ecoexist store

Okay, so we weren’t quite ready enough

Posted by admin on Jun 21st, 2008
Jun 21

It is now the third day straight of power outages in my neighborhood. We have probably averaged 12 hours on, 12 hours off per day. The main reason given by the DWP (Department of Water and Power) is due to the extreme heat and the number of people who have been using their AC. At least three of the last four days have found us in the Valley enduring record matching, or record breaking heat. Three days ago it was 107 (matched the record), two days ago it was 107 (broke the record by 2 degrees), yesterday was 109 (broke the record again by 2 degrees). I don’t know what the high was today but I’m guessing it will be very close to yesterday. The outside thermometer went over 110 degrees, but then again I don’t have a lot of faith in our $5 gadget.

Today, to keep as cool as possible, we went swimming quite a bit. It was really the only way to keep any form of sanity – crazy from the heat, I’m finding, isn’t just a metaphor 🙂

In preparation of the seeming trend of power outages, I went out and bought a 2000 watt power inverter today. That way we’ll be able to run our portable AC in the event of an outage along with a few other creature comforts as well. Tomorrow I’m planning to head to Costco to buy six, maybe eight, deep cycle batteries to hook the inverter too. I think any less than six wouldn’t give us much time but eight would be optimal. It all comes down to cost for us.

The biggest problem I’m facing at this point is charging these batteries in at least a somewhat environmental way. I don’t have any solar panels (you can donate to the cause though! Click on the “Donate” button on the left!!!), I would *love* a wind turbine but I don’t have any place to put it, and I don’t really want to use utility power to charge them. If I do use utility power though, at least it would be “green” since I signed up for 100% green power from the utility company. I will probably opt to initially charge them that way, especially since I want them charged as soon as possible. I might also mount a battery tray in the trunk and charge them individually, or two at a time, as I commute to work (yes, I haven’t addressed transportation yet in my quest to be more environmental). We’ll see what options make the most sense. Charging them with the car isn’t exactly the best option obviously, but if I’m driving the car anyway….

It is still possible that I might break down and get a solar panel, but that depends on how much longer we have to endure these outages. At almost a thousand dollars each for a 200-208 watt panel, it’s the cost that really hinders that idea.