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(CBC)   This man knows his priorities - power goes out in his neighbourhood? Hook up a solar panel to the beer fridge   (cbc.ca) divider line 49
    More: Hero, power outages, Michael Schneider  
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6643 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jul 2012 at 8:28 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-05 08:29:22 PM
Its Canada. Can't he just stick 'em in the snowbanks?


/ Floiduh resident
 
2012-07-05 08:31:19 PM
Best use of the HERO tag in ages.
 
2012-07-05 08:32:27 PM
You only really need to power the refrigerator, if electricity is unavailable.

You can live without just about everything else. Hot water, Air conditioning, Electric lights, and Television are all unnecessary. But spoiled food and beer is something that should be avoided at all cost.

Nothing wrong at all with what this guy is doing.
 
2012-07-05 08:32:32 PM
Hmm... if you could only power ONE appliance I think I'd probably go with the TV rather than the fridge.
 
2012-07-05 08:33:22 PM
I've been suggesting special purpose use for solar panels. Instead of installing an inverter to feed your power into the grid maybe it would be better to have more DC devices to power off solar and transformers. Or maybe some of our aircon systems could sport dual motor designs, AC and DC.
 
2012-07-05 08:33:51 PM
Because everything is a little more bearable as long as you can sit down at the end of the day with a cold one.
 
2012-07-05 08:34:43 PM

i.r.id10t: Its Canada. Can't he just stick 'em in the snowbanks?


/ Floiduh resident


Windsor Ontario is at the same latitude as northern California.

Contrary to that stupid Journey song, there is no "south Detroit"
Look at a map, The city of Windsor is actually south of Detroit.
 
2012-07-05 08:35:13 PM

Pribar: Because everything is a little more bearable as long as you can sit down at the end of the day with a cold one.


Ah, the siren's song of mortuary work.
 
2012-07-05 08:36:35 PM

steve_s: that stupid Journey song


Brought to you by your Department of Redundancy Department, and the Natural Guard.
 
2012-07-05 08:37:23 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: You only really need to power the refrigerator, if electricity is unavailable.

You can live without just about everything else. Hot water, Air conditioning, Electric lights, and Television are all unnecessary. But spoiled food and beer is something that should be avoided at all cost.

Nothing wrong at all with what this guy is doing.


My mom inherited my grandma's fear-things-could-go-to-hell-in-a-heartbeat + if-something-is-cheap-you-stock-up tendencies, so we survived the three day 03 blackout entirely on canned/boxed/whatever food from our basement. Could have easily made it two weeks since the gas stove worked fine to cook up pasta.

That said, it was annoying as f--king hell the first night, after a quiet eerie almost beautiful calm - no one driving to save the gas, everyone just emerging from their houses to enjoy the cooler air - when the neighbors kicked on their loud-as-f--k generator. So I approve of this solar panel idea.
 
2012-07-05 08:40:25 PM

whidbey: steve_s: that stupid Journey song

Brought to you by your Department of Redundancy Department, and the Natural Guard.


Natural Guard is the nastiest beer, evar.
 
2012-07-05 08:43:38 PM
Steve-s; south Detroit. Toledo says "sup"
 
2012-07-05 08:44:08 PM

wildcardjack: I've been suggesting special purpose use for solar panels. Instead of installing an inverter to feed your power into the grid maybe it would be better to have more DC devices to power off solar and transformers. Or maybe some of our aircon systems could sport dual motor designs, AC and DC.


Thats what I did with my shop, my powertools obviously draw more power than my solar panels and batteries could reasonably provide, but I have a bunch of DC powered stuff I got from a truckstop, everything from a fridge to a frying pan, all straight DC, no messing around with a inverter and its energy loss. when we lost power during the last tropical storm I just moved into my shop till the power came back on.



/I even have a AC system powered by a APU I scavenged from a wrecked semi, cools the shop wonderfully and only used 6 gallons over the 3 days I used it.
 
2012-07-05 08:44:46 PM
What's his FARK handle?
 
