Puerto Rico Goes Dark

It seems that the Island of Puerto Rico has gone dark in an island wide electrical failure.

Good practice for the rest of us as the Global Warmers work hard to make our electricity unstable, so may be worth watching how it works out. It would also be kind of cool if someone gets pictures of it from space ;-)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-puerto-rico-blackout-20160921-snap-story.html

Those folks have some kind of ‘get a free story sometimes, mostly not’ policy, so since not all of you can get the free story, and probably less in the future, I’m going to paste the whole thing here.

Puerto Rico hit with island-wide blackout after fire erupts at power plant

Associated Press

A big fire erupted at an electricity plant that powers most of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and a blackout swept across the U.S. territory of 3.5 million people.

The Electric Power Authority said two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each failed for reasons still being investigated. Spokeswoman Yohari Molina said in a phone interview that it was unclear when power would be restored.

The island’s fire department said it extinguished a blaze at the power plant in southern Puerto Rico that serves a majority of customers on the island. Heavy storms were affecting the area where the plant is.

Authorities said the outage caused 15 fires across Puerto Rico as a result of malfunctioning generators, including at the upscale Vanderbilt hotel in the popular tourist area of Condado and at the mayor’s office in the northern coastal town of Catano. All those fires were put out and no one was injured, officials said.

The blackout snarled road traffic across the island and the government had to cancel train service in the capital of San Juan and close a busy traffic tunnel in the island’s southern region. Businesses, universities and government offices closed early, creating even more chaos on roads.

“I call on people to cooperate and respect drivers and government officials … to avoid any regrettable incidents,” Transportation Secretary Miguel Torres said.

The outage angered many Puerto Ricans who are struggling with power bills that are on average twice that of the U.S. mainland. People took to social media to demand where exactly their money is going.

The power company has faced numerous allegations of corruption and is struggling with a $9-billion debt that it hopes to restructure. Company officials have said they are seeking more revenue to update what they say is outdated equipment.

Puerto Rico is mired in a decade-long economic slump and the territory’s government is working to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt that the governor has said is unpayable.

It looks like Fox also has an AP story, but without the “pay a subscription or you get cut off” nag:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/09/21/puerto-rico-hit-with-islandwide-blackout-after-fire-erupts.html

Each outlet edits the AP / Reuters / Pool stories slightly differently, so one interesting way to see bias or editorial slant at a paper or site is to compare how they edit the same input feed. Fox looks to have a more “what does this mean for folks” edit along with more technical stuff, while the L.A.Times looks more like “well, this happened” and more of the political social connections, at least that what it looks like to me. Fox also looks to have left more direct quotes and attribution of sources in the article. Interesting.

Puerto Rico hit with islandwide blackout after fire erupts
Published September 21, 2016 Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A big fire erupted at an electricity plant that powers most of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, causing a blackout that swept across the U.S. territory of 3.5 million people.

The Electric Power Authority said two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each failed. Executive Director Javier Quintana told reporters that he expected most power to be restored by Thursday morning, adding that airports, hospitals, police stations and water plants would get priority.

“The entire island is without power,” said Angel Crespo, director of Puerto Rico’s fire department.

He said firefighters extinguished the blaze at the southern power plant, which serves a majority of customers on the island.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla told reporters the fire began in a switch and initially destroyed a system that provides 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s overall power.

“This is a very serious event,” he said. “The system is not designed to withstand a failure of this magnitude.”

He did not directly answer a question about whether the power company has any kind of backup should another similar situation occur, or if the island was hit by a major hurricane.

“I assume complete responsibility,” Garcia said of the outage. “Everyone knows that the company’s maintenance problems began decades ago.”

The power company is struggling with a $9 billion debt that it hopes to restructure as it faces numerous corruption allegations. Company officials have said they are seeking more revenue to update what they say is outdated equipment.

Garcia, however, said that no amount of money or maintenance would have prevented the fire.

Authorities said the outage caused 15 fires across Puerto Rico as a result of malfunctioning generators, including at the upscale Vanderbilt hotel in the popular tourist area of Condado and at the mayor’s office in the northern coastal town of Catano. All those fires were put out and no one was injured, officials said.

The outage also affected water service across the island, with officials urging customers to be prudent in their usage.

The blackout snarled road traffic and the government had to cancel train service in the capital of San Juan and close a busy traffic tunnel in the south. Businesses, universities and government offices shuttered early, creating even more chaos on roads. A police officer directing traffic was hit and taken to the hospital.

