circuit breaker switch on my generator broke off in my hand AND the part is out of production. We basically ran the business today off of a cellphone attached to a Goal Zero camping solar panel. Thank god it was sunny and warm.

I almost considered getting a high output DC/AC inverter for the truck and the car and backing them up to a window and running the servers off of idling vehicles.

The only good thing I can say is I own a stovetop percolator and had a bottle of Single Malt Islay that was unopened. Yeah! Camping at home!!

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Reply I have been through hell the past 24 hours (Original post)
Currentsitguy Jun 2015 OP
His Daughter Jun 2015 #1
Currentsitguy Jun 2015 #3
TexMex Jun 2015 #8
His Daughter Jun 2015 #10
TexMex Jun 2015 #11
His Daughter Jun 2015 #14
TexMex Jun 2015 #15
His Daughter Jun 2015 #9
Currentsitguy Jun 2015 #12
Satan Jun 2015 #2
Tepid Jun 2015 #4
Currentsitguy Jun 2015 #5
Letmypeoplevote Jun 2015 #6
Currentsitguy Jun 2015 #7
Squeek Jun 2015 #13
Zappa Dappa Doo Jun 2015 #16
liberalguy Jun 2015 #17

Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 08:38 PM

1. My residence is switchable on/off the grid

The big Goal Zero is a bit expensive for what you get, but its a nice package.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 08:46 PM

3. Do you mean the Serpa or the Big BIG Goal Zero?

Both interest me, for different reasons.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 12:47 AM

8. Honda is all you need to know

 

1000, 2000 or 3000 (you can chain multiple gens together as well)

http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators

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Response to TexMex (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 11:25 AM

10. There are places a gas generator (or propane or natural gas) is not the right answer

You also need to store fuel. Solar is silent and the battery/inverter can be brought indoors

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 11:46 AM

11. True enough

 

I talked to the Goal Zero folks at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail last year. They had some pretty slick kit on display. Their biggest battery bank needs 1.5-3 days to recharge using their largest solar panel on the gulf coast. They actually suggested pairing their battery bank with a generator for the "best of both worlds" so to speak.

In the end Ohms law will determine what solutions are viable. Today's solar isn't going to run a 50 amp electrical service in a portable package (my requirement). It will keep small electronics humming along quite nicely though!

I'd look at the $/watt on any decision. Gas is still mighty cheap, and those Honda's sip it.

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Response to TexMex (Reply #11)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 03:07 PM

14. It is very much situational driven

People with oxygen machines need power, and the large Goal Zero is the good choice. Hook it to a real solar panel (their portable ones are pretty low capacity) and the patient on oxygen will be fine. You can also bring it in the house at night if needed.

I have a battery bank and converter that can handle your kind of loads. I have a way to cut over part of the solar array to it.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #14)


Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 11:23 AM

9. the really big one

One could fab the equivalent for less money, but the packaging would not be as nice or convenient

Their limits on ad on batteries and solar cell seem a bit odd...

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 11:59 AM

12. My major problem

Is with 28 Oaks, I'm not exactly getting a lot of sunlight on the yard. When I have used the little Goal Zero I inevitably have to move it around a lot.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 08:40 PM

2. If you have any ability to generate your own power, you should do it.

Solar and or wind power, usually would be the options.

I do have a small windfarm on the roof of Beelzebub Towers here. Sadly, solar isn't an option in Hell, but we do use locally sourced geothermal energy for a lot of things.

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Response to Satan (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 08:53 PM

4. I have been looking into either solar or wind, can't afford both, at this time.

Damn expensive either way.

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Response to Satan (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 08:58 PM

5. We've been debating off the grid backup for years

this may be the push I need.

I may not be in Hell, but with 28 mature Oaks on one acre, solar really isn't an option for me either. The really shitty part is I'm on a well with 220v pumps (two shafts). So, no power = no water, no toilet, no nothing; and it's really difficult to generate the level of power these babies take.

As batshit crazy as the Preppers are, I have trolled their discussions for ideas to sustain me in the event of just this sort of thing, Perhaps the best option is a temporary hand pump. At least I could fill a Polar Water jug to carry in and flush the toilet. As a guy #1 isn't so difficult. Go outside, find an inconspicuous spot, and let loose. For her, not so much.

As for power, Photovoltaic has my interest. It doesn't require direct sunlight, and we are energy efficient enough to make a major treehugger jealous. We're 100% LED, R60 insulated, all Energystar appliances. Aside from the servers, I'm willing to bet I could run this whole house on less than 3000 watts.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 09:35 PM

6. After Hurricane Ike, I keep thinking about getting a generator

I was only without power for 40 hours. Some of my partners were without power for two weeks.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 09:43 PM

7. I lived off of this generator

8 years ago for 8 days when we had an ice storm. That, and one thing they tell you NEVER to do: I tossed bags of Kingsford charcoal into the fireplace for heat. I heated pots of water on the stove to bathe, and became a regular at McDonald's. At the time I had a dog and a cat. We huddled together in front of the fire every night for shared warmth.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 12:46 PM

13. In an emergency

I almost considered getting a high output DC/AC inverter for the truck and the car and backing them up to a window and running the servers off of idling vehicles.

That could come in very handy!

A few years ago during a bad winter storm we lost power for 3 days. In the boonies. Nobody to plow the road all that time and nobody getting in or out.

Generator crapped out less than one day in.

Hooked up the inverter to the Ford Escape and powered the house for two days. Not the whole house, mind you, but at least we had lights and heat and computers.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Sat Jun 6, 2015, 02:09 AM

16. Get a Prius.

There are third party attachments (may void your warranty) that connect to provide AC power. The added benefit is that the car only runs when charging the battery.

And of course, there's solar. We have a 14 kWh system that's reduced our bill to $zero$ for 9 months of the year.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Sat Jun 6, 2015, 11:10 AM

17. I just sold a 5kw generator for $150.

 

As an emergency solution, I would have jumpered the circuit breaker or replaced it with a fuse.

I live way out in the boonies. When we bought the place, a generator was high on the list of must-haves. It turns out, that the power rarely goes out and when it does, it is repaired within a few hours. I've concluded that Public Utility Districts are the way to go.

I have a woodstove, a charged deep cycle battery, a large inverter, and a gas welder that also serves as a 10kw genset. I didn't need the 5kw unit.

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