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Texas and backup generators




 
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KA3EKH
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« on: February 19, 2021, 09:39:15 AM »

Wonder how Patrick and the “Bunker of Doom” are fairing down in Texas? Watching the national news, they imply that power, water and just about everything else are in short supply down in the Loan Start state.
Would assume that if anyone has a good backup generator he has.
I have my 1943 “Hercules” generator and a 240-volt outlet out in the garage that I assume that I can connect up without much issue for prolonged outages but that’s a three-phase generator but going to assume that I can at least take two legs and run it.
Before anyone says it yes, I know that you have to turn off the service breaker to the property before running a local generator.
The generator has four or five wires and can be configured and a internal terminal block so it can be configured as a 3-phase wye or a Delta. Currently have it set up as a wye with a neutral and assuming that I would take the neutral to house neutral and two of the lines to each of the phases in the house?
Don’t understand why but the main breaker on the output of the generator has 20 amp on A and C but 50 amp on B and has the B phase brought out for local 120-volt power outlets and they use that phase to feed the internal regulator.
Maybe the B phase is a heavier winding?



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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 10:43:40 AM »

All 3 legs should have the same kW capacity.

You certainly can use any two of the three for your house, with neutral.

However, your 240V stuff will have to run on 208V, that is what one gets from a 3-phase genset when configured for legs @ 120V.  If you set the regulator for 240V L to L, you'll have 137V or so at standard outlets.

Don't expect much trouble, we run 230V motors on 208V, single & 3ph here all the time without trouble.

Set it up for the wye configuration, otherwise you won't have a proper neutral.

73DG
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 02:46:01 PM »

Most often,   three phase gensets are wired "Zig-Zag"  for Split Phase service.

BUT,  one needs access to both ends of each of the genset's three phase output windings:
http://www.bkradio.com/_schematics/3phase2singlephase.pdf

A transformer could be wired to use existing three phase output ,   and produce Split Phase output.

FWIW,  GL  Vic
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Jim/WA2MER
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 07:24:56 AM »

While running a generator, my concern would be, where do you get your next tank of diesel, gas or propane. With the power outage and all Just a thought.
Regards,
Gary
You have to be suitably prepared. Having a generator and one can of gas isn't being prepared, nor is having a generator full of two-year old gas. Even if your local gas stations have power think of the gas lines from back in the '70s. I have three five-gallon gas cans and one two-gallon can. When we heard that Hurricane Sandy was coming I filled up the generator and made sure that all of my gas cans and three vehicles were full. That amount of gas lasted through the week we were without power, and I still had gas to spare when it was over (didn't have to touch the gas in the vehicles). I rationed the gas by running the generator only three hours each day: morning, Noon, and evening. That was just enough to keep the fridge cold, the house at a reasonable temperature, and provided water for showers, toilets, and drinking. During non-emergency times I try to always keep at least 10 gallons of fresh gas on hand in the shed that I cycle through the lawn mower, snow blower, and vehicles before it goes stale. If you're not willing to take reasonable preparedness measures then don't waste your money on a generator.
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 10:45:01 PM »

Everything is bigger in Texas, even blackouts Cheesy Cheesy I was reading today that the Ford 150 series pickup can be ordered with a built in AC generator that can have an output for 2 KW to 7 KW with outlets near the left rear by the tail gate. They went on to say that there were about 450 of these trucks at various dealers around Texas and that the dealers were "lending" them out to help their citizens in desperate need of some juice.

