I'd take it with several tons of salt. Actul (paraphrased, as I can't recall exactly) response to a question on an ebay auction. "Yes, the 3W LED torch is really 3W, and it stays as bright for 20 hours on 3AAA cells"
The state of Florida is planning a sales tax holiday on Hurricane supplies. You can buy a cheap generator, but not a good one. There were about a dozen items on the list, but not things I would buy without a definite need.
The list of items excludes AA and AAA batteries. I used more AA cells than anything else during last year's week long outages. I guess I'll stock up anyway.
Former professional electron wrangler.
Michael A. Terrell
I spent about a week in a special needs shelter after Hurricane Jeanne, then a full week at home without electricity while damaged poles were replaced all over the area. I had a couple radios with me at the shelter but I'd like to buy a generator big enough to let me run the well pump and refrigerator. I was miserable with no air conditioning and respiratory problems. I have started stocking up on canned foods that don't have to be heated to last a few weeks, just in case. The Ocala area was hit hard the other day with two tornados, as well.
Former professional electron wrangler.
Michael A. Terrell
In , on 04/21/05 at 05:25 AM, Dirk Bruere at Neopax said: >>
No, in fact we quite enjoy them :-)
I would not begin to guess the ratio, but a lot of places are on poles, and lots of others are buried. In my neighborhood, its all underground. Ten miles away, its phone-pole-city.
I know that a lot of the infrastructures are pretty old, so perhaps it is related to technology then, as opposed to what we have learned since. I always watch in horror as the hurricanes batter the east coast, taking out power and really messing up people's lives for days, and even weeks. Then I just laugh at the stupidity of the power company, obligingly putting up new poles, stringing all new wire, just in time for the next storm to make them do it all over again.
If you view corporations and government the way I do, you know why they just keep putting up poles, and stringing new wires. Insanity is defined how?
Anyone know the real scoop? No, I don't want to google for the answer :-)
It's cheaper to put up poles, and string lots of wires, and is quicker. To bury the facilities, you have to dig a trench, lay conduit, put in manholes and buried junction boxes, use higher insulation cable that is water penetration and rodent penetration resistant, etc. Also, in a lot of neighborhoods, the poles are already there!
Charlie (who has been looking into building on undeveloped land, and so has had to price the difference!)
Inititially it would appear less expensive to set it up that way, but I am hard pressed to think its cheaper in the long run to keep putting them up three times a year, year after year. It also does not seem overly beneficial to anyone who is waiting for their power to come back on, three and four weeks after the storm.
Considering that many places do bury their cables, I am just curious.
It would be interesting to see some numbers on the cost of maintaining, replacing and repairing them tho, as without them, its just speculation. Can't argue it would be cheaper initially, but if I was a resident of Hurricane Alley, and there was no good technical reason why the lines can't be buried, I think I would be up in arms to see the power company out there year after year, decade after decade, hoping for the results to be different this next time. After all, they all went ballistic over hanging chads and Terri Shaivo, surely they must have a little outrage left to put to good use :-)
Because the cost of burying power cables is MUCH higher than stringing up poles, something like 6x if I recall correctly.
In new developments in the US, the cables almost always are buried. But there's a lot of the US that's had power for many decades now and is built up enough that having to bury all the power lines would be exhorbitantly expensive (much more costly than it is for new developments due to having to rip up and re-route so much of the existing infrastructure).
The US is ginormous compared to Britain. (I'm all for high speed rail too, like most of Europe has, but it's much harder to make it economically feasible in a country this size vs. countries the size of Europe.)
Expence to install initial facilities - MINE Expence to maintain facilities - UTILITY
So, if I reduce the installation expenses, I save money, at the expense of the utility having to maintain them later. So, I use poles!
Also, underground utilities are not maintance free. Flooding and water penetration are a major problem, as are the fact that rodents seem to like chewing on them. Also, the problem of someone digging a new fence in right through your utilty line, etc.
Well, one out of two ain't bad :-) You are right about the up front logic, but the utilities don't have any money. They just take it from the customer, and use it to keep putting up the downed lines, year in and year out, for decades now, so I can see that they are not motivated to do anything less expensive, or different than they have always done. Short term thinking is all that it is.
This sounds reasonable, but there are a lot of areas in the country where the lines are buried, so I am guessing that technology is allowing for it more and more, given the proper environment, and perhaps there are some forward thinking people in charge, somewhere, who see the financial benefit over the long term?
I would assume that the lines are not buried as just wire, but it goes in conduits, right? Given a better kind of enclosure, much of what you say could be avoided?
The lines are under ground in my area, and for the most part, we have no outage problems during storms. Across the valley, folks were out of power for three weeks a few winters ago, while they went around with trucks and poles putting everything back together, in the worst possible weather conditions. When I see them putting the poles and the lines back up, I just have to wonder what exactly they are thinking, and I wonder where the outrage is from the consumers in the first place?
Of course, these are the same consumers who, when the power went out for three weeks in the dead of the winter, they complained long and loud about how they were freezing cold in their own living rooms, and then they bitched about how the food in the refrigerator and their deep freezers all was ruined since they couldn't keep it cold.......... It is a strange planet we live on....