Do you know where your power comes from? Jul 25, 2020 15:44:43 GMT -6
Post by papaof2 on Jul 25, 2020 15:44:43 GMT -6
From Oglethorpe Power Company's 2019, Annual Report, our electric co-op is one of 38 (down from 39 in 1996) that are part of Oglethorpe, which was incorporated in 1974 to serve the rural areas of the state. Those 38 co-ops serve 1.9 million meters which provide power to approximately 4.2 million people. Georgia Power serves 2.5 million meters so Oglethorpe's co-ops are a big business in number of meters served. In other terms, they serve approximately 38,000 square miles, which is approximately 65% of the land area in the State of Georgia, encompassing 151 of the State's 159 counties. The customer mix is approximately two-thirds residential and one-third commercial and industrial.
Part of the power is generated from plants Oglethorpe owns, partially owns or operates for one of the member EMCs; part is purchased from other suppliers such as The Southern Company (Georgia Power). They also sell some power to Georgia Power.
From the At-A-Glance brochure on the opc.com website:
In 2019, Oglethorpe's power sources (what was used) were:
Natural gas: 46%
Hydro: 5% (relatively new construction; pump and store)
Their 2020 capacities (what is available) are:
Natural gas: 54%
The nuclear plants are east-southeast and southeast of us which means prevailing winds would carry any problems out to sea and not over us - which might be why those plants are located where they are, with one of them literally on the sea coast. Anyone remember Fukushima Daiichi?
What brought this on?
Today's on-going lightning, thunder, wind, rain and small (pea size) hail followed by lightning, thunder, wind and heavy rain. Don't think the guy who wanted to see the old mower will choose to test drive it in these conditions. Maybe tomorrow...
There's an on-the-back-burner story (moving very slowly) that has our hero Jack talking about a small scale pump and store system to power a grain mill and possibly for AC power generation when usage exceeds what their home solar system can produce. Not very efficient, as pump and store systems are inherently inefficient, but they are a quick start source of short term additional power - you can get water flowing to a water turbine (or even a waterwheel) much faster than you can generate enough steam to spin a steam turbine.
Even a small waterwheel that powered a car alternator to provide 30 amps continuously provides 30amps * 24hrs = 720amp hours (AH) or 12 volts * 720AH = 8640 watt hours (WH) which would power fridge, freezer, furnace, some LED lighting, internet, cable TV, 50" TV four hours/day, etc. Combine that with a battery bank to handle the surges (fridge or freezer starting plus still having lights when you need to replace the alternator drive belt) and most of our basic winter power needs would be covered. Many automotive alternators are rated at 85 amps or more and could provide 30 amps continuously without even getting warm. They're only 55% efficient but you may not be concerned about efficiency if there's enough moving water that's effectively free. There are online calculators for how many GPM and how many feet of head are needed for how many watts. There's a video on Youtube of a guy running his house (fridge, lights, etc.) on an inverter powered by a battery bank that's kept charged by a car alternator driven by a waterwheel so it can be done and his system is mostly from scrap or found parts. It's not pretty but it WORKS which is a very positive solution when you're off the grid. There's a farm about 100 miles away in Alabama that has a waterwheel turned by the flow from a pond and I'd like to know that's in the "millhouse" beside that waterwheel. I'd guess that there's enough water flow to at least provide outside LED lighting at night and possibly more - guessing the size of the waterwheel and the amount of flowing water when you're driving by isn't an exact science :-(