“I call on people to cooperate and respect drivers and government officials … to avoid any regrettable incidents,” Transportation Secretary Miguel Torres said.

The outage angered many Puerto Ricans who are struggling with power bills that are on average twice that of the U.S. mainland. People took to social media to demand where exactly their money is going.

Puerto Rico is mired in a decade-long economic slump, and a newly created federal control board is working to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt that the governor has said is unpayable.

Now I find it very educational to look at these two articles. Both from AP. I don’t know if the two outlets did the different edits, or if they just chose different variations published by the A.P. One might check even more publishers to see if one or both of these show up verbatim or nearly so elsewhere, then the source of the differences would need to be A.P.

Clearly these two stories paint different pictures, while still having the same basic facts. I suspect the larger truth comes from adding them together.

As for Puerto Rico, it will have a long dark night. I wish them well. Especially now that my family includes some Puerto Ricans…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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42 Responses to Puerto Rico Goes Dark

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    At least they are in relatively mild weather situation, highs in the high 80’s and lows in the high 70’s, will be tough in any buildings with out AC if they can’t open windows though.

    It will be interesting to catalog the challenges they have to deal with as a ground truth check on concerns about major power problems due to both natural and human caused by terrorism etc.

    From my emergency preparedness days, water supply will be the biggest and most immediate impact aside from loss of electrically dependent emergency services. Then loss of fuel access (no power to pump fuels), communication break downs about 2 days into the emergency as emergency workers struggle to keep radio batteries charged (also cell phones and backup power in cell sites).

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    Harvested tweets from twitter:

    John Morales Verified account ‏@JohnMoralesNBC6 2 hours ago
    John Morales Retweeted Ada Monzón
    Only between 2 and 6 thousand of the 1.5 million @AEEONLINE customers have power in #PuertoRico. Worse than a hurricane. #ApagonPR

    Catherine Hulshof ‏@BE_bilingue 8 hours ago
    No electricity means no Internet, no freezer, no businesses, no gasoline, no street lights, no ATMs. No worries right? #ApagonPR

    Mari
    ‏@sharmari21 8 hours ago
    No traffic lights in Puerto Rico at rush hour. Blackout across the whole island when everyone is hungry. The Purge has begun. #ApagónPR

    Kiara Enid ‏@kiara_enid 9h9 hours ago
    15 % de batería y sin luz. #PorJoya #ApagónPR
    [ 15% battery without light ]

    La Junta de Control ‏@juntadecontrol Jul 29
    Yulin asks for people to stay in their homes during the #ApagonPR. We ask Yulin to stay in the PIP where she belongs.

    PuertoRico SePrepara ‏@PRseprepara 21 Jul 2013

    La @AEEONLINE informa que continúan trabajando para re-establecer el servicio de energía eléctrica en los sectores afectados. #apagonpr
    [The @AEEONLINE reports continue working to re-establish electricity service in the sectors concerned. #apagonpr]

    Twitter is kind of fun to monitor during this sort of thing if you can find the right tag to watch.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    Old equipment, poorly maintained, operated at it’s maximum for extended period of time degrades. The switch contactors and buss connections oxidize and become resistive heaters. The insulators degrade and begin to conduct and heat up, soon self destruction occurs in smoke and flame.
    An early warning of things to come for many of us. When Liberal Social Progressives gain control, they use the seed corn to throw a big party for all their “friends”. Now the bills are coming due and winter is nigh. They will be demanding that “we” must fix this problem. What We really need is to fix them. But how can that be done? There is no known cure for their affliction that We must suffer through.
    “Those that can, will learn. Those that can’t must be taught.”pg
    Our educational institutions are packed with these people where they attempt to “Brainwash” all that come in contact with them and their religion. Far too many people can not relearn once so “Taught”. They just regurgitate their lessons by rote, no thinking needed in their reasoning…pg

  4. Power Grab says:

    There were more earthquakes than usual one day this week at Puerto Rico.

    I’ve already shut down my desktop computer, of I would dig a bit into that and a new dig-here point that I discovered on space weather.com today.

    Oh well, there’s always mañana, right?

