Friday, November 4, 2011

Cool Technology of the Week

The recent power outages through the Northeast have caused everyone to think about the reliability of the electrical grid.   Throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine our power lines pass from pole to pole through brilliant fall foliage.  Last week's pre-winter snow was trapped on those leaves, broke branches, and tore power lines.

Thus, the water cooler chatter is all about generators.

Although a Bloom box would be nice, the $700,000 price tag is a barrier.   Alternatives such as solar do not really work in New England winters with limited sunlight.

The next best thing is a natural gas powered generator that automatically starts and provides backup power when street power fails.  Generac is a popular model.  It's highly unlikely that natural gas will stop flowing when electricity fails.   In New England, our issue is that electricity is needed to circulate heated water, steam, or hot air, so a power failure results in a heating failure.   A generator is a necessity in places like rural New Hampshire which can be without power for weeks every year.

Here's a handy calculator to help you size your generator.

Natural gas generators that keep you powered and warm when power lines fail.  That cool! (or hot as the case may be)

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