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Thread: OT: Are pre-emptive power outages normal?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    Are preemptive outages normal in other places? We've had so few outages that my 13 year old generator has less than 50 hours on it, and much of that is bi-monthly maintenance runs.

    Dan
    We have that going on down here right now with Edison. I guess a multi billion dollar lawsuit will tend to make people react.

    Goofy part is its like PGE is "punishing" folks in Nor-Cal today by turning off the juice today, well ahead of any wind.

    Oh, and as far as the trust PGE has? HHaaa! Member when the gas lines blew up that town? Was that a thing or my sketchy imagination? JR

    Generator sounds good right now. Heck, the snow states have there downed lines and power outages. Guess its our turn JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by flathead4 View Post
    ... Of course, the residents think the power company can just move them underground for free and without ripping the streets up. .....

    Tom
    They put a number of 3 phase feeders underground here, and did it with directional drilling, no street effects at all. The residents got the option of going with underground "drops", but the terms were that the customer contracted the job to a local electric co of their choice, and the powerco feed point would then be at the back of the yard, the underground "drop" was 100% the customer's responsibility to maintain.. I do not think anyone around here went for it. We were not offered, we are on the other side of the street, and have just one phase of the 7200 volt line, on poles out back.
    1601

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRouche View Post

    Oh, and as far as the trust PGE has? HHaaa! Member when the gas lines blew up that town? Was that a thing or my sketchy imagination? JR

    Generator sounds good right now. Heck, the snow states have there downed lines and power outages. Guess its our turn JR
    It's hard to tell if you are remembering the 2018 Merrimack Valley Mass incident where the pressure regulator screwed up. In that case there were a bunch of houses that burned. The PG&E gas line explosion was in San Bruno in 2010. That one was eventually blamed on a bad weld made back in the 1950s. While the investigation showed sloppy record keeping of test results, there was no direct evidence that the poor record keeping led to the weld eventually failing. It was, however determined that the max pressure tests that were being done were too conservative to really prove the pipes could handle the pressure. But your point is well taken. People don't trust PG&E anymore.

    I heartily recommend a good sized generator with a full house transfer switch. We can go from a dark house to everything running on generator in less than 5 minutes. I picked up a generator back in 2006 when I was working from home and became frustrated by the power failing several times every summer. The summer I bought the generator was the one where they finally upgraded all our transformers to withstand the hot weather. The end result was years before I actually needed the generator.
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    The PG&E gas line explosion was in San Bruno in 2010. That one was eventually blamed on a bad weld made back in the 1950s. While the investigation showed sloppy record keeping of test results, there was no direct evidence that the poor record keeping led to the weld eventually failing. It was, however determined that the max pressure tests that were being done were too conservative to really prove the pipes could handle the pressure. But your point is well taken. People don't trust PG&E anymore.
    Ahem. Damn right people don't trust PG&E. No, the poor record keeping didn't cause the weld to fail. But the *fact* that PG&E falsified inspection records led to them (the corporation, not the officers) being *convicted* of a felony.

    So PG&E is a felon, but a corporation can't be sent to prison. IMO, PG&E officers should damn well have gone to prison.

    So the corporation is a felon. Paid a fine. Big deal, they're going to suck it from the customers.

    Can't remember who said it, but (referring to a comment by Mitt Romney):

    "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."
    There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post
    I heartily recommend a good sized generator with a full house transfer switch. We can go from a dark house to everything running on generator in less than 5 minutes. (
    That I like. My parents who live close were looking at some stationary units. The Gernac (SP?) looked like a good fit. The unit was not too much. The installation costs were about the same as the unit itself so they couldnt afford it. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

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  6. #26
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    Are pre-emptive power outages normal? There certainly aren't here in Saskatchewan. I was a Lineman for the provincial electrical utility for 35 years and while fires from down power lines aren't common, they do happen and they always will for a variety of reasons and the only way to mitigate such occurrences is by preventative maintenance which is expensive in all cases and impossible in some.

  7. #27
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    Here in Michigan, we are facing a future with the elimination of both coal and gas fired generation as announced by DTE, one of the two major power generators. Wind and solar are the future according to both. Smart meters are now pretty much universal, unless you opt out.

    I guess in that same future, (10 years) there won't be any very still nights when the temp is still 85 degrees, no one will run the AC, and no one will be charging the future all EV fleet. Right? Seems like they are selling an all electric future, but investing in intermittent power generation.

    My guess is that there will be a huge PR campaign on how we are saving the planet by living in the dark and sacrificing "some comforts". We'd better get prepared for rolling blackouts, perhaps just plain total blackouts. That smart meter on the house monitors and controls power consumption. Using algorithms, it will govern your power based on whether the wind is blowing enough, or if there is sufficient solar radiation hitting those panels, and they can serve the demand.

    Wonder if China and India will have wind and solar only.

    I realize this borders on political, so can be deleted if deemed so, but I really am concerned about the stability of future power supply given all the current hype about renewable energy, and clean electric power. Hope we are not speeding down a dead end street.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by OaklandGB View Post

    I realize this borders on political, so can be deleted if deemed so, but I really am concerned about the stability of future power supply given all the current hype about renewable energy, and clean electric power. Hope we are not speeding down a dead end street.
    It isn't political. It's power engineering fact that the more non-schedulable, base-load power you put into the grid, the less stable the grid becomes. That's just power engineering 101.

    As various electrical grids have added more and more intermittent "clean" power (especially wind source power), they've had greater grid instability and they've had to add more natural gas-fired peaker plants to jump in an assume th eload when weather fronts come over an area.

  9. #29
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    Time for nuclear....hopefully "IFR" type that use ALL the energy in the fuel, and not just 2% before throwing the degraded fuel into "safe storage".
    1601

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    Hashim Khan

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlb View Post

    Are preemptive outages normal in other places? We've had so few outages that my 13 year old generator has less than 50 hours on it, and much of that is bi-monthly maintenance runs.

    Dan
    No, they're not normal in other places. But in California, they're about to become quite common in the autumns...

    Now, as far as the causes and actors: One of the larger causes of why Paradise (and other communities) got burned over has more to do with the fuel loading in the forests. The downed power line was just the source of ignition. If someone had flicked a cigarette out a car window, those towns would have burned over in those conditions just the same. The forests in CA are packed with fuels, and much of the housing built into the edges of those forests have fuels that come right up to the house - ie, there is no survivability in the housing construction, siting or localized fuel situation.

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