Blackout
Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.

How to prepare for a blackout or power outage

The entire country, Trinidad and Tobago, was plunged into darkness at approximately 12:50 pm on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022. What was expected to last 2 to 3 hours turned out to be 12 hours. Due to the length of time of this blackout, everything was affected that relied on power.

One internet service provider went down after a period because the contingency plan they had in place did not cater for 12+ hours without electricity. An investigation into what caused the blackout has been commissioned, with the intent of avoiding a re occurrence.

Trinidad and Tobago for the most part has been lucky when it comes to natural disasters. The damages caused by earthquakes have been superficial so far. The last time that the country was affected by a hurricane was on September 30th, 1963 when Flora made landfall in Tobago.

The JUDY Power 

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The JUDY Power 1000W/1280WH PORTABLE POWER STATION
US$995

Common causes of a blackout

In March 2013, Trinidad and Tobago was without electricity. It was caused by low gas pressure around 12.37 am and lasted until 4.45 am in most parts of the country. Full service was restored by 11:00 am.

December 2012 brought Christmas shopping to a halt when a blackout along the entire north-west of Trinidad forced dozens of businesses in downtown Port-of-Spain to close up shop for the day.

August 30, 2011, Port-of-Spain was again without electricity for more than two hours after lightning struck the T&TEC’s Bamboo substation in Valsayn. Power outages also were reported in north, central and east Trinidad.

In July 2010, lightning struck a PowerGen station during heavy rains, causing blackouts in several parts of the country. That incident also caused seven generators to trip at the Point Lisas facility, affecting areas in Point Fortin, Fyzabad, Santa Flora and surrounding areas.

On Wednesday September 20th, 2017, Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria. It took 11 months for the electricity grid to be repaired. At the time of this article, four and a half years after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s electricity grid is still in bad shape.

February 2021 had the Texas power crisis. The dates are February 10–11, 13–17, and 15–20. Winter storms and a lack of weatherproofing led to frozen wind turbines and solar panels as well as natural gas generators.

On October 29th, 2021, a severe wind storm hit Melbourne, Australia, taking out power to more than 520,000 customers.

On Tuesday, January 25th, 2022, Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan were hit by a blackout all at once. This was due to 3 reasons. Firstly, the 3 ex-Soviet republics are interconnected. Secondly, the grid was stressed by a recent drought. Lastly, cryptocurrency miners who have taken up residence in Kazakhstan, placed a strain on the grid. This occurred because cryptocurrency mining consumes a lot of electricity, generates excessive heat, and then needs to be cooled by electrical air condition units and fans.

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JUDY THE POWER PREPPER SYSTEM

Equipped with over 87+ life-saving survival essentials and our 1000W portable power station, The Power Prepper System is designed to sustain a family of 6 for up to 72 hours.

The Power Prepper System bundle includes The JUDY Power Portable Power Station ($995 Value) and The JUDY Protector emergency preparedness kit ($395 Value), bundled together.

Your fully charged JUDY Power station can extend the runtime of many of your kitchen appliances, devices and household items during rolling power outages or ongoing power dips.

Created by #1 preparedness experts, The Protector is organized into 8 cartridges for easy access during an emergency: WATER x2, FOOD x2, SAFETY, WARMTH, TOOLS & FIRST AID.

Was US$1390.00 Now $1042.50

How to prepare for a blackout lasting longer than 6 hours

As you can see, country-wide blackouts can be caused by lightning, hurricanes, winter storms, poor infrastructure planning and even cryptocurrency. All hope is not lost, you can survive a sustained loss of power.

We provide you with a list of tips from the simplest to the most advanced that should provide a solution for everyone. These tips are for home owners, business owners, landlords and property managers of multi-storied high-rise apartment complexes.

Before attempting any of the following tips, you need to consult your area’s laws regarding generating, transmitting and/or storing electricity. Read up on building and electrical codes to ensure that you remain compliant.

You should also consult a licensed electrician to do the installation or to guide you accordingly. You also need to consult your home owner’s insurance provider as well to see if your DIY project does not void any existing warranty. 

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JUDY THE WINTER STORM SYSTEM

Equipped with over 63+ life-saving survival essentials, our 1000W portable power station, and NEW 2-Pack of Rechargeable JUDY Lanterns.

The Winter System bundle includes The JUDY Power Portable Power Station ($995 Value), The Safe ($295 Value), and JUDY Lantern 2-Pack ($95 Value).

Your fully charged JUDY Power station can extend the runtime of many of your kitchen appliances, devices and household items during rolling power outages or ongoing power dips.

Created by #1 preparedness experts, all of the tools in The Safe kit are organized by distinct compartments for easy access and organization during an emergency: WATER, FOOD, SAFETY, WARMTH, TOOLS & FIRST AID.