I wonder how that power is being made on their trucks? Do they have a big DC generator powering and inverter or is it just an ac generator?  
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 03:51:25 AM »

Wonder if any issues down in Texas with diesel powered backup generators shutting down due to not having cold weather diesel fuel at this time of year when the temps got into single digits.  Several years ago, Diane’s cousin Shirley and and her husband Ed who live at and run Raymond’s Country Store up at Notheast Carry on Moosehead Lake in Maine had their diesel gensets shut down at Christmas due to thier fuel supplier sending them summer blend fuel instead of  winter mix for their pre-winter delivery. It jelled up and all had to be pumped out and replaced.  They had to limp by with only their residence solar with battery storage power, no grid up there for many many miles.
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Chris, AJ1G
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 08:54:36 AM »

Here in Maine, gelling of diesel fuel is something that can be dealt with easily.  Every auto parts and WallyWorld carries a product called PowerService anti-gel, in a white plastic container.  A few ounces in the tank generally prevents gelling, as well as increasing the cetane number of the fuel. 
If one gets lazy and fails to use PowerService as a prophylactic treatment, there is another product they make called "911" sold in a red container.  Dump a quart into the tank of up to 300 gallons and it makes its way through the fuel supply and return lines and melts the "butter".  I un-buttered my tractor in about 10 minutes one time, but a friend's tractor took us a couple hours.  It would put-put but wouldn't run under load.
My experience with diesel fuel gelling is that it seems to be most prevalent in the single number (F) temperatures and below, but it depends on what fuel the dealers are selling, or if you still have summer blend in the tractor. Some truckers used to cut their diesel with kerosene in winter but that's not a good idea now that kerosene is not road legal and has the red telltale dye in it.   Long distance truckers know this stuff, but diesel genset operators down south may still be in the learning curve.

73 de Norm W1ITT
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 09:16:28 AM »

Don't just focus on Texas, it has its own grid and management and is not part of the Southwest Power Pool which encompasses 14 states.  Those 14 states had problems that about equaled that in Texas, they just don't have news organizations that like to whip up the public.  Those 14 states have water problems to this day and had rolling brown outs and black outs as bad as Texas, just today the Power Pool rescinded the emergency.  The problem lies in politics and several coal fired plans have been taken off line to be replaced by inefficient methods.

One thing this has done is drive the sales of standby generators.  Today one will be lucky to find a suitable generator on the shelf anywhere.  The major manufacturers say between 1 to 12 weeks for delivery and installers are busy as well.  I did not have either problem at my house and because of an Oxygen concentrator I have a medium sized standby generator with ATS.  Thank goodness it was not needed and I made my AM contacts as scheduled.
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AG5UM
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 06:32:51 PM »

I agree with you completely Jim/w5jo, well said.
AG5UM
The ranchers out here had no problems, but we did have one friend with a brandnew 4-wheel truck parked with "gelled" diesel.
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 12:11:43 PM »

KA3EKH

I suppose I'll get my ears yelled off but I'm going to ask anyway. Have you considered installing a generator inlet and an interlock on your panel's main breaker. If your the only one who ever connects the thing then you might avoid one of the deadly mistakes that kills users and lineman every year. I have 45 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. I've personally responded to 4 electrocutions and ~10 non fatal but serious electric shock cases. One of the electrocutions was a lineman killed by a generator back feed. That one was all it took to give me the one true religious viewpoint on jury rigged generators. One of the other 2 was a homeowner who was doing his own wiring. What could go wrong? It's all just color to color isn't it? All it would cost you to install the inlet and the interlock would be one day of your time and ~$150.

I do realize that most of you know this but for the benefit of any neophyte that should happen upon this thread I point out that transformers are bidirectional in terms of which side they get their power from. If you put 240 volts on the premise side the transformer will convert it up to the local distribution voltage that it converts down to 240 under normal circumstances. It only takes 3/100ths of an ampere to kill someone.

About your Hercules generator. Any real generator shop can convert it to put out 240/120 because the other end of the windings are available in the other end of the Alternator's enclosure. It's usually a rather simple task to do the re-connection of the windings to single phase. Most alternators will put out markedly more usable power when all three windings are doing the job instead of just one.