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    A few more, it appears that most are taking it in stride, apparently they had a similar major blackout 18 years ago.

    http://www.dw.com/en/massive-blackout-paralyzes-puerto-rico/a-19567227

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/21/puerto-rico-blackout-fire-electricity-plant

    marvin ‏@MJOSU3A 5m
    Lo siento por aquellos que no tenían su teléfono cargado
    [Sorry for those who do not have their phone charged]

    FELIX DELGADO ELCANO ‏@FelixDelgadoPR 7 minutes ago

    Hoy llevando velas, hielo, agua y fósforos a nuestros envejecientes de Ciudad Feliz. #ApagonPR #SomosCataño
    [Today carrying candles, ice, water and matches our elderly Happy Town.]

    Carol Alfonso ‏@caa1000 30 minutes ago

    Carol Alfonso Retweeted AEE

    Update in #PuertoRico #ApagonPR: 6K out of 1.5 million+ customers are getting electric services.
    Service expected to return by Thursday.

    ‏@nemogoz

    Oh man- How am i even gonna sleep in this heat
    #apagonpr

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cs7ZxMzVYAUcbTX.jpg:large

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, he has the right idea… but needs better hardware more like this

    http://www.thecoolist.com/biolite-campstove-and-usb-charger/

  7. Degrading infrastructure is accomplished by not repairing utilities and by interrupting power – the better to get food spoiled , hospital operations interrupted, schools denied lighting and water….and on and on. It’s as destructive as war and much less obvious.

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    CNN americas has a morning report on the black out, apparently communications is still working for most of the island (if you have charged batteries in your cell phone).
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/21/americas/puerto-rico-power-outage/index.html

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    A few more out takes From twitter
    Jorge Gelpí Pagán ‏@JorgeGelpi 42m42 minutes ago

    Las estaciones de gasolina son un oasis en medio de la oscuridad #ApagonPR
    Translated from Spanish by Bing

    Gas stations are an oasis in the midst of darkness #ApagonPR

    https://twitter.com/nesstol
    Gracias por esta noche sin contaminacion luminica y a mi gopro por estas fotos espectaculares
    [Thank you for this night without light pollution and my gopro by these spectacular photos]
    Guy has some neat pictures taken with a go-pro unfortunately I cannot find a way to share them. Looks like half of a full moon and nearly clear skies which will help. Blacked out neighborhoods with occasional window lights. (take a memo the auto exposure function on the go-pro appears to work pretty good)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cs7YhCUUIAAbq20.jpg:large

    me tuve que bañar a oscuras y a cubo para irme a trabajar a las 3:30am
    [I had to bathe in the dark and a bucket to go to work at 3:30 am]

    Todo el condominio en el lobby hablando, pintando y haciendo chistes
    The whole condo in the lobby talking, painting and making jokes
    {note EM pretty much the picture you have mentioned during blackouts first day you party then you get cranky trying to find ice and water on day #2-4 etc}

    suspende labores administrativas y docentes hoy jueves, 22 hasta nuevo aviso por
    [suspended administrative duties and teachers Thursday, 22 until further notice]
    {looks like cancellation notices starting to go out this morning}

  10. philjourdan says:

    When a natural disaster hits, most people are very understanding of power outages. I remember when we were without power for 10 days. It was inconvenient, but we made the most of it (I gave up grilled meat for 6 months after that!). And when the power crews arrived, they were greeted like heros.

    I suspect if the outage is longer, tempers may flare. And I have heard that our attitude is not shared by all sections of the country. But there is no point in getting angry when the power company is working around the clock to restore the power.

  11. Gail Combs says:

    P.G. says “….They will be demanding that “we” must fix this problem. What We really need is to fix them. But how can that be done? There is no known cure for their affliction that We must suffer through…..”

    Well I have been collecting feathers and I am from the tar heel state….

    (Sorry E.M., forgive my warped sense of humor)

  12. Gail Combs says:

    philjourdan says: “…When a natural disaster hits, most people are very understanding of power outages….”

    Yes
    When the last big hurricane went through we were out with our pick-up trucks and chain saws clearing the roads as soon as it quit raining. One tree that had a trunk the size of a volkswagen could not be budged even with chains to the dually. The neighbor across the street had to get his really big tractor out to move that mother. We had everything cleaned up nicely when the road crews finally arrived at the far end of the county days later. I think they knew we would have it cleaned up so put our area last. and concentrated on the city and suburbs.

    The neighbor also had a shallow well that we all took turns hauling water out of. Enough people had generators so we did not lose our refrigerated food and everyone kept an eye on the elderly in the neighborhood making sure they had food and water and what ever.

    Having been stuck in cities my whole adult life, it was a rather novel experience.

