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Fart smeller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our local paper has a good article with info on how to prepare for (heaven forfend) blackouts this summer.

Site is here.

The widespread and potentially lengthy planned power outages this summer are PG&E's attempt to lessen the threat of wildfires this year. PG&E has been emailing customers recently warning them of the possibility of extended power outages this summer.

"If extreme conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community, it will be necessary for us to turn off electricity in the interest of public safety," one recent email said.


Be prepared (Part 1)

Understand that this is not going to be fun, unless you are fortunate enough to know someone who is unaffected by the outage and is willing to let you sleep on the couch for a few days.

In the event you don't, however, PG&E recommends stocking up on multiple gallons of drinking water and being prepared with the following items:

• Eating utensils and a non-electric can opener.

• Nonperishable food, including for babies and pets.

• Flashlights and a battery-powered radio.

• Extra batteries.

• Your cellphone with a portable charger.

Be prepared (Part 2)

PG&E also suggests assembling a basic first-aid kit; gathering blankets and warm clothes; packing games and toys to occupy children; and bringing important documents, including medical records.

If you rely on medical equipment, you may want to consider buying a generator, and don't forget toiletries, cash and credit cards.

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PG&E lists several factors that could contribute to a decision to shut off power:

• A "red-flag warning" by the National Weather Service, which issues such warnings when there are "warm temperatures, very low humidity, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger."

• PG&E defines low humidity as 20 percent or lower.

• Sustained winds of more than 25 mph with gusts of more than 45 mph.

• A low moisture content in live vegetation.

• Observations made in PGE's Wildfire Safety Observations Center and by staff members in the field.

Sign up for PG&E notifications here.
 

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I think we will bolt town and head somewhere cool for a mini vac. Sitting around pissed off until power is back on pisses me off thinking about it.

There has to be a better solution. Maybe I’ll break down and buy a generator. Rather not deal with it. We have solar and it would be nice to have a battery but jesus they’re pricey. Would be sick to pre-wire home for the battery and be able to rent one thats charged.

Not sure how it all works but it sounded good.
 

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Fart smeller
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think we will bolt town and head somewhere cool for a mini vac. Sitting around pissed off until power is back on pisses me off thinking about it.

There has to be a better solution. Maybe I'll break down and buy a generator. Rather not deal with it. We have solar and it would be nice to have a battery but jesus they're pricey. Would be sick to pre-wire home for the battery and be able to rent one thats charged.

Not sure how it all works but it sounded good.
Paging Chuckha for generator info...

And I like your Rent-A- Battery idea!
 

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just another bleepin SSer
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I live in SF, so likely shouldn't get affected. But I still have some preparations in case of this or major earthquake, and all of this stuff is also usable to make camping more comfortable.

I bought a small solar panel and battery - and have it mounted in a window that gets sun a few hours a day so as to keep the battery charged, but not overcharged. And I do recharge something off it from time to time to draw down the battery. I have the 6W panel but same battery as this guy - https://www.voltaicsystems.com/fuse9w.

That 12,000 mAh battery can recharge a phone a few times, or charge other items that charge off of USB. I have a variety of headlamps, lanterns, etc that are USB chargeable, so I would use this battery to keep enough of them going, and put solar panel out in a sunnier place during day to recharge the battery.

The largest power user we have in the house is the fridge, and getting a battery that could do that is rather pricey. I do have an Rtic brand cooler (Yeti knockoff) that I would transfer stuff over to after a day or two, and that hopefully will save the most important stuff for a few days more than the fridge. I do keep ice packs in the freezer at all time for this.

I was considering a larger battery (like a Goal Zero Sherpa 100 or 400) with 120V in order to keep the wifi going, but will just use the phone as a hotspot (assuming cell signals work).

If you haven't yet, you should check to see if your mobile phone has an FM receiver, and if so, make sure you have an FM receiver app. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/unlock-the-secret-fm-tuner-in-your-android-phone/

Luci lights, camp stoves, and other camping gear round out the gear.
 

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I just got this
https://www.firmanpowerequipment.com/shop/open-frame-generator-p03603/

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It has the capability of hooking up directly to my house, to power everything. But wiring the house for that costs about $2000.
Sticking with the extension cords for now.

I work in Calistoga and live in Angwin. Last fall, PG&E turned off the power on a day that wasn't even windy. Temps were about 100°.
Calistoga was without power for about 20 hours, but in Angwin, the power was off for three days.
PG&E has told my work (restaurant) that we should expect power outages of 4-5 days!

Calistoga and Angwin are at the highest risk of PG&E blackouts. They don't shut off St. Helena, but they do in Calistoga and Angwin.

"PG&E has warned the city of Calistoga that it could cut service as many as 15 times this fire season, said Chris Canning, mayor of the Napa Valley town scarred by wildfires two years ago."
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...may-go-dark-this-summer-and-most-aren-t-ready

The College Market in Angwin already has a generator, so that has been helpful.
But they are installing a bigger generator in Angwin to keep the whole downtown with power.
https://www.puc.edu/puc-now/news/ar...with-pg-and-e-in-fire-resilience-zone-project

Tree work to clear power lines had been going at a furious pace all around here.
My neighbor just installed roof sprinklers. Sound like a good idea!
 

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Just get a Tesla Powerwall and don't worry about it.

