Out west power outages, some advice

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babychadwick
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Out west power outages, some advice

Post by babychadwick » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:11 am

While many will try to run a generator for a few hours to save whats cold in the fridge there are other ways. At least this is how we deal with power outage after a hurricane. A small inverter, car battery, battery charger, modern cooler, Ice machine (the small ones you fill up) and air conditioner or heater depending on location can make life comfortable. After the power is out and the freezer starts to warm up remove everything and cook what was in the fridge or defrosted. The rest put into a yeti or similar cooler. At night you run your little generator preferably something like a honda 2000 inverter generator. The small inverter generator is key as it will sip the gas and be quiet. Many other companies are offering other similar generators. Run the generator all night so you can sleep in heat or cool if you desire (assuming you have a small window ac or no other heat than electric). While the generator is running recharge the battery and run the ice machine so in the morning you will have fresh ice to add to the cooler and a charged battery to run your small inverter and have power for electronics etc. Operating this way you can be comfortable and use less than 10 gallons of gas a week.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:57 am

Excellent advice Chad
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Fordwright » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:04 am

No need to panic about throwing out everything in the freezer as soon as the power fails. Piling blankets around the freezer can slow down the thawing. As long as the temperature inside remains around the freezing mark, most things won't spoil right away. A small generator running it once a day can keep it cool enough to stop spoilage.

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Kaiser » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:34 am

How would those smug Tesla owners feel now huh? :twisted:
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Fordwright » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:35 pm

Kaiser wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:34 am
How would those smug Tesla owners feel now huh? :twisted:
Not a Tesla, but a Prius owner modified his car to supply power to his house during a power failure. Quite a lot of capacity as I recall.
I also saw something on Shark Tank where you could modify your car to run as a standby generator.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:55 pm

Been a lot of discussion, pointing fingers at who is to blame for wildfires and power outages,
..... some are pretty funny, they are so absurd. My mind always runs to:

At what point do we acknowledge there are simply too many people ?
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:16 pm

If too many people are the source of fire, why hasn't China gone up in smoke? Maybe that's the true source of smoke in their cities?

Must we add "people" to the Triad of fire: heat, fuel, oxidizing agent, so it becomes quartet: heat, fuel, oxidizing agent, and too many people?

Heat, wind and people are not new to CA., so I'm more inclined to ask: At what point are goofy government policies (homeless camp fires) and bad land management policies (don't trim or thin those trees!) combined with homeowners with no defensable space around their homes responsible for these fires?

this article discusses what has been known and acted on for decades, at least where I grew up in the south...unfortunately for the citizens affected, left coast intelligencia knows better: https://treesource.org/news/management- ... rve-water/
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by babychadwick » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:31 pm

I can't take credit for this as I heard it on the radio and it has been something I have thought of many times. We do choose where to populate. If we populate in an area where it is dry and there are fires we shouldn't blame nature. I live in an area where we get hurricanes, something I must live with. Others might live where there are blizzards or tornadoes. What we do to protect ourselves allows us to live in less than perfect areas.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:10 pm

This world of ours has experienced massive fires since the beginning of time. What
has changed in my lifetime is the sprawl and population explosion that has created vastly
larger power systems and buildout into the hinterlands that has the media all a-buzz
about "losses". You will note that the focus is always on human life, homes, etc., and
rarely on the loss of wilderness. Drive 80 west out of S.F. and the next 100 miles are a
wasteland of homes and apartments and quickie marts. No one seems to see this as blight.
Yet, when it burns, .... OMG ! The loss !

Fires happen. Wind happens. Always have. What has changed ? The number of people,
and the sprawl and infrastructure that all those people pour over the landscape like syrup
on pancakes.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:34 pm

The other thing that changed, particularly, but not isolated to CA, for many years, is the near total abandonment of forest management. As of March of this year, following devastating fires, CA has come to the conclusion that nearly 15 million acres of forest land in California are in need of thinning or other restoration work. That sure didn't happen overnight. Fire supression tather than fire control, all over the country (where possible) and logging road closures has led to tinder-box conditions of which CA is particularly vulnerable. It is nice to see that sane management policies are beginning to be reenacted over the cries and gnashing of teeth by radical environmentalists. Sometimes you need a small fire and tree removal to minimize huge fires and total tree removal.

