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Puerto Rico Blackout Enters Second Day – Entire Island Of 3.5 Million People Without Power

from Zero Hedge:

The 3.5 million people of Puerto Rico are entering their second day with no power after a substation fire knocked out service to the entire island.   The power outage has left schools scrambling to cancel classes and public hospitals forced to cancel surgeries.

Perhaps even worse, the outage caused numerous fires across the island as a result of malfunctioning generators, including at the upscale Vanderbilt hotel in the popular tourist area of Condado and at the mayor’s office in the northern coastal town of Catano.

While Puerto Rico’s Governor Padilla and the utility’s CEO, Javier Quintana, have said they expect service to be restored by this morning, many Puerto Ricans are dubious saying that the economic slump has affected the government’s ability to maintain basic infrastructure.

According to theWall Street Journal, hundreds of people took to social media to criticize the Electric Power Authority, noting they already pay bills on average twice that of the U.S. mainland.

The fire apparently started at this sub-station in Central Aguirre, Puerto Rico.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames but the damage has still not been repaired leaving millions without power.

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3 comments to Puerto Rico Blackout Enters Second Day – Entire Island Of 3.5 Million People Without Power

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Gasoline generator? Just about USELESS because they burn through 5 gallons every 12 hours at 50% capacity. Yes, if you’ve got a 5kw generator, your FIVE gallon can will give you about 12 hours of 2.5kw (2,500 watts).

    If you need the entire 5,000 watts, you’re gonna burn thru your 5 gallons of gas anywhere from 5-7 hours. If you need to run that generator for 3 full days (72 hours) at HALF capacity, you’re gonna burn thru 30 gallons of gas.

    How many of you actually keep 30 gallons of gas (with stabilizer) out in the storage area?

    The ONLY real answer is to have SOLAR PANELS (and deep cycle batteries for after dark), inverter & all the other stuff that makes up a system.

    you can buy 5000 watts of panels, for as little as $3000 (add some mounting rails-unistrut-superstrut-Thomas & Betts, etc… inverter, batteries, charge controller, cables, safety switch-disconnect, etc etc, and your 5kw system with all the goodies will add up to about $8000-$12000 depending on how clever you are at shopping and self installing, etc.

    You’ll always have some power (except for long, dark spells or breakdowns of some component), and you’ll increase the value of your home, and you won’t be worried about losing GRID power, and it doesn’t require you to buy and store dozens or hundreds of gallons of dangerous fuels, it makes NO noise, etc.

    I’ve seen Chinese (true sinewave inverters), 5000w continuous/10,000 surge, for less than $900.
    As for a charge controller? Most people who read up or work with this stuff, usually recommend the Outback or Midnite-solar, MPPT, BIG unit rated at 60-80A output, but these all cost nearly $600.

    You could also have a couple of LOW priced, 40A PWM (perhaps a C40) for about $150 as a backup, reserve unit.

    There are also breaker panels, lightning arrestors, battery meters, etc.

    I ordered my thick battery cables from some welding supply company (on Ebay), for about 30%-50% cheaper than the price of what the solar companies charge for the same stuff. Swab the connectors with anti-corrosion grease, etc.

    Batteries? 6v golf cart type (about 220A), hooked in SERIES to add up to 48vdc (yes, the inverter must match the battery bank). Forget about running a house on a 12vdc inverter. Just a waste of time and money.

    I just bought a big (code required) Safety-Switch (disconnect). Must be rated to handle DC loads. I got the 100A / 600VAC / 250VDC box (fused type), with THREE poles, and the LIST price typically is about $800-$1000. I got it used (prime condition) on Ebay for $130.

    If you research home refrigerators and how much power they consume, you’ll learn what I learned. The most efficient models, use about 370Kw-Hrs/Year, and are always 17-18 cubic foot & NO icemaker. Side-by-side are ENERGY hogs compared to this.

    Forget the “under counter”, 3ft tall refrigerators, They use from 370-420Kw-hrs (yes, they use the SAME or MORE power, just to chill down 1/4 of the space. Modern Chest freezer (not upright) is the MOST efficient way to chill things. Throw some JUGS of water in there, FREEZE em, and use them as ICE in your camping-cooler-ice-box.

    If you don’t know why an UPRIGHT loses cold air when you open the door, then you’re not smart enough to survive the next crash.

  • Minuteman

    Craiger, your comments bring great value to SGT., thanks!

    • Craig Escaped Detroit

      I often try to make posts that can actually help people to fine-tune some of their plans, or to give them some ideas that they may not have given serious thought to.

      Thanks for noticing. (I’m also known to really irritate some people who cling to old belief systems based on things that don’t contain enough logic for me.) I still have beliefs that have hopes there is some supreme being/power out there, but no matter how hard I look, I just never see any real evidence of it. Seems like “God” disappeared from view as soon as mankind developed photography, video, audio, and microscopes, surgery, radio, TV, etc. Never seen anybody grow a new hand or foot from an amputated stump no matter how hard they pray.

      Anyway, it’s possible to find solar panels for less than $1/watt on Ebay, but often this place is as good as any.

      The shipping prices are a bit heavy, but are cheaper if you get a full pallet and have them delivered to a BUSINESS (loading dock).

      I prefer Ebay for the (true) sine-wave inverters that are made ONLY for “Off grid” for less than $1k for a 5kw or 6kw unit.

      The big solar companies are always selling big name inverters that always cost more than $2500.

      For those people who MUST run a gas generator, WELD or clamp a CAR muffler on it before you run it when people are starving to death, because a normal generator can be heard for up to a MILE away and will certainly bring the zombies and murderers to kill your family for the supplies they THINK you’ve got. It does NOT matter if you don’t have any food or water, because the SOUND of a generator engine makes everybody BELIEVE you’ve got LOTS of preps.

      Never turn on lights at night if they can be seen from outside your house. If you must run that generator, try doing it on a WINDY or rainy day/night, AND put some battery chargers on it and CHARGE up some deep cycle batteries as the genny is running, so you’ll have some SILENT power for later use.

      Sorry that SO many of my posts get SO long. Just trying to give the best information, even if it takes a few extra paragraphs.

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