There are a few things that you might have in your home that could not tolerate 120/208 single phase power. One thing to check would be your Oxygen accumulator. If it is a straight 120 volt device with a NEMA 5-15 plug then it would never know the difference, so to speak, because there wouldn't, in fact, be any. If by some chance it is a 240 volt unit, which I have not seen any of in 2 decades, then you need to check the label, which has the electrical testing laboratory's listing mark on it, for the design voltage and/or the tolerance. Another thing to check would be a heat pump compressor. You certainly wouldn't want to burn that up with an under voltage supply! That would be an expensive mistake. American clothes dryers all have 120 volt motors and controls so there is no problem there. It would just take slightly longer to dry your clothes.

One last thing, that some may find worth knowing, is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is committed to seeking manslaughter or Criminal reckless endangerment conviction of anyone who kills or injures an Outside Wireman (Lineman) by the unlawful connection of a generator to the wiring of any structure without regard to the Outside Wiremen victim's membership or lack of same in the IBEW.  They have investigative teams at the ready, lawyers on retainer, and their regular public relations people are ready to put a lot of public pressure on local prosecutors to obtain justice for the spouse and other survivors. Even if they do not obtain a conviction on those top charges I wouldn't want to bet against them getting some sort of conviction out of their efforts.
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2021, 01:18:50 PM »

Think if I were going to do a permanent installation of a backup generator would do a transfer switch or at least a huge appropriately rated manual transfer, but at this point would rather just think about what would be involved in using the old generator.
That generator is one that I collected up this last year being I always wanted something with a flat head engine just to play with and if power outages were more frequent would look for something along the lines of an old Onan LP/Propane signal phase unit and install that along with a transfer switch.
Over the last ten years we have not had many outages and the ones we have had have been short duration rarely lasting beyond an hour. Have several other smaller and newer generators and in the past with the short duration outages just ran extension cords.
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KY4SP
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2021, 02:18:33 PM »

...Have you considered installing a generator inlet and an interlock on your panel's main breaker. If your the only one who ever connects the thing then you might avoid one of the deadly mistakes that kills users and lineman every year. I have 45 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. I've personally responded to 4 electrocutions and ~10 non fatal but serious electric shock cases. One of the electrocutions was a lineman killed by a generator back feed. That one was all it took to give me the one true religious viewpoint on jury rigged generators....worth knowing, is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is committed to seeking manslaughter or Criminal reckless endangerment conviction of anyone who kills or injures an Outside Wireman (Lineman) by the unlawful connection of a generator to the wiring of any structure without regard to the Outside Wiremen victim's membership or lack of same in the IBEW.  They have investigative teams at the ready, lawyers on retainer, and their regular public relations people are ready to put a lot of public pressure on local prosecutors to obtain justice for the spouse and other survivors. Even if they do not obtain a conviction on those top charges I wouldn't want to bet against them getting some sort of conviction out of their efforts.

Thank you. Conviction or not, the resulting legal fees will likely exceed the cost of a proper transfer switch or other approved isolation method many times over.

"I don't need a transfer switch because..." is not a very good defense compared to "I have a transfer switch" when something goes wrong.
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2021, 03:54:46 PM »

KA3EKH


One last thing, that some may find worth knowing, is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is committed to seeking manslaughter or Criminal reckless endangerment conviction of anyone who kills or injures an Outside Wireman (Lineman) by the unlawful connection of a generator to the wiring of any structure without regard to the Outside Wiremen victim's membership or lack of same in the IBEW.  They have investigative teams at the ready, lawyers on retainer, and their regular public relations people are ready to put a lot of public pressure on local prosecutors to obtain justice for the spouse and other survivors. Even if they do not obtain a conviction on those top charges I wouldn't want to bet against them getting some sort of conviction out of their efforts.

Good.  People that risk the lives of electricians because they either don't want to pay for an electrician or they don't feel the tradesman is worth calling deserve it when I kills or otherwise hurts a tradesman.

It's joy like they are playing fiddle sti KS.  What we do kills, and can kill us.

I'm not a lineman, but am a member of the IBEW.  The IBEW does a lot not just for union members.  It's a shame that non members don't see that (especially when their employers do).