Was US$1385.00 Now US$1038.75

10 solutions for you to survive a blackout

Simple battery back up

A battery backup system allows you to power your essentials during a blackout. By building your own battery backup system, you can size it to your desired needs. You will need to know what size battery or how many batteries you would need.

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CyberPower – 1100VA Intelligent LCD Battery Back-Up System – Black

Description

Protect computers and other electronics from damage during power failures with this CyberPower 660W PC battery backup. This uninterruptable power supply features 10 three-prong outlets; five provide battery backup and surge protection, and five provide surge protection alone. A 6-foot cord on this CyberPower 660W PC battery backup ensures the device reaches various electronics around a room.

Features

  • 890-joule rating
  • 10 surge-protected outlets
  • GreenPower UPS™ Bypass Design
  • 6′ cord
  • Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR)
  • Data Line Protection
  • Multifunction LCD Panel
  • PowerPanel® Personal Edition Software
  • USB, Serial ports

US$144.99

download

Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station

Description

The Jackery Explorer 1000 is one of the most powerful portable power stations. With a 1002Wh capacity, it can supply 1000W of power (2000W surge power) using multiple output ports. Thus, it meets the power supply needs of most higher-power electrical appliances.

US$1099.

Residential Power Storage

When comparing home batteries, there are a few things to keep in mind: size, warranty, and price. There are are a lot of other options to consider, but generally these would determine which one you would buy. You could always build your own home battery set up.

Enphase Ensemble Kit 2 1

10kWh Enphase Ensemble Package

The Enphase Ensemble automatically detects and transitions the system from grid power to backup power in the event of a grid failure so you can always have peace of mind.

This 10kWh battery backup package provides energy storage solutions for a small portion of the home. You can power lights, computer and cell phone charging, and energy efficient appliances such as a refrigerator.

US$11,495.

Enphase Ensemble Kit 2

Enphase Ensemble – 13.4kWh Battery Back-up with Load Management Bundled Solution

Kit includes

(1) Encharge-10T Lithium Battery – weight 341 lbs

(1) Encharge 3T – weight 107.6 lbs

(1) IQ System Controller 2,

(1) Enphase Communications Kit,

(2) CT’s, and Cellular Modem.

Breakers sold separately.

US$14,495.

Price comparisons

BATTERYUSABLE CAPACITYCONTINUOUS POWERPRICE
Tesla Powerwall
13.5 kWh
5.0 KWh
$7,600+
Generac PWRcell8.6 kWh – 17.1 kWh3.4 kW to 6.7 kW
$5,000+
LG Chem RESU9.3 kWh5.0 kW
$5,000+
sonnen eco5 kWh to 20 kWh
3 kW to 8 kW
$10,000+
Enphase IQ Battery3.36 kWh to 10.08 kWh1.28 kW to 3.84 kW$5,000+

Human power

This uses a human or team of people as a power source. The obvious problem with this is people get tired, and it is not recommended for a sustained period.

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T.J. Proechel

See full article here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/how-to/a10245/pedal-power-how-to-build-a-bike-generator-16627209/

Solar power

Solar power is created via solar panels converting light from the sun to electrical energy. The sun is only visible during the daytime. As a result, there would have to be an investment in storage in the form of batteries.

Screenshot 2022 04 08 195752

Renogy 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle AGM Battery w/ Battery Box

Power Most Appliances

The maximum 1100A discharge (5 seconds) is suitable for appliances that require a high startup current, like a fridge.

With a consistent and stable discharge, the battery can power up most common home appliances, such as a microwave, CPAP, coffee maker, laptop, and more.

US$295.99

Screenshot 2022 04 08 200853

Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Solar Starter Kit

 This kit comes with the tools necessary for a new system: four Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panels, one 30A PWM Wanderer Li Charge Controller, one 20ft 10AWG Solar Adaptor Kit, one 8ft 10AWG Tray Cable, three pairs of branch connectors, and four sets of Z-brackets. Add convenience and peace of mind to your next journey with a Renogy Starter Kit.

US$619.99

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Renogy 48V 3500W Solar Inverter Charger

STABLE AND PURE SINE WAVE CHARGING- 3500W continuous, 7000W peak surge during load start-up and combines 80A MPPT solar charging, AC/generator battery charging, and battery inverting into one convenient solution to take your off-grid system to the hybrid level and can turn your system into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

HYBRID SYSTEM – Integrated with 80A/145V MPPT solar charge controller, 3500W pure sine wave inverter, and 40A battery charger in one compact unit to let you enjoy the stable power from the sun and the utility grid to keep you powered under any circumstances.

