Ham Radio's Role in California Outages?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W2JKT, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    So the actual average household usage of electricity is 914 kWhr/month. Divide by 30 days and you get 30.46 kWhr/day. Not the 10kwhr figure touted (erroneously) earlier. We live in Florida and don't have access to natural gas where we live, use no coal or fuel oil as some of our nation does. We make generally 35-40 kWhr of electricity per day. So our house MAKES more electricity than the average American household CONSUMES. We do consume more than the average (including what we make with what we purchase) but are probably below the average for detached houses in Florida and certainly below for the size of our house. We had quite a few guests today!

    When you have the actual facts, things are a lot easier to sort out.
    N0TZU likes this.
  2. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's interesting. I'm only using 10 kWh per day here in Silicon Valley with two servers running 24/7. But that's with gas heat, gas water heater, gas dryer and gas stove. Also, air conditioning consists of opening the front door.
    KX4Z likes this.
  3. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The actual numbers matter. A guy can say "no way can I justify the investment" but if you build a 'bigly' system and can sell back to the power company by spending a few more bucks then the whole ROI scenario changes. That part of the equation varies greatly by locale.
    KX4Z likes this.
  4. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's in energy saving mode. I turned that feature off, I don't want to save energy, I want cold food and drinks.
  5. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    YOu are SO right. Having an alternate source of energy (you're using natural gas for a LOT) sure reduces electricity usage. Back when everyone thought electricity was the "way to go" they built a ton of all-electric......and I live so far out, not many options.

    I have friends totally wooded...not a useful option for them.
    Folks in perpetually cloudy locales --- not a great option for them either.
    But some folks have wind, some have water. Propane here is insanely expensive compared to the prices I see in the midwest....so everyone has different cost structure and different advantages. For me, solar was a no-brainer. I probably should have put in more, but I was counting on the costs going ever farther down down down (they have) and also I wasn't convinced that my utility electriity would go much higher (indeed, it hasn't, so although I have the energy hedge.....it hasn't done me much good yet). Biggest advantage has been the RELIABILITY. We have had 2 or 3 failures in five years. Recently we were apparently hit by lightning (despite our expensive lightning rod system we installed after the house was hit the FIRST time) --- lost a TV and a cable modem....no damage to any ham radio systems, 2 on natnenas running 24/7/365; and the solar inverters burped and didn't reconnect properly. I had to go out and turn the entire thing OFF (several switches) and then turn them back on: batteries first, chargers 2nd, inverters last. No problem.

    The batteries are only "warranteed" for 7 years; I just didn't want to spend the $$$$ for any higher end. Each one is 6 Volts and the size of a small car radiator and heavy.....as lead. 200 Amp hour each I think (or is it 400?) -- and I have 16 of them, so 48 cells to check water levels on every 3 months. System uses roughly 1 liter of distilled water (total) in 3 months. The water levels only move a few millimeters. They may indeed crap out, but they dont show any signs of that YET. Most of my neighbors have generators now....after 2 or 3 unpleasant experiences. It is NOTHING for our power to be out 2-4 hours any time of the year, but that doesn't destroy expensive food. This is a neighborhood where my neighbors are likely to have a LOT in their freezers.....I'm the poor-boy in this neighbhood but they put up with my antennas EVERYWHERE and my ratty old cars since I'm the one who comes and teaches them how to crank their generator and cleans out the carb or shows them where to pour the oil..... I am one of only a tiny number who can cut their own (5 acres) of grass.....

    There's a guy at work who confessed to me that his electric bill was $700.............I almost cried. He is divorced, has family strife, and I guess having his house that cold in Florida is part of his "comfort food" when he gets to have his children over for visitation. But everyone is different and we don't always know what problems they are dealing with in their lives.
  6. K9SCK

    K9SCK Ham Member QRZ Page

    And in another few weeks it's going to be lousy with old farts here. They can't drive; they can barely walk.
  7. K9SCK

    K9SCK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just drive from Bridgeville to Georgetown and your nose with confirm that. =D

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