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October 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm #36743
To date everyone expressing a wish to live off grid takes it for granted they will have access to technology and that includes myself. Same applies to forming off grid communities.
I got to thinking exactly how such a lifestyle would be if we could not rely on the much despised ON-GRID industrial complex to supply us with everything from wireless internet acess to solar cells and other high tech devices.
No you cannot use kerosene lanterns because you need machinery to fabricate the mechanical lanterns burning kerosene. Imagine having to make your own candles from Bee’s wax or crushing olives or other oil bearing plants to make lamp oil. You can’t have a wood burning stove because a good wood stove requires machinery to roll steel plate and foundries to make cast iron not to mention iron mines.
If everyone goes off grid what do we do about the industries that relies on a grid to stay powered up in order to produce our solar cell, and wireless communications and wind generators etc. From where do we get the basic resources from? Scrounging from a devastated older economy will not last more than a decade or two. Certainly not beyond one generationOctober 23, 2010 at 11:26 pm #41049
In 1859 a solar flare took out the telegraph wires, the only
grid exsisting at that time. The next big flare will take out
the electrical grid along with cars, trucks trains planes etc.
The hydro companies and governments know what they need to do.
Approx $700 per transformer. They are not doing it and our
Sun has been behaving strangly for the last few years.
Next solar peak 2012. Most of these transformer have a 1 year
lead time under present production. If the grid goes down due
to a solar flare it will never be rebuilt, nor should it.
But to say it in a way everyone will understand we will be
flared “back to the stone age” I hope the people here who are
off grid with technology are taking the proper percautions to
protect it. The emf will be greater than any nukeOctober 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm #41053
? the next one?? <smile> It happened again in 1921 and the next one after that was in 1989. At that time one of our senior tech was teaching a course for Quebec Hydro staff. He said the whole Manic 5 dam weighing nearly a million tons felt like it jumped when all the generators went off line at once then got reconnected whereupon all hell broke loose. Quebec Hydro was blacked out for something like 9 hours. We already know just how damaging solar flares can get. I recently read a report that predicted that if we saw a recurrence of the 1859 solar flare we would see something like 393 large power utility transformers burned beyond recovery. We should be so lucky as to have only one year lead time ARO. When we ordered new transformers for a small size 2MW station it took nearly two years to get delivery. If a hundred transformers get burned around the world at once the backlog will be horrendous.
You may be right extensive global damage to the various grids could well become a permanent blackout. Hopefully the protective relaying will protect the generating facilitiues itself but every power authority will become islanded.
A solar flare is not exactly like an EMP so I am not sure that all CPU controlled engines will also bite the dust. EMF and EMP are two distinctly different events. Military electronics are hardened against EMP but not consumer grade electronics.October 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm #41057
1989 didn’t that take out a Canadian comm satillite?
These were small now imagine every foot of the grid needing
repair, wires burnt on the ground, they make great attenna’s
if the force is big enough, transformer fires. How many
transformers in your home. You won’t wake up to no hydro
You’ll wake up to lots of fires.October 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm #41060
Anik D got the battery charging overloaded. So did OSCAR 7 & 8 (amateur ham satellite) Thanks to some ill informed non technical journalist we now have a lot of crap floating around in the public domain. Experts have identified a few hundred utility power transformers that are at risk becaus of their location and the kind of transmission power lines they connect to.
When the experts talk about transformers they are not talking about the itsy bitsy power cubes you see everywhere. They are talking about the big transformers outside power stations. That is sensationalist journalism of the worst kind. These jerks pick up on a scary word description then magnify it out of all proportion then write a sensationalist headline that gets them attention for all of 15 minutes of glory. When solar activity flares up a poweful magnetic field interacts with the magnetic field that already surrounds the planet. This in turn causes inductive voltages to get coupled into the long distance transmission lines such as from James Bay to New York city. When voltages are induced into the power lines protection systems detect this and causes the system to think a fault has occurred. This automatic protection relaying disconnects the lines from the consumers and the power generation source. What the experts are saying is they THINK it is possible for a solar storm to induce enough current into the long power ttransmission lines to actually overwhelm the ampacity of the existing grounding wires. In 1859 the only long distance wires was the telegraph system. Papers lying in close proximity to the telegraph key were set on fire by sparks jumping from the key to a ground point.
