NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

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Grinhill   10 kW

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NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

Post by Grinhill » Apr 22 2015 6:59pm

I've had to consider this question. With wild storms hitting the Hunter Region of NSW earlier this week, I find myself posting this from a laptop which has been charged from my e-bike batteries.

We've had no mains electricity for over 3 days now, and it could be up to a week before its restored.

A few shots from the area to paint the picture:
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Luckily the ambient temperatures range between 13 to 20 celsius, so we don't have to worry about being frozen. But it does mean food spoilage is an issue.

Water supplies - some suburbs are without water due to lack of power to pumping stations (you can always put a bucket out in the rain!).

Our house is intact, but plenty of others have trees fallen on them or wind blowing roofing sheets off.

Neighbouring suburbs have power, so we can visit friends or go to local shops. Further inland, there are small towns which are completely isolated by floodwaters.

I've been able to call on a large collection of Lipo batteries to power various household items - although many of them are only half-charged to extend their life. You don't really expect to have to use them in this way. They are calling this a one-in-ten-year storm event. We had a one-in-one-hundred-year storm event back in 2007, and we lost power for three days in that one.

Here's some examples of Lipo hard at work:
Radio powered from 2s
Wifi/Router powered from 3s
LED lighting powered from 3s
Laptop powered from 5s
Phones charged from laptop.
100s.jpg
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Today I'll go to a friends place to recharge these batteries. Local coffee shops are great for recharging some things, but if you tried to recharge RC packs there I expect the SWAT team would soon be upon you!

It would be much nicer if I had everything in one box, pre-wired with all the outlets and voltages that I would need, but you only think of these things after the fact. Maybe I'll be ready for the next one. 8)
1995 Giant Hybrid - Zeta2 with 12V 7AH SLA - removed after one year.
2006 Converted Giant to Geared Brushless Rear Hub with 24V 17AH SLA - bike stolen 2007.
2008 Hardtail MTB Disc Brake - lightweight RC/LiPo system.
Grinhill's Medium-power RC-Motor Hardtail build
The Grinhill Mk2 RC-motor drive
Grinhill III - "Supercommuter" featuring Recumpence RC drive
Grinhilia - my Aprilia RS125 Conversion

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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

Post by liveforphysics » Apr 22 2015 7:12pm

No solar panels?

They work on cloudy rainy days, just at a reduced output, but it seems for what you're trying to power, even 50W from a 250W panel would power what you're running.
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Grinhill   10 kW

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Re: NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

Post by Grinhill » Apr 23 2015 12:47am

Yep, no solar.

There are quite a few houses in my area with grid-connected PV panels, following some great government incentives, but of course they were done in the cheapest way possible, inverters that don't support autonomous operation (Grid not available = power not available).

I was talking to Sutho from ELMOFO this arvo, since he owns a solar power business he has a pretty cool home setup which can run autonomously, and since his batteries are running down he will plug in his battery-equipped EV-recharging van at home.
1995 Giant Hybrid - Zeta2 with 12V 7AH SLA - removed after one year.
2006 Converted Giant to Geared Brushless Rear Hub with 24V 17AH SLA - bike stolen 2007.
2008 Hardtail MTB Disc Brake - lightweight RC/LiPo system.
Grinhill's Medium-power RC-Motor Hardtail build
The Grinhill Mk2 RC-motor drive
Grinhill III - "Supercommuter" featuring Recumpence RC drive
Grinhilia - my Aprilia RS125 Conversion

Punx0r   100 GW

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Re: NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

Post by Punx0r » Apr 23 2015 3:02am

A wind turbine might be more effective than solar...

No ICE car available? That would give you 12V/100A to power RC chargers.

This is at least one advantage to having both mains electricity and gas supplied to most houses here. Cooking/heating/hot water tends to be on gas, electricity for everything else. If the gas were to go off (very rare) you can still cook in the microwave, plug in an electric heater and heat water in the kettle to get by.

dnmun   100 GW

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Re: NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

Post by dnmun » Apr 23 2015 11:13am

i have two separate honda hybrids with the full 165V of DC power to use to charge cellphones of my neighbors when the big one hits here.

i have an extension cord plugged into the battery so i can totally discharge the nimh pack down to 0V to recondition it so i can use the same cord to plug in the AC adapter for everyone's cellphones and laptops.
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brown extension cord on 10A fuse from my IMA pack for cellphone charging in an emergency.
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Grinhill   10 kW

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Location: Newcastle, Australia

Re: NSW Storms - would you survive with no power?

Post by Grinhill » Apr 23 2015 11:46pm

Yay, power back on now!
1995 Giant Hybrid - Zeta2 with 12V 7AH SLA - removed after one year.
2006 Converted Giant to Geared Brushless Rear Hub with 24V 17AH SLA - bike stolen 2007.
2008 Hardtail MTB Disc Brake - lightweight RC/LiPo system.
Grinhill's Medium-power RC-Motor Hardtail build
The Grinhill Mk2 RC-motor drive
Grinhill III - "Supercommuter" featuring Recumpence RC drive
Grinhilia - my Aprilia RS125 Conversion

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