In my part of the world, logging has been dramatically cut back and logging roads closed. Try getting injured hikers out of this level of wilderness, or get equipment in to manage larger fires. In many places, environmentalists would rather see 1000's of acres of trees sucumb to beetles rather than isolate a dozen acres of dead/dying trees with clear cutting and removal. It is a very sad and totally avoidable sight.

The US is still reeling from 8+ years of lousy forestry policies, and CA polititians have instituted their own unique brand of stupid on top of that.
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:40 am

There was just something on PBS (no less) about managed burns. There are some that are beginning to see the light. I was being to understand this concept some time ago. Of course the lack of rain is not helping.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:39 am

There are hundreds of issues, policies, corporate practices, and many many etceteras to point at. Because my dad was an electrical engineer, and I got to sit in on discussions about changes made to the power grids about fifty years ago, I have some particular insights to the history of the power grids that led us to where we are today. Because I worked for so many years doing "cutting edge technology" contracting, I have many insights into governmental agencies and how they operate.
However, if there is ONE thing at the head of ALL this? It is honesty and integrity. A dishonest journalistic press will always lead to a corrupt government. And a corrupt government will inevitably lead to greedy corruption in nearly ALL business and corporations. And greedy corrupt corporations and governments will NEVER do what is in the best interest of the majority of society.

Abraham Lincoln's "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people" perished some several years back.

WE THE PEOPLE --------MUST--------- DEMAND--------honesty and integrity at ALL levels of politics, government, business, and journalism. Otherwise, Califunny's recent rounds of fires and power politics, will be just the beginning. And it will not be confined to just California.

Wayne Sheldon


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by HPetrino » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:47 am

The combined effects of what Scott and what Wayne posted are the heart of the problem, but I think it's important to embellish Wayne's comment a little. The specific "corporate practice" that is so egregious and has caused so much damage is the taking of disproportionate profits and paying HUGE upper management compensation packages with those profits as well as shareholder dividends over time measured in decades instead of using some of that money to maintain and improve the electrical distribution system. Through this process PG&E's electrical customers have been systematically robbed and this crime has resulted in horrible destruction, both loss of property and more importantly loss of life.

Understanding this simple concept is important when we (hopefully) move to the next phase of the issue and consider the long term future of power providers from legal and political points of view.

Anyhow, my $0.02 worth.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Burger in Spokane » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:57 am

What were the California forestry management policies in 1880 ?

That's correct, there were none. So, how is it that there were no major stories of wildfires
and losses like there are after all this human "management" came to be considered the necessary
way to stop fires ? This is all about too many people and money, and our human way of trying to
create artificial realities where nothing bad ever happens. Just imagine if we let Darwin do his
work. What might that look like ?
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:22 pm

in 1880, they let them burn naturally and fuel was used up
Why weren't there many storries about massive fires back then? 1. because those smaller fires used up fuel, and 2. the internet and satellites were not invented for another 100 years or so to see the really big ones
Today in many areas, everything is surpressed. Then when they finally cannot be supressed, they go fully out of control and sadly with population centers, losses are terrible
The fact is, that with constant supression, forests today are twice as dense as they were 150 years ago. It is no wonder that fires can become so much more severe.

You can continue on your kick of "too many people" as the cause of severe fires and I'll just watch. History has shown that facts be damned, once you bite into something, you're not going to let go.
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by HPetrino » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:12 pm

You are totally correct Scott. However, there's one important point you overlooked. The fires you're talking about were started by natural causes (usually lightening). The fires we're dealing with now are caused by human negligence. Yes, we should allow nature to find its balance, but PG&E should properly maintain and improve its lines so as to not be the cause.

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by BobD » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:33 pm

Henry, hypothetical scenario, What if the state took over the investor owned PG&E and turned it into a public utility district PUD or a co-op? With the billions of dollars lawsuits pending, I don’t see how PG&E can remain in its present form.

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by FreighTer Jim » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:54 pm

Regarding high voltage line construction:

Placing towers closer together and spacing conductors further apart on the towers would have minimized conductor sway and subsequent arcing.

But - that would have meant spending more 💰
when the towers were strung.


