Propane generator for blackouts?

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wrote

Well, I'm just a guy with a family, not a utility. I don't have NG in my area, I don't use propane, so decent storage would be expensive if I went that way, gasoline is only practical for short term use, but I heat my house with oil, so I opted for a nice prime power diesel unit. It burns about 1/2 gallon per hour, and I keep 1500 gallons in storage tanks. You do the math. My guess is that a critical utility is better prepared than I am.
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How often do you have your diesel tanks inspected... In many areas storing that much fuel for any purposes requires an environmental permit and the permission of the fire department/fire marshal having jurisdiction...
~~ Evan
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wrote

How often do you have your diesel tanks inspected... In many areas storing that much fuel for any purposes requires an environmental permit and the permission of the fire department/fire marshal having jurisdiction...
~~ Evan
You're such a nanny state whiner
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<...snipped...>

I've personally seen diesel's start and run on fuel more than 20 years old.
--
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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On 10/2/2010 10:57 AM, Steve Barker wrote:

Why wouldn't the control center that houses the SCADA system not have redundant power? That would be one of the main considerations when designing such a system. The center I have seen has utility electric power feeds and multiple CAT diesels and a big fuel tank. They even went so far as to place a huge Jersey bank between the building and a railroad track that isn't that close to prevent damage if there is a train wreck.
We have experienced at least two long blackouts and the NG system kept on humming because it was designed to work that way.
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On 10/2/2010 10:49 AM, George wrote:

well we can only hope. for those of us who heat with it. But there's nothing wrong with having a backup plan. And propane fueled electricity is a pretty good one, i think. 500 gal will keep the fridge, and minimal heat going a long time.
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Steve Barker
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On 10/2/2010 10:49 AM, George wrote:

A friend of mine was in charge of the communications division of a power company and that utility actually used their electrical power grid to carry communication if the phone system went down. If you've ever been in a phone company central office, you will have seen massive battery banks taking up a whole large room or more. Data processing centers and most ISP's have quite elaborate backup power systems that are constantly tested and maintained. Most folks have now idea of the redundant power systems they walk past every day. Last weekend I was installing some network equipment in an office building and when I looked out the window on the back side of the building, I saw two generators. The darn things are everywhere.
TDD
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I've seen backup generators behind retail stores, in NY State. I can think of one without too much effort. Wholesale club with a lot of merchandise in freezers.
Also, fire departments often have backup generators.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 10/3/2010 2:33 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

I have seen many installations. One place I work at has dual electric utility feeds that originate at different primaries, a huge battery room and 3 huge CAT diesel generators.
What you mentioned is quite variable and depends on the ethic of the company. Some are amazingly lame and are simply hoping nothing will happen.
People would be totally shocked at how Mickey Mouse many everyday services they depend on are operated. For example if you use a tmobile or AT&T phone pretty much all of their cell sites only have a tiny backup battery. If the power goes down your cell service does very shortly after. This is even more important since so many people have dropped land lines. A good friend lives in an area higher than here that is situated perfectly to catch a lot of ice during winter storms. He mentioned his family went gaga over having iphones which currently only work on AT&T. He laughed when I mentioned he may want to put a telephone line back in the house. They had a massive ice storm the winter before last and the power was off for 4 days. He said they lost AT&T cell coverage very shortly after the power went off. VZW stayed up because they fit each site with lots of battery and a generator.
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On 10/3/2010 7:59 AM, George wrote:

There are penny pinching pencil pushers involved in those decisions and they rule until they get slapped upside the head by lawyers. I imagine your contract with your provider has a clause about acts of God or terrorist attacks, um, I mean, man caused disasters. 8-)
TDD
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I've got a couple friends who have digital phone. When the power goes out, they lose thier phone. I can't call them to see if they are OK, cause the phone went out also. I ring. If someone answers, I know the power is on.
Glad Verizon is fairly dependable. That's my cell phone carrier.
--
Christopher A. Young
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That's why anyone with a digital phone on their landline should also have a phone around which doesn't require electricity which they can plug in.
--
Jonathan Grobe Books
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wrote:

I think he's talking about a cable phone. It's sort of a landline, meaning it isn't a cell phone, but when the power goes out, the cable modem goes out and thus the phone goes out. I have one and that's the deal. Even having an old wired phone won't help.
I guess the cable is independent of the power though and if you can power the modem, the phone (and TV and Internet!) should work.
Assuming I get my generator, I assume that I'll be able to power the modem.
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Yes, about the cable phone.
I'm not sure if there is signal in the coax, when the power goes out. There may be cable substations and all, which need power. I just don't know.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Oct 12, 8:09pm, "Stormin Mormon"

The line amplifiers require public power to operate and the back up battery duration is often quite limited. During one prolonged power outage here the cable company was placing loud, construction type, generators on their maintenance platforms to maintain service. With power out to all the homes the noise was deafening. After some of the affected people started just shoving the generators off of the platforms to fall to the street in order to shut them up the cable company smartened up and started using Honda and Yamaha inverter generators that people could tolerate when they had to sleep with the windows open. Their newer line amplifiers now come with larger battery compartments so maybe now they can run all night without a generator to supply them. -- Tom Horne
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There are many people who have "cordless" and other phones which require electricity. People with fancy ass phones would benefit to have a simple phone for power cuts.
In this case, the phone signal is proved by the cable TV and internet company. When the power goes off, the cable TV and internet and phone system goes dead. A simple phone, sadly, would not help these people. (I'm not sure much would help them!)
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On 10/3/2010 5:46 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

SLAs aren't involved with cell phones. So if the carrier cheaps out like say AT&T or tmobile does I doubt folks would have recourse except they have a nice paperweight for the duration.
If you try to explain stuff like emergency power you usually get the same reaction as if you just told them a potato is growing out of their ear so I just don't bother anymore.
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On 10/4/2010 7:08 AM, George wrote:

I installed a lot of generators back in the late 90's because people were afraid all the electricity would fail because of Y2K and the darned storms stirred up by the hurricanes. 8-)
TDD
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Y2K didn't do much except fuel the nega-doomers. The folks who ridicule anyone who prepares for trouble. Hurricanes are still a concern. And winter time storms. Freezing rain is what pulls down power wires in my area.
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On Mon, 4 Oct 2010 14:18:52 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

I'm in software and we busted our butt to make sure that nothing bad happened. Lots of software changes, lots of tests with our customers, and sure enough, Y2K comes and nothing goes wrong. But it sure would have without all the work we put in.
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