Reapers are ripening fast! All peppers are, keeping me busy!
If you are thinking about a generator, there are two things you should check out:
A propane (or NG if you have that) fired one. You can store much more of that than gasoline, and more safely.
Solar backup systems have gotten fairly cheap, compared to a few years back. It will still cost you more than a generator, but not necessarily once you factor in fuel costs. An added advantage is they are silent.
Yes, were almost three miles out in the woods. It’s like driving in a tunnel of trees. It’s hilly and windy too.
Sorry. @Drew51 is trying to keep us on topic, but let me just say…
I agree with @Steve333, we have a propane generator that will meet our needs with a long term outage. You plan for the lowest level of comfort/sustainability that you can accept/live with. That is what you ‘need’. And add your wants up to your budget…just like anything else. Hurricanes here usually cause the long term outages. We lost it for 11 days after Isabel.
A generator can fail too.
My solar cost less that my generator but is primarily for everything that will run off 12V, or is battery powered (and, running some things in the hoophouse over winter). It is amazing how many things can run on 12V. Apparently truckers run a small home in their cab off of 12V. Ryobi has a whole set of tools that run off batteries that can be charged from a 12V. Anyway that’s been fun to play with.
You know I just like to talk, I don’t care about the topic! I have a question on propane generators. My cottage is often hit with power outages. I’m tired of taking my food to my friends house. What kind of tank is the propane stored in? How big? Any decent models?
No expert here, but if you just want to be able to cook instead of carrying food to neighbors, I’d just bring some of those green propane canisters from Walmart and get a little propane stove and you are good to go.
If you want to power up your cottage, I’d talk to a few installers.
Yes, this, frozen prime grade beef that costs a small fortune, and giant crab legs that make gold look cheap. I cook with charcoal, that’s not a problem. Installing is a problem, no cars allowed on the island. Well you can bring them if you don’t mind spending a few c notes for renting a car ferry (about 100 bucks an hour, when available). So contractors have to leave vehicles behind. It’s a real huge problem. Not worth it unless you need major repairs. Still I like the fact no cars are there. It’s very quiet and I like it like that.
@Drew51, I would think you’d have to have a propane company deliver a tank, say a typical 330gal tank, fill it, and then I think they or some other installer could hook a gas line to the generator. Then you’d have an electrician hook the generator up to your house’s breaker box. This would be for a whole house system, not a portable generator, I’m not sure how that would be installed. I do think you’d have to have a special breaker panel if you wanted to hook up high power appliances to a portable.
Hmmmm. Would generators even be permitted? I mean they are LOUD. I’ve seen some portables on wheels. I guess that’d be the way to go.
It probably would be best to just go with a good portable so I could keep the food cold. I don’t really need power for nothing else. A wood burning stove is my only heat. The water is a 110v jet pump. So nothing more than 110 volt is needed. i would have no hat water or stove, but I could live with that. I bathe in the river anyway. For 20 years we had no shower there.
Well nothing is really restricted cars are allowed, if you can get them there.
There are refrigerators that run on propane. Motor homes use them. New they cost a fortune, but you might be able to find a used one.
Wow! That is a very interesting option. All I really need is refrigeration. I can tough out anything else. But a generator could come in handy if say a tree takes my power, and I need power tools to repair the cottage.
@Drew51 a camper style refrig might work well for you. Most the new ones take 120v, 12v or propane and you can switch power source as needed. But they tend to be small compared to modern refrig’s. There are home style propane refrig’s and freezers too, but then tend to be pricey.
If there isn’t a propane dealer on your island, you could buy/rent 100# propane tanks and move them over yourself. They are manageable with a couple of people. They are ~1.5’ in diameter and maybe 5’ tall. You bring them back when empty to get refilled. I used to have a couple on my place for the cook stove and hot water heater years ago. For just those purposes they lasted several months. Not sure how long they would last running a generator full time, but I’d guess enough for a few days…
No, not one store or public place of any kind. it is all private.[quote=“Steve333, post:254, topic:6191”]
you could buy/rent 100# propane tanks
Yes, I have seen those tanks. I could get those over.
@Drew51, another consideration is what you’ll be running the genset for, and how you want to be using those appliances/lights. Running a generator all the time (or all the time you are up) ends up using a lot of fuel and creates a lot of noise. Most often people don’t need AC continuously.
