The green future looms — 13 Comments

  1. “The worst aspect is the lack of heating”

    I assume you mean because the boiler won’t run without leccy? That’s why we bought our first generator 40 odd years ago, when our mains supply was pretty unreliable. Predictably, it’s improved in the intervening years, but the “Glopta” (as it got nicknamed) still sits waiting in the shed, and is tested regularly. But it probably won’t be needed unless things get really shitty, as I’ve also built up quite a collection of inverters, along with batteries and chargers to power them. With a little effort I can manage a day (or even two) of relative normality before I’d have to pull the recoil starting handle…

    • Wot microdave said…

      My octogenarian mother lives in North Scotland and was without heating for several days after the storm the other year. She had a full tank of oil but the electric was off.

      I got her a 700 watt inverter generator, two fuel cans and an extension lead. I replaced the fused spur outlet that supplied the boiler electric with a socket and put a plug on the boiler lead. I wrote a list of how-to instructions and we went through them, her doing the doing and my sister observing so she knows what to do too. It works a treat and anyone with modest diy skills can set this up.

      Technical bit: I’d suggest an “inverter generator” as the output of these is a bit less rough than a traditional geni. I found you need about 200 watts peak so a bit too much to use an inverter plugged into a car (which would have been nicer).

      Here at our “Manor” we are set up to run without electric for days if need be. The Rayburn runs on coal and thermosyphons without power, we have a lot of wood and oil lamps, plus a generator to keep the freezer cold. No doubt our Dear Leaders will be banning all these things in due course as part of the “Build Back Better” Great Reset (unless the freezing plebs get unhappy enough to “persuade” them otherwise)…

      • “I replaced the fused spur outlet that supplied the boiler electric with a socket and put a plug on the boiler lead”

        Exactly what I was going to suggest, but I didn’t want to say too much in one reply! I’ve gone a stage further and now have an (appropriately rated) 3 position, double pole isolator in the mains supply, so I can run the entire house from generator or inverter with minimal effort or risk.

      • “No doubt our Dear Leaders will be banning all these things in due course”

        And right on cue:

        “Air Pollution is Just as Dangerous as Coronavirus, Claims UK Lockdown Architect

        The British public needs to change their behaviour in order to reduce air pollution because it is as dangerous as the coronavirus, England’s Fauci equivalent has said.

        Dr Chris Whitty, who led the government’s response during the Chinese coronavirus crisis along similar lines to Anthony Fauci in America, has warned that air pollution is as big of a health risk to the public as the virus…”

        Bring on on the tumbrills.

    • I have given this some thought. On the plus side I would have central heating and a boiling kettle instead of gas. On the minus side, I have nowhere really to put it; it costs over €500 (and possibly twice that as all the cheapest are sold out!) and I’m a little wary of messing with the existing power cables to the boiler. Also there is the remote possibility that I won’t need it after all.

      On balance I’ll stick with what I have.

    • They probably aren’t generating anything, but are being “Motored” (i.e. drawing power from the Grid) to avoid the bearings being damaged…

      • Not just that.

        The blades need heating to prevent ice build up (so chunks, hundreds of pounds in weight don’t get catapulted off blades which can be travelling up to several hundred mph). The nacelle needs to be temperature/humidity controlled (I’m not sure over what temperature ranges but it’s not a trivial demand). Blades need to be pitch controlled as well

        And there’s a high pressure oils system in the bearings. The stupid toys wouldn’t do anything without oil. Perhaps this should be pointed out to the “just stop oil” infants.

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