POWER SAVING – 48W low idle power consumption and a maximum of 25W when the Power Saving Mode is on will not waste your precious power.

UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY – In the event of AC Charging or the solar charging failure, the Inverter Charger takes over the supply to the alternative option within 10ms, which will not let your electronics shut down.

ALL TYPE OF BATTERY – Preset battery mode for 48V AGM/Sealed, Gel, Flooded, and Lithium batteries. Includes a User Mode for custom inputs to work with virtually all battery types.

RELIABLE QUALITY – Complete software and hardware protection, including short circuits, over-voltage, overload, and more! This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules and is certified with ROHS.

US899.99

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Renogy 4800 WATT 48 VOLT Monocrystalline Solar Kit

RKIT4500D-US

Basic Kit US$6,499.99 + Free shipping

Deluxe Kit (w/ Mounting System) US$7,500. + Free shipping

Premium Kit (w/ Mounting System and Battery) US$14,999. + Free shipping

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SunPower Equinox® + SunVault™ Storage

A complete home solar + storage solution

Gone are the days of clunky, piecemeal systems. Our SunPower Equinox® system with SunVault™ Storage is the only home solar + storage system designed by one company. From record-breaking panels to seamless energy storage, every component is designed to work together perfectly.

Wind power

There are two types of turbines that could give you wind power, vertical and horizontal wind axis. Since wind is not blowing at all times, energy storage in the form of batteries will also add to the initial installation costs of wind energy.

Vertical Axis Wind turbine

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TFCFL Wind Turbine Kit,400W 12V Wind Turbine Vertical Wind Generator Kit Electricity Producer Equipment

The 400W wind turbine has a low start-up wind speed. The blades are made of high-quality fiber glass and are treated with special surface spraying, which has excellent corrosion resistance and oxidation resistance.

Wind turbines are used in wind and solar hybrid power generation systems.

In the case of wind and sunlight, both play a role at the same time, realizing the all-weather power generation function.

In the sunless night and rainy days, wind power is generated, while on sunny days, solar power is generated.

It can make full use of wind and solar energy to supplement power generation without external power supply.

The working temperature is -25℃ ~ +45℃, so there is no need to worry about the blade freezing due to low temperature.

Was US$526.18 Now US$263.09

1000W 2000W Vertical Spiral Wind Turbine for Home Wind Generators 3 Phase 1KW 2KW 24V 48V

400W 600W 1KW 2KW Vertical Wind Turbine 3 Phase 1000W 12V 24V 48V 96V 2000W Coreless Wind Turbine Generator For Home

*Rich colors. The blades could be white, orange, yellow, blue, green, mixed, and any other colors wanted.
*Various voltages. 3 phase AC output, suitable for charging 12V, 24V, 48V batteries.
*One-piece Blade design ensures higher rotational stability, low noise.
*Coreless generator means lower start torque, lower start wind speed, longer service life.
*RPM limit protection. The RPM is kept under 300 regardless of high wind speed, which prevents the controller from over-load.
*Easy installation. Full set of fastners and installtion tools are attached in the package.
*Long service life. The turbine could work 10~15 years under normal natural environments.

US$1,049.99

Hortizontal Axis Wind turbine

Screenshot 2022 04 09 232517

Marine Grade 400 Watt Wind Turbine Generator by Nature Power

  • Produces up to 400-Watt of wind power in your own backyard
  • Wind turbines efficiently harness wind power, for a renewable energy source.
  • Ideal for work sites or places where utility grid isn’t an option
  • Marine grade, weather-resistant construction to withstand harsh weather elements
  • 2 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty
  • Ships within 3-5 business days
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Ships from Country: United States

Was US$799.99 Now US$599.99 

Solar Us Shop ships to Trinidad & Tobago

  • Shop in USD $
  • Get shipping options for Trinidad & Tobago

Solar wind hybrid

Solar wind hybrid systems utilise the best of both worlds, converting light to electricity and wind to electricity during the day, and wind production during the night. You would still have to invest in storage, but your generation capabilities are not limited to daytime hours.