In real emergencies, where fuel supply was limited, people tend to ration their AC. They run the gen long enough to keep the fridge and freezer cool, and run a few appliances, pump water into containers, recharge the flashlights, etc then shut it off for a while. Only to repeat the cycle some hours later. Running the gen just for a light bulb or two burns thru way more fuel than you would think.
If you keep this in mind when you are planning, you can get by fairly well. You just need to have the water containers, battery powered lights, computer, and radio, etc. Nothing very fancy but you need to have it before you’ll need it.
And there are now some “inverter” based gensets. They include a battery and inverter. For small loads the gas engine need not run you get AC from the battery and inverter, and the battery will get recharged next time the generator runs. They also produce much cleaner power for electronics etc.
I installed solar last year (10.7KW system), which uses 2 Sunnyboy inverters. Most solar installations stop generating power when the grid goes down, but a feature of the new SB inverters is that they can be disconnected from the grid and power an outlet (2 plugs each, with 1500 watts per inverter). Now, it only works when the sun is out and you have to initiate it fresh each day.
But, it seems like a nice bonus capability. I checked into a battery system and it would have been very pricey (15-20K numbers were being tossed around, so I didn’t go any further…). Maybe Tesla getting into the home battery market will improve both cost and performance enough to eventually make it worthwhile.
Note- in the year and a half since I got solar, we haven’t had a power outage for me to test it with…not that I’m asking for one
Nice. I love using the sun for everything it can offer. I got several estimates but put it on the back burner, so to speak, because we have trees that are not on our property that aren’t getting any smaller. There were nice incentives though.
So I built my own portable one so I can move it where the sun is or where I need it. I also have an inverter I can attach to power some AC. 30 years ago I got solar panels to heat the hot water. They are not PV just radiant but a PV run pump circulates the glycol when the sun is out. When Isabel came through we were the only ones w/hot water, BUT I really wanted my washing machine to work.
My understanding was that grid tie systems have to do that for the safety of those repairing the downed power lines.
Yep. The batteries for mine were more than the panels and the panel prices keep going down.
We will have to see what hurricane Gaston does.
I thought about getting a thermal solar system for hot water, but I’m pretty happy with our existing propane powered water heater, which doesn’t need electricity to work. We also use propane for the stove.
That is actually what triggered us to get the panels. I paid to have the neighbor’s very large trees removed (with their permission). Now, what used to be a shady spot is now full sun, with jujubes and grapes doing very well there. Once the trees were gone, my wife actually suggested looking into panels.
There is extra circuitry in the inverter which isolates it when you go into SPS (Secure Power Supply) mode. Also, it only powers a single wall outlet (2 plugs), which are only powered when in SPS mode. We had one installed in the kitchen and another in the garage (2 inverters). I’m not sure which, if any of the fridges it will be able to power, as 1500watts is borderline for them.
As I mentioned in the canned produce thread, it appears that our tomato patch is just about played out. Weeds and blight have just about taken over, and most of the fruit that’s left is rotting or rotted. There are a few green tom’s left, and those will just be for fresh eating. Mrs Dood picked about 3 gallons worth this morning and we canned 4 1/2 quarts.
Here are a few more pics of some of the last of the fruit we picked. As you can see, lots of split fruit, mostly because of all the rain.
Here is a big 19oz Yellow Brandywine. I just sliced it up and shared it with the wife. It was very good, quite tart, but had some sweetness to balance it out. Hard to say if it tastes better than the orange KY beefsteak, but I think I’d give it the edge. As you can see, it was more orange than yellow. I would recommend it for flavor and plant hardiness, but it is a shy bearer, so keep that in mind.
Even though the 'maters are just about done, the pepper patch seems to have perked up after I weeded and fertilized the plants a couple weeks ago. There are lots of little jalapenos and banana peppers getting going. So, that is encouraging. We planted about 10 jalapeno plants, and hope to be able to can those later in the season.
I picked an Anaheim chile and a Stavros pepperoncini. Haven’t tried the chile, but I cut up the Stavros, and it is quite the sinus clearer. I was surprised it was that hot, guess I’ve been used to the pickled ones.
Not quite jalapeno hot, but close.
When the last of the tomatoes are done, I’ll give an evaluation of the ones we were able to sample. Some plants, however, got hit so fast with disease, that we couldn’t get an adequate sampling. But, I’ll still try to give an opinion of those.