Saturday, March 28, 2009

NASA solar flares articles, Power grid disruptions, Survival electricity, Power outages, Generating AC electricity from power inverter and battery

Survival AC Power 101

Do you think you will have a power outage? I have experienced many power outages in my life. Most of them have been several hours. However, some of them have lasted for days. Several years ago my father was on oxygen. He had a machine that manufactured oxygen and of course used AC electricity. I took some comfort in knowing that we could always provide electricity for him. Power outages are a regular occurence whether due to lightening strikes, flooding or other natural disasters.

NASA scientists are predicting a large increase in solar flare activity by 2012. This increased solar activity can disrupt power distribution and communications. In 1989 6 million people lost power when a huge increase in solar activity caused a surge. All indications are that the next solar activity peak will be worse.To add to the suspense, scientists have discovered a breach in the Earth’s magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist.

More information about upcoming solar activity

This article will explain how you can have AC electrical power for days if your power goes out. It also will provide a means to start your car if the car battery is not functioning. This solution will not run all your household needs but can provide light and power for small appliances.
Here is what you will need:

1. Power inverter. This converts DC current from a battery to AC current that your appliances need. Power inverters come in many sizes from low wattage such as 100 up to thousands of watts. Pick the size you need based on your budget and power requirements. Some appliances or tools require more watts and they will also drain the battery power source faster. Power inverters can be purchased at many stores such as Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Advance Auto, Walmart and many other stores.

2. Automotive battery jump start unit. This is a self contained battery. They are affordable and everyone should own one anyway. The beauty of this is that you will use this unit whether your power goes off or not. Take it with you on trips for peace of mind.

My story:

I bought 2 of these battery units years ago as gifts for relatives but did not buy one for myself, duh. One of the relatives has used the unit many times to jump a dead battery. As fate would have it, a few years later I was stopped at a fast food restaurant many miles from home and my car would not start. Fortunately a man in a pickup truck parked beside of me had one of these units and I was able to start my car. Needless to say, I bought a battery pack. Sometime after that the lightbulb came on in my head. I owned a power inverter and had a need to run a power tool at a site with no electricity. I ran a reciprocating saw from the inverter connected to a car battery.

Since I discovered the simplicity and low cost of this solution, I consider it one of the biggest "no brainers" in the world. Ok, we all need the battery packs if we drive a car. Even a small inverter can be useful in our everyday lives. I own a small one that I keep in the car for trips. It powers my laptop computer and has a capacity of 100 watts.

What are the options when the power goes out?

First assess how bad things are. If it is going to be a typical short outage, go ahead and run several items such as a light, small tv, radio or fan. If it looks like the power will be out for several days, then you must prioritize your battery usage. How ever the good news is you can normally connect the power inverter to a car to run appliances and even recharge the battery pack. That is the beauty of this solution.

Follow all manufacturer guidelines when using any of the devices and procedures above.

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