2012-07-05 08:45:03 PM

i.r.id10t: Its Canada. Can't he just stick 'em in the snowbanks?


a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com
 
2012-07-05 08:45:30 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: Pribar: Because everything is a little more bearable as long as you can sit down at the end of the day with a cold one.

Ah, the siren's song of mortuary work.


I thought that was a stiff one?
 
2012-07-05 08:45:38 PM

i.r.id10t: Its Canada. Can't he just stick 'em in the snowbanks?


Normally I wouldn't be annoyed by that but it's the same temperature here as it in in Miami and I don't have the option of moving my house into the shade.
 
2012-07-05 08:47:23 PM
You know... Good for this person... for taking some self-responsibility and not only not whining about the main power being out, but making his own power.

I am a annoyed at the people who a crying about their power being out for a few days, (or a couple of weeks.) Even in the U.S. I've gone without power for two weeks at a time due to snow storms. And having no heat when it is well below freezing is I think harder than no air conditioning.

I've spent time in countries where there is very little power. Millions of people don't have electricity to their homes AT ALL. Just last year I visited a school with 250 children, and no electricity to the entire school. (Actually the village didn't have electrical power.)

How long have we had electricity? How long has air conditioning been common place?
 
2012-07-05 08:50:58 PM

Pribar: APU


what dat?

also...i'm guessing you just tried to find all the dc stuff prepped for 12 volts? how big is your battery array and how many panels?? cost? I'm in nola area, and have been thinking about some solar... especially for some auxillary LED lighting...
 
2012-07-05 08:55:15 PM

MrBentor: You know... Good for this person... for taking some self-responsibility and not only not whining about the main power being out, but making his own power.

I am a annoyed at the people who a crying about their power being out for a few days, (or a couple of weeks.) Even in the U.S. I've gone without power for two weeks at a time due to snow storms. And having no heat when it is well below freezing is I think harder than no air conditioning.

I've spent time in countries where there is very little power. Millions of people don't have electricity to their homes AT ALL. Just last year I visited a school with 250 children, and no electricity to the entire school. (Actually the village didn't have electrical power.)

How long have we had electricity? How long has air conditioning been common place?



what annoys the fark out of me is here in Florida during hurricane season the state publishes a list of what you need to have on hand (IE 2 weeks of food and water), the news publishes the heck out of the list, the stores offer kits with everything on said list (usually on sale), and the frickin hurricanes creep across the sea giving everyone plenty of warning that its coming yet inevitably within 6 hours of one striking you have dozens of idiots screaming that if relief supplies don't get to them in a day they will be starving/dying of thirst....
 
2012-07-05 09:04:48 PM
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
 
2012-07-05 09:08:30 PM
It cracks me up that they mentioned he's a solar panel salesman but didn't say for which company. Attempt at free advertising thwarted! Mwuahaha!
 
2012-07-05 09:11:39 PM

try fect taa daa: Pribar: APU

what dat?

also...i'm guessing you just tried to find all the dc stuff prepped for 12 volts? how big is your battery array and how many panels?? cost? I'm in nola area, and have been thinking about some solar... especially for some auxillary LED lighting...


An APU is a auxiliary power unit, its basically a small diesel generator with a built in AC unit, they use em on semi trucks so that the driver doesn't have to keep the engine running while he is sleeping just to run his AC, the one I got from a junkyard has a auto style air conditioning unit and a 1500 watt AC inverter built into it, I also got the 200 gallon diesel tank that was on the wreck I scavenged the APU from and bolted the whole kit and kaboodle onto the back of my shop (a 12x14 shed).

I also have 24 solar panels feeding 6 deep cycle marine batteries, the panels, charge controllers, batteries and installation was about 5 grand, you could do it yourself for about 2 if you know what you are doing, which I didn't.

/and before anyone asks, no the panels are not bolted onto the shed, they are mounted on trellises behind my shop facing so that they catch the majority of the days sun, and the batteries and associated equip are in a watertight safety box behind the shed.
 
2012-07-05 09:14:15 PM

fusillade762: Hmm... if you could only power ONE appliance I think I'd probably go with the TV rather than the fridge.


For as often as we see you in here, I woulda thought the puter over the tv... or at least the router and modem (with a charged up laptop or whatever)...

