Surviving an Iowa Derecho storm

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by IABoy987, Aug 18, 2020.

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  1. IABoy987

    IABoy987 Member

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    August 10th, a 100+MPH straight line wind storm brew through Cedar Rapids Iowa and surrounding areas, creating devastation not seen in recent history. This phenomena was called a Derecho (Spanish for straight), basically a flattened out tornado.

    We lost a lot of trees, but had minor house damage. Luckily we had a whole house generator set to power house for seven days until the commercial power came back.

    So what does this have to do with Prime, you say? Well with the loss of power no gas stations were open and the few that were on generators, had miles long lines. Every night we let the generator put electrons back into traction battery for next day travels for needed supplies. So the wife and I could zip around on electrons and save the gas, if we might have needed to make a long distant trip for something urgent (we didn't).
     
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  2. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    It huffed and puffed here too and tried to blow our house down but fortunately our home is built of bricks. ComEd held up well in my area as well. We did have a similar event a number of years back where we had no electric for a week. Others up to two weeks. Fortunately no rain nor major heat so lack of A/C was not a problem and the pumps that did not have battery backups were spared as well. ComEd got a major black eye and did some major upgrades to it’s infrastructure which seemed to have worked.
     
  3. Austin Longenecker

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    Max wind gusts after an analysis by the NWS are estimated to have reached 130 mph. While that is on the weak end for a tornado, that's ridiculous for a derecho. Its not fair to compare the two as they are very different things. Glad y'all're okay. Hopefully the rest of the area still without power gets power soon.

    A hurricane would be a better comparison than a tornado. But its just that, a comparison. Large and powerful. Just dont call it a "land hurricane" or some of the meteorologists will fight you!
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    If I had a Prime, it would make more sense to pour the gasoline into the car and run that engine than it would to burn the same gasoline in my generator- because the specific generator I own is less efficient than the powertrain in the Prime when it comes to converting fuel into electricity.

    There's also the efficiency gain of directly using the mechanical engine power instead of sacrificing it to charging losses on a battery.

    I think the bottom line is that it's worth checking the math before making or trusting a blanket statement.

    Glad to hear you got through the storm properly!
     
    #4 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Aug 18, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
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  5. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Senior Member

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    The OP stated he has a whole house generator and a Prime. While theoretically the ICE on the prime may be more efficient in generating electricity to charge its battery than his generator, what practical way does he have to use that electricity to power his freezer, refrigerator, lights, etc? Of course we are not sure his generator uses gasoline; many use propane or natural gas. But if it were me, and my generator needed gasoline, I would consider siphoning it from the Prime to keep my food from spoiling.
     
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  6. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    most whole house generators run on 25 cent per GGE natural gas, it can be cheaper per kwhr than the mains in some areas if you don’t count wear and tear + maintenance

    in my area I can generate my own power at home using natural gas for around 4.5 cents per kwhr, now if the generator wasn’t so expensive to keep functional it’s very tempting, this is why industrial customers can negotiate their power rates off chart.
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    My reply didn't address the supply of electricity into the home for other purposes, unfortunately I left that as an assumption. So I'll attempt to clarify here.

    Again, I'm speaking of my own gasoline-powered generator to power my home for 7 days straight:

    If I were to put some fraction of my reserve gasoline into a Prime for the sake of mobility, I would have more total gasoline remaining at the end of those 7 days than if I had put 100% of my fuel into the genny and charged the Prime and subsequently used that charge for mobility.

    I feel that this is important to state because somebody might someday face an 8-day blackout, and I'd want them to be well informed by these discussions.

    If the OP's generator is fired by natural gas, that would be a different case altogether, which is why I framed my statement in terms of my own equipment.

    Details matter with this stuff.
     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    That's great you have that option. Our region has no natural gas infrastructure. Almost all whole house generators in our area are running on propane which usually costs more than gasoline generator but for long term storage in a tank, propane is more stable in a tank. I have a portable dual fuel (gas or propane) generator with a whole house hook-up and manual transfer switch. It's a much cheaper option than standby whole house generator with automatic transfer switch, but it cost me ~$1/kWh by using gas. Whole house generator would cost me more to generate electricity by propane and much much more to install and maintain.
     
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