local tv station on generator power

solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭
One of the local tv station WKBN Youngstown ohio anounced they were ask by First Energy to use thier generators during this heatwave. They said there are 400 other heavy power users that were ask to go on generator power also. So I was just thinking that the few people that have large solar arrays really are a good asset to the power co. There is a neighbor that just turned on his power system last week and has enough output to keep 2 window units running. I am generating enough to keep my 12,000 btu unit running 24/7. solarvic

Comments

  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power

    At one time the utility here had deals set up with a lot of large businesses with generators that can run their entire operation. They gave the business a cut on their utilities in exchange for agreeing to switch when asked. Not sure if it was a continuous cut or only factored in during months where they had to run the generator. Haven't heard anyone talk about that in quite a while, so not sure they still do it.

    One place I did some HVAC work at intended (not sure they ever bothered though) to switch based on current price of natural gas vs electricity. Due to their per-kWh rates and demand charges it could be (or so they thought) cheaper to run the generator. I wondered at the time if they had factored in maintenance and wear-and-tear / eventual replacement cost on the generator...

    Of course electricity per-kWh costs haven't really risen much here, it's quite cheap. Very few places bother with much conservation. Even the place in question found it much simpler just to minimize demand charges by setting up their HVAC controls to start an extra chiller (they preferred to NOT start it if they thought they could get away with it) before entering the peak-demand hours so they kept the load smooth through that time. Long as they could avoid the big demand spike caused by starting heavy equipment they'd avoid the very pricey demand charges. There were a few days when they first started this where the place was getting uncomfortable by late afternoon because they bet wrong and didn't start the extra machine!

    And I still shake my head in amazement at the school that was told their bills would be INCREASING because they were SAVING too much power! We'd gone in and done such a wonderful job on their HVAC system they had reduced their electricity consumption markedly. Turns out the utility company had become rather dependent on their high but consistent load and was actually giving them a reduced rate! We had dropped them below the minimum threshold - but not enough (by a long shot!) to offset the increased per-kWh costs. So we had to go in and purposefully WASTE energy to keep their monthly usage above a certain level! Crazy...
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,014 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power

    fine, except in So California, the SCAQMD prohibits usage of fixed generators, and even limits monthly test cycles severely. When my company had a planned outage, they would rent portable units and wire them in for a week, to avoid running the existing, wired generators. Stupid bureaucrats. It's now illegal to even pour a pad for a generator, until you have the permit for it. (for the generator you can't use) Next plan is to eliminate campfires at the beach.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
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  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power

    looks like there are lots of short sighted people in charge where you live. I don,t know how reliable the grid is in your area but the grid gets overloaded in my area when we have broad heatwaves. Glad that my power co welcomes large power users that have generators to help keep the grid up. We just had a couple hickups so far long enough that you have to reset the clocks. I have enough gasoline to keep cool for a couple days if I have to. I have to have my air conditioning as I can,t breath very well in the hot humid conditions we are now experiencing. Solarvic
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power

    i agree with solarvic that your politicians seem to be over the top mike.

    solarvic,
    who do you have for power, west penn power or pennelec? i've got duquesne light. we've had some outages down this way and they seem to be going for many hours at a time. last one was 8.5hrs, but other areas are offline at times too while mine is on. the storms seem to be the biggest culprit with surges, trees falling, and some flooding going on, but i'm sure the heat is factoring as well.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power

    I have Penn Power which is a part of First energy. I was having frequent power outages for the last few years because the power co. wasn,t keeping the trees trimmed in the rightaway that goes thru my woods. So right after I got an offgrid system installed the power company finally trimmed the trees around here last fall. Only had a couple power outages since that lasted about 5 hours each. solarvic
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power
    mike95490 wrote: »
    fine, except in So California, the SCAQMD prohibits usage of fixed generators, and even limits monthly test cycles severely. When my company had a planned outage, they would rent portable units and wire them in for a week, to avoid running the existing, wired generators. [1] Stupid bureaucrats. It's now illegal to even pour a pad for a generator, until you have the permit for it. (for the generator you can't use) Next plan is to eliminate campfires at the beach.[2]
    [1]: Even though the portables probably have worse emissions. Although they do have to meet AQ requirements too in CA.
    [2]: When the power is out. :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power
    RandomJoe wrote: »
    At one time the utility here had deals set up with a lot of large businesses with generators that can run their entire operation. They gave the business a cut on their utilities in exchange for agreeing to switch when asked. Not sure if it was a continuous cut or only factored in during months where they had to run the generator.

    That is called an interruptible power rate, and it is very common. Customers with standby generating facilities that exceed 1.0 MW are paid to run their generators to reduce peak load on the utility system. It is a very effective peak load shaving strategy used by almost all utilities. Many facilities that have large standby power systems, such as larger city hospitals, draw an average load of 4-6 MW from the utility. These hospitals will have four diesel generators and they are sized so three of them will carry the normal campus load. The fourth generator is called a "peaking generator". These types of generating facilities usually run 13,800 volt generators and they have the capability to directly feed the low voltage distribution grid.

    When the utility calls a customer that is on the interruptible power rate program they tell them if they just need them to go off-grid or run their peaking generator to provide assistance to the grid as well. These larger facilities are required to have their generators tested and certified once every 30 days, and they use the interruptible power rate program to kill two birds with one stone - both providing their obligation to the utility company for being on the program, as well as doing their monthly certification of their gensets.

    For folks who have never seen the kind of generating facilities some of these places have, this is a good tour of the powerplant at a hospital in Fridley, Minnesota, given by an engineer from Cummins Power Generation

    [video=youtube_share;gcw_MKRabIc]

    This is for one hospital. And a good illustration of why it's impossible to power the modern world with solar panels. You don't even want to know how many solar panels it takes to match the hardware sitting in that room :cool:
    --
    Chris
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power
    ChrisOlson wrote: »

    This is for one hospital. And a good illustration of why it's impossible to power the modern world with solar panels.
    FWIW, I don't believe that anyone is seriously proposing that we do that. Photovoltaic energy production is a piece of the mosaic, not a monolithic solution.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: local tv station on generator power
    ggunn wrote: »
    FWIW, I don't believe that anyone is seriously proposing that we do that. Photovoltaic energy production is a piece of the mosaic, not a monolithic solution.

    Not here, but I've heard other people proposing that it can be done. The energy requirements of the modern world have grown so out-of-proportion to the population that it's almost beyond belief anymore. The amount of energy it takes 24/7 for a high-rise building is worse than hospitals. Just the air exchange system alone (not counting A/C or heat) requires 1-2 megawatts to operate in one building, depending on its size. And these high-rise buildings usually have a diesel (or some are natural gas now) 5-6 MW standby generating plant in the basement, several stories underground.

    The whole world has gone nuts and none of it is sustainable, long term. It's gotten so bad that a simple heat spell creates an emergency in populated areas that should never have been an emergency in the first place. It never used to be an emergency, anyway. But it is these days.

    Where it's all going to end is anybody's guess.
    --
    Chris
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