Friday, June 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on November 25th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 39 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 39

Using a single source of energy is impractical, shortsighted

By Jan Lipski, Vandenberg Village

You can laugh at the guy who wears a belt and suspenders, but it has been a practice to multi-source critical components for the military, aerospace, and anything that involves security, defense, and infrastructure. 

Now that electrical blackouts are to be considered the new normal, consumers are being enticed to get their own backup power generators. So let’s examine this situation. If your generation system runs on gasoline, how much gasoline must you have on hand for, say, a Honda 5,500 watt that will provide 18 hours of power at 1,375 watts using 5.1 gallons of gasoline? If your power is out for two days or up to a week, how much gasoline must you have on hand? Remember you cannot refill your cans because the local gas station doesn’t have power either. 

A generator running on natural gas, if you have a supply of natural gas, will run as long as the generator can. I’m not advertising natural gas generators, but solar panels without backup batteries don’t do squat at night. 

My point is that sole sourcing is not very wise. Powering new housing developments on electricity only is not only shortsighted but you’ll find your pants down when the utility is down.

Jan Lipski
Vandenberg Village


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