  13. p.g.sharrow says:

    Country people look after each other. City people expect “The City” to do it. After all they have people that are paid to do that.That is why I live deep in the country.The trouble is City people want to run the lives of the country people that they don’t serve and collect fees and taxes for services they can’t or won’t render….pg

  14. Gail Combs says:

    PG, that is why I talked my Hubby into moving OUT of the Boston area into the middle of nowhere North Carolina. What a relief to be away from the Progressives!
    …………

    I just ran across this interesting comment from a Puerto Rican.

    Guyver1 says:
    September 22, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Geraldo [interviewed on Hannity] is half Puerto Rican.
    I am of 100% Puerto Rican descent (but a racist Deplorable, according to him and Hitlary)- and I have always wanted to kick his whiny liberal ass into a bloody pulp.

    It is because of libs like him that I had to leave the island decades ago- I knew how that place was going to end, there were not enough sane people to stop it, and I had no desire to grow up to be one of their slaves.

    No desire to bust my ass so they could tax me into poverty while they lived the ‘free chit’ lifestyle at my expense.

    And they ruined the place for good. There is absolutely no way out of the jam they spent themselves into. None whatsoever. No amount of bailout will help. Bail them out, and they will spend themselves into another hole, and be back begging for another bailout inside of 5 years.
    That place is done. Finished.

    Example: yesterday the whole island lost power. Over 3.5 million people in the dark. I know how that place operates. It will take weeks to get power completely back (if they are lucky).

    Now I see the same cancer that is liberalism on the verge of killing its host here (no exaggeration, remember, I have seen it happen before. Experience.)

    And there is no place left on the planet for sane people like us to run to. None whatsoever.
    So we have to make a stand.

    Right here, right now, while we still outnumber the communist vermin.
    Trump 2016!

    ERRRRrrrrrr, I do not think he will be voting for Hitlery. — Snicker.

  15. Gail Combs says:

    Sorry, E.M.,
    This is my neck of the woods blowing up. I am VERY GLAD I no longer live in the city!!!

    We already have a gas shortage because of the pipeline break and then these a$$e$ are preventing trucks from making deliveries. To make things even more fun Mike Cernovich tweeted, “There is a group of idiots calling themselves ‘trumps army’ planning on heading to Charlotte and starting shit tomorrow night.” Mike is calling it a FALSE FLAG.
    ………

    Tweets from last night on Charlotte NC — seems the BLM thugs are now going after the media.

    WCCBCharlotte
    WCCB witnessed protesters try to throw still photographer into fire in Uptown #Charlotte.

    WCCBCharlotte
    TV crew from local media station taken to hospital after being attacked in #CharlotteProtest.

    Linda Suhler, Ph.D.
    Chaos In #Charlotte, NC; Two People Shot, CNN Reporter Tackled Live On Air

    Hillary Helps Set Charlotte on Fire
    Hillary Clinton pounced on late-breating news Tuesday of another fatal police shooting of a blackman in Charlotte, North Carolina…

    Clinton joins rush to condemn police before details emerge, 16 officers injured in resulting riot.

    The incident is particularly iconic coming just days after the liberal media pounced all over Republican nominee Donald Trump for immediately calling the weekend explosions in New York and New Jersey the results of a terrorist bombing before that was confirmed by law enforcement. It turned out the explosions did indeed arise from jihadist bombs.

    “[Trump’s] being criticized for talking about the New York bomb before local officials or local law enforcement had a chance to do so,” CNN’s “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper told New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Sunday….

    The Charlotte shooting was a black officer shooting a black criminal with a mile long rap sheet and a gun. However that didn’t stop Hitlery from pouring gasoline on the situation so it would explode. I hope the small business folk sue the crap out of her!

    Photo shows the criminal’s gun. Useful if you have to deal with any progressive idiots.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Starting to have water problems in some areas (from twitter)

    Algo con Flores ‏@algoconflores 20 minutes ago

    Las zonas mayormente afectas por falta de servicio de agua son Bayamón y Guaynabo, según el Director de la AAA, Alberto Lázaro.
    [The areas most affected by lack of water service Bayamón and Guaynabo are, according to the Director of the AAA, Alberto Lazaro.]

    Also emergency services like Police beginning to get stressed
    Rossana Isabel ‏@rossanaisabel 24 minutes ago

    PR: Caras de lucha, empresa privada inmune al problema, policía exhausta, pueblo fuerte y en pie aun ante la adversidad
    [PR: Faces of struggle, a private company immune to the problem, exhausted police, standing strong people and even to adversity]

    Sammy Weather Center ‏@SaWeCe 25 minutes ago

    #ApagónPR | El Gobernador notifica primera muerte a causa del apagón. El Gobernador declara Estado de Emergencia.
    [The Governor first reported death from the blackout. Governor declares state of emergency.]

