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Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

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  • Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

    Monday brought nasty ice storms to the Mid West with death and destruction. Today, Tuesday, came along more if the fierce ice storms. Please click the link below for more info.
    http://news.aol.com/story/_a/ice-sto...00010000000001

  • #2
    Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

    And it didn't hit us up here, thank god. Sorry for the folks down there, I do understand what those storms can do. This is a good reason why Home Owners should have a generator for back up power, but not in their house or garage. It should be kept out doors for ventilation reason. Gotta keep your house and kids warm.
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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    • #3
      Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

      North Eastern PA and Upstate NY are all a big iced up mess. Where I am in Central PA it's not bad this week. I really am lucky.

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      • #4
        Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

        We were pretty fortunate here too. We had a small amount of ice early this AM but then it turned to snow, I'd say around 5" or 6" of the white stuff. This is our 3rd good dumping snow in the last 10 days so for sure it'll be a white Christmas around here.
        ================================================== ====
        All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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        • #5
          Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

          Here's my generators, there is a transfer switch to switch between the two units and a transfer switch on the farms distribution pole to switch between the power company and the generators. there both duel fuel, propane and gasoline and a picture of my electricity free water delivery unit. I have a 1000 gallon propane tank that they can be fueled from.

          Back in 1977 when my dad was still farming we had a ice storm that took out most ever east - west pole for a 2500 square mile area, the farm was with out power for over 30 days, and at that time we did not have a generator, my dad payed an inflated price for one and wore it out during that time, when I took over I decided to do a little more to protect against power outages, and built the generator shed and installed the two generators, the small one is the same generator unit my dad had but new motor, and the larger one I bought the generator with a blown motor and used a older combine harvester motor to power it. at first were all electrical powered, and the only real choice was to use the generators, but as time went on I put back up the windmills and have added many other measures to be able to get along with a minimal electricity.

          and we mostly heat with wood heat.

          Currenly we have 6 + inches of snow on the ground and ice under that, of about 1/4", the ice mostly went south of us.
          Attached Files
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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          • #6
            Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

            Here is the Washington, DC area there are fog alerts this morning and we are expecting rain showers and a high in the low 60s. The overnight low into Thursday morning will be about 40. It is expected to get windy during the afternoon. Thursday and Thursday night temps will hold around 40 and there will be pretty good rain in the afternoon. Friday looks like a nice cool day with some sun and about a steady 40F. Saturday is when things may become nasty as they predict a mix of snow and freezing rain and maybe some sleet. Temps will be in the critical range for freezing precipitation and an icy mess. Sunday looks like just rain but with overnight lows so that Monday morning there will be black ice to deal with. In the extended forecast things are expected to improve by Monday afternoon as the sun should finally come out.

            It is feared that up to our north they best get ready for a serious ice storm and maybe two of them at that.

            Having lived in the Washington, DC area all my life I learned that the wild animals and birds are far better at predicting weather than the National Weather Service. Just watch them. They will give lots of clues when a big storm is coming.

            With all of this in mind, I'm going to service my generator and be sure I have a good stock of good fresh gasoline and oil on hand. I already have loads of flashlights and extra batteries and a good battery powered radio ready.

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            • #7
              Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

              BHD

              Being on a farm, I would think you would have your own tank(s) with treated off highway Diesel fuel in them for the tractors and such. With that on hand I would think you would either do a Diesel engine generator or a good PTO drive generator as your main one. Propane is nice for heating but to run a good size engine gets costly. Maybe you get a better deal on it than what the going prices are over here.

              In the city, a good many people use natural gas fueled engines for generators. The problem is that if you need to run an engine over about 25 HP you'll have to get setup as a heavy commercial customer. Residential service won't give near enough flow or pressure. For private homes many people here are getting what I call a "Dog House" packaged Standby generator setup. These are in the 8-20 KW range. The little ones have 2 cylinder air cooled 3600 RPM engines and the larger use a 4 cylinder liquid cooled 1800 RPM engine. I do know of one large house with a 50 KW generator with a V6 GMC small truck engine on it. All are natural gas fueled units.