For the record it'd be fridge here, although more for the food than the beer, but there is always room for a few beers in there...
 
2012-07-05 09:16:31 PM

Ooba Tooba: Steve-s; south Detroit. Toledo says "sup"


Yeah, 60 miles south.
 
2012-07-05 09:20:13 PM
Why do you have to run the engine in a car to get the A/C to work? The fans work fine with just battery power. Why doesn't the coolant?
 
2012-07-05 09:22:55 PM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: AverageAmericanGuy: You only really need to power the refrigerator, if electricity is unavailable.

You can live without just about everything else. Hot water, Air conditioning, Electric lights, and Television are all unnecessary. But spoiled food and beer is something that should be avoided at all cost.

Nothing wrong at all with what this guy is doing.

My mom inherited my grandma's fear-things-could-go-to-hell-in-a-heartbeat + if-something-is-cheap-you-stock-up tendencies, so we survived the three day 03 blackout entirely on canned/boxed/whatever food from our basement. Could have easily made it two weeks since the gas stove worked fine to cook up pasta.

That said, it was annoying as f--king hell the first night, after a quiet eerie almost beautiful calm - no one driving to save the gas, everyone just emerging from their houses to enjoy the cooler air - when the neighbors kicked on their loud-as-f--k generator. So I approve of this solar panel idea.


Yea damn those people with a generator so they can run their fridge and upright freezer when there is no power. Maybe if you were not such an ass you could have asked to borrow some power so half your fridge didn't go bad. Damn those people that plan and take care of themselves.
 
2012-07-05 09:23:45 PM
Good show old man.
 
2012-07-05 09:24:22 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: Why do you have to run the engine in a car to get the A/C to work? The fans work fine with just battery power. Why doesn't the coolant?


The ending must be running to turn the AC compressor
 
2012-07-05 09:25:23 PM

Seige101: AverageAmericanGuy: Why do you have to run the engine in a car to get the A/C to work? The fans work fine with just battery power. Why doesn't the coolant?

The ending must be running to turn the AC compressor


This doesn't work on battery power? Does it work on something like the Leaf or Volt?
 
2012-07-05 09:39:58 PM

sno man: fusillade762: Hmm... if you could only power ONE appliance I think I'd probably go with the TV rather than the fridge.

For as often as we see you in here, I woulda thought the puter over the tv... or at least the router and modem (with a charged up laptop or whatever)...

For the record it'd be fridge here, although more for the food than the beer, but there is always room for a few beers in there...


Good point. Thought of that after posting. Though I use a desktop, so that would technically be two appliances (counting the monitor). Then, as you mentioned, there's the router, so that's three. Though to be picky my TV wouldn't be of much use without the DVR.
 
2012-07-05 09:42:45 PM
You can remote start the air conditioning in a Leaf, but it drains the shiat out of the battery apparently
 
2012-07-05 09:45:49 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: Why do you have to run the engine in a car to get the A/C to work? The fans work fine with just battery power. Why doesn't the coolant?


Fans don't use a lot of power. Condensers are what suck the most power in order to press the gas under pressure before being allowed to expand later pulling the heat from the cabin. In a way condensers squeeze the heat from the gas and act like a heat vacuum. Take a window AC unit apart sometime. The fan motor is about the same as in a regular house fan. Cut the condenser apart (yes it will be different from a car condenser) and inside the motor is about the size of a car's alternator. It will show without a doubt which uses more power. The car battery wouldn't be able to push that much juice and still start your car. So they didn't bother with an electrical condenser, instead went with a belt drive condenser for cars.

/I knows I talks funny
//but I think the principal is correct.
 
2012-07-05 09:53:38 PM

Pribar: try fect taa daa: Pribar: APU

what dat?

also...i'm guessing you just tried to find all the dc stuff prepped for 12 volts? how big is your battery array and how many panels?? cost? I'm in nola area, and have been thinking about some solar... especially for some auxillary LED lighting...

