The Don Rowe Blog

May 12

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Electricity Forever? It Doesn’t Look That Way!

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There has been a lot of chatter on the news media, lately, concerning the possibility of America’s electric grid going down. And no, I’m not referring to tornadoes or spring storms that knock out power for hours or even a few days. I’m talking about months and months of no electricity. It’s almost too absurd for any American to even imagine such a scenario since we live in a privileged society and have never had reason, until now, to concern ourselves with outdated or vulnerable electric-grid systems.

But don’t just take my word for it. CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox News, The American Society of Civil Engineers, the NSA and even NASA all confirm that the threat of a long-term power outage is very real. Repeated news reports have covered solar-flare activity that is on the increase as well as being far more intense. And, of course, we can’t dismiss the unsettling potential for cyber-attacks. In fact, the head of the NSA—General Keith Alexander—has been sounding the alarm that a cyber-attack is a very likely scenario for our nation’s power grid. Not too surprisingly, China and Russia have both carried out successful cyber-attacks already in the U.S.—something few Americans are aware of—and have created ‘back door openings’ that are intended, specifically, for large-scale infrastructure attacks.

Even if one wanted to be unrealistic and pretend cyber-attacks would be difficult and solar flares would never reach us, one thing can’t be denied and that is the current structural condition of America’s power grid. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives an actual grade to reflect the physical deterioration of America’s electric grid system; and the grade is a “D”—ouch! The ASCE equates this rating as being only one-step away from failure. And one might logically conclude, “Well, the government can just upgrade the system!” One would think so, but astonishingly, the US Government refuses to grant licenses to expand and seriously repair critical power-grid infrastructure.

So, What Can One Do?

The question, “What can one do?” can be answered only one way—“Be prepared! And that raises yet another question, “But how?” I’m glad you asked! Enter: Off-Grid Power Inverters! You may have no insight concerning power inverters, and if that’s the case, the main thing you want to know up front is the fact that power inverters convert DC electricity (such as from a battery source) to AC electricity which is the type of electricity you and I use in our homes for all our devices and appliances. Even energy from the sun that gets converted into electricity must be ‘refined’, so to speak, and transformed into AC power in order to be useable in our homes, schools, offices and factories. This is what power inverters do; and there are many kinds. But when it comes to being prepared for a complete black-out for a prolonged period of time, it’s an off-grid power-inverter system that you could rely on, even if it would be to simply supply the basic necessities from day to day.

Off-Grid Power Systems:

Off-grid power inverters do what their name implies—they operate off the electric gird or independently of the utility company. They have been around for a number of years and because they are designed to be used apart from the electric grid they function seamlessly with solar, wind or hydro-power systems. Additionally, they can be used for emergency back-up power for homes that are connected to the electric company. Types of off-grid solar inverters possess built-in AC charger options that are perfect for uniform back-up power.   Off-grid power inverters are, in essence, private micro-grids since they provide grid-forming voltage.

Using space heaters or fans to stay protected from sweltering-heat or bitter-cold, being able to cook simple foods in a microwave oven, having the option to boil water on a small, portable cook stove and having a light or two on at night may sound fairly aboriginal, but if the grid were to go down, life would be altered in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. But even having these mere basics in this kind of scenario, via an off-grid power inverter system, would not only be a luxury, it would be a life-saver!

If any of this strikes a chord with you, visiting with a power-inverter specialist would give you a definite advantage in terms of being prepared for the unthinkable!  And according to the ‘powers that be’ in the US Government, it’s not a question of ‘if’; it’s a question of ‘when’.

Off-grid power inverters—they can keep your world functioning even if the power grid isn’t able to!


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