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Electricity back-up

Posted by Marie_TX z8 N Houston (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 25, 02 at 11:01

With another hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast, I am thinking again of a back-up system for us for electricity. I have an electric pump on my water well, and need the refridgerator, but we have every thing else covered. I would like to have some storage batteries that would carry us through a week or so of no grid-provided electricity. I have studied solar-powered systems for years, but they are still priced out of my range. But what about the storage system only? Has anyone used this option? What are your results? -- Marie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Electricity back-up

What about a gas powered generator? A 2kw camping style should provide enough for the two items you discuss and would only take up the room of a car battery. Cost is around $300.00 Added bonus is that this portable power is available for other uses.


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RE: Electricity back-up

For a gas generator, part depends on the size of the well pump and how many watts it draws. You must also make sure the electricity is rewired so that when using the generator, you don't electrocute someone working on the line.


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RE: Electricity back-up

What about wind power? I lived on a boat for several years and used a windmill and a solar panel for all my electricity.


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RE: Electricity back-up

A circuit interuptor is needed as anniew points out only if the generator is wired to the grid. The same is true of a battery system, else your batteries will be powering everyone else.

If you plug you appliances driectly into the generator (disconnecting from the grid) then no extra wiring is required.


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RE: Electricity back-up

I am all for solar and wind power, but I would still need to store power for those times when direct generation is not possible (so sun, no wind, or equipment is damaged). I am willing to experiment with any storage system.
-- Marie


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RE: Electricity back-up

Compost,
May I clarify your statement a little. The generator isn't so much wired directly to the grid, but rather to your own house system which is wired to the grid. And unfortunately, many things such as well pumps are usually not "plugged in" but rather wired directly to the utility box, so if the generator is wired to the box, you need to make the wiring so that everything is cut off from the grid when the generator is in use, so that electrocutions don't occur. It's best to get an electrician to do it, and in some places the utility must inspect it, to be sure you don't inadvertently kill someone working on a downed line.
Ann


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RE: Electricity back-up

I found out the hard way that generators have to be started regularly, or the selenoid burns up or something, and fixing it may cost more than the generator is worth. I had a small portable one that I used when building my barn. After setting up for 6 months, it wouldn't start anymore. Gave it to my brother for his Ag mechanics students to work on. The next hurriccane that approaches here, I'm down to the rental place.


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RE: Electricity back-up

Hey, that's so cool that you're in Tomball. We live in Pinehurst just about six miles north of Tomball. Your brother teaches Ag Mechanics? Is that at Tomball High School? My son is in that class!! He's always wanted to learn to weld. I used to have some French heirloom roses but I have been too ill to care for them for a while now. I think there is barely a trace of them in the yard, now. I purchased the plants at "Secret Garden" north of Hwy 105. Have you been there? Acres of joy!!! Have a lovely day. -- Marie


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RE: Electricity back-up

With my husbands construction business we always have generators.They are great to have.


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RE: Electricity back-up

Marie - my brother is up in North Zulch. What a name for a town. And there is no Zulch. Just North Zulch. He's the only Ag teacher, so he does mechanics, welding, and (shock!), he's started a horticulture program. He's so busy with his cows that he can't help me much down here, but I do get my hay at basically his cost to produce and bale. I've heard there is program about alternative energy somewhere in the area. There is a place in Tomball that deals in photovoltaic energy. Looks to be all the solar stuff. I think I'll look into it on my next house. By that time, the systems may be cheaper. Heard it adds about $10,000 to the cost of your house. But I have a friend up in Virginia whose brother built an underground house totally "off the grid". Had both solar and wind generated power and back up batteries to store. She said the batteries are much cheaper than they used to be. A guy at work has solar power on his 35' sailboat. It's enough to keep the fridge running and lights on, with a pretty small battery.


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RE: Electricity back-up

I've been thinking about a wind generator on my well pump as well. Figure I could live without everything else for a couple of days (just don't open the freezer!) but water is one of those things I don't want to do without. We have a river and a lake, but really, would rather drink the tasty water from my well anytime! Havn't done too much research yet.


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