On the power pole by my house there is a gray colored tank. It's
about 20 inches tall and maybe 15 inches round. The wires that go to
my house are hooked to it. I noticed that the neighbor has a bigger
one, probably 28 by 20 inches. The one by the store on the corner is
even bigger yet. I bet that one is 36 by 25 inches. I suppose they
make them bigger because they hold more gallons of electricity. But
why does my neighbor have a bigger one than me? I probably use more
gallons or electricity per day than he does because he dont have a big
screen tv and I do. I plan to call the electric company and order a
bigger tank. How do I figure out the number of gallons each one
holds? I want one that can hold at least 50 gallons of electricity.
That way if there is a power outage I wont run out of electricity so
The size of those tanks are carefully regulated by the utility company. Keep
in mind that the wires are constantly pumping new electricity into them.
Usually the smaller ones only supply one or two buildings, while the larger
ones can supply a whole street. They are designed so when the power goes
out, everyone's tank empties at the same time
A good spring cleaning tip:
Climb the pole and drain the tank, this removes stale electricity from the
winter ensuring your home will run on clean fresh electricity.
An added benefit is reduced annoying posts on Usenet
Not to feed a troll, but I recently read a cute article (I think it was
in this month's Discover magazine.) titled something like "The Weight of
The author started with an assumption of the number of bytes constantly
moving through the solid state memories of all the computers and servers
all over the world and assumed that half the bits in those bytes were
ones and the other half zeros.
He then made a WAG at the number of electrons required to store a single
"one" in a typical solid state memory cell, multiplied everything out
and came out with a really huge number of electrons, the weight of which
he stated was only equivilent to that of a grain of sand .0002 inches in
Fun stuff, huh?
It's not just the tank size you need to worry about. You need to
consider whether they pull the electricity out of the top or the bottom,
and you need to consider your usage patterns.
That's because the heavy electricity will sink to the bottom of the
tank. So, if they tap the tank at the bottom, you'll get heavy
electricity in the morning, and light electricity in the evening. (They
refill the tanks at night...that's why you don't see birds sitting on
the lines at night--the lines are full of electricity to refill all the
tanks then, so the birds only sit on the lines in the daytime, when the
lines are mostly empty).
Conversely, if they tap at the top, you'll get the light electricity
You need to keep the heavy electricity away from things like computers.
Because the electronics in computers is so small, heavy electricity has
trouble in them. It can't make the tight turns to get up the pins on
integrated circuits, and you'll get poor performance.
Things like big electric motors, on the other hand, work best on heavy
So, figure out when you mostly use your computer or other electronics,
and when you mostly use things like refridgerators or vacuums or washers
or dryers, and get a tank that is tapped appropriately to deliver the
right weight of electricity at the right time.
You might still have electricity for some time after a power cut, if
the tank is pressurized. If its not, then depending on the level of
the exit pipe, you may have just a trickle for a while (so that you
can run a laptop), but you could never run the well pump.
All kinds of unexpected things can happen with electricity. I once made
a stack consisting of several layers, each layer consisting of a penny,
a paper towel soaked in salt water, and a dime. That produces a
voltage, which I tried to use to zap a friend.
And then the police burst in and took him to jail! He was charged with
a salted battery.
But be sure the temperature in the tank does NOT get below 35 deg
Fahrenheit. If it does, the electrons will get sluggish and everything
(including clocks) will run too slowly.
An internet connection will not work, because all the bits will last
too long because of the slowdown. This problem is partially avoided if
your ISP uses entropy-correcting modems. Very few ISPs do,
considering the extreme cost of these units, such as the 2com model
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