    Esteban Amaro ‏@_esteban98 28 minutes ago
    Estuve cargando el celular en el carro y ahora no prende
    [He was carrying (charging?) the phone in the car and now will not start]
    {secondary effects starting to show up as expedient measures lead to unexpected problems?}

    This is fascinating to watch on twitter much more first person than through the media and a better look at how the public is seeing the emergency situation. Last night lots of tweets about folks not able to sleep due to the heat — secondary effect of that will be short tempers in the next day or so as sleep deprived folks reach their limit of coping. Wish I had more time to dig into this but time to go to work.

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Gail; Interesting that you had to “Force” ;-) your husband into moving out into the country. 20 years ago I drudge my city lady out of town, to this 20 acre “Gated Estate” in the middle of the woods. She hates dirt and bugs. BUT every time she goes to town she can’t wait to get back home to our cabin and gardens. Must be my charms. Lol…pg

  18. Gail Combs says:

    Larry, water is ALWAYS the #1 problem when you lose electric or there is a natural disaster.

    It used to be that Chlorox had a blurb on the bottle that told how to use Chlorox as an emergency water disinfectant but the Politically Correct idiots had them remove it. I wonder how many have gotten sick or died because that information was removed?

    I generally keep a couple bottles in stock, along with a lot of salt as a ‘Just in case’

    Luckily someone put the info up online.
    https://www.clorox.com/dr-laundry/disaster-preparedness-purifying-water/

    It is worth printing out so you have it if you need it.
    …………

    P.G. I had lived next to Fort Jackson SC so I had a good idea of what we were getting into. That is why I picked NC. Not much snow, not too hot, plenty of jobs in IT and the housing dirt cheap compared to the Boston MA area.

    Hubby was not reluctant, it was just that having lived in the same area except for college, he had not thought of moving. However both of our companies had gone belly up and MA was getting more Commie by the hour.

    I am really glad we made the move and I think Hubby is too.
    ……..

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail:

    You’ve apologized twice now, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why…

    If it is for being off topic, well, that’s only ever a polite finger waggle ever; but even then, this is a thread about disaster, and N.C. riots are certainly a disaster… as is Hillary ;-)

    @P.G.:

    Well, I’ve been trying to get the spouse to move for 30 years. So far a miserable fail..

    I’m plotting a used RV kept ready to roll and some empty acres 1/2 tank away where I can play weekends and escape to as needed…

    @Larry:

    Love the tweet feed. Some of the machine translation could use minor polish, but is generally fine.

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G.:

    IMHO, having grown up country, the biggest problem during “emergencies” is what to do with the second ham and fourth pie delivered each day ;-)

    I may by trapped in the ‘burbs, but my space is a little corner of country in the urban jungle…

    @Gail:

    Or just remember 1/2 tsp per 5 gallon pail…

    I have water filters (good ones with silver in them to disinfect) in both the house and car kits, plus KI tablets in the small kit along with a gallon of plain bleach at any time (except when the spouse went on a cleaning jihad, and didn’t tell me she used it all…)

    Oh, and 3 barrels of 30 gallons each in the backyard… for those “quake in August next surface water in October” moments…

    Sidebar:

    After a storm here knocked over a big street tree in the neighbor’s yard, she could barely get out the front door through the foliage. She was about 70 and not, er, spry… Well, her grandkids and I started cutting on it. We’re talking 2 1/2 foot or so trunk and spread about 40? feet from door to street and garage to side fence.. It was kind of a Huck Fin thing. People just showed up… Some with hand saws, some with axes or camp axes they always wanted to try. About 2 or 3 hours later and maybe 1/2 done, guy in a pickup asks if we want a chain saw… Everyone was having fun chopping, so declined the offer. By afternoon beverage time (provided by someone..,) we had a nice pile of small stuff on the street, and firewood stacked to dry… (homes here have fireplaces). My Sven Saw did a nice job segmenting larger limbs and much of the trunk for neat firewood. The thickest parts were dealt with by axe and ambitious 17 year old :-)

    Not surprisingly, it was the “rough folks” who joined in. Pickups and motorcycles and old dented Toyotas. The neighbors with new cars and pressed clothes, not so much… There’s a reason I like playing in the dirt… you meet a better class of people…

    The big smile on her face at “problem kept away” was a priceless payment.