FJ


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:39 pm

Another point about "fires now" and "fires then". Henry P (thank you for the support Henry!) mentioned that most fires then were started by natural causes, mostly lightning. Added to that, is that MOST of the time, lightning strikes near the higher sides of mountains. While winds can drive a fire down the mountainside, the fire's own updrafts and desire to rise up drive MOST fires up. Mountain top fires, even today, rarely reach huge areas or population centers. Even today, even in Califunny, most lightning caused fires are not fought by Cal-fire or forestry. They are allowed to follow their natural course and burn themselves out.
A hundred and fifty years ago, most "valley" fires were man caused. Whole towns were wiped out many times. But whole towns were usually surrounded by nearly barren areas where most of the wood and underbrush had been harvested for heat in the winter, and cooking all year 'round. Even man-made fires rarely reached a thousand acres.

Many people favor the state taking over PG&E to run it like a MUD (Municipal Utilities District for anyone not familiar with the term). I suspect that will happen and probably not very long from now. But I am against the idea!
A bit of recent history, not known to many outside of the businesses directly involved. Califunny, for purely socialistic and greedy control reasons, has been trying to take over PG&E for more than thirty years. While it is not an excuse, that effort is a piece of the rationale behind PG&E's lack of proper maintenance.
What I would like to know, and ask, is what makes anyone think that the most corrupt state in the Union would do any better at building and maintaining the infrastructure? They would just keep whining about the costs, unable to balance a budget (impossible when one encourages all management to steal from the system!), raising prices, raising taxes, and probably doing a worse job building and maintaining than PG&E ever did! One thing they would do quietly, would be to pass laws making the state and its administrators NOT liable for any damages or deaths.

California already spends more money on its roads than any other state, by almost any way you wish to compare (per capita, per mile, ? ). But its roads are among the worst. They spend more on education per student than any other state. Yet consistently test in the bottom five states for quality of education. People pass propositions for important fundings that read the state CANNOT take the money for any other purpose. Yet within a few years, somehow, the state works around that, and take all the money for their "general fund" and whatever was supposed to be funded has to wait and beg with all the other pork barrels.
And people want Califunny to take over the power grid???????

I will touch on population in a little while. I need a break.

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Marv K » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:44 pm

-Wayne-
Common sense isn't always common....
Who voted those administrations to office??
Would P&G's arcing wires and transmission lines cause fires if they were underground? Newscasts and videos from there show a lot of poles and wires visible and above ground. Utilities around here have been burying our rural connections for many years.
Not entire answers, but still contributing pieces of the pie.

I had to take my Bride to the ER last night. A respiratory therapist had just moved to Green Bay from Sacramento. She had "Had Enough!" when I asked "Why?" Not hard to imagine....
"Let's Figgur it owt!" Just fix it (right), and make it work.....
Aah-OO-Gah! (and), "Happy T-ing!"


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by HPetrino » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:00 pm

Wayne,

I agree that having the state take things over is a bad idea, but the concept of a MUD may be the best choice. Obviously, a "for profit" privately held company doesn't work. The state is screwed up beyond description, and therefore not a viable choice. The concept of breaking PG&E up into a number of smaller MUD's could work well. Here in Modesto we have Modesto Irrigation District (a MUD), from which we buy our electricity (we only purchase natural gas from PG&E). It's actually pretty well run. Our electricity rates are good. Our service is steady (very rarely interrupted), and we (the electorate) elect the folks who run it on a local basis.

It's not perfect. There are frequent squabbles over electrical customers "paying the freight" for irrigations customers (local farmers), and other similar baloney. But overall it's better than any other model I'm aware of.

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High Tension Wires

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:04 am

Regarding electrical transmission of high voltage - it is not practicable to run conductors underground for many reasons.

Customers like relatively low utility rates -shareholders like a profit - budget constraints on construction & maintenance of high voltage transmission lines are the end result.

I believe only Texas is entirely self sufficient in its’s high voltage transmission grid - that is why wind and solar generation enjoy tremendous success.

The nation’s electrical - gas - oil - water - sewer infrastructure is in disrepair and needs replacement.

Taxes levied & paid that were intended to repair and replace that infrastructure have been diverted by State & Federal governments for decades.

FJ


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:28 pm

I am very thankful to be a member of a power co-op out of MT. Being closer to MT/WY state line than any population center around us in WY, I think that's why we're included. Rates are low, service is excellent, staff is very friendly, and in my small area the lines are all underground, though to be honest, it is only a fraction of their service area. It's quite well run and for the past two years, I believe our rates have fallen almost 20%.
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Fordwright » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:46 pm

The Edison model was to build a power plant in every neighborhood and sell them DC power. Westinghouse, using Tesla's AC power technology allowed him to out-compete Edison by building much larger power plants which could distribute power over much longer distances. Over time, economics-of-scale gradually led to very large power grids which have their economic advantages, but a key disadvantage is that when the grid goes down, it goes down for hundreds or thousands of customers.

