Power cuts

M

Mickha

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
5,297
Likes
567
#1
Last night I had yet another, brief, power cut, only this time, when it returned, after 30 seconds, we had very limited power, possibly less than 25%, which couldn't run much, and lasted hours.
The newish lights, I have in the lounge, worked, as did my digital radio, but none of the energy efficient lights, which require time to warm up, nor most of my other appliances.
Obviously the inbuilt fridge, my fridge freezer, electric cooker, kettle, microwave, and other big appliances, and not even my clock/radio, I got a very dim clock reading, that was practically invisible, and no radio.
Finally have full power, and briefly checked my appliances.
Nothing seems to be damaged, but my V-Box II has lost all its settings, and needs to be set up again, a job for later this morning.

I'm beginning to wonder how long it will be before we need personal, backup, generators, to keep our essential appliances working?

I have to travel through a new HS2 zone, which has closed half the roads, and reduced the lanes on a big roundabout, from 8 to 1, causing traffic chaos, which is due to last for at least another 6 months, not to mention all the new house building projects, which is causing more traffic build ups.

Personal rant over, until my next power cut, or I get stuck in traffic, for a few hours:D
 
2cvbloke

2cvbloke

Bulbs need shelter too...
Messages
9,489
Likes
1,725
My Satellite Setup
No satellite stuff for the moment (aside from a 43cm minidish that was on the house already), Samsung SyncMaster T27B550 Smart TV & Monitor, and a few computers...
My Location
Near Pontop Pike, Co. Durham
#2
A lot of modern electronics have switching power supplies, so can run on anything from semi-skimmed US voltage to full fat British power, hence why those would have kept working, but the rest designed for 220-240v input, if the voltage had dropped that much, yep, they won't work as you know...

Back in November we were having a night of power problems, the power was acting like a loose cable was swinging in the breeze and shorting out somewhere, and my UPS units were driving me nuts with cutting in and out and beeping and buzzing, but on the plus side, they kept things running (Modem & router, IP cam NVR server, couple lights, cordless phones, etc.) while the mains was cutting in and out, got to a point where I was sorely tempted to run one of my generators, buuuuut, at 3am it was somewhat unnecessary given I wanted to be asleep... :-doh
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
#3
I keep very little equipment connected to the supply overnight, part of being brought up by frugal parents and a willingness to prevent fires on overloaded sockets .

Modern living and millennials are a completely alien universe.
 
Terryl

Terryl

Specialist Contributor
Messages
2,178
Likes
1,496
My Satellite Setup
OpenBox X5 on a 1 meter motorized dish.
And now a 10 foot "C" band dish.

Custom built PC
My Location
Deep in the Boonies in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
#4
This may not be too practical to some, but when I built my house I setup two main AC service electrical runs, one for standard stuff for things that didn't need AC power back up, and the second run was for the refrigerator, furnice motor, entertainment center, a few lights and of coarse the computers, this circuit was connected to a large UPS system* then to an auto switch over to the emergency generator.(I start the generator)

This keeps me high and dry during a power black out or other AC mains problem.

Now, if you can run new lines (under house, in the attic) it's a simple setup, if not then you may need separate UPS systems, but the use of good quality UPS systems (APC or Triplite) will keep things from going to the dust bin.

One UPS company (Triplite) also has equipment replacement insurance, once registered with them if anything gets through their equipment and damages any attached equipment you get new stuff.

*The UPS system has an external battery pile setup for charging from an external source.

So if you do not want to loose all that expensive electronic stuff then protect it with an good UPS system, it's worth the investment.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

Specialist Contributor
Messages
3,214
Likes
1,367
My Satellite Setup
See Signature
My Location
Somewhere in England (possibly?)!
#5
In general, over-ground pole/tower-mounted supply cables are more vulnerable to weather damage, and so a large proportion of the UK is supplied by underground cables - which is generally OK unless there is a "weak link" in the supply chain in the form of an overhead cable - but the outlying regions suffer a lot from downed overhead cables because underground ones are too expensive to install.

