Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weird feeling when the lights flicker

My lovely wife and I were babysitting our granddaughter in town the the other day. Twice during the evening, the lights flickered and the power died. It was just for a few seconds, but we both felt weird.

I'd no idea how much we'd gotten used to having our solar electric system. Most of the time, the system just works. It rarely goes out. The few times it does, it's usually a simple matter of resetting something. Being in town and on the grid, I was completely as the mercy of the power company. Really hated that feeling. That's one of the reason we put in an independent power system in the first place.

The problem isn't even that we had no electricity. We are perfectly comfortable primitive camping for days on end without any electric power. That fact that we were in town and without power added to the weirdness effect.

In the few seconds that the power was off, I thought: okay, I've a flashlight in the truck and a small inverter. Using the flashlight, it should be possible to find an extension cord and run it to the truck. Some lights and a radio could be run on it. Being able to quickly put together some sort of backup plan made me feel better.



  1. It seems the umbilical is ever present and the variations from whence those 'weird feelings' originate....could partiality.....the intuitive wondering when the grid will begin to 'shake down'......collective thought energy is a mighty force which we know but little about as a whole....mostly from recognition of past events.

    Remember when an extent....held their breath at the 2000 roll-over.....and nothing happened until several months passed and then the major blackout up near the Great-lakes by Canada ?

    I think the stock markets make a reasonable comparison to all forms of our current'll be by 'slices & chunks' that things slowly disintegrate.

    Imagine the wonder/fear some ancient prophetic dream would produce....when juxtaposed to our radical POVs about system failsafes etc.

    "the waiting is the hardest part"

  2. the other thing that interests me about solar power and other products is in regards to ease of replacement .....down the road of decline...

  3. Sixbears,in my area that happens all the time,not actual shut down but kicks off slight delay as next circuit opens. About every 5th or 6th storm lighting does blow out transformer and back up transformer power down 1-3 hrs.How is your set up as far as lighting strikes?


  4. Spottedwolf: Interesting ideas. As for replacement???? Let's just say I can heat and cook with wood and just bought a handpump for the well. I'm a belt and suspenders sort of guy.

    China: Everything is grounded and grounded again. There are lightning arresters but I'm told not to expect too much from them. I did have a strike about 10 feet away from my solar panel array which is on a pole about 50 feet from my house. It blew the top 30 feet off a hemlock tree, which just missed the array when it came down. At the time, I had two phone lines into the house and it burned the ground on one of them. The solar electric system suffered no damage.

  5. I looooove it when the juice goes out. I just break out the oil lamps and enjoy the quiet. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen too often...