How's Your Electricity?

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harriss
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#26 Post by harriss » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:44 pm

When I lived in Vermont in the 1980's and 1990's there were a few times the power was out for 3-4 days. I've lived in northern Arizona since 2002 and the longest outage I can remember is only a few hours.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#27 Post by harriss » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:49 pm

YankeeTarheel wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:10 pm
I've never hear of a wood gasifier stove. How does it work and what does it do?

I keep a UPS (APC--I still have bunch of them ) 1500 watts, backing up my cable modem and switch. An old APC backing up the router, and a pair of 1350 CyberPowers backing up my wife's and my desktops. The laptops, of course, have their internal battery backup. Unfortunately, I don't have a backup yet for my NAS, but I should. I just have to move one into place.
If I remember my college chemistry I believe a wood gasifier turns steam into carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Both combustible gases. The steam has to be super heated under pressure higher than 15 lbs. per square inch.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#28 Post by SubRosa » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:32 pm

If you are looking at getting a UPS to run things around the house when the grid goes down, buy one that will black start AKA make output without having to be 'looking at the grid first. Most of them won't, as they need that 60Hz reference to fire up.

As far as our utility goes, it has been very good in terms of reliability until 5 days ago. We had three thunderstorms in succession and lightning took it down each time for some 4 to 5 hours. Luckily there is a 60kW Detroit Diesel genset w/600gal here to keep things going.

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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#29 Post by AndyH » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:38 pm

YankeeTarheel wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:10 pm
I've never hear of a wood gasifier stove. How does it work and what does it do?
The quick overview is that it's a top loading downdraft updraft gasifier. Wood is added and is lit on top. There are vents in the bottom of the 'firebox' that exhaust the CO, CO2, H2, and other gases released from wood as it's turned to charcoal. Those gased are channeled to the top of the stove and combusted. There's a small fan in the bottom that runs from a pair of AA cells that acts like a turbo. It's a very efficient burn and only smokes when it's first lit. They're pretty easy to DIY as well and smaller stoves work fine without a fan. I'll light a fire and report back with performance info. :ugeek:

In the meantime, here's an overview, and a video of a much larger DIY stove:

edit...forgot the wiki image.
Image



YankeeTarheel wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:10 pm
I keep a UPS (APC--I still have bunch of them ) 1500 watts, backing up my cable modem and switch. An old APC backing up the router, and a pair of 1350 CyberPowers backing up my wife's and my desktops. The laptops, of course, have their internal battery backup. Unfortunately, I don't have a backup yet for my NAS, but I should. I just have to move one into place.
My old Netgear NAS has saved my bacon many times over the years - it gets pampered.
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firebox.jpg
Last edited by AndyH on Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#30 Post by AndyH » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:45 pm

I started with a cold stove and a quart of cold water from the tap. The stove holds about 4 heaping handfuls of wood chips - I used two. I used a bit of charcoal lighter fluid on four wood chips (yes, on the cement ;) ) and tossed them on top. The stove was lit at 19:10.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#31 Post by AndyH » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:50 pm

It starts making woodgas within a minute or two after being lit. The gas is at full production after 10 minutes, then starts to slow. It brought a quart of water to a rolling boil in 12 minutes.

It was supposed to be my SHTF stove...now it's my "seriously - the power's out again?!" stove. :lol:
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#32 Post by AndyH » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:40 pm

harriss wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:49 pm
YankeeTarheel wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:10 pm
I've never hear of a wood gasifier stove. How does it work and what does it do?

I keep a UPS (APC--I still have bunch of them ) 1500 watts, backing up my cable modem and switch. An old APC backing up the router, and a pair of 1350 CyberPowers backing up my wife's and my desktops. The laptops, of course, have their internal battery backup. Unfortunately, I don't have a backup yet for my NAS, but I should. I just have to move one into place.
If I remember my college chemistry I believe a wood gasifier turns steam into carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Both combustible gases. The steam has to be super heated under pressure higher than 15 lbs. per square inch.
The gas composition depends on the material pyrolyzed and the temperature. On one extreme, wood can be 'cooked' for charcoal and the gases are combusted. The wood gas or syngas can be collected and used to run vehicles or generators as well.

https://www.netl.doe.gov/research/coal/ ... omposition
http://www.biofuelsacademy.org/index.html%3Fp=658.html


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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#33 Post by max129 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:44 pm

I am an Urbanite. All the places I live require real elevators - stairs are not an option except for a real emergency.