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XINPUGUANG 900W Solar wind hybrid System

1x 600W wind turbine+3x100W Solar Wind Hybrid solar system DIY kit solar panel home house module mobile dc 12v/24v off grid tie turbine

The shipment contains:

  1. 3x 100W flexible solar panel
  2. 1x 600W wind turbine with fix tower
  3. 1x 1200W solar wind hybrid controller
  4. 1x 2000W inverter
  5. 1set 3 in1 parallel connector adapter for solar panel
  6. 2sets red/black 3M alligator clips wires for battery (1*4mm2)
  7. 1 set PV 3M connector wires (1*2.5mm2)

TT$21,700.37 -34% TT$14,322.27 / $3,188.98 -34% US$2,104.73US

Shipping: TT$1,618.79 / Shipping: US$237.89 

Total TT$15,941.05 / US$2,342.62

ECO-WORTHY 1400W Solar Wind Power Kit

  • 81zUqiKNXqL. AC SL1500
  • Screenshot 2022 03 29 185324
  • 71y5FIQ yHL. AC SL1000
  • 61IJImtKVRL. AC SL1000
  • 71LTrX3lokS. AC SL1444
  • 61tFwABKzhL. AC SL1000
  • 614EM586LuS. AC SL1000
  • 71U04UilGL. AC SL1500
 400W Wind Turbine600W 12V800W 24V Complete1200W 24V Complete1400W 24V Complete
Daily output1.6KWh2.4KWh3.2KWh5KWh6KWh
Voltage12V/24V12V24V24V24V
Solar panel model100W Mono195W Mono100W Mono100W Mono
Number of Solar Panel22810
Pure Sine Wave Inverter1000 12V1500W 24V-110V1500W 24V-110V3500W 24V-110V
Battery2 pcs 100AH2 pcs 100AH2 pcs 100AH4 pcs 100AH
Price12V 500W US$499.8812V 600W US$598.5524V 800W US$799.9924V 1200W US$1,499.9924V 1400W US$2,199.99

Renogy 48V 50Ah LiFePO4 Smart Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

  • 51IORciv9yS. AC SL1000
  • 610Y5iRdJQS. AC SL1000
  • 61KDtlu66S. AC SL1000
  • 61m4UB7WvNS. AC SL1000
  • 61iuKY473FS. AC SL1000
  • 712LkVBf1bS. AC SL1000
  • Uncompromising Quality – Renogy’s latest 48V battery delivers a breakthrough in quality by offering an exceptional lifespan of more than 4500 cycles (reducing to 80% capacity after 4500 cycles), a 50A maximum discharge current, and most importantly, an extensive five year warranty.
  • Self-Heating Function – The intelligent self-heating function will start operating automatically once the battery’s core temperature drops below 41°F (5°C), effortlessly keeping your battery charged in cold environments.
  • Reliable BMS System – The upgraded battery management system (BMS) with high performance dual-processors provide load fluctuation resistance while maintaining balanced voltage across all cells.
  • Auto-balancing Function – Easily connect multiple batteries in parallel with the auto-balancing function to improve the average charging efficiency of your batteries over extended use.
  • Real-time monitor – Featuring advanced RS485 communication ports—your batteries will be able to communicate with each other, external devices and host computers allowing you to monitor the charging status in real-time. (A BT-2 Bluetooth Module or Monitoring Screen is needed).

Was US$1,699.99 Now US$1,529.99

Standby Generator

Standby generators, as their name suggests, are quite literally standing by, ready to serve you in the case of an outage. Their systems are perpetually in this standby mode, and they carefully monitor power around the clock. When a power failure is detected, they’ll signal their engine to start up immediately, without disrupting operations.

These powerful machines are designed to provide electricity automatically, and to provide a reliable, steady source of power with little to no disruptions. Most will “exercise” themselves at regular intervals for approximately ten minutes at a time to lubricate their engines, charge their batteries, and run a diagnostic check.

Standby generators typically work for up to a few hours at a time, and will naturally cool down when they’re not in operation, so you can carry out maintenance activities without disrupting the power supply. It’s very important that you conduct regular maintenance checks to ensure that your generator is running safely and effectively.

Backup Generator

Backup generators, aka portable generators, are not permanent installations, rather, they are intended to provide temporary backup power on an as-needed basis.

They do not offer automatic outage detection, as do their standby counterparts. Instead, when an outage occurs, the generator’s engine must be started manually, so you need to be on-site to get it up and running. Power is then created by setting up extension cords directly from the generator to any desired appliances.

In addition, since most portable generators are powered by gas, you’ll need to periodically refill them so that they can continue to provide you with power when you need it.

Screenshot 2022 03 29 180734

GenerLink

Meter Mounted Transfer Switch with and without 75kA Per Phase Surge Protection

The GenerLink is a plug and play transfer switch that gives the homeowner the ability to use anything in their electrical panel up to the capacity of the generator. The GenerLink is UL listed and is a safe way for homeowners to use a portable generator during an outage. It provides a great peace of mind.

Resources

https://www.guardian.co.tt/article-6.2.398271.6a3bd01827

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_generators+home-standby-generators

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/power-blackout-hits-kazakhstan-kyrgyzstan-uzbekistan-2022-01-25/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major_power_outages

_____________________________________________

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