. /end_rant

--Shane
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k6hsg
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2021, 07:22:49 AM »

When we lived on the farm in Missouri my wife wanted a power source backup so I bought a Miller Bobcat welder which also puts out 10 KW backup power.
I had my local electrical supply send out a switch and a guy to install it.
worked great.
the next winter we had an ice storm and were without power for 8 days while a lot of local power poles that were resting on the ground were replaced.
My neighbor came by and said that they were on their way to the motel.
I told them that they could stay with us and he asked where I planed on getting gas for the generator.
I hadn't thought about the gas stations being down.
He was a real farmer and had a large gas storage tank so they stayed with us and we used his gas.
I ran the generator during the day and turned it off at night.  My house was well insulated and didn't need heat during the night.
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John,  K6HSG  Tucson, Arizona
KA3EKH
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2021, 09:21:54 AM »

Been looking and there are a lot of generator lockout kits out there and think I may look at installing one in the future. The biggest issue now would be that I will have to change the main disconnect after the meter pan to accommodate a box with the new 200-amp service disconnect and a smaller disconnect and plug for a generator on the outside of the house.
As it is now having a 200 amp disconnect on the outside of the house that feeds a panel located in the house short of turning off the main disconnect there is no way to guarantee that the main is disconnected or somehow cannot be inadvertently turned back on.
Big thing about that is having to install a weather proof panel and if it would be better to just keep the main disconnect in place and put a panel after that with the generator feed but will that make the panel that’s inside the house a sub panel?
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W1ITT
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2021, 10:47:31 AM »

For ka3ekh and all...
I have a 200 amp main service but, rather than switch the whole house, I run out a 60 amp breaker into a big Square D 60 amp transfer switch, and then into a subpanel.  That subpanel contains all the circuits that I consider necessary and desirable to run in an emergency such as general lighting, refrigerator and freezer, water pump, furnace and the 120 volt outlets in the ham shack (of course).  I leave the water heater, clothes dryer and the electric stove outlet to be fed off the main.  (The water heater and the stove are backed up with separate propane units so we don't suffer much anyway.)
The advantage of this is that less technical personnel can switch the system over without having to worry about bogging down the generator with trying to start heavy loads. And the wood and coal stoves operate just fine either way.
A few years ago we had a multi day power failure and I had the generator running.  A power company guy stopped as he went by to tell me that the power would be restored in just a few minutes and that I could stop the generator if I wanted.  (I had given their associated tree crew a gallon of chain saw bar oil the previous day, so now I was one of the good guys.) He saw the transfer switch on the inside of the garage wall and commented that it certainly looked like it was "big enough".  I opened the cover and showed him how the old Square D  switch had big honking contacts and over 3 inches of air gap at any point in its travel.  His comment was that he wished everybody had one like that.
Anyway, consider a switch and a subpanel made with real components.  Some of those little piddly handy homeowner units don't impress me, even if they are UL listed.

73 de Norm W1ITT
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2021, 11:55:58 AM »

For ka3ekh and all...Square D  switch had big honking contacts and over 3 inches of air gap at any point in its travel.  His comment was that he wished everybody had one like that. Anyway, consider a switch and a subpanel made with real components.  Some of those little piddly handy homeowner units don't impress me, even if they are UL listed...

+1 for the above. Linemen around here like to see what they call a "visible open". 
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2021, 10:01:28 PM »

executive summary;
No outages here. The generator was immediately operable due to preparations, but not needed.
It's impossible-as-designed/manufactured for it to energize the mains, was installed by licensed electricians, and was inspected and green-tagged by the city electrical inspector.
There are some comments on the outage and crazy billing.

##############################################

TL;DR section:

I am honored and a little embarrassed to have been mentioned! But I'm glad people care about each other. I've been occupied with a lot of stuff so sorry I had not checked in as usual. I care too!

On the generator hookups - lots of good points.

=============================================

Rewiring from 3 phase to single phase, capacity would normally be reduced to 65-75%, refer to manual.