If the system fails for 2 to 3 days, I have enough water, food and alternative fuel to be comfortable. If it happens in Las Vegas in mid Summer, you need to bug out. (110 F and windows that don't open.)

I have long considered buying a rural property. My problem is that I don't really want to be there unless it is a SHTF scenario.

One problem is, and this is not a comfortable fact, I am in my mid 60s. The kind of survival experience I had in my 20s in the military taught me very clearly that actual hard core survival is not an old man's game.

If the system fails for the long term (EMP and so forth), then I need to find a crowd that needs a general purpose engineer. I have skills, knowledge, slide rules and books of math tables.

Frankly, other than short term cooking fuel, alternative power does me no good in a high rise.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#34 Post by max129 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:51 pm

... and I have an embarrassing minor grade 'prepper' streak. Nothing out of control. But I grew up reading Brad Angier's "How to Stay Alive in the Woods" and really never got over it.

I try hard to avoid the whole 'prepper' conversation. And here is why: if I seriously want to be 'prepared' for the worst possible scenarios, the time and resources required are astonishing. I did a little plan of everything I would need. And it starts with moving to a small town near fresh water and blending in with the community.

All of that is the right idea for a serious SHTF post-apocolapyse world, but it is the worst possible scenario for me if the SHTF(not).

My Bug Out Bag(s) are ready and I know where they are (Hell, I live in 850 sq ft, I know where everything is). My BOBs are pretty good. But they will keep you alive for about 1 week unless you can find food and water. Water, I think I could find. But unless you live WAY out in the back country, if the SHTF, then everyone is going to be looking for the same food as you.

I have reluctantly concluded that if the SHTF in a serious way, I am screwed.
Last edited by max129 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#35 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:53 pm

My old NAS was by iOmega. It was an expensive POS that kept failing and iOmega were not particularly supportive. I finally replaced it with a Western Digital which has been stone-cold reliable, but uses the Twonky DLNA protocol, which is a PITA. I had to convert a lot of files and they don't always work. But...it's not the drive.

I did some looking and found that the wood gasifiers can produce a burnable gas that can run a generator or even other engines... and I'm always interested in ways to make power without fossil fuels, instead with renewable fuel.

I associate "Preppers" with the nutty militias in the woods in Montana, but I do believe in contingency planning. I'm probably not going to build a wood gasifier, but I'd very much like to know how...as a contingency.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#36 Post by AndyH » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:58 pm

And..we're dark again. beep beep beep beep beep
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#37 Post by AndyH » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:08 am

Well then...seems we're back in the 'first world' at least for a little while. :lol:

YT - I hear you about NAS boxes and infrastructure. I have a 1500VA UPS that coddles the NAS, cable modem, ethernet switch, and router/access point. When power drops, the NAS (the little linux box) shuts down gracefully.

As for prepping and resilience, I figure it's the way our grandparents lived their normal lives. Prepping is just remembering how to do what we should be doing anyway...and that climate change and overpopulation will force us to remember. ;)

Subs - I'm going to buy a bunch of extension cords tomorrow - ok if I run a line to your genny? :think:
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#38 Post by SubRosa » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:34 am

My take on prepping in order of importance;
1...Try and stay under the cop & busybody radar daily. Flog yer common sense.
2...Work at staying healthy, and avoid convenience meds (or lay in extras) as you might not find them then. A trauma-level kit and study is good.
3...H2O...have a inviolate supply.
4...Eats, see #2. Always keep a bit of things you really like in the pantry.
5...Keep your home/shelter in good repair. If bugging out is the plan, visit there now & then to make sure it is where you want to go. Fuel on hand in the event you have to drive, fixit stuff if you know how.
6...Arrange some type of currency that won't be devalued. Gold bars might make you feel secure, but try and buy a jar of mayo/make change? Junk silver US coinage is recognizable anywhere, and in denominations easily bartered.
7...Defensive devices and reliable fodder for same.
8...A decent all-band radio. Two-way comm optional.
9...If possible, plan a social banding together--strength in numbers.

