Author Topic: Power cuts: are you prepared?  (Read 2394 times)

robgul

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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #50 on: 10 October, 2021, 06:15:40 pm »
Typically UK houses are single phase powered. There are three phases in the ground, with phase 1 going to one house, phase 2, the next and phase 3 the next, and then back to 1. This means that if you know which phase your vulnerable household is on, you can do the rolling black out to say, phases 1 and 3, but leave 2 up. Tho in practice it's a lot more complicated than that.

I'm struggling to imagine a situation where you'd do it that way.  Transformer efficiency suffers if the phases aren't balanced, and disconnecting entire phases is a great way to blow fuses.  None of which you want when power is in short supply.  I suppose you might power individual phases from a generator, but any generator big enough to reasonably power multiple houses is likely to be three-phase anyway.

Rolling blackouts would surely be area-wide, as that's the level of control they have without sending out the people in orange hi-vis.

If a vulnerable person were dependent on an electricity supply, they're more likely to rock up with a generator or put them up in a hotel than mess about running a three-phase distribution system as individual phases.

Going back to 1972 where I then lived (Leyton, East London) there were planned power cuts (or "notified" times) with an element of sharing across the district.  Annoyingly a bloke that worked for me lived in the next street to Whipps Cross Hospital and had no power cuts at all - presumably he was on the same circuit as the hospital. 

During the 3-day week period a couple of years later I don't recollect power cuts (my business/factory was in Walthamstow then, very close to Larrington Towers) - you just weren't allowed to use electricity for businesses for specified days, it changed week and week about for about a month if my memory serves me correctly.


Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #51 on: 10 October, 2021, 07:16:25 pm »
Have usual camping gear, & recently bought some campingaz refills for the portable gas single burner.  Have gas left in a 907 cyclinder for double burner/grill.  Quite a few headtorches, decathlon LED lights & lanterns which last for ages on AA batteries.  Also a megapack of tea light candles.  Hopefully not needed.  Could always get the neighbours to recharge things using their solar electric.   ;)
"Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it." EF.S

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #52 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:29:24 pm »
Could always get the neighbours to recharge things using their solar electric.   ;)

Probably not, as most domestic solar installations don't have island-capable inverters and appropriate isolation switching.  For safety reasons[1] they automatically stop as soon as they lose grid power.  It keeps costs down, but you do start to wonder if it's actually a good idea...


[1] The last thing the people in orange hi-vis want is for a supposedly dead circuit to turn out not to be.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #53 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:51:21 pm »
Has anyone any experience with one of those Goal Zero Yetis or Jackery thingamabobbers?

orraloon

  • I'm trying Ringo, I'm trying real hard
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #54 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:53:44 pm »
But but, Corporal Johnson keeps saying 'Don't panic, don't panic...' so what's the problem?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #55 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:03:46 pm »
Has anyone any experience with one of those Goal Zero Yetis or Jackery thingamabobbers?

That looks like an ideal alternative to Neil Hood's Infernal Combustion Engine, if they didn't cost squillions of dollarpounds...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Adam

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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #56 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:37:07 pm »
We've got gas central heating, but if the electric's out, then it would get colder.  But probably not too cold, being on the south coast, rather than up north.

I could always see about getting V2H installed, to then power the flat from the car.  40kW should keep things running for a bit.

Assuming I've got the car charged up fully beforehand of course.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #57 on: 11 October, 2021, 08:59:35 am »
We've got gas central heating, but if the electric's out, then it would get colder.  But probably not too cold, being on the south coast, rather than up north.

I could always see about getting V2H installed, to then power the flat from the car.  40kW should keep things running for a bit.

Assuming I've got the car charged up fully beforehand of course.

Adam, your gas central heating almost certainly relies on an electric pump to circulate the water, without power to the pump my boiler won't light.

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #58 on: 11 October, 2021, 09:34:26 am »
Just finished installing solid fuel burner in one room. Need to build a wood store and get wood delivered.
Backup gas cooker already installed in utility room.

It is unlikely that the island would be affected by blackouts in winter (due to fuel shortages). Generally, the island exports 'lecky, due to all the big turbines.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #59 on: 11 October, 2021, 09:51:53 am »
I'm just going to bring the BBQ indoors. Nothing can go wrong there.
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Jaded

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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #60 on: 11 October, 2021, 10:02:37 am »
I'm just going to bring the BBQ indoors. Nothing can go wrong there.

You'll need a recipe, then.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #61 on: 11 October, 2021, 10:44:36 am »
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ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #62 on: 11 October, 2021, 11:20:19 am »
I mentioned that there used to be a barbers around the back of Norwood Malfunction train station that did this. It was a successful route to, I'm sure, very nice jerk chicken until it wasn't and now there isn't a barbers there (seems to have been rebuilt as a solicitors, probably with a line in suing people for indoor barbecuing).