As alternate energy sources become available, the very large centralized power plants may no longer be the best option. Such plants all have their environmental drawbacks, be it coal, natural gas, hydro or nuclear. Cleaner local sources such as wind and solar can be utilized, and the surplus can easily be fed back into the grid using inverter technology which is well-proven.

Of course there will be many challenges with adopting this model, but planning for the longer term has generally paid off much better than sticking with the status quo. Just ask Edison (if he were alive.)


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:57 am

Money from wind power pays my property taxes ,and money is something most of us can understand! On the other hand there are those who will say the wind will never pay,it will make you act goofy,the terrible noise,and the piles of dead birds around each tower!!There are those who will never see the light! :D Bud. :D

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by BobD » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:28 pm

Bud, glad you are making good with your windmills. Out west, there are once pristine vistas now blighted with windmills. A good example is the valley northeast of Great Basin National Park some of which can be seen from within the park.

With regards to wind and solar, some seem to forget that the wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun doesn’t shine all the time. :o

Without large battery banks, pumped storage or other infrastructure, there will continue be a need for conventional power generation facilities.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:25 pm

I think we all just need to reach inside ourselves and feel the "inner power".
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Fordwright » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:30 pm

BobD wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:28 pm
Bud, glad you are making good with your windmills. Out west, there are once pristine vistas now blighted with windmills. A good example is the valley northeast of Great Basin National Park some of which can be seen from within the park.

With regards to wind and solar, some seem to forget that the wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun doesn’t shine all the time. :o

Without large battery banks, pumped storage or other infrastructure, there will continue be a need for conventional power generation facilities.
It seems like people are overthinking the power storage problem. You don't need batteries, just a water reservoir that you can pump water into to store energy, and then drain it out to run dynamos when you need the power.

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by BobD » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:03 pm

Fordwright wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:30 pm
You don't need batteries, just a water reservoir that you can pump water into to store energy, and then drain it out to run dynamos when you need the power.
That would be pumped storage.
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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:43 pm

The water stored power has been in use in Ludington Mich with the power company pumping water from Lake Michigan.Many feet above there is a huge storage of water which is flowed back to turn turbines and put power back into the grid during high demand.This has been in use many years.Out west in the dry farm/ranch country there are smaller windmills pumping water for cattle every few miles.I think the large turbines are much better than a coal fired plant at least in my location!! :D Bud :D

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Fordwright » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:04 am

Both pumped storage and batteries have their advantages and disadvantages. One particular advantage claimed for batteries is that they can be installed in months, vs. years for pumped storage. This need not be counted as an advantage unless authorities have been lax in anticipating the need for energy storage and they are playing catch-up.

Pumped storage has a greater expense, but also a much greater lifespan, not needing to be replaced every few years like batteries. Besides, a large number of reservoirs already exist which could be converted to energy storage.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:09 am

As a cattle rancher in the California Foothills, I have seen more wildfire damage than most. I've driven though the areas very close by that have lost hundreds of homes, It's so interesting to see several homes burned to the ground, then others untouched.

I'm fortunate to have the history of the ranch operations dating back to 1860. And through archaeological studies back approximately 1300 years with the native Americans that lived here. Then adding the biological study, it was determined that this location has been seasonally grazed continuously since the end of the ice age. To quote the biologist, " Wow this is what California looked like before the Gold rush, this place is a time capsule"

The natural flow of grazing for the Foothills of California is driven by green grass. For that matter all of California before it was developed. From November to mid June, our pastures are green and lush. By June things are drying out and wildlife would slowly migrate to higher elevations as the snow melted, and back down when the snow returned. In more recent history (1860 on) the cattle have followed the same path.

I should note for those of you not familiar, in California, our rain is usually from late October though May each year. It's not uncommon to have no rain from June to November. By November, things are tinder dry! And winds start to blow with the changing seasons. This is nothing new!
The main difference between natural California and modern California fires is definitely forest management.

The houses that were spared for the most part, had very little ladder fuels on the property, and cleared defendable space around the home.
( Ladder fuel is heavy brush, dead branches and dry materials that allow the fire to spread into the main Forrest canopy) when you have this condition, with wind and fire you create a blow torch that is impossible to stop! Seasonal grazing reduces undergrowth dramatically.