An APU is a auxiliary power unit, its basically a small diesel generator with a built in AC unit, they use em on semi trucks so that the driver doesn't have to keep the engine running while he is sleeping just to run his AC, the one I got from a junkyard has a auto style air conditioning unit and a 1500 watt AC inverter built into it, I also got the 200 gallon diesel tank that was on the wreck I scavenged the APU from and bolted the whole kit and kaboodle onto the back of my shop (a 12x14 shed).

I also have 24 solar panels feeding 6 deep cycle marine batteries, the panels, charge controllers, batteries and installation was about 5 grand, you could do it yourself for about 2 if you know what you are doing, which I didn't.

/and before anyone asks, no the panels are not bolted onto the shed, they are mounted on trellises behind my shop facing so that they catch the majority of the days sun, and the batteries and associated equip are in a watertight safety box behind the shed.


'scuse my rough math, but that's about 6 and a half kW isn't it?
 
2012-07-05 11:24:05 PM

Pribar: try fect taa daa: Pribar: APU

what dat?

also...i'm guessing you just tried to find all the dc stuff prepped for 12 volts? how big is your battery array and how many panels?? cost? I'm in nola area, and have been thinking about some solar... especially for some auxillary LED lighting...

An APU is a auxiliary power unit, its basically a small diesel generator with a built in AC unit, they use em on semi trucks so that the driver doesn't have to keep the engine running while he is sleeping just to run his AC, the one I got from a junkyard has a auto style air conditioning unit and a 1500 watt AC inverter built into it, I also got the 200 gallon diesel tank that was on the wreck I scavenged the APU from and bolted the whole kit and kaboodle onto the back of my shop (a 12x14 shed).

I also have 24 solar panels feeding 6 deep cycle marine batteries, the panels, charge controllers, batteries and installation was about 5 grand, you could do it yourself for about 2 if you know what you are doing, which I didn't.

/and before anyone asks, no the panels are not bolted onto the shed, they are mounted on trellises behind my shop facing so that they catch the majority of the days sun, and the batteries and associated equip are in a watertight safety box behind the shed.


hey man--thanks for the info. i have been thinking about doing some solar around here sooner or later... i'm really good with wiring and dc; measurements, guaging wire, etc... so i may try it myself.

watch with that 200 gallon bomb strapped to your building---maybe next time the tank is dry install some sort of firewall. not trying to get into yer shiat or anything...just don't need any more dead farkers... and definitely don't smoke around those batteries... sometimes the least bit of gas will escape and ignite. it's super rare, but ugly when it happens. take care brother.
 
2012-07-05 11:35:24 PM
oh and just to throw this out there... most fridges only pull an amp or two when running--not sure why most electrical codes require a dedicated circuit for it but anyway--2 amps of 110 is not a lot. you can buy a power inverter online that will connect to your vehicle and provide you with endless 110v AC while just running down your car battery. don't plug it into the cigarette lighter cause you'll just blow the fuse--run your own 10guage wire and make sure it's fused and safe. every hour or so just charge your car--if you're pulling alot of juice. i have a 1500 watt converter which when you divide by 110, it provides about 13.5 amps of 110. Thats enough for alot of flourescent bulbs, laptops, phones, and still about 10 amps to spare... I wouldn't trust the battery in a honda civic...but if you have a decent truck with a decent battery, the power inverter is a nice cheap option.
 
2012-07-05 11:43:39 PM

try fect taa daa: oh and just to throw this out there... most fridges only pull an amp or two when running--not sure why most electrical codes require a dedicated circuit for it but anyway--2 amps of 110 is not a lot. you can buy a power inverter online that will connect to your vehicle and provide you with endless 110v AC while just running down your car battery. don't plug it into the cigarette lighter cause you'll just blow the fuse--run your own 10guage wire and make sure it's fused and safe. every hour or so just charge your car--if you're pulling alot of juice. i have a 1500 watt converter which when you divide by 110, it provides about 13.5 amps of 110. Thats enough for alot of flourescent bulbs, laptops, phones, and still about 10 amps to spare... I wouldn't trust the battery in a honda civic...but if you have a decent truck with a decent battery, the power inverter is a nice cheap option.