Also on any generator, there is a 'standby' rating like ICAS and a 'prime' rating. Prime is 100% duty except for oil change etc.
Smaller machines also list peak watts, which should be only for starting current for HVAC or big motors.

=============================================

Ok, there's a Mankato Diesel here rated 30KW prime. I had the block and fuel heaters on once the temp dropped to 35 degrees. It started right up at 7 degrees F outdoor temp, with the block at 50 degrees and the fuel tank at 40 degrees.

I have about 30 gallons of diesel in sealed cans and brought those into the back room of the house so they would not gel. I had 2 empty cans which should have been already filled but had been neglected, shame on me, because the snow and ice came and that was impossible, then all the fuel was sold out anyway. I do not have anti-gel or preservative in the machine's day-tank or the cans, but maybe I should stop in at the truck stop and get some. 30 gallons is about 1 day in summer, it's a pig but a good pig.

The transfer switch is inherently built so that it's impossible to energize the mains with the generator.

There is also a lockable mains disconnect switch box on the front of the house next to the meter, in case for any reason such as a fire or pole transformer replacement, the mains has to be 'positively' disconnected.

The generator itself can be manually shut down or disconnected via any one of a switch on its own control panel, a fused disconnect on the outside of the generator cabinet, or by a switch inside the transfer cabinet. The transfer switch can also be manually thrown via an insertable lever however it can also break a careless or untrained hand if the transfer motor coil fires. The lever moves about 8 inches vertically in less than one cycle when the coil fires. Thus the lever remains in its storage cradle.

So, it's a very safe system overall. The city electrical inspector went over it with a magnifying glass and a fine tooth comb and I still have the green tag and sign-off paperwork to prove it. Hope that's never necessary.

=============================================

But here we go. The whole time, there was no electric, gas, or water outage in my neighborhood.

"...Texas, it has its own grid and management..."

"...Texas, it has its own grid and mis-management..."
There I fixed it.


LOL Here's my mostly opinion on the TX outage based on hearsay (news, gummint speeches) and one document, at least in the ONCOR delivery area:

TX can connect to the Southwest if needed to give or take power. IIRC that was something we didn't want because the federales could require us to be dependent, but it's more of a switch than a solder connection. Is this correct?

The extra capacity (where from ?) was brought online after a delay because of a number of reasons.

1.) there was damage to our delivery infrastructure.

2.) Our generation is owned by private companies. There are generators offline and even cold during wither because we need high power mostly in summer. However, there was almost a week of notice by the 'weather' that it would be real howler and yet I don't know of any of those generators that were fired up in anticipation.

3.) private generators whose gear was offline for the winter were allowed to charge up to $9000 per megawatt hour ($9/KWh, a 100x price) just for firing it up for 2 days. I don't know what's fair, and I know you don't just turn something like that on and off, but it seems rapine and castigatorial and devoid of any kind of good citizenship considering they enjoy business at the sufferance of the good people of Texas.

4.) Federal interference. The fascist 'acting' director of energy or whatever up in DC was contacted by our governor who communicated intent to increase generation which would slightly increase pollution, and asked permission.
That washington tinpot desk-pilot(acting), forbade us to bring up the higher-polluting generators to full power or online at all, until we had already -first- exhausted ALL of the resources for the $9000/MWh power, and additionally that tinpot tyrant said that TX must pay no less than $1900/MWh. And then demanded constant reports on pollution. There's a letter exposing this. DC didn't give a hoot about the emergency or people's lives, just wanted to swagger his junk around. Woulda been a good time to 'just say no' and fire up what was needed anyway, or do it and then let them complain later.

5.) Our power plants were not properly winterized or not winterized enough. When outdoor cooling and other pipes/gear freezes up, the plant has to shut down.

6.) Lets not forget the wind turbines failing. 15-25% of the power some say. Incorrect lube for low-temp and lack of means/gear to supply warm air down inside the blades to stop ice formation were blamed.

=============================================

Fallout from the price-gouge:

Being a de-regulated, any corporation can set up an electric provider company and offer power by the month or long contracts at whatever retain price they see fit. This is a good thing for compoetition usually.