A generator could require an air permit if the engine driving it is >50bhp. The air permit alone could cost $1000+. And about $300/yr after that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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I bought a small solar panel and battery - and have it mounted in a window that gets sun a few hours a day so as to keep the battery charged, but not overcharged. And I do recharge something off it from time to time to draw down the battery. I have the 6W panel but same battery as this guy - https://www.voltaicsystems.com/fuse9w.
Looks good. I carry this in my pack on multi-day trips.
https://www.anker.com/products/variant/powercore-10000-pd/A1235011
But this is even more powerful
https://www.walmart.com/ip/PowerAll...18253726832430706467&affillinktype=10&veh=aff
That device has saved my ass two times on backcountry trips when my vehicle battery died. Used it several times to help jump start other peoples vehicles.
Could charge a cell phone numerous times...
 

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"The company also says it's launching an experiment that could provide limited electricity to communities in areas where power lines have been de-energized.
Power would be provided to grocery stores, gas stations and other "essential resources" in the so-called "resilience zones" by local or mobile generators. The plan says that a pilot resilience zone will be tested this year in the Napa County town of Angwin, on Howell Mountain, east of Calistoga. "
https://www.kqed.org/news/11724248/...-featuring-possible-large-scale-power-cutoffs
 

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Fart smeller
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"The company also says it's launching an experiment that could provide limited electricity to communities in areas where power lines have been de-energized.
Power would be provided to grocery stores, gas stations and other "essential resources" in the so-called "resilience zones" by local or mobile generators. The plan says that a pilot resilience zone will be tested this year in the Napa County town of Angwin, on Howell Mountain, east of Calistoga. "
https://www.kqed.org/news/11724248/...-featuring-possible-large-scale-power-cutoffs
Interesting, thanks.

How do you determine how much you need for a generator?

I see these at Harbor Freight and wonder if they'd be able to power my (med-size) fridge and a couple of fans...

https://www.harborfreight.com/engin...r-carb-with-gfci-outlet-protection-63960.html

What's the diff between an inverter gen and a regular gen? One is for computers, et al?
 

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Interesting, thanks.
How do you determine how much you need for a generator?
What's the diff between an inverter gen and a regular gen? One is for computers, et al?
...I'm not tech savvy...
When I bought my generator at my local hardware store, I was helped by a self-proclaimed 'nerd'.
He was indeed a nerd. Knew everything. Just the guy you want in that situation.
After doing some online research, I kinda knew what type of generator I needed.
One look at the Firman and I knew I needed it.
The salesman informed that the model I bought would power the Fridge and my computer/phone(land line) and then some.
And has the capability of powering your entire house, once you cough up the $ to do that...
I got enough extension cords to power my fridge and my computer.
As far as the inverter/reg issue - I was told that the power strip that my computer is plugged into would be enough to avoid any power surges that would damage my computer.
 

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I live out in Western Sonoma County. Some times we lose power for up to 7 days (not often thank God). I got a Honeywell 5500 watt generator. Wired to a panel that did not cost any where near $2000, but I cannot remember the exact amount. Probably less than $1000. It powers the well, refrigerator, vent for the stove, most of the lights in the house and the furnace. The main draw back is when the power goes out it is dark and stormy and you have to wrestle the damn thing into position, put up tarps to protect it etc.. But it is far superior to candles and a cold supper. I am glad I have it.
 

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Paper or plastic?
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Just get a Tesla Powerwall and don't worry about it.

A generator could require an air permit if the engine driving it is >50bhp. The air permit alone could cost $1000+. And about $300/yr after that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
Really need two to back up a house, $20k min and $14k after tax credits

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

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Just get a Tesla Powerwall and don't worry about it.

A generator could require an air permit if the engine driving it is >50bhp. The air permit alone could cost $1000+. And about $300/yr after that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
That would be larger than a 35 kW generator. I think the average household is just fine.
 

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Really need two to back up a house, $20k min and $14k after tax credits

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Considering a 13 kWh battery. Our panels generate about 12 kWh a day in the summer. We think one battery should be enough to keep the refrigerator (1kWh/day, very efficient, a couple years old) and USB charging going. We aren't planning on drawing much in an outage beyond that.
 

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Life's a Garden, dig it!
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We're doing a fire rebuild right now and installing an emergency generator when we finish up. We're wiring in a transfer switch right beneath the meter panel and running cable to a dedicated 100A generator sub panel in the laundry room. The homeowner has identified circuits that he wants to be live while the power is off. If I recall correctly, we're leaving several of the kitchen circuits live, the data closet, some of the master bedroom circuits and master bath. There may be others. We'll calculate the entire load and the homeowner will select the generator accordingly.

There's nothing magic about it, but it does take some thought. It's not like you're going to power up the entire house.
 

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Considering a 13 kWh battery. Our panels generate about 12 kWh a day in the summer. We think one battery should be enough to keep the refrigerator (1kWh/day, very efficient, a couple years old) and USB charging going. We aren't planning on drawing much in an outage beyond that.
Will require circuit rewiring such that only a few breakers are powered by your Powerwall. Basically, a Powerwall can crank out 30A Max and the circuits backed up cannot pull more than 30a (fridge, lights, some outlets).

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I have two generators. an Onan 6500 that will power the house and the sound will annoy everyone in the hood and a Honda 2000 which will quietly power the AC in my truck camper. The Camper also has 200 watts of solar and 200 available amp hours of on board AGM batteries
 
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