OTOH, should a severe solar flair errupt and send a huge EM pulse to Earth (as is forecast within the "next few years"!) then there will be no power for anyone for a long time (and all those back-up UPS & generators will either burn out due to EM currents or run out of fuel fairly quickly) - "we are ALL Doomed" :-wow
 
2cvbloke

2cvbloke

Bulbs need shelter too...
Messages
9,489
Likes
1,725
My Satellite Setup
No satellite stuff for the moment (aside from a 43cm minidish that was on the house already), Samsung SyncMaster T27B550 Smart TV & Monitor, and a few computers...
My Location
Near Pontop Pike, Co. Durham
#6
Run out of fuel?? But we're surrounded by it!! Woodgas!! :lol:
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
#7
Run out of fuel?? But we're surrounded by it!! Woodgas!! :lol:
I had mentioned methanol as an alternative in another thread not very long ago ( Tesla?). The duty rate has already been set as of 2015 and is currently I think around 7p a litre, based on the notion nobody could seriously run a vehicle daily on the stuff made on a domestic still. If the government gets wind of sombody making anything at home ona scale that might reduce consumption of fossil / pumped liquid or gas / atomic (petrol/diesel and leccy from the wall socket) though then it's goodnight Vienna
 
Terryl

Terryl

Specialist Contributor
Messages
2,178
Likes
1,496
My Satellite Setup
OpenBox X5 on a 1 meter motorized dish.
And now a 10 foot "C" band dish.

Custom built PC
My Location
Deep in the Boonies in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
#8
My UPS system is heavily shielded just for that, I'm a survivalist. All my friends say that they will come to my house when the poop hits the fan....

And I have other ways to charge the battery's.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

Specialist Contributor
Messages
3,214
Likes
1,367
My Satellite Setup
See Signature
My Location
Somewhere in England (possibly?)!
#9
My UPS system is heavily shielded just for that, I'm a survivalist. All my friends say that they will come to my house when the poop hits the fan.....
Thus, I must also assume that you have a HUGE stock of food laid up in the cellar - but what happens when that gets low? Cannibalism? :)

[QUOTE="Terryl, post: 1063326, member: 369937"..And I have other ways to charge the battery's.[/QUOTE]
AH, you have a very BIG bicycle! - and a lot of energy (from cannibalism at the end?) :-rofl2
 
william-1

william-1

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
7,725
Likes
9,493
Location
Epping Forest
My Satellite Setup
OP Gibertini 100 XP+ Inverto Black Ultra 0.2
(50 east to 45 west)
Octagon SX88+ / TM6902HD /TM5502HD/TM6900HD Super

88cm Dish +Inverto Black Ultra 0.2
(53 east to 45 west)
Edision primo S2 / Amiko A4K /TM5402HD M3
45cm FreeSat V8 HD
My Location
Epping Forest Essex
#10
How to survive when the riots & the starving population's try to raid your stash,

The safest plan may seem bizarre: risking it back in the UK with the ice. It would be possible to store lots of canned and dried food -- perhaps enough to live off indefinitely.

However attacks from fellow survivors, vicious feral dogs and even zoo animals would be likely.

Of course you could eat any mammal that came your way; deer and squirrel might be clinging onto survival if they could find food. You would also need to source vitamins from somewhere. In the winter months when no food is available,

First Nation and Swedish peoples obtain vitamin C from boiling up pine needles to brew a drink known as "tallstrunt".

Although, neither will stave off the cold as the body uses up almost half of its calorific intake just to keep itself warm at these temperatures.

What would happen if: The UK entered an ice age? | WIRED UK

We're heading into an ice age
"One day you'll wake up - or you won't wake up, rather - buried beneath nine stories of snow.

It's all part of a dependable, predictable cycle, a natural cycle that returns like clockwork every 11,500 years.

And since the last ice age ended almost exactly 11,500 years ago…" (Ice Age Now)

So we have not got long to wait so here are some useful links:-
 
Last edited:
Terryl

Terryl

Specialist Contributor
Messages
2,178
Likes
1,496
My Satellite Setup
OpenBox X5 on a 1 meter motorized dish.
And now a 10 foot "C" band dish.

Custom built PC
My Location
Deep in the Boonies in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
#11
You all should look into this stuff...

Code:
https://www.toptenreviews.com/services/home/best-food-storage-services/
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
#12
Ice ages occur once every few hundred million years and absolutely no lifeforms survive intact when one comes. A glacial period, even a 'mini' one is going to be decades long, the chance of modern design tins surviving more than ten years intact is virtually zero.

The management of animals and plants for consumption is certainly not a skill humans can do better than nature so in a time of austerity the only solution is going to be a dramatic thinning of the herd, potentially back to the numbers of previous cold snaps. Natural selection will actually be assisted initially by migration to the predicted sunny spots, then by the panic caused by man made conflicts once news gets out of the small numbers that could be sustained when the planet in the main freezes over. I don't think there are accurate accounts -yet - of the true frost lines accompanying each previous ice age, nor how to predict the region of the next one so there is cartainly not going to be management and orderly control.
One technology that might allow pockets of humans a reprieve would be geothermal, for the artificial lighting for crops underground. Disused mines carefully modified after making safe could be converted for cultivation, though most of the energy would need to be used for scrubbing the atmosphere of contaminants including the water and waste generated by the eco farming community. There would be no chance of doing similar for livestock however, any meat would be sourced from the oceans and be in very limited supply owing to the smallest blocks in the natural food chain being squeezed to a region around the equator.

