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Disaster Preparedness

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by vfx, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    After events like the recent earthquake in Japan (Hi Benji!) it's easy to think about the people and their loved ones and then what if something of that magnitude happens here? Am I ready? Are we ready? Here in CA we have had our share of shakes and at the house an in the trunk (though not in the Roadster) we have the usual water, flashlights, radio, etc. but what about an energy/fuel independent lifestyle and how it relates to emergency preparedness?

    Assuming a 9.0 sized global apocalyptic event without the double pain of a tsunami to deal with, what kind of investment would it take?

    If still standing, can solar panels run your house when the power goes out?
    Can use (or should you) use your Electric car to power your house?
    Can you charge you car on your solar panels when grid power goes out?

    How about investing in a Zero type electric motorcycle so you can drive over rubble independent of outside fuel sources?

    Can you trade energy for food?

    Other ideas?

    Yes this is a thought exercise for a worst case senario assuming something on the level of The World made by Hand for fun but worth thinking about.
     
  2. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    I'm not sure how best to use the Roadster. I'd probably back it into my basement office, that way I could use the 12v takeoff to boil water in my mini kettle and absorb any heat into the house. Beyond that, I don't know how to get at all that stored power.
     
  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I don't think EVs today are designed for disaster (nor are most cars). There are some cars (mostly trucks) with a 120V outlets, but it's rare. It's important to keep in mind also that gas pumps will not be operational, although with gasoline it's easy to just take a can of gas.

    Of course things can change significantly if V2G ever catches on. Then the car is actually designed to provide power to the grid or even your own house. A 300 mile Model S can probably power an average US house for about 10 days (assuming 85kWh battery and ~1000kWh per month).

    And in an earthquake like the one in Japan, that assumes the house is still standing and the roads still suitable for driving, which may not be a good assumption.
     
  4. EV_de

    EV_de Model SP10/XP9 EU ZOE#47

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    My SMA Solar Inverter would take 224 V ... 480 V DC and can produce up to 2600W @ 240V AC Output.

    US - Inverters are similar, exept the 110V Output

    just have to find the Clamps für Plus / Minus on the ESS ....
     
  5. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    My house is below sealevel (Dutch coast) and it's near a nuclear reactor, so I've taken some preparations over the last years, really basic:

    - Have a small radio with a flashlight included, it charges with a small solar panel or you can wind it up
    - Some matches and candles
    - First aid kit
    - Bottled water
    - Chocolate

    This is all packed in a watertight casing.

    In my car I always make sure my tank is at least half full, where I have a 12V -> 230V converter build in, this way I can supply power to my home if needed. Currently I'm thinking about converting my Toyota Auris Hybrid to make it an ever better generator (Can be done with the Prius.

    My new home is currently being build, here I want to install a 1400Wp solar array so I have enough power for my home when the grid fails, I could even, very slowly charge my Model S, but I'd probably use my electric scooter.

    So yes, I think I'm prepared for a emergency, but when the sea comes rushing in, I don't think it will matter at all...
     
  6. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    A regular 12VDC to 120VAC inverter can power stuff from the pack through the DC/DC converter in the car. I went 2 1/2 weeks without grid power this winter running a 1500 watt inverter from 4 deep cycle batteries that I swapped in and out in paralleled pairs. I'd take the night time pair to work and charge them up. That gave me power to run the blower on my wood stove, about 3 hours of TV viewing, and as much internet and computer use that I wanted. No hot water or refrigeration, but I kept water pressure in the pressure tank for hand washing for the whole 2 1/2 weeks, flushed the toilet with buckets of water from the stream. My EV was off the road for the winter and partially dismantled but if not I could have just used it's battery pack to "shuttle" charge from work to home every day and just use one battery during the day to keep the stove blower running. I'm also looking into getting a small propane generator, which I may also put on a small trailer for a range extender.
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    So it is possible. Ill add it to my next Ev list. Plug in power.
     
  8. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    one of the great things about "mennekes" is that the standards are intended for bidirectional energy flow such that an EV can become a power source...
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    After all the work to get the J connector approved here, it is definitely disappointing the find the European standard is so superior.

    sigh...
     
  10. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I don't see why the J couldn't be bi-directional.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    There are many reasons the Mennekes version is superior to Yazaki and I've been whining about it ever since I saw it.
    Three phase capable, automatic locking mechanism, better durability in a "drive over" event... and so on.
    I've decided it's now too late and to stop complaining about it.
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    sigh...
     
  13. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    its never to late - the better is the killer to the good once. but you have 3-phase in america as well - and JB Straubel told me he will provide 3-phase for europe - why not for north-america as an option
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    In North America, 3-phase is common in industrial buildings but almost unheard of in residential areas. That rather limits the number of people who could use it.
     
  15. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Please... not another 3 phase thread.
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It's going through a 3 thread phase. :biggrin:
     
  17. zack

    zack Member

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    Hey, the Tesla's motor is driven by three-phase power. Hmm. Theoretically, if the amplitude can be controlled (the frequency is obviously controlled to put the motor at any particular RPM) the PEM could be used to pump energy back into the grid. If that was practical, the car could be used as a storage device for solar power so that a home could be off-grid for extended periods, and modest driving could be done as well.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #19 vfx, Mar 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
    Can a solar flare hurt my charging car?
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Solar flares don't generally have any direct effect on the surface of the Earth. Satellites in orbit can be affected, as they are outside our protective magnetosphere and atmosphere.

    What does have an impact on Earth is a Coronal Mass Ejection. These are sometimes associated with solar flares, but they are really a separate phenomenon that, like a flare, tend to be triggered by an active region on the surface of the sun. A huge mass of charged particles is expelled from the corona (outer sun's "atmosphere") and travel away from the sun. They usually take several days to reach Earth, although occasionally it's faster than that. So there is advanced warning from spacecraft such as SOHO.

    CME's happen all the time, but they aren't usually pointed right at us (or more accurately where the Earth will be a few days later). Even if we do get hit by one, if the associated magnetic field is in the same direction as Earth's, then nothing much happens. But if it's the opposite polarity it can weaken our "shields" and we get an auroral substorm. Under these conditions, huge electric fields are set up in the Earth's atmosphere, and this can cause large DC potentials across long distance power lines.

    If the potential is large enough, it saturates the power transformers that raise the voltage for transmission. This causes huge overheating and can even in worst case conditions cause the transformers to explode. Usually it just trips out the breakers.

    That's how the March 1989 Hydro Quebec blackout happened. That night I got the best aurora photos ever, but our neighbouring province spent the night in the dark. (There is a warning system in place for the power utilities, but notice arrived at Ontario Hydro, who distributes it to the other Canadian power companies, just as the day shift was leaving for the weekend, and some idiot threw it in his inbox and left. What's really stupid is that the facility is staffed 24/7.)

    Auroral substorms also cause the outer atmosphere to warm up and expand, which alters the orbits of low-earth orbit satellites. It also messes up radio transmission. These effects can cause big problems with navigation systems such as GPS.

    So... the upshot... if the sun goes ape you might lose power, and you won't be able to charge your car.

    The thing about these events is they tend to affect extremely large conducting objects like power lines. Maybe if there is some kind of super mega flare it will impact electronic system on Earth, but it's still rather more likely to affect long distance power lines. These days terrestrial data is sent over fiber optic and microwave relays, which are much less susceptible.
     

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