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Thread: Interesting article about solar storms.

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    Senior Member tacmedic's Avatar
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    Default Interesting article about solar storms.

    Ran across this article today. Seems that at least one person at The Fed has been thinking about what would happen in the event of a major solar storm. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/...a-solar-storms
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Gotta believe that would mess up the interweb and well as cell phones?

    We had a thunder storm...the power went out....at our corner gas station their power come back on....but phone was still out and none of the tills would works nor card readers at the pumps.....
    It was a very bad 20 minutes......
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    I could never figure that out about gas stations. All that gas and not a generator in sight. Ticked me off to no end during that major ice storm several years back. That guy in the article cashing out his bank accounts and going to buy a generator for this type of event? Not going to have the gas to run it.
    Last edited by LowKey; 05-26-2016 at 07:17 PM.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    ......and the gas he does have goes to heck in about 6 months because of the "Mix"
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Does this mean no Solitaire on my iPhone? That would really tick me off.

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    This is from yesterday. Head for the hills!
    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/...e-coronal-hole

    Not exactly the same as a CME but pretty darn impressive for the sun to go dark like that (even if it is the UV spectrum) though it does it quite often.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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    Quite a few years ago they passed a law in Florida that gas stations along evacuation routes have a back-up generator to power the pumps. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/201...cuation-routes
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    It should be a national security directive that ALL of them should. Let the stations charge a dollar a car until the installation is paid. Shouldn't be more than 2-4k per station. Less even. That's what it costs for a whole-house around here.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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    Junior Member Gary's Avatar
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    I know a few years ago, top physicists were petitioning the Federal Government in the United States to upgrade the power grid as an X flare from the sun is the single most dangerous event facing mankind. They said a direct hit would knock us back 100 years. Scary thought and all the more reason to be prepared for anything.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I don't understand that reasoning. It's not you. I've read a lot of top scientists that say similar things. They clearly have no understanding of how a utility company operates or the knowledge of what is kept in the local yard, regional and state storerooms. There are any number of materials that local crews use on a daily/weekly basis. Just general maintenance and installation items that are required. All of which could be pressed into use. This channels up all the way to portable sub-stations that can be brought in and that doesn't include the myriad companies that provide similar services. Even semi trailer sized generating stations. It assumes that there are no maintenance spares anywhere. The grid gets knocked out and that's that. It doesn't work like that. Telephone has the same type of capacity. There are secure data facilities, many underground, that would be capable of restoring operations if companies lose processing capability. We tested quarterly by bringing all our software on line in a 3rd party hosting site to ensure we could process orders, billing, etc. should we lose one of our data centers. Stuff like this is planned for and tested for regularly.

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I'm sorry but I don't understand that reasoning. It's not you. I've read a lot of top scientists that say similar things. They clearly have no understanding of how a utility company operates or the knowledge of what is kept in the local yard, regional and state storerooms. There are any number of materials that local crews use on a daily/weekly basis. Just general maintenance and installation items that are required. All of which could be pressed into use. This channels up all the way to portable sub-stations that can be brought in and that doesn't include the myriad companies that provide similar services. Even semi trailer sized generating stations. It assumes that there are no maintenance spares anywhere. The grid gets knocked out and that's that. It doesn't work like that. Telephone has the same type of capacity. There are secure data facilities, many underground, that would be capable of restoring operations if companies lose processing capability. We tested quarterly by bringing all our software on line in a 3rd party hosting site to ensure we could process orders, billing, etc. should we lose one of our data centers. Stuff like this is planned for and tested for regularly.
    Just proves that scientists do not know everything (even though we are conditioned to beLIEVE they do, and as such they can be utilized to drive sales in any given industry, just by "saying it is so, or a possibility") Food and generator sales are good examples, although bread and milk and eggs generally only go on panic driven sale for snow storms, but generator sales can be affected by weather and other events not weather related.

    I'm not saying that terrorist (homegrown or not) could not bring the grid down, but the local indigenous squirrel, possum and coon populations have brought down more sub-stations here than humans actions or weather have.
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    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    This all makes me think of something that I guess is a helpful tip I can give everybody here. You'll realize that this is a pitifully simple thing, such that surely people have thought of it before this post. But I just never hear about it. So I hereby 'give it away' to everyone here.

    It's just a way to generate electricity in certain situations. Without fuel. Without wind. Without sun. It requires a certain kind of input, and is for temporary spurts...such that it would only be for when you really need it and it's worth it. But otherwise that's the good thing about it - fuel isn't a problem, nor wind or sun, etc (lack of).

    It'd be the kind of thing to rig up ahead of time, for those inclined to preparations. Can be made on the spot though, given the right stuff on hand. Is really just a way to 'wind up a spring', so to speak.

    Firstly, have a normal electrical generator. But this is about how to turn that generator. Without fuel, sun, wind, etc. (Well, with sun, you wouldn't have a 'turning' generator anyway.) This can also be done with an automobile alternator. Etc.

    Basically just rig up a weight that's on the end of a line, and the line goes up to a pulley at the top of a telephone pole. That's just the basic concept, not literal...many improvements or forms are possible. The other end is wound around your generator (or rather, connected in whatever way is more effective). Except that you fashion some kind of transmission between that line and the generator...with bicycle parts, pulleys and belts, or whatever. So that the weight falls relatively slowly, while the generator is turning at an effective RPM for a while. So obviously the important details are finding that equilibrium between how heavy your weight is and the resistance of your generator, how much your transmission 'transmissions', so that the 'gravity spring' lasts for long enough to make it worth something and you get some power for a while (or do it a few times to top off a battery bank). Remember that you'll be trading torque for RPM, and vice versa.

    You need to 'pull up' the weights in the first place, but this allows that work to play back out over an extended period of time, freeing you to do something else. And there are various ways to rig up the weight(s) and how you pull them up to make this more effective and convenient. Unless you just don't have a creative or improvisational mind.

    So there you go - it's not energy for free, but will do some things for you when you have nothing else and it's limitations are worth it. Can even hook it up directly to a washer or dryer, or who knows what else.
    Last edited by WalkingTree; 05-29-2016 at 09:26 PM.
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    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    If the whole zombie thing becomes a reality...the thing to do is hook a few of em up to a wheel that they turn when they walk in circles, a squirrel or some meat hanging in front of each of them out of reach, and gear that to a generator. They'll walk slow, but with a whole gang of em on a big wheel, you have enough torque to gear up to high enough RPM to do something...

    ...or, a couple would just be what perpetually 'resets' your weights on the device explained in the previous post. With the right kinds of automatic contraptions...like a series of weights, one starting when the other is done, etc...you'll have simple weights giving you power indefinitely without you ever doing anything to it, or only every once in a great while. (A solar powered contraption could do this. Using each system's strengths, compensating for the limitations of each. So weights to turn the generator, and solar to re-pull-up the weights, though slowly. Batteries to buffer and do much of the work, since you'll have low load periods to give net surplus. If set up properly. Any occasional shortcomings, you just walk up and pull up the weights yourself, and go about your day.) (You could just have solar for everything and not bother with this...but this is if you can't do that. Or just use wind for this part.)

    Like a grandfather clock. All it is, is some weights that run the clock for a good while. You just need to pull those weights up now and then. It's using things in certain ways to leverage something out of it, though on the surface it looks like it isn't good for anything.
    Last edited by WalkingTree; 05-29-2016 at 11:48 PM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind;
    The optimist expects it to change;
    The realist adjusts the sails.

    - William Arthur Ward

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