Same kind of thing. The experts guessed there might be a problem because no one had actually been there and done that. As it turned out some intelligent thinking and proactive reprogramming forstalled the problem they assumed would take place.
IF we have a solar flare of sufficient magnitude and If it happens at the wrong time, we may find our system protection unable to cope. Furthermore IF the engineers and corporate managers fail to adequately take proactive steps to improve the protection scheme the resultant outages will last longer.
North south power lines are more vulnerable because they run parallel to the earth’s normal magnetic field lines.October 26, 2010 at 8:52 am #41062
Very interesting elnav!! The giant electric grids have too many weaknesses. I think of all the copper of the wires and steel of the towers that could be recycled. Totally independent homes and businesses along with perhaps village sized small smart grids would be the logical way to go. Of course then the big companies would lose their profits. The big hydro and other large scale generating points would still need a certain distance of transmission wires. Addressing the weaknesses of the grid and the fact of fossil fuel power plant malevolent climate change pollution are necessary.
Another thing to look at is the effect of the magnetic pole reversal in progress, and our rapidly weakening magnetosphere. A coronal mass discharge hit during the time of weakest field strength would sterilize the planet’s surface. In the many previous pole reversals, it apparently never happened. Let’s hope our planet’s luck holds out!!October 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm #41076
44kv incoming transformed down 13.8kv for distribution
transformed down to 4160V to run a 1000HP air compressors
during 1 bad winter storm our 44KV lines galloped touching
each other I recorded over 8000v when the compressors
shutdown. Transformers transform by emf it is done on a ratio,
# of turns on the high side to # of turns on the low side
raise the high side and you raise the low side. Move a wire
through an emf field and it generates voltage. A solar flare
is a moving emf field. It is going to turn every wire into
a generator. The only thing we don’t know is the size of the
emf field and therefore the amount of damage but seeing as
the earth’s magnetic field now has a huge hole in it we might
want to be a little more proactive. A huge solar flare hitting
the Earth is not an IF it’s a WHENNovember 2, 2010 at 5:32 am #41088
“To date everyone expressing a wish to live off grid takes it for granted they will have access to technology and that includes myself. Same applies to forming off grid communities.”
My husband and I are doing everything to prepare ourselves for the situation you’re describing – the grid is *gone*, modern technology is *gone*, and we have nothing except what we can make ourselves. WHAT do you do if the grocery store, hardware store, and pharmacy are not there?November 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm #41089
We live in an area that is partially off grid already so for people here it will not be such a drastic change. As for the grocery store, etc. its already gone. The local village store burnt down three months ago. It was also a gasoline station but thanks to new EPA regulations it would be prohibitively expensive to renovate. The fuel pumps etc. were not involved in the fire but the regulations say that in order for a new store and gas station to be built the whole installation must new conform to new building codes and EPA regulations for a gas statioin. So now everyone has to drive 47 kilometers to next nearest town for bread, milk, etc.
The highway here was only built in the late fifties. Before that ranchers only got to town maybe three times per year. They would buy staples like flour, sugar, salt, molasses, and rice. Vegetables grew in the yard. Meat was obtained by hunting. Eggs, milk, and butter was obtained from the 4 legged dispenser down in the barn. If you needed an implement you either mail ordered it and took delivery next year or else you hand forged something in the ranch shop. Everybody had a forge and anvil. If for no other reason you had to be able to reshoe the horses for going on ice in the winter time.
As for pharmacy. Read up on medicinal use of native plants. You would be surprised how many local plants have mealing uses. Asperin (ASA) was originally derived from willow bark. Although it is not native to here we use Tumeric spice as a first aid ointment in poultice form. ‘Devils Club’ is a native plant in this area and old timers swear by it as a curative for a variety of ills.
Find and read up on what the pioneeers in your particular area did and how they lived. It might surprise you.
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