  21. tom0mason says:

    Should be an interesting eduction for all as to how they restart the grid from a black-out.

  22. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; you are welcome to park here any time.
    I try to keep gasoline and diesel fuel on hand and have a 1,500 gallon water tank that I try to keep full. As an old country farmer we keep food and drink on hand as well.
    The electrical back up needs improvement. What would you expect from an old Navy Electrician! ;-) Guess that that chore is rising back to the top of the list…pg

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    @TomOmason:

    Yup… They do have a small part of powered sites (about 2000 people?) Something like that. Plus mobile generators; so they won’t be starting from dead flat, but almost.

    They’ve also got the risk of surge damage in the sparks / fire / fail. All the equipment and transformers need checking. (I once ‘coached’ a lawyer on a suit with the power company over a fire… they had restored power to a building, and it burnt down, because only 2 phases of the transformer were working post blowout and that “is not good’ for transformers, which burst into flames and took the building with it)… Kind of like that “15 fires” this outage caused during the fail (that leads me to think 2 wires crossed taking down one phase, but not all…)

    So they’ve got to completely inspect some segments, partial at least the rest, validate generation gear and ALL the wires / connections and THEN do a phased bring up on that part while in the dark… Oh, and that’s after they figure out what needs fixing and fix it and get the spares in and…

    One hopes some segments just quietly ‘tripped off’ to save them selves and are intact. But I think it is a small island and most of the power comes from just a couple of facilities; so maybe not.

    I figure they ought to know for sure by Siesta time Friday ;-)

    @P.G.:

    Thanks! I’ll take you up on it some day…

    FWIW, you can get kilowatt inverters dirt cheap. Add some batteries and you can be done pretty quick (use a commercial charger when you have power).

    I’ve got an almost done “Dig Here!” on the way to a posting… How to make a big, cheap, DIY battery… It uses the same stuff used ot make blueprints. Do a search on “Prussian Blue” or “Prussian Green” and battery… Potassium or Sodium salt as the electrolyte, So one of the batteries has this lab formula using “nano carbon tubes”, that looks like Grant Bait. Just smear the stuff on a carbon fibre mat and roll it up for one electrode (has a binder in the formula – i.e. it sets up). The other electrode is more or less passive, so carbon rod is fine. Add salt water and go.

    They used KNO3, but KCl ought to also work per the discussion and I’d be keen on testing NaCL.

    So with a bit of tinker (wonder where you could find a guy who likes to tinker…) you could get batteries with the capacity of a Lead Acid $200 one for about $20 (guess). Oh, and they will cycle for about 40.000 times with only modest loss and have a 98% efficiency of charge / discharge…

    That, or buy a junker car with body damage and put the inverter on it… Now you have a self mobile generator and surge storage with a BIG gas tank… You can get add-on alternators for a couple of kW if you need that kind of power continuous…

    Not that I’ve thought about this… a lot… ;-)

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yep they will have the same sort of problems they had bringing up generation stations after the east coast black out. You bring up one station and get it stable, and then systematically bring up all your other stations one at a time and sync them with the master frequency reference you have established for your grid segment. Not an easy task even if you have no damage, and certainly not quick.

    Then you also have to deal with idiot home owners who plug remote generators into their house wiring, and accidentally electrify lines which are supposedly dead. That means the electrical workers have to be very careful some helpful soul does not accidentally electrocute them.

    I have pretty good self sufficient on all those (Gail remember I worked in emergency planing for 14 years), have multiple water filters, stored water good enough to get by for a month or so on rationing, and within walking/biking distance of ground water. They also recently legalized rain barrels in Colorado so in a few years a fair number of homes will have them.

    Generation I have a battery pack in the house composed to two deep cycle 12v batteries kept on a float charger and several inverters. In my computer room I have one small low wattage desk lamp powered through a 475 watt inverter, and the battery pack so when the grid drops I still have a working lamp in the computer room to help me shut the computers down gracefully before their UPS batteries are much depleted even if I am in the midst of something.

    My biggest inverter is a 1000 watt, and currently have a small gen set which is rated at 1000 watts peak 900 watts running. Planning on picking up a second high power gen set in the 2000 watt range. With two separate generators plus 3 cars and the inverters I can do essential charging for a long time with no grid power.