First of all, it's 120VAC, not 110VAC. Go measure any voltage anywhere in North America. It'll be 117-120VAC. Secondly, you need to have an inverter that can provide the startup current. While it's true that it only requires a 300-400 watt inverter to run, it'll need a good 1500 watt inverter to start the motor.
 
2012-07-05 11:58:40 PM

neilbradley: First of all, it's 120VAC, not 110VAC. Go measure any voltage anywhere in North America. It'll be 117-120VAC. Secondly, you need to have an inverter that can provide the startup current. While it's true that it only requires a 300-400 watt inverter to run, it'll need a good 1500 watt inverter to start the motor.


first of all it can be 110. and i dont care any further. good point on the start up though.
 
2012-07-06 12:01:32 AM

try fect taa daa: neilbradley: First of all, it's 120VAC, not 110VAC. Go measure any voltage anywhere in North America. It'll be 117-120VAC. Secondly, you need to have an inverter that can provide the startup current. While it's true that it only requires a 300-400 watt inverter to run, it'll need a good 1500 watt inverter to start the motor.

first of all it can be 110. and i dont care any further. good point on the start up though.


If what you mean by "can be" means "still runs at 110VAC", then yes, that's correct, but the universal standard for North America is 120, not 110.
 
2012-07-06 12:21:17 AM

neilbradley: try fect taa daa: neilbradley: First of all, it's 120VAC, not 110VAC. Go measure any voltage anywhere in North America. It'll be 117-120VAC. Secondly, you need to have an inverter that can provide the startup current. While it's true that it only requires a 300-400 watt inverter to run, it'll need a good 1500 watt inverter to start the motor.

first of all it can be 110. and i dont care any further. good point on the start up though.

If what you mean by "can be" means "still runs at 110VAC", then yes, that's correct, but the universal standard for North America is 120, not 110.


i call it 110, because i always hear 220, and i just figure it's half of that. I do notice when my stereo's power stabilizer dips to 119 from 120--usually in the daytime--so you're right. but i can never remember someone saying "oh that stove is on 240.:" it's always referred to as 220. you an electrician?
 
2012-07-06 01:18:06 AM

wow just wow: Yea damn those people with a generator so they can run their fridge and upright freezer when there is no power. Maybe if you were not such an ass you could have asked to borrow some power so half your fridge didn't go bad. Damn those people that plan and take care of themselves.


I didn't f--king fault them for kicking it on*, but we also knew that if you don't do things like OPEN THE GODDAMN FRIDGE AND FREEZER DOORS you're fine for at least a day. Which my family was, after which point we stored all the food we cared about (after we had cooked what we needed for meals for that day) in my aunt and uncle's fridge (who, across town by 10 minutes, got power on two days before us).

Silence was nice while it lasted. Screw me for thinking so I suppose.

* they also didn't bother sharing the generator benefit with anyone else in the neighborhood, while our family (mother's basement stockpile) and our friend's (family owned a Chinese restaurant up the street, so they pulled all the food out of there they could the day of) offered to share meals with anyone who needed anything. Wasn't needed as the fast food places half a mile away got their power kicked on, again, two days before ours did.

It was actually a damn nice neighbors-interacting-without-pretense time except that stupid godawful roar in the background
 
2012-07-06 01:26:08 AM
Must've had some US microbrews to keep chilled.
 
2012-07-06 01:34:40 AM
Save the beer - screw the groceries. Farking A, man. Good job.
 
2012-07-06 01:46:11 AM

Pribar: MrBentor: You know... Good for this person... for taking some self-responsibility and not only not whining about the main power being out, but making his own power.

I am a annoyed at the people who a crying about their power being out for a few days, (or a couple of weeks.) Even in the U.S. I've gone without power for two weeks at a time due to snow storms. And having no heat when it is well below freezing is I think harder than no air conditioning.

I've spent time in countries where there is very little power. Millions of people don't have electricity to their homes AT ALL. Just last year I visited a school with 250 children, and no electricity to the entire school. (Actually the village didn't have electrical power.)

