Lessons from Sandy

Page 2 of 13  
On Oct 31, 1:32pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I keep some of this stuff in the house for lighting and cooking in emergency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campingaz
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:38:41 -0700 (PDT), harry

Well..its better than nothing..but....
The gas is expensive for the hours it can be used for per "cylinder" And there is no refilling them. And they are expensive to purchase.
Go to just about any second hand store and buy yourself a Coleman stove, a Coleman lantern (or several), and then to to Walmart and buy a couple gallons of white gas (whatever Wallyworld sells for filling Coleman type stoves and lanterns, and a few packs of spare mantles for the lanterns.
In a pinch..you can syphon a pint/quart or gallon of unleaded from your vehicle and run the stove and lanterns quite nicely. Some of the newer Coleman products are designed to run on unleaded gasoline..they usually are a gray or silver color...so snag them first.
I dont know where you live..but throughout most of the US..used stoves are about $10, lanterns are about the same, so for the price of one of those fancy ultralight stoves/lanterns and a couple gas cylinders...you can equip your entire house with cooling/heating and lights along with enough fuel to last you a week or more.
When not in use..they will fit nicely in a good plastic milk carton (which...ah..can be found all over..ahum) and be protected from damage.
Gunner
-- "
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-snip-

I agree. Before the storm I noticed that the State[?] had chained a generator tot he pole at a very busy intersection.
Seems to me that was a waste of a generator that could have been better used somewhere else.
You could hide a battery, but that thing was just screaming 'steal me!'.
A battery is a lot more reliable left unattended.
you could swap out batteries faster than you can refuel a generator.
seems like a good marine battery would last longer than a tank of gas- and would cost 1/5 of the generator. [this was a 5K or so generator.]
Am I all wrong here? Do traffic lights need more juice than an inverter could supply? [granted there are 8 lights at the intersection, but they are LED-- plus the switching equipment]
Jim
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I don't know your answers. If you do find out, please write again, and let us know.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I agree. Before the storm I noticed that the State[?] had chained a generator tot he pole at a very busy intersection.
Seems to me that was a waste of a generator that could have been better used somewhere else.
You could hide a battery, but that thing was just screaming 'steal me!'.
A battery is a lot more reliable left unattended.
you could swap out batteries faster than you can refuel a generator.
seems like a good marine battery would last longer than a tank of gas- and would cost 1/5 of the generator. [this was a 5K or so generator.]
Am I all wrong here? Do traffic lights need more juice than an inverter could supply? [granted there are 8 lights at the intersection, but they are LED-- plus the switching equipment]
Jim
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wrote:

Might be a question of the kind of voltage. If the traffic system is set up for 120AC power - probably is - the generator is simpler than the several pieces you would need for a battery/inverter/charger or quick change hardware. Got to mount them into some kind of assembly and wire them somehow and then do it different the next time you use it for something else. Might have to make the battery change without interruption or you might lose the synchronization between intersections.
Multiple use - that same generator can be used to power other things in other times and places. Battery? Back to having to adapt it to the load de jure.
More likely the reason - a generator can be drained and stored indefinitely. If it's quality, it can be rebuilt indefinitely. A battery needs service even in storage and with the best of care, it's life is limited.
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On 01/11/12 02:01, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Yes. There is a fair bit of power involved in lights and cabinents.
Also, it is easier to train people to start, refuel and stop a generator, than it is to deal with deep discharge batteries and the inverter.
Also, when you start doing the figures, there can be some heavy currents running through the cables from the "battery" to the inverter.
Generators are heavier and less portable than batteries and inverter.
then there is the question of the wave form in the inverter Vs the desired sine wave form of the generator.
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On Thu, 01 Nov 2012 09:54:13 +1100, terryc

Which for the traffic lights could likely be a square wave with little or no effect.
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:30:27 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

These days inverters produce "modified sine waves" which is a stair-step kind of output. Not a square wave, not a sine wave, but a blend of both.
I know from experience that electric motors don't like that kind of input. They run at very low rpm with an MSW. I don't know what the root mean square (rms voltage) is but I suspect it is a lot less than 0.707 of the peak to peak voltage that you would get with a pure sine wave.
Lg
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:51:48 -0500, Nicholas

Fully aware of this. REAL CHEAP inverters are square wave, CHEAP inverters give you a step wave, better give you modified sine wave, and high quality give you "true sine".
Similarly, some cheap generators give you a REALLY NASTY "sine wave" - some with terrible harmonics, some with terrible power factor distortion into anything but an "ideal" load. Add poor voltage and frequency control on many cheap generators, and they can cause a LOT more problems to very sensitive electronics than a reasonable inverter.
A GOOD generator is better in regulation of voltage and frequency, with less distortion.
The new Honda Inverter series generators have an extremely clean sine-wave output with very close frequency and voltage regulation - with good fuel economy and quiet part throttle operation for low loads.