    I need to get off my butt and get the Rpi setup so I have a very low current computer, although some of my laptops idle at only about 25-30 watts.

    Lots of flashlights and some of those little solar lawn lights which in an emergency can charge during the day and provide low level room light at night.

    I recently found a really neat emergency water storage bladder on amazon that is designed to be placed in a bath tub, you fill it while you still have main pressure and you are good for a very long time if you are careful about water usage.

    https://www.amazon.com/waterBOB-Emergency-Drinking-Storage-Gallons/dp/B001AXLUX2/ref=sr_1_1

    They also sell a 2 pack of these so I got 2, that provides a spare or a barter item in an emergency.

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    Oh I almost forgot, I have two of the Harbor Freight 45w solar panel kits in the garage which I can setup if we have a long duration outage.

  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    Some more tweet harvests
    Need google translate for this spanish language page
    http://www.primerahora.com/noticias/puerto-rico/nota/avalanchadecompradoresdeplantas-1177236/
    basically big rush of buyers looking for generators
    Problems with slow credit card approvals in stores

    People taking refuge in major businesses for AC and food most likely
    Normarie Casiano ‏@NormarieCF 16 minutes ago
    Aquí refugiándonos en el Food Court de San patricio Plaza.
    [Here refuge in the Food Court of San Patricio Plaza.]

    SyrachaConParcha ‏@irafsama 19 minutes ago

    Ajam estamos tipo huracán, con apagón, ruido de plantas ,neveras a punto de pudrirse pero falta la Clavaera…ponganse a clavar
    [Ajam are hurricane type, with blackout, noise levels, refrigerators about to rot but lack the Clavaera … nailing ponganse]
    This translation needs some help appears to be referencing something like hitting the nail on the head or similar.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/crews-rush-restore-power-blacked-puerto-rico-42268174

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081231002745AAjS6cG

    says Ajam is slang for “Uh huh”.

    So I get

    Uh huh, we are like a hurricane, with blackouts, noise from plants, refrigerators at the point of putrifaction, but without a hammer to drive (literally 2nd person plural to put) a nail.

  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I’ve a 1,200 watt UPS on 12-deep cycle 80ah 12vdc batteries for the electronics but the 24vdc charger died for some reason. so It is ooc for the moment. Also need to adapt a car engine to the 10kw 3ph gen that I have. In the old days it served the ranch as backup but the old Willies engine died.

    One day on the ranch the nearby REA powerpole broke a connector insulator and caught fire. By the time the service crew got there that evening the pole was half gone, power was off and I had plugged the generator into the welder outlet after pulling the meter from it’s base. About 2:00am they got service back up so I went out and killed the generator and plugged the meter back in and went to bed. About a week later I get this nasty call from the REA office about my meter being upside down! After explaining the events and promising to fix it right away, they said no problem. A farmstead on REA is nothing compared to our 100hp irrigation pumps out in the field. They were glad I had safe-ed their side of the system.

    PG&E are real crabby when I break their seals to work on the main. Tough! I don’t care to work on live lines if I don’t have to………

    Oh yes, Satellite Internet with WiFi….. really need to get that IPS back up. Last week the electric service went off as I was taking my evening shower,. had to finish in the dark. Power was off for 12,000 people for 6 hours. No back up, no TV, no Internet, in the dark. Real primitive evening!…pg

  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    Here is the satellite image comparing normal lighting in Puerto Rico and after the black out.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=88796

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    The local language links, roughly:

    It will take longer than expected to restore water service

    Governor declairs a P.R. state of emergency

    Centers of commerce that are open and others that are closed

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    24 vdc charger? Can’t just take 2 x 12 vdc car chargers an serial them? Ok, 24 vdc transformer and bridge rectifier… though IIRC it is really 28.8 VDC needed… or just order one of these
    https://www.amazon.com/Voltages-Wheel-Style-Charger-Automatic-Starter/dp/B01AIVX1HO/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1474584060&sr=8-14&keywords=24+volt+truck+battery+charger

    though the local truck stop may have a cheaper one…

    As for the rest “never mind” ;-)

  32. Gail Combs says:

    We have a well (actually two) which would be nice if it was not 265 ft deep.

    We went to a farmers day at like an old fashion farm park. Hubby and I mainly hung out with the draft horse and mule people. They had a very interesting set-up that was a four horse powered wheel that turned gears to power a thresher or a mill….. HMMMmmmm.

    I would love to duplicate that for pumping water. We have a second well that has not been hooked to any type of pump yet.