Because some frugal customers chose to select energy providers which offer a plan like "spot wholesale cost + $10 per month + taxes", those people are getting February bills for $900-$15,000 depending on how much power they used for those two days. No warning except the fine print in their contracts. Very cheap until there's a disaster.

Most people choose from a selection of term contracts at fixed price per KwH. I pay $0.095 per KwH. I already have communication from my provider that my bill is not affected by the 'craziness' (their own term in that letter).
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2021, 11:13:13 AM »

Let's not also forget that the lower output of wind and solar was actually above the projected output.

In other words, the renewable where putting out more power than they where supposed to.

I can't wait to see the fallout from this after the he said she said is over.  If we ever do get to see it.

But the bottom line on renewable energy, as it's called, is thus:  they expected it to be putting out less total power than it was when the grid failed.

Also worth pointing out that the areas that ERCOT had no jurisdiction over where just fine.  ERCOT needs to be dismantled and the entire Texas grid fixed.  After all, we sent the grid operators and generation stations money after 2011 and 2018 freezes.

Reminds me of my time in Houston when we would measure floods by how many years:  this was a 25 year flood, only happens every 25 years.

But yet they had that same flood three times at a house in the woodlands the family owned for ten years.

--Shane
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« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2021, 08:57:33 AM »

At my work, I was called into one of the Austin area wafer fab factories for a Thursday-Friday marathon. This old guy did 9000 steps each day.

The wafer fabs in Austin have been hit hard from the Austin power loss. Looks like this massive power outage will cost them at least 3 weeks out of production.

On Thursday, a co-worker, and I brought up 15 ion implanters from the dead. Many had issues, make note of them, and move on.

On Friday, I tackled computer issues on three machines. Two power supplies, two CAT 5 Ethernet switches, and some lost battery backed settings. Could have been far worse.

I got lucky with the computers.

A big wafer fab uses a lot of N2 gas, and most make their own N2 supply. That system was down all week, and on Friday they resorted having 16 Tractor Trailer rigs full of LN2

head there way; about 2 days worth of N2!! By tomorrow, things could be looking better, or flat out Dire if the N2 supply is exhausted again. $$$$$

I was told that Ercot gave them only a few hours notice that the power was going down. All the fab equipment had been idled, but left in a runnable state. The vacuum pumps,

Turbo pumps, Cryo-Pumps, Roughing pumps were all running. Many of the "key staff" folks were unable to get in due to snow, ice, and they had their own issues from the situation.

One guy who had power, was able to remotely log in, and shut a few machines down, but not many. It takes over 10 minutes to have a single Turbo pump ramp down.

This power issue will morph into something really big once a real tally is made. This factory's chips were mainly for the automotive sector.

One impact may be Ford F150's cannot meet production demand.

Jim
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2021, 04:34:15 PM »

I am 40 miles south of Fort Worth and was without power for 3 days. Thank god for my Lopi endeavor wood burning stove and my propane powered Onan JC 12.5 KW genset.
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2021, 09:40:44 PM »

I am 40 miles south of Fort Worth and was without power for 3 days. Thank god for my Lopi endeavor wood burning stove and my propane powered Onan JC 12.5 KW genset.


  Just curious about how much propane you used, and about what load did you have on that generator?

A 12.5KW generator must come in handy for times like this. using propane eliminates the gasoline turning bad from extended storage.

Jim
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2021, 06:45:07 PM »

 An interesting take on the Texas Power Outage.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/06/the-catastrophic-texas-blackouts-lessons-for-the-developing-countries/

 Not to dump on Texas, I feel more akin to Texas politically than to the Idiots who have run the DPRK (Demokratik Peoples Republik of Kaliforna)  the last generation. We had rolling blackouts here last Fall because the "policy makers" have decided to NOT REPLACE the old power plants ending their life span but to rely on "Green Energy", so we had a man made power shortage.