The reason we have ladder fuel everywhere is mainly an interuption of the natural cycle. Grazing and natural fires have been replaced by fire suppression, which is necessary to protect our homes, and miss guided biological protection. For years our forests have loaded up with undergrowth and dead branches. In some cases you were not allowed to clear it because it was considered wildlife habitat. ( Personal experience). Crazy huh!

So this is where we are. We've managed to make a mess of things. We have a Governer that wants to hide behind global warming as the cause. When the answer to our Forrest management is how did nature handle things? Answer, remove the ladder fuels. Fire prevention? Hold the decision makers personally responsible for choosing profits and bonuses over maintenance and safe power distribution.

Once we have nature back in balance, fires will happen, yes but not on a scale like we are seeing.
Personal responsibility is important, if you live on a property with ladder fuels remove them, and clear defensible space around your home.

I invite the governor, or any other person involved in the decision-making process for California wild fire prevention to come and view my ranch to see how nature handled things.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:29 am

I know this was a power outage thread, but have tried to live by the rules of " fix the problem before it happens"

I've survived the blackouts with ballcap equipped with a row of led lights attached to the brim. I'm reading roughing it, by Mark Twain.

If you want a great read, try "Diary of a 49er"
It's about my area of the Gold Rush , in fact a guy named Vineyard in the book was the first of the family here that grazed my place dating way back. It is a graphic account of what it was like being one of the first to find gold, and the high cost of basic necessities.

A great example of how little we need to survive.

Michael Paul


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Burger in Spokane » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:02 pm

Good post, Michael. Thanks. As a guy in the thick of it, what is your
take on the number of people that have filled the hills with development
over the past 75 years, the associated "values" of real estate and building
improvements, and the way our media/govt. deals with it ?

My family came to the area in 1866. I am pretty familiar with the issues,
but would like to hear the views of others with long term, feet-on-the-ground
perspective.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:10 am

The population of my area in 1870 was three times what it is today. The remnants of stone foundations are still visable. Many small and large farms and ranches were in operation. I'm sure real estate values were healthy. There were several mining operations in the area. After 1883 the hydraulic mining operations were shut down by the Sawyer decision. The local economy took a major hit, and many were forced to find work and live elsewhere.

The wildlife populations prior to the settlement of California by the Spanish missions were very balanced. In the early 1800s the Spanish introduced cattle and grazed hundreds of thousands throughout California for the hides. The land was actually over grazed at that point. Most of the native bunch grasses were destroyed and replaced with invasive species.

Leather was a valuable commodity back then, and ships would come from all over the world and purchase shiploads of hides.. The cattle were raised only for the hide and tallow. They were slaughtered by the thousands, and left to rot from what I understand.

Fast forward to today. Wildlife populations never recoverd after the Spanish hide trade and the Gold Rush. The best we can do is simulate the natural cycles. Seasonal grazing works best. If you live in a fire prone area, the first action is to clear all of the brush and dead fuel from your property. Once it is back it's normal balance, it has to be maintained. Again the closest thing to the natural cycle is grazing. It can be done on a small parcel with a few sheep. If you don't like that idea, keep your property cleared!

To simplify what is happening with the wildfires in my area of California, it's all about keeping the fire from igniting the forest canopy. Prior to what we see today, the undergrowth was not there for the most part. When a fire burned through the natural balanced Forrest it never reach the canopy. Now when all of the materials and brush that have accumulated ignite, it's like a bonfire! Once it reaches the canopy and the wind blows the temperatures are unbelievably high. My friend Stan lost everything in the fire that burned though the town of Shasta. It was so hot, it melted cast iron!

The main difference between now and then is fuel. Wind blown fires in natural California were quite different. The fires of today send burning embers for miles. Imagine micro sized charcoal briquettes raining down on your property. These are from the undergrowth material and the canopy burning. If it's removed, the spread of fire is reduced dramatically.


Michael Paul


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:18 am

I wonder about the effect's of all those loads of fire retardant dropped ?? A light snow here today. :D Bud.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:22 am

Good point,. I didn't think about it until now. After doing a Google search, it turns out it's not good for the environment. There was an incident where it was accidentally dropped on a section of river and it killed around 20,000 fish. Since it is made of fertilizer and water, it really changes the environment where it's dropped.