How long have we had electricity? How long has air conditioning been common place?


what annoys the fark out of me is here in Florida during hurricane season the state publishes a list of what you need to have on hand (IE 2 weeks of food and water), the news publishes the heck out of the list, the stores offer kits with everything on said list (usually on sale), and the frickin hurricanes creep across the sea giving everyone plenty of warning that its coming yet inevitably within 6 hours of one striking you have dozens of idiots screaming that if relief supplies don't get to them in a day they will be starving/dying of thirst....


Ok I got flamed at the other night for expressing similar sentiments. Nice to see not everyone on here thinks A/C is a requirement for living. There are two reasons I don't just tough it out during the heat waves - first is that I have passed out due to heat/dehydration multiple times in my life; I'm prone to it and it's dangerous. The other is that our house has a poorly insulated roof and we can't really do anything about it that I know of, since the roof slants right through the upstairs rooms (slanted ceilings, in other words). Downstairs stays nice all day long, upstairs is intolerable after about 1 pm and that's where the bedrooms are. We still only turn it on if it gets over ~85ish.
 
2012-07-06 02:17:13 AM
try fect taa daa:
amazon for "emergency power for radio communications". They have the 2nd edition out, it has just about everything you need to know for dc power.

Also look up sundanzer:
You can save a lot of load by simply having a DC fridge/freezer. No inverter required. I would recommend with buying the built in AC/DC power supply when you purchase the unit, and probably a good idea to get the colder/deep freeze thermostat and the gel packs. It is basically an oem electrolux with a special power supply. I haven't bothered trying to take it apart or doing anything with it. It freezes really nicely.

As for tvs/vcrs. You can just use your laptop, if you have one. Or if you are really desperate, you can use a little portable dvd player or iPod or something.

Pribar:
Funny that you mentioned APU. I just saw something about that today when I was looking for DC air-conditioning. Did you scavenge it from a junk-yard or did you know someone? I am trying to see if I can't find a R-22 unit. If you don't mind me asking how much did that run you?

Why R22? I was reading somewhere on a home made geothermal pump thread, that propane can be switched for R22 with little or no headache.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothermal-heat-pumps/484-homemade-heat - pump-manifesto.html


feel free to PM me with any specific questions.
happy farking around!
 
2012-07-06 02:50:41 AM

try fect taa daa: neilbradley: try fect taa daa: neilbradley: First of all, it's 120VAC, not 110VAC. Go measure any voltage anywhere in North America. It'll be 117-120VAC. Secondly, you need to have an inverter that can provide the startup current. While it's true that it only requires a 300-400 watt inverter to run, it'll need a good 1500 watt inverter to start the motor.

first of all it can be 110. and i dont care any further. good point on the start up though.

If what you mean by "can be" means "still runs at 110VAC", then yes, that's correct, but the universal standard for North America is 120, not 110.

i call it 110, because i always hear 220, and i just figure it's half of that. I do notice when my stereo's power stabilizer dips to 119 from 120--usually in the daytime--so you're right. but i can never remember someone saying "oh that stove is on 240.:" it's always referred to as 220. you an electrician?


It is 240VAC, not 220VAC. I've heard people call it 220VAC, but that's not technically correct. Most residential homes in North America are fed with single (split) phase power - two hot signals and a ground. If you measure between ground and either hot wire, you'll get 120VAC. If you measure between both hot signals, you'll get 240VAC, and that's what's fed to your appliances. Some people think that a 240VAC residential circuit is "two phase", but that's wrong - it's the full phase of a single phase circuit whereas the 120VAC feeds are half/split phases. Commercial buildings are often another story.
 
2012-07-06 02:53:35 AM
When I say "that's what's fed to appliances", I specifically meant appliances that take 240VAC, like ovens and dryers.
 
2012-07-06 05:50:59 AM
Couldn`t you cover a large fridge in solar panels and just put it in the sun to keep it cool? (with battery, inverter etc)
 
2012-07-06 06:21:06 AM
I'm not concerned about the power going out at my den because it's on a generator but since storms with high winds blew through east Tennessee Thursday evening, OMG! THE INTERNET IS OUT! THE INTERNET IS OUT!

/is at work, if you're wondering
 
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