Thursday, February 5, 2009

Power Restored, Generator Info

(Pics from Ice Storm)
Power was finally restored yesterday about 3pm, which makes it exactly 8 days w/o power. Here are the tallies from the experience:
The generator ran 192 hours (8 days, 24/8, haha)
It used 90 Gallons of Gasoline.
.46 GPH consumption average.
At $1.79 per gallon, that is $161.10 (ignoring the .9 cents)
Prep. was $126.00 for 8AWG SO flex cable, $32 for electrical plugs.
Maintenance was $8 for spark plugs, $17 for a fan belt.
Total of $344, or $43 per day.
It will be cheaper if it ever happens again, as the materials have been "paid for." Although, let us hope it doesn't!!!!

I am very pleased with its performance, but for our almost all electric house (the furnace is gas), we needed more oomph than 6.5KW. I am thinking 10KW would be nice, with no concerns except when running the clothes drier, but 13KW or 16KW would be grand! Of course, I would not have that in the Travco, just for the house. A solar water heater would also relieve some of the load as would a Natural Gas on-demand water heater.

Another thought, over the course of 8 days, filling the tank with gasoline and the transportation of such, gets a little old and smelly. The exhaust is smelly, and the gasoline on your hands from the filling is smelly. So, a propane and Nat. gas kit would be a nice addition to the genny.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ice Storm in Arkansas

We were hit by an Ice Storm here in Northwest Arkansas and lost cable/internet around 2pm and power around 3pm on Tuesday (1-27-2009). Well, let me tell you how nice it is to have a Travco with a heavy-duty Kohler 6.5Kw Genny to keep everything as it should be. Especially nice is the big gas tank, so filling is just once a day, but could be every other day actually. We are consuming about .5 gallon an hour, which is about $25 a day (we run it 24hrs/day). Hey, sure beats paying for a hotel, or staying with friends, or freezing. When we get broadband again, I will post pics/video of the damage to the trees, etc. The Travco did end up with a 2" hole in the roof from one branch. Better than a window, for sure.

We still are without any services except natural gas and water.

Laundry is fun, haha. The Travco has its "generator's windings full" just with the electric water heater, washing machine (w/water heat) and the rest of the house. So the electric drier must be run from a second generator, but what sucks is that the drier load is more than the circuit breaker on the 2nd genny will allow. So 7 mins on,*trip* 7 off, reset breaker. But, when you are outside cutting wood, it does not take much to go press the reset button every now and then. I am just glad we have what we have, we know quite a few people without power still, and many in apartments, tough luck if they tried to run a genny, huh? (tomorrow is the 6th day now). Many of the nearby schools still do not have power. I am also glad to have the 2nd genny when the fan-belt broke on the Travco's Kohler genny.

So, stock-piling gasoline was not such a bad idea after all. One local gas station was w/o power, and the other was constantly running out of gas, and had long lines! I know someone who had to drive 2 hours out and 2 back just to get kerosene to heat his house, as all sources nearby were w/o stock.

So, I have only had my Travco since last May, so the day the bad weather started its way here, I high-tailed it up to the hardware stores to get supplies I needed to connect the Travco to the house. The power cord I have for the Travco is 120V 30 amp, and I bought a 53' 240V 4 conductor cord and plugs and the receptacle to connect it to. I had it all connected and ready about 20 minutes before we lost power, WHEW! Close one! I had to drive 40 miles away to get the 8AWG 4 conductor flex cord to connect between the plugs, but it was time and money well spent.

OK, enough already! Supposedly we will have power by noon tomorrow (Monday), so about 5.75 days on the genny, 138 Hrs that is. Time to change the oil!