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Old 08-31-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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no damage, thankfully. There was a power outage but as we are off the grid, we weren't affected. (Many people don't realize that even if you have solar power, if you are tied to the grid, when they have an outage, you have an outage. That's why we set up our system so that it was not grid-tied) The attached photo shows a snapped telephone pole in Lovell, but the immediate area escaped serious damage. Down the road starting in East Conway, people were not as fortunate, with flooding and road washouts.
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Hurricane Irene-irene2.jpg   Hurricane Irene-irene3.jpg  
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Out West
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalker View Post
I would agree with everything Three Wolves said, except for the generator part. Now, I know everyone's lifestyles are different, but a generator is a noisy, fuel-eating beast that in my opinion can be pretty easily done without with a bit of planning.

We have a new fridge and a fairly new freezer. We did not open the freezer compartment of the fridge nor the freezer during the last outage of a day and a half and saw NO apparent thawing of the food. I had an ice cube tray sitting on its side in the fridge freezer and had it thawed even a bit, the water would have run. I used those cubed last night and they showed no thawing.

It is easy to have alternative source of heat/cooking/light that needs no electric.

And catching up on a bit of sleep can never be a bad thing.
Yes, but when you go without power for a week or more, that food isn't going to stay frozen if it's not winter time where you could probably just throw it in the snow outside. And if it's COLD outside, and you have no stove or fireplace, you're gonna want that to get some heat in the place if even to just one room.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
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One alternative for short term, limited power usage is an inverter. You can buy inverters of various sizes that run on deep cycle or rechargeable marine-type batteries to run various appliances like refrigerators and the like. We have both the gas grill and a tabletop propane 3-burner stovetop for power outages and extended camping. Just keeping plastic milk and water jugs filled with ice(keep them 2/3 full of water in your freezer) will extend the viability of your frozen and perishable goods.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Out West
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
One alternative for short term, limited power usage is an inverter. You can buy inverters of various sizes that run on deep cycle or rechargeable marine-type batteries to run various appliances like refrigerators and the like. We have both the gas grill and a tabletop propane 3-burner stovetop for power outages and extended camping. Just keeping plastic milk and water jugs filled with ice(keep them 2/3 full of water in your freezer) will extend the viability of your frozen and perishable goods.
Am not familiar with inverters, will have to look this up.

Yes, what I used in Wilma were 3/4 filled up Ziploc bags in the freezer. Yes, it kept the food frozen a little longer, and when it melted I had water but it only keeps it frozen for a couple of more days. Again, if one is without power for a week or more, and it's not cold enough outside to stuff the food in the snow to keep cold, you're going to lose all of your food. I still think a generator is a good idea to have on hand. You may not need it much but when you do need it, you're going to be very glad you have it.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
One alternative for short term, limited power usage is an inverter. You can buy inverters of various sizes that run on deep cycle or rechargeable marine-type batteries to run various appliances like refrigerators and the like. We have both the gas grill and a tabletop propane 3-burner stovetop for power outages and extended camping. Just keeping plastic milk and water jugs filled with ice(keep them 2/3 full of water in your freezer) will extend the viability of your frozen and perishable goods.
I use inverters too, got to pay attention to the wattage on them-depending on what you want to power
my back up sump pump -in the sump pump basin, consists of a deep cycle battery with an inverter
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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I have a generator. Actually, I have a Troy Bilt tiller with the old generator that bolts onto the tractor unit in place of the tines unit. I already had the tiller and saw the generator on ebay for $200, so I said why not? MTD discontinued production of the generator attachment when they took over Troy Bilt and truth be told, it's not the best generator set up as the tiller engine is fairly noisy, there is no low oil shutoff as most all generators have, and the tiller power unit has a belt drive that doesn't stand up to multi-hour, unattended running. Just the same, I installed a transfer switch in my house, and the generator plugs right into it no problem.

All of the above is to say that I don't use the generator 24/7 when the power goes out. In the event of a long power outage, I'd run it part of the day, morning and night most likely, and make do with the solar lanterns I have, etc. the rest of the time. I already heat with a masonry heater, so there's no need for power for the furnace, and TV....? What's TV?

There are setups I've seen where people use a battery bank and an inverter/charger like non-grid solar systems use. The generator is started (often by command of the inverter/charger) when the batteries are low and then shut off. In this way the inverter runs most loads such as the fridge, etc. and the generator is run only truly when there is enough work for it to run decently loaded (that is, loaded by the battery charger.)

Either way, battery bank with an inverter or just with the generator. I don't see a need to run a generator all day. Most are pretty noisy, and even if one has one of the fancy, home standby models that look and sound like a central air conditioner, they're all pretty expensive to run continuously. Happily, there isn't a whole lot of need to run them that way, either.

I wouldn't want to go completely without one, however.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:30 PM
 
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Default Interesting post, gc about the off the grid solar power, how's Vermont doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcberry View Post
no damage, thankfully. There was a power outage but as we are off the grid, we weren't affected. (Many people don't realize that even if you have solar power, if you are tied to the grid, when they have an outage, you have an outage. That's why we set up our system so that it was not grid-tied) The attached photo shows a snapped telephone pole in Lovell, but the immediate area escaped serious damage. Down the road starting in East Conway, people were not as fortunate, with flooding and road washouts.

We're down in so. NE and things are NOT good in many towns. Many people are all on the grid, and do not have power, gas stations open, grocery stores (heard a local grocery store had to throw out all their PRODUCE, cuz they lost power)
Sounds like you folks up in Maine are used to living off the grid.. Course, it's a much more rural area, than most of NE, so that makes a lot of sense.
We used to live off the grid too, but that was a tropical area. Problem is here in So. NE we got a ton of tall heavy trees, and many have fallen down, causing ppl to lose power, and they may be without it for a week or more..

Sounds to me, like they need to start creating a lot of roofs that have solar power that ARE off the grid, to prevent this disaster happening when hurricanes strike!
It's making me realize that it's BETTER to be off the grid, in some instances, cuz if the major elec co. lose power, you're not doing without!
Lots of towns in Southern NE got really devastated.. glad things went better for most of Maine, nice state, nice people up your way...
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
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From what I understand, the downside is not getting "paid" for your surplus power going into the system when you're off the grid.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Kronenwetter, Wis
444 posts, read 974,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalker View Post
I know I had seem them there, but there were none to be found on my last trip. Truth be told, it was a quick "surgical strike" and they have change departments around since I last bought them in a WalMart, but I didn't take the time to wander. Didn't find lamp oil either, which I prefer to burn over the dyed kero, but I know they should have that, also. I looked where they keep the candles, didn't see, and went on to the rest of my mission. I only have one lamp that needs a new wick and had kero enough to fill everyone.

I use them every morning, now, as I am getting ready for work at 4-5 AM, so the supplies will need to be found.

I have not had a problem with the wicks that was not fixed by trimming them a bit. I check them visually each week when I wash the chimneys. A Saturday ritual in my house...
Another source of handy light is small solar path lights, the kind you stick in the ground. Take one indoors and twist the top off of unit and place on top of a (cover less) Ball canning jar, and you have a nice table top light/lamp. Any jar will actually work. Using a little ingenuity (twine) you can even hang these up.

Just remember to put them back outside in morning to recharge.
I got a bunch in my back yard (about 100) sitting on flat surfaces and hanging from trees, etc. So I have ample supply to take inside. Last week I bought four 8-paks (32 total) from Menards. Price after rebate came to .62 cents a piece on this particular type. So they are affordable (cheap).
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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Androscoggin River after Irene - YouTube
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