              The Diesels are mostly for commercial users and come in sizes from tiny 6000 Watt up to over 2000KW with (2) engines coupled end to end.

              Please see pictures below of what I call "Dog House" generators. I'm, sure you have seen them, but I'm posting for others that might be interested. The Generac ones sold at Home Depot are POC at best. If I ever do one it will be either a Kohler or Onan.

              The Dog House units are fully automatic and run a weekly no load self test. These are mostly in use by richer people. I'll stick with a good manual transfer switch, power inlet and manual start-stop generator. I can live fine without 24/7 power as long as I can have power some of the time every day.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Woussko; 12-12-2007, 06:03 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

                yes propane may not be my first choice if I was buying new and starting fresh,
                but cold weather starting of a diesel is not the easiest either,

                but storage of gasoline is not easy and the location of the generator and the fuel tanks are not located in the same location, and history has taught me that if we do lose power for any length of time usually transportation is not available from tanks to the building were the generators are, and IN 1977 there was only a 30' snow drift between the buildings and the fuel tanks, (tanks are in a location one can get near them with the combine or the tractors and farm equipment on them, so moving the tanks is not a realistic option,

                Yes I can store gasoline in 55 gallon drums, and keep it for a few years at a time, but both engines on the generators were gasoline, and you can not convert a gas engine to diesel but you can to propane, and do it easy, and even have a duel fuel, system,


                the other thing that seem to a rule is if you have a blizzard the fuel tank is waiting to be filled or is below a 1/4 of a tank, yes you may have called the fuel supplier but that does not mean he has had time to come, IN my instance the only item on the tank is the generator, so it is "full" and ready, propane will usually start at any temperature to -40 below, which is rare for here, I do not think we have ever hit -40, (at -40 propane will not vaporize or have any pressure) even tho I am flowing liquid to the generator.

                and it is storable for nearly for ever, and currently propane is much cheaper than gasoline and or diesel, even for the Btu content,

                but one more ITEM, running a generator is not cheap, regardless of what fuel you use,

                I would still like to add some deep cycle batteries and an inverter for "minimal electrical needs" like at night or when you jsut want a little light or light loads, and then add a (i was thinking a aircraft generator) to charge the batteries, (may be able to use the large generator and come off the front of it to power it, I think one could charge a set of batteries cheaper for light loads than run the generator continuously if it was needed and the loads were minimal, all in time.

                currently, most of my needed electrical loads are for refrigeration needs, which would normally take the larger generator or to stagger the charging times of the various refrigerator and freezers.

                so that is why propane was my choice of fuel, and 800 gallons of propane is more fuel than what I normally store in diesel or gasoline, (and currently propane is harder to steal).
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                attributed to Samuel Johnson
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Mother Nature Throws Temper Tantrum in Mid West USA

                  Now I understand and yes to propane being a nice fuel. I saw the V4 Wisconsin engine and with a carb modification you're right about doing a dual fuel engine. Gasoline really isn't a fuel you want to keep large amounts of around for a long time. Sta-Bil is a good product but it still does go bad after enough time. As for a Diesel on a stand-by generator you have an electric water jacket heater and a heated "Day Tank" with a few hours of fuel next to the generator inside the weather housing or building. This does add up to some good $$$. I was mostly thinking of your having lots of Diesel for tractors and such. I do see lots of farmers in my regional area using their tractor(s) with PTO generators. That's OK for a day or two, but not something I would want to see used for a week at a time.

                  Your idea of deep cycle (Think hard about golf cart) batteries with a good sine wave inverter is a good one. They do take lots of power from the batteries and you should try for 24 Volts DC or higher input. Some companies make them setup with fully automatic charger and a small transfer switch. Think of like a big long run UPS for your computer with external batteries.

                  You might want to call up Banner Power Company at toll-free 1-866-231-6901 as they make up the while system package. I hear they aren't cheap but do work very well and put out nice clean power. Their battery-inverter systems mostly are setup for 48 Volts DC input and can run 120 only or 120/240 Volts AC out. They have a power inlet so you can connect them to a generator to charge the batteries if you have a long term power failure.
                  http://www.bannerbackup.com/index2.htm

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