 In October 2019 I made my annual trip to Massachusetts to visit my sisters who live in towns near Plymouth, the nuclear plant in Plymouth closed a few years ago, the generation has not been replaced. I flew home out of Providence, RI, I passed the big coal power plant near Fall River, MA, it was the largest power plant in New England, it is now closed nor has it been replaced.

 My flight to Oakland went via Orlando, FL and then onto Oakland, it took me over Texas on a nice clear day. I was amazed at the number of Wind Farms I passed over, they seemed to be every place.

 Electricity is the essence of Modern Life, it isn't free, it comes from some place and when the wind doesn't blow or the sun shine, wind mills and solar panels don't produce.

 I'm retired from a 29 year career at the local power company, the last 5 years I worked I was involved in a large build out of "Smart Grid", in my case SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition" by radio to control gas and electric distribution and transmission. I'm afraid the Green Idiots have set us up for more large power outages like what happened here in the DPRK last Fall and more recently in Texas
 
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2021, 07:12:29 PM »

I grew up 4 wheeling all over California, Arizona and parts of Nevada.

I never saw vegetation under any high voltage lines growing up.  They would be scraped to bare earth directly below and for a short distance around all high voltage lines.

That must have been expensive, since now the profit (and dividend driven) electric companies don't do this.

They have right of way and easement power, so it isn't because they can't access the property.  They have lawyers, as evidenced by the pittance (relatively) they pay when they burn an entire town, blow towns up, etc.  It's plain and simple greed.

I bring this up because a LOT of the blackouts here in California are caused because they shit areas of the grid down during high wind events.  Because of the vegetation under the distribution lines and sparking causing fires.

A shame that our politicians can't enact laws that would actually force the grid operators to be safe.  Also a shame that California gets blamed for poor forest management when it's usually the lands they have no jurisdiction where fires start.  Meaning USFS and BLM land.

We never had rolling blackouts due to fire danger growing up. Now, where I recently moved from I had a battery, inverter and charger set to fire my solar farm up after I turned the main breaker off.  We had over 20kw of power during the day, but as W6TOM brings uo, you ain't got squat when the wind dies down.

Incidentally, a tesla affiliated company is bringing utility scale battery storage and inverter to Texas.  Makes you laugh.  Then you look at the Moss Landing power plant.  Closed and becoming utility scale battery.  And there is plans I've seen for Morro Bay power plant (closed for awhile) battery on a utility scale.  Tehachapi wind farms looked at pimping water uphill in the high wind times and letting same water come down the mojntain during no wind times turning hydroelectric turbines (this is working already in other places) as gravity pulls the water downhill.

I still think nuclear is the eay to go.  And we can have SpaceX send the spent rods to the sun to eliminate most of the waste!  😜😜

--Shane
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« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2021, 08:33:13 PM »

"I never saw vegetation under any high voltage lines growing up.  They would be scraped to bare earth directly below and for a short distance around all high voltage lines. "

 One might wonder if they sprayed Herbicide?? If so I would bet that is prohibited now and probably so good reason.

  Wind is the enemy of overhead utility systems, the only thing more damaging would be an Ice Storm, we don't get that type of weather here in California. Electric service in urban California is very reliable, I've been here in this house for 41 years, the longest my power has been out is about 19 hours in all those years. A DUI hit the power pole at the end of the street at 2 AM, he broke the pole in half, snapped the top off the next pole and pulled the cross arms off the third pole in line. This pole broken in half was the last in dead end circuit. It took PG&E until 9 that night to get my power back up.

  Three years ago I made a trip back to Massachusetts in March to help my sister, they had a  major Nor'easter with Hurricane Force Winds, she was without power for 3 days in freezing weather. She about 10 trees down including one on her garage and another that was leaned 30 degrees towards the garage. I flew back to help her, I was astonished at how many trees were down all over the area. A week later was another Nor'easter and they lost power for another day.

  We here in California are fortunate we don't this type of weather but what do have is 6 months of No Rain and that makes us prone to wild fires.


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