So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
How the power went out
The grid went down twice within a few days. Normally it’s the usual suspects, high winds, heavy snow, that sort of thing. Both times the power went down the conditions were mild. So what took down the grid? Traffic accidents did it. Poles were taken out by drives who lost control.
After the first outage the power company e-mailed me a questionnaire about the outage. It was the normal sort of thing, asking questions about how I thought the situation was handled. The final question was how about how I thought the company could improve. My suggestion was that the CEO and top management could resign. (It’s my opinion that they are overpaid and corrupt.)
When the power went out a couple days later I had to wonder if they just read my questionnaire and cut my grid power out of spite. Seems a bit paranoid of me, but never underestimate the pettiness of a major corporation. Turns out is was a second vehicle running into a service pole accident. Of course, if it happens again in a few days I’m going to start to wonder.
When bad weather conditions are predicted my normal standard operating procedure is to top off my house batteries from the grid. That way if it the power goes down the house system is starting with a full charge. As luck would have it this last time my batteries were at about medium to low charge.
So what did that mean for our day to day life? We still ran the water pump, lights, TV, and my computer. What we didn’t do is laundry or use the microwave. One of the reasons the batteries were a bit on lower side is that the next day was predicted to be sunny. I knew they’d get topped off in the sun the next day. No need to use grid power when the sun will do the job for free. All we had to do was to not go crazy with power usage for one night.
I actually get more annoyed by the fact we lose the Internet at the same time. That also takes down our phone service. We are on the side of the mountain that’s shaded from the cell tower so cell phones don’t connect here. One of my concerns when that happens is how massive the power outage is. If it’s local it’ll be fixed in day or so. More widespread outages could take weeks.
One handy guide is the lights across the lake. They are on a completely different loop than my side of the lake. If they still have power the situation is limited to my loop. When they are in the dark the outage is much more widespread. It could take some time to get power back. When the other side of the lake is also dark, I resort to my battery powered radio. It’s got batteries, a crank generator and a solar panel. If the closest radio station is on and not in a panic things aren’t too bad. If they are down I can switch to short wave stations and find out what’s going on in the world.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.