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On 01/11/12 14:00, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Does anyone over there know anything about the Kipor copy cats? Blue instead of red, but significantly cheaper than the $2K Honda sting us for here.
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On Thu, 01 Nov 2012 16:32:15 +1100, terryc

If it's Chinese or Russian consider it a kit.
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On 02/11/12 07:58, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I understood they were Indian produced, but I can not besure as the Chinese are also producing knock offs.
If it is Chinese produced, it really depends on the amount of quality nspection that the distributing company is performing at te production factory.
Plenty of people have purchased cheap chinese copies of various generators and almost all are for one use, then chuck a match on top the moment it cools down as the heat from the use has badly distorted everything.
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terryc wrote:

http://wuxi-kipor-power-co-ltd.imexbb.com/
Not many reviews on Amazon, but many are positive. The most negative one complains about the engine not running at 8000 feet, which shouldn't be an issue for you.
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:51:48 -0500, Nicholas

Some do modified..others do true sine. The better ones do true sine.
Now the big question is...what will you be running from it? Lights and heaters and electric skillets simply dont care what you feed it. Your laptop..that might be different.

Some will do fine. Universal Motors dont care. Motors with poles..may or may not. Running an electric motor from an inverter is a waste of time in most cases however. Better to simply run em from a far less expensive genset.
Gunner

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wrote:

Actually, I've use MSW inverters exclusively to run all my computers at one time with no discernable problems, until one PS died. That was many months after I began the experiment. "switching power supplies" seem to be OK with MSW as an input, at least for Emergency Purposes.

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On Sat, 03 Nov 2012 05:41:40 -0500, Nicholas

I have been running a desktop PC in my car for 12 years as an MP3 player, off of the cheapest inverter I could find. It has been fine. The switcher power supply in a PC doesn't care what the wave looks like. The first thing it does is make ~150VDC out of the input power chop it up into a 20kz square wave and feed a toroid transformer to make the 3.3, 5 and 12v the PC needs.
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wrote:

But 40 lbs of gas produces something like a hundred times as much energy as a 40 lb battery.

But you will do it 10 times as often

Nope - not even close. A 200AH battery - that's a pretty big one - will provide 2400 watts for less than an hour. A 2500 Va generator will run about 4 hours on a 2 1/2 gallon (imperial) (lets say 3 gallon US) gas tank. Or about 8 hours at half load. The Hyundai 6500 we rented for the insurance office holds 6 US gallons and will run 14 hours at 1/2 load according to the manual.. Battery vs generator is not even CLOSE to a fair fight.

The inverter could likely run the lights for about 2 or 3 hours. A Honda 200 inverter generator could do that on half a gallon or so of gasoline
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On 01/11/12 12:10, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Wow, might as well do the old spanner across the terminals trick. A 200Ah is rated to produce that figure over 20 hours, so it has to be discharged 10Amps or less for a maximum of 10 hours. That is unless you want to vastly reduce its working life.
Batteries are great, but they do have severe limitations in big power applications.

Correct.
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:10:30 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

All true and very well stated.
Gunner
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wrote:

Actually...no. A good marine battery will run a light for a surprisingly short amount of time.
And when you "switch out" batteries..it means you have more than 1. So the charging unit costs, as well as each battery costs. The charger is far far cheaper than each marine battery.
That being said..its better than nothing. However..when the batteries run down..and you still dont have any power..how do you charge them back up again? It takes 4-6 hours to recharge a deep cycle marine battery. It takes 30 minutes to siphon another gallon of gas out of your vehicle and refill the genny. And gennies will be readily available in about 6 months after the power comes back on..and people start thinking.." it will never happen again"...and sell theirs. And they will go for very little money in an area that has a shitload of gensets after an emergency. Supply and demand thingy.

The switching equipement probably runs on 20 amps of power at 220vts
Those LEDs may not take much power individually..but when you stack em up to make a signal..you have about 40 or more individual LEDs running per color...and x 8..it adds up.
Its better than the old incandescent..but it does take power. And the switching computer sucks power as well. Probably 5 amps-10 amps alone, remember..there are big oversized relays that ultimately do the switching.
Gunner
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