It's so interesting, in the book roughing it by Mark Twain, he just described an incident where they accidentally started a fire. They were on the shores of lake Tahoe in the 1860s , they had rowed their boat along the shore until finding a suitable camp site. Mark, looking back from a trip to the boat for supplies, noticed he had lit the dry pine needles ablaze with his cook fire.
His description was of the undergrowth burning and not the canopy as it raced up the hillside finally burning out of view.

We keep applying fixes that seem to harm rather than help.

Again, sorry to step on this alternative power post with fire prevention and grazing history.

We have a Honda 2000 watt generator that runs all of the essentials. It's amazing , two refrigerators, one chest freezer and two TV's. It runs on economy mode at a high idle, with an occasional rpm surge for a few seconds while a motor starts up. One gallon lasts for ten hours as long as the microwave and counter top oven aren't used to much.

The secret to keeping food Frozen is DON'T open the door! Also if you freeze water bottles in the freezer compartment it helps to keep things even longer.

We have electric heat and water so that's been an issue. We plan on re installing a wood burning stove, and have purchased on demand propane water heat as a backup. Water hasn't been an issue even though we're on well water. The well is uphill from the house and water is gravity fed from a tank.

For those of you living on the flat, a storage tank of a couple hundred gallons works great if you buy a 12 volt RV water pump and a deep cycle battery. The pumps are an on demand type that only works when you open the valve. Use an RV hose with a double female adapter. Shut off the main valve to the house and back feed one of the hose outlets and you are good to go!

Michael Paul


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:45 am

I have to ad Mark Twain's description of healthful benefits of the clean air and water at lake Tahoe.

He was so invigorated from the high altitude, so high it's the same air the Angels breath!

It will take the most degraded skeleton of a man and return him to healthful vigor. It would even bring the Egyptian mummies back to life, not the really old dried ones, but the fresher ones of course!

Great book

Mike

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Fordwright » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:58 am

Michael Paul wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:22 am
Good point,. I didn't think about it until now. After doing a Google search, it turns out it's not good for the environment. There was an incident where it was accidentally dropped on a section of river and it killed around 20,000 fish. Since it is made of fertilizer and water, it really changes the environment where it's dropped.
I'm not sure I follow. When something is done incorrectly and it has negative consequences, it doesn't mean the whole practice is bad.
That's a different calculation.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:15 pm

I agree, it's the best tool we have. But I wonder what effect the fertilizer mix has on the regrowth cycle.

Thanks for your email, it's always good to share prospectives

Have a great day, Mike


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:19 pm

Many years ago agent orange was applied correctly to kill everything growing that could be used for cover by the V C. Now years later we find it is killing many people who came in contact with it. Like some have posted clearing brush and dead material would help.If only to me when you have to kill power to ten's of thousands when the wind blows it would seem as if a re think re make of power lines is in order?? :D Bud. :D


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:26 pm

As for the power grid here, about 10 or so years ago pg&e changed the management structure from decision makers who rose through the ranks with real field experience, to number crunchers who were hired to cut costs and improve profits

They saved millions by deferred maintenance, very old transmission and distribution lines are now breaking because of age. trees are falling on lines because they failed to keep up with the trimming.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by HPetrino » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:41 pm

That's it in a nutshell, Michael.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Norman Kling » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:08 am

We've gotten a bit off topic.
This is what we do with our freezer. We have a few milk jugs filled with water which is frozen into ice. The power was off at least 24 hours two times last month. We left the freezer closed all the time the power was off and immediately when it came back on, I opened to see what had happened. The frost was still on the shelves! So this method works for a day or two. The stuff in the refrigerator was either eaten that day or saved such as eggs or cheese which don't spoil. Only a little was "iffy" and was thrown out.
We have electric stove so couldn't cook anything unless we used the barbequ, which wouldn't be safe in the high wind. This wind blew leaves off evergreen plants as well as all the autumn leaves on the deciduous trees. It even took one patio table and lifted it over the rail onto the ground below!
Norm


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:06 pm

Well that is what this part of the forum is about off topic.We have had and will have loss of power so many years ago we bought a 7,000 surge 6500 cont generator that will handle the house/farm and a 3,000 Honda for when we travel.I really love the little Honda!!!!! :D Bud. :D


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:26 pm

Keeps the corn burning Bud?