Sea levels everywhere will change dramatically once the ice starts spreading from the higher latitudes, there is no accurate prediction by how much or even if it is to be a global drop or rise this time round.
Thoughts of escaping to islands that already has the infrascructures predicted for surviving is a non starter since the ice will lock most of the regions together.
 
Last edited:
2cvbloke

2cvbloke

Bulbs need shelter too...
Messages
9,489
Likes
1,725
My Satellite Setup
No satellite stuff for the moment (aside from a 43cm minidish that was on the house already), Samsung SyncMaster T27B550 Smart TV & Monitor, and a few computers...
My Location
Near Pontop Pike, Co. Durham
#13
I had mentioned methanol as an alternative in another thread not very long ago
Woodgas is far easier to make than Methanol (even if the added bonus to making methanol is separating out the Ethanol for "other consumption purposes"), equipment's a bit of a chore to build up, but once it's made, you can run a generator for as long as you have a good supply of wood... :)

It's basically the same process as making Coalgas (AKA Town Gas), just roast some wood, cool & scrub the gases that come off it, insert into an engine and enjoy, also comes with the bonus of making charcoal too, so fuel for the barbecue to boot... :lol:

 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
#14
I suppose building the wood gas converter into an existing wood burner would have its advantages over a methanol still, but how does one store the stuff for use when an emergency arises, or do you have light the fire there and then ?
 
2cvbloke

2cvbloke

Bulbs need shelter too...
Messages
9,489
Likes
1,725
My Satellite Setup
No satellite stuff for the moment (aside from a 43cm minidish that was on the house already), Samsung SyncMaster T27B550 Smart TV & Monitor, and a few computers...
My Location
Near Pontop Pike, Co. Durham
#15
but how does one store the stuff for use when an emergency arises, or do you have light the fire there and then ?
Shirley you're, ahem, "young enough" to remember Gasometers... :lol:

Just needs two barrels, one smaller than the other, some pipe, water and valves, make the gas when you're bored, store it in the gasometer (helps to let it settle out the unwanted stuff too), use at your leisure... :)

 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
#16
There have been a couple of them (unlikely to be in use) as late as a decade ago in Malden and Mitcham. They were due for demolition in 2014 after Transco sold off the land for redevelopment.

Gasworks wonders…

I'll have to drive past to see if they were converted into something artistic instead.

Edit - Ah, here we are
Gas Holders of London
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
#17
Shirley you're, ahem, "young enough" to remember Gasometers... :lol:

Just needs two barrels, one smaller than the other, some pipe, water and valves, make the gas when you're bored, store it in the gasometer (helps to let it settle out the unwanted stuff too), use at your leisure... :)


Note the warning (at the end of that video) , virtually half of the gas produced is carbon monoxide, so best not to have anything to do with the stuff indoors.

As for use in motion, this site sums up exactly the modifications one would need to turn one's steed into a wooden wonder. Be amazed at the aesthetics.
"Park an Italian sports car next to a wood gas car and the crowd gathers around the woodmobile. :lol:

Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank

The waste product (charcoal) still needs cleaning out after each long journey, it could be burnt in the process to create more gas, but the benfits are outweighed by the energy of transporting it around in the first place.

I'll continue with methanol promotion for the time being. :)
 
2cvbloke

2cvbloke

Bulbs need shelter too...
Messages
9,489
Likes
1,725
My Satellite Setup
No satellite stuff for the moment (aside from a 43cm minidish that was on the house already), Samsung SyncMaster T27B550 Smart TV & Monitor, and a few computers...
My Location
Near Pontop Pike, Co. Durham
#18
For vehicles it is indeed a pain to deal with, but, rolling back to the start of the thread, it's useful for a static generator when the power fails, and as wood is a renewable resource, it's somewhat small-scale sustainable... :)

As for the CO warnings, yes, woodgas is mostly made up of CO, just as Towngas was back in the days before "Natural" gas came about, which is what made it so lethal and why so many people used it for suicidal purposes (CO sends you to sleep, so a relaxing way to go I guess), so definitely best done out of doors and used for things you wouldn't use in the house... :)
 
Channel Hopper

Channel Hopper

Suffering fools, so you don't have to.
Staff member
Messages
25,982
Likes
5,885
My Satellite Setup
A little less analogue, and a lot more crap.
My Location
UK South
Top