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Sitting in the dark

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization, Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
  • 299 items added with 117,577 views
  • Sep 1, 2022

A storm blew through on Monday and killed the power, it is still out. Last night was humid, but that is not the issue. No, the issue is what happens when all, but the grid is left?

The well is just an empty pipe, the dishwasher just a big box full of dirty dishes, and the heat pump, a yard ornament. The microwave, a dark window on the counter.

Need more propane for the grill tonight.

At least it is summer and not winter with a polar vortex.
As we move forward with the transition, what is a reasonable SAIDI?
How about a maximum duration for an outage? Is it measured in minutes or days?

Will we be allowed some form of generator? Or, will we be stuck with batteries, that have a finite number of kilowatt-hours? Will hydrogen become the backup fuel?

Quick calculation shows if I did V2G my vehicles would all be empty sometime last night, so that would not have been my answer. Besides, unless took time off, the vehicles would all be at work (or on the way) as I write this. Vehicles have a different use case than stationary storage.

Is the open radial system for electric distribution something we want to keep or is it something that needs to be relegated to history, installing some form of network instead?

These are questions no one seems to want to answer, not the lawmakers, the regulators, or other people.

After all no one will have an outage after the transition, we will all have 24/7 solar panels, lots of spare battery in our vehicles, and storms will stop because GHG has.


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Doug Houseman's picture
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