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:49 pm

Dallas,As a matter of fact we just unloaded our second ton this morning.Yup without a good power stand by it could get very cold quick!! I hope your well and warm this winter! Bud. :D


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:52 pm

Oh ya Bud. Wagon load in the barn keeping me warm. Working outside framing a big house in below normal temps. "Bone chilling close to record cold" as the news says! Just another fall day at work to me. 22 this morning and 11 next wednesday. Sure feels warm when I come home from work. Hope all is well with you and yours also.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:25 am

Our power company just left my place asking permission to access the east pasture to tim my trees back from the lines. Its about 14 degrees outside. Now none are within 6 feet of the lines and are not close to the lines at the road. As a matter of fact, the power line stops at my place. Now thats prevention. I have lived here 20 years and purchased a generator when we moved in because Im the end of the line. I have never used it as 6 hrs is about as long we have been without power in 20 rears. The other power company in this area suffer outages all the time. Ours is much smaller and run by local people. By the people for the people so to speak. The other is run by "corperate" where money is 1st priority.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:38 am

Dallas

our guys are Co-op, too. Serviced and employees are wonderful. Great isn't it?
Scott Conger

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:57 pm

When I was growing up in the 1930's and 1940's in California, there were fire breaks along the ridges of all the mountains and hills. They were built by the CCC during the great depression. We did have fires in those days but they usually stopped at the fire breaks.
Those fire breaks served two purposes. One: the fire fighters could go up in those areas and fight the fire. Two: because fire travels fast going uphill but slowly going down hill the fires would usually stop at the fire break.
Maybe, we could use homeless and immigrants to construct fire breaks in exchange for housing. The CCC used to have camps in those mountains. They also built fire roads into the areas.
Norm


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:32 pm

Norm, that is a laudable idea, but we both know the CCC was set up for out of work, desperate-to-work folks, in an economy that had few jobs. Today we're at full employment and anyone that can fog a mirror and wants to work, can. Not only are you saddled with fires, but you have a system that thrives on serving those that won't work and billing it to those that do. Eliminate that, and maybe there'd be some volunteers. I very much feel for you, living under the rule of the inmates of the asylum. Like all places, there's poverty here, and plenty of charity to go round, but one of the benefits of very cold winters and stoic citizens here, is that those who are able-bodied but entirely unwilling to take care of themselves, tend to keep moving to places better suited to year-round camping.
Scott Conger

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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by fschrope » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:55 am

Scott_Conger wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:32 pm
Norm, that is a laudable idea, but we both know the CCC was set up for out of work, desperate-to-work folks, in an economy that had few jobs. Today we're at full employment and anyone that can fog a mirror and wants to work, can. Not only are you saddled with fires, but you have a system that thrives on serving those that won't work and billing it to those that do. Eliminate that, and maybe there'd be some volunteers. I very much feel for you, living under the rule of the inmates of the asylum. Like all places, there's poverty here, and plenty of charity to go round, but one of the benefits of very cold winters and stoic citizens here, is that those who are able-bodied but entirely unwilling to take care of themselves, tend to keep moving to places better suited to year-round camping.
AMEN to this.


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Michael Paul » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:20 am

Looks like another power shutdown mid week here! Time to fire up the generator again. Also need to stock up on fuel. Another inconvenience is all the gas stations are shut down, and you can't buy gas or diesel. For the ones that do have generator backup power, cars are lined down the road a quarter mile.

On another note, those harbor freight predator inverter generators are pretty reasonable at $449.
I was told that these were made up of mostly Honda parts. I don't know if that's true or not. If so, they should be pretty reliable. Does anyone have any personal experience with them?

Have a great day, Mike


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:04 pm

There are CAN'TS and there are WON'TS. You cannot boil it down to a more basic level.
Those who CANNOT carry their own weight are deserving of charity support, if you
subscribe to Judeo-Christian thinking. The WON'TS are another matter. Separating the
two bucks the agenda of one end of our politics these days.

Simple history and economics show this equation always leads to violent conflict at
some point. Given the exponential rise in parasitic behavior in our culture during my
lifetime, I am left to wonder what the breaking point will be, as the "upper class" force
the middle class, to pay for the programs that enable the parasitic class to live the
freeloading life.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Out west power outages, some advice

Post by bud delong » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:56 am

With the power outages over and over proves if you don"t learn from history your doomed to repeat it!! :D Bud. :D

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