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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#39 Post by AndyH » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:45 pm

No clouds, no rain, no wind. Pop, dark, and beep beep beep.
“There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.” Heinlein
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#40 Post by YankeeTarheel » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:58 pm

senorgrand wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:03 pm
I am thinking of getting something that could run a laptop for a day or keep cell phones charged for several days. Any suggestions?
Honda's 2kw inverter generator is the standard of the industry. Mine is 17 years old and still runs smoothly and quietly. It won't kill your laptop. It's fairly easy to convert it to run on propane, natural gas, and still run on gasoline. Honda's run about a grand. Harbor Freight's version is just over $400.

Alternatives are solar chargers for cell phones.

And there's always step-up inverters that can run off your car battery.

The bigger UPS from 1300-1500 watts use 2 12v batteries in series to generate 24 volts, but the ones that use only one battery CAN be rigged to run off your car battery as a rough&ready inverter (my local Batteries+ store did that to keep power going during Super Storm Sandy).

One enterprising gas station, during Sandy, used a gas-powered welder to power their pumps!

Finally there are the so-called "solar generators" They are basically REALLY big UPSs about the size of a generator and they pack far more amp-hours than car batteries.

But if you want to go super-cool, you can get a sail-boat wind-generator!
"Fascism comes along when the rich people get the generals to help them stay in control." -- Woody Guthrie
My son says: "Don't argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!" -- YT

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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#41 Post by Bardo » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:54 am

Meh a 100w suitcase from amazon and a walmart $55 starting battery is all you need

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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#42 Post by harriss » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:38 pm

I'm about to buy 4.8 acres of northern Arizona sand and dirt off the grid, about 2.5 miles off of Route 66, 20 miles east of Kingman, AZ. I'm planning on setting up my reloading shop and a hunting camp there. I'll also be doing some basic gun smithing.

There's no water but I'm not planning on living there full time. I rent an apartment in Kingman. I'll haul 5 gallon jerry cans of water for general use and store filtered water for drinking. I'm planning on a roof top solar plant and back up generator. I'm glad to hear there are multi fuel back up generators.
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#43 Post by YankeeTarheel » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:42 pm

go to:

https://www.motorsnorkel.com/

I have a Yamaha 4K (max) gen at my other house and installed a propane snorkel on it. Still runs on gas, too.
"Fascism comes along when the rich people get the generals to help them stay in control." -- Woody Guthrie
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#44 Post by AndyH » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:38 pm

Nine and a half hours later, power came back. We had four 'explosions' overnight. A transformer blew a block away - power's on telephone poles along the main street and underground in the local subdivisions. They replaced the transformer and tried to re-energize the area and a string of disconnects blew - and they sounded almost like another transformer blowing. We had four bucket trucks and a couple of pickup loads of techs working all night going yard to yard on foot trying to find the underground fault that kept tripping the disconnects. At one point, there was a horseshoe-shaped band of outages all around San Antonio. One of the 'explosions' was a power company bucket truck pruning a 6" diameter branch from a neighbor's liveoak.

harriss - I look forward to the off-grid move I've been planning. I have all the equipment I need for hot water, drinking water, and electricity minus the house battery. I've been here since late 2001 and power's been very reliable rain or shine until the past year. I'm getting tired of cleaning out the refrigerator. I look forward to hearing about your progress!
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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#45 Post by YankeeTarheel » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:51 pm

Did you know they also make propane refrigerators that don't use electricity?
They are expensive, though and put out a lot of heat. Great for an outdoor fridge or super cold climates.
"Fascism comes along when the rich people get the generals to help them stay in control." -- Woody Guthrie
My son says: "Don't argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!" -- YT

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Re: How's Your Electricity?

#46 Post by SubRosa » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:51 pm

Check into a Dometic RV fridge/freezer. All sizes, very low maint, run on 120VAC or propane automatically. Easy on either.

SR
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