Back in pre-gentrification SE4, there was a similar incident, there was a make-shift cafe made out of random bits of wood by the train bridge on Mantle Road that used to do chicken and drugs. In summer they'd do the chicken outside. In winter, well, who wants to be cold. Admittedly, it could have been a guerilla operation by National Rail or the Met, who periodically used to remove the structure (amusingly, they'd usually wait around afterwards while they cooked up some fresh chicken for them). Generally took them a day to rebuild and start again. Now the site of wanky overpriced flats, of course.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #63 on: 11 October, 2021, 11:30:15 am »
I am reminded of your tale ^ twice daily, as I pass by there on the Ginger Line.

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #64 on: 11 October, 2021, 03:39:38 pm »
I have a notion that camping stoves give off sufficient Carbon Monoxide that you should not use them indoors...

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #65 on: 11 October, 2021, 04:18:08 pm »
I have a notion that camping stoves give off sufficient Carbon Monoxide that you should not use them indoors...

No worse that a paraffin heater. Best not to use without some form of ventilation, which may defeat the object.  Now, where are those tins of stew with the chemical heater in the base.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #66 on: 11 October, 2021, 05:31:18 pm »
I have a notion that camping stoves give off sufficient Carbon Monoxide that you should not use them indoors...

Gas should be fine.  Alcohol, maybe.  Paraffin/petril/hexamine/wood/charcoal/etc are a bad idea, especially the explodey ones.

I'd want a carbon monoxide detector (that didn't depend on mains electricity) and some ventilation.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #67 on: 11 October, 2021, 06:28:46 pm »
Back in April of either 1980 or 1981 there was a freak snowfall which flooded our local transformer and left our street without electricity for a week. As our house was all electric, my dad went out and got a twin-burner stove and bottle of calor gas, the sort of thing you'd have in a caravan. Nobody died or got rosy fingers. Not that we had a CO detector, of course (who would've had one in 1981?). But after all, it's just a gas hob. I also remember that we went to the chip shop a lot.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #68 on: 11 October, 2021, 08:35:44 pm »
Fired up the gas Morso to see if it still works ( the ignition ) no need for electricity . As long as gas is being pumped round the network we are OK. Lets hope that we don't have another big freeze like the last one with weeks of no or very light winds. How much tidal or wave generating do we have. King coal may have to return for making gas.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #69 on: 11 October, 2021, 08:42:02 pm »
When I lived in the US the power was on and off all the time – in part because overhead lines that surrendered to so much of a stiff breeze, iffy nuclear reactors (don't kick them, even if you're told it's safe), and the deregulation of energy markets and all hail Enron.

But I had the obligatory beer cooler, so I was good.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Wowbagger

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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #70 on: 11 October, 2021, 09:42:55 pm »
It seems that EV manufacturers have missed a trick rather by not adding a commando socket to the car so that you can tap the battery for power in the event of a power cut. I've got an inverter somewhere that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket but that would connect to the 12V rather than the traction battery, so it's doubtful that it would be able to support a small induction hob.
Bach without a doubt.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #71 on: 11 October, 2021, 10:09:09 pm »
It seems that EV manufacturers have missed a trick rather by not adding a commando socket to the car so that you can tap the battery for power in the event of a power cut. I've got an inverter somewhere that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket but that would connect to the 12V rather than the traction battery, so it's doubtful that it would be able to support a small induction hob.

I think they're slowly starting to realise that a decent spec AC inverter fed from the main battery is something that people want.  Possibly as an optional extra.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #72 on: 12 October, 2021, 12:35:59 am »
The electric Ford F-150 pick-up has such an inverter. In fact it’s explicitly specced to be able to power a house in a power cut for manly manliness reasons.

You can get about 5 usable amps from a lighter socket, 10 if you enjoy the smell of melty plastic. You’re not going to cook anything on 120 watts.

For an induction hob you’ll likely need a 2000 watt continuous rated inverter and some very solid connections. Between the 12V battery and the DC-DC in am EV you ought to be able to get enough amps.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #73 on: 12 October, 2021, 01:05:56 am »
The Shitbox Dodge I hired in Canuckistan in 2018 had an inverter, complete with mains-stylee socket built into one of the door pillars, though even emitting feeble Leftpondian-spec voles I doubt it would have powered anything useful for long without the engine running.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #74 on: 12 October, 2021, 08:15:58 am »
Lit the solid fuel stove last night for the first time. Pleased to report that it works well - heated a 15x11 room on 3 logs. Freezing is now optional.

I wonder if the price of firewood has risen commensurately with the price of building materials?
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