    The other option is dig a shallow well ~25 feet using surface water and a hand pump …

    Or maybe this baby but unfortunately our wells are too deep.
    http://non-electric.lehmans.com/hardware/Deep-Well-Hand-Pump

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    Recovery progress is slow but restoration of power is showing a steady increase in numbers.

    From twitter

    La Fortaleza @fortalezapr (circa 8 hours ago) @ 03:44 MDT

    La Fortaleza
    Últimas informaciones desde el centro de operaciones de la Rama Ejecutiva de Puerto Rico
    [Strength
    Latest information from the headquarters of the Executive Branch of Puerto Rico]

    AHORA: @AEEONLINE informa que se ha restablecido el servicio a 375,000 abonados y continúan aumentando los números minuto a minuto
    [NOW: @AEEONLINE reports that it has restored service to 375,000 subscribers and continue to increase the numbers minute by minute]

    La Guardia Nacional está brindando apoyo en las labores de recuperación del funcionamiento y vigilancia del país
    [The National Guard is supporting recovery efforts in the operation and monitoring of the country]

    La Policía continúa pendiente al tránsito y hay efectivos brindando patrullaje. Continuará plan mientras dure la emergencia
    [Police still pending traffic and providing effective patrolling there. It will continue throughout the emergency plan]

    Se otorgará ayuda de emergencia a familias participantes del PAN que hayan perdido alimentos por falta de servicio eléctrico
    [Emergency assistance is granted to families of the PAN participants who have lost food due to lack of electrical service]

    Lista de Oasis de la Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados #ApagónPR
    [List of oasis of the authority of water supply and sewerage #apagónpr]

    {just beginning to see twitter posts now starting to snark at the government for the outage and not taking care of business in the first place. The anger phase usually crops up about now in emergencies (ie 2-3 days after the hurricane or earthquake folks start grousing about lack of ice, waiting in lines for water, and poor response from authorities as short sleep and stress starts to surface rather than the immediate coping responses and thanking their luck for being okay etc.}

    Vicente Rojas III ‏@vrojasiii 32m32 minutes ago

    The PR government asking Washington, DC for money? WHERE THE IS ALL THOSE MILLION$ THEY SENT DURING THE YEARS? #ApagonPR

    Vicente Rojas III ‏@vrojasiii 37 minutes ago

    The sindrome of “that is not my job” is the cause of lack of taking care of a home Puerto Rico government is an expert in that. #ApagonPR

    Vicente Rojas III ‏@vrojasiii 38 minutes ago

    This could have been avoided if maintenance, daily inspections and “taking care of my home” person was in charged. #ApagonPR

    Olas de Caramelo ‏@Lpnt5560 2 hours ago

    Entonces, el #ApagonPR no me dejó ver los “season premiere” de “How to get away with murder” y “Grey’s Anatomy”
    [Candy waves @ Lpnt5560 2 hours ago

    Then the #ApagonPR let me not see the “season premiere” of “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy”]

    Caballero ‏@josecir2 5 minutes ago
    40+ hours – Still Waiting
    {note Puerto Rico is on Eastern daylight time}

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like they are making good progress based on this report, about 75% of customers now have power.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CB_PUERTO_RICO_POWER_OUTAGE

  35. p.g.sharrow says:

    Yes, it sounds like the repair work is done and they are bringing up the system, Every circuit must be tested before closing the switch that energizes it…pg

  36. Kent Gatewood says:

    Puerto Rico
    Old Oil fired gen
    Planned new Natural Gas gen
    New docks for Liq Nat Gas
    EPA
    Turtles
    Coral Reef
    Delay, two Yrs, no dock, no gas

    Story somewhere on internet, I think correct

  37. p.g.sharrow says:

    My lady and I were on our way home on the narrow road we use and a big dead pine had just fallen and blocked the road. I moved some rocks and limbs enough to 4×4 around it and clue the neighbors of the blockage. In 15 minuets they got there with tractor and chainsaw and had the county road cleared and traffic moving. That is the way country people deal with such things. Maybe the county road crew will discover the pieces of log along the road some time…pg

  38. philjourdan says:

    @p.g.Sharrow – Suburbanites as well. When Isabel came through a tree fell over blocking one end of my block. Once the sun rose, the neighbors had chopped it up for firewood. When Irene came through 8 years alter, a tree on the other side fell and blocked the road. Same thing. It took a lot longer for the power to be restored, but we could get in and out within hours of the storm being over. No government did that.

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