Dayboro got it :-).
Not surprisingly, did say 4weeks back that it was time to clean up the yard and to get ready :-). But that is not the point.
Here are some stats:
- 90Kph winds, sustained. That means they blow for a period longer than 10 odd min.
- 110Kph wind gusts, that is rough…. considering that most houses here are build to only sustain 120Kph gusts as per their wind rating.
- 60 odd mm or rain in less than 15min…. We did not measure that, not sure why but it simply did not do it…. Odd.
There are heaps of photo’s and videos floating on FB showing the damage and winds, here is one we recorded at our place.
How to prepare for the next one?
First keep an eye on the warnings, this page has warnings on the right hand side, it does not contain the storm warnings yet but all others are sort of there.
But there is more you can do here are some tips.
- Roofs, I fastened the roof line with screws every wave in the iron roof. When the house was finished I noticed that they were screwed down every 4 waves… not sure if that is standard. (get a tradie do it)
- Vegetation, trim trees. We planted all our trees away from the house based upon their maximum height. For example a tree that can grow 3 meters high will be at least 3 meters away from the house. We actually went a bit further and kept most trees away from the house. Some sprouted up anyway, but they are manageable.
- Windows and doors, get door and window seals, they prevent water from pushed into the house. We have double glassing and thermo aluminum frames so ours come solid sealed. We done this for energy reasons, but the benefit is that they are water tight :-).
- Drainage… we are on a hill slope, for yrs we tried to keep the water from getting under the house. We now have fixed that, we changed the water run from the hill to go around the house by adding stuff to the house and building some drainage channels… Works a treat.
- Power, we all have fridges and stuff, we are no different. We kill our own meat this means we have a meat fridge, if power goes down stuff will go off. We also work from home so power is important (the electricity stuff not the ego stuff). For this reason we installed a battery bank and are now in the process of getting a genset “plumed” in.
- Water when you are on tank water you have a pump, when power goes out the pump stops……. this is kinda a “pisser” when you just shampooed your hair. So install a EXPANSION TANK they are very common. We have a 100liter one, this means we can use 100liters of water (give and take) before the pump starts. This has several advantages, one is that the pump does not run that often and runs cheaper (starting electrical pumps is very very expensive) and we have water pressure when the power goes out. Sometimes we are out of luck…… when the pressure tank is empty and the power goes out when the pump starts…… That is when we buy a lotto ticket :-).
Power outages a BIG issue.
In the last storm we had the power out….. oh dear… did we know it. No access to social media, actually worse for those who are on properties that are not connected to town water, WE CANNOT SHOWER….. and stuff builds up in the toilets :-).
So what to do about this………
Some steps to follow:
- What is the generator going to power? (Fridges, computers, pumps etc)
- For how long do I need the genset to run consistently.
- What will the load be (eg what is the PEAK power usage I am going to put on the generator).
Lets start with what the generator is going to power. Fridges, Computers and the like more often than not will have circuit boards in them, with some sensitive stuff on it that can go POOF. Every electricity component is filled with smoke, trust me it is true :-), the key to electronics is to keep that smoke inside the components. Lots of generators, especially the older ones, just push out power…. they do not care if they are on the same wave length as the electronics of your fridge or computer. They have to be on the same wave length (50mhz), so get a generator with sinewave.
I cannot stress enough to get a generator with sinewave, they are a bit more expensive but here is the reason why I stress it. (and I am not an electrician, so keep that in mind). When everything is Henkie dorrie and all is working fine the wave in your electricity cable is 50Mhz. All good. BUT when the pump, fridge and computers decide to draw power at the same time the wave will be stretched (only for a very short period of time), this means the wave might go to something like 40Mhz. The generator sees this a OHHH I need to provide more power….. so BROOOOM of it goes. This is when you can blow a circuit board, same applies when you stop using a lot of power.
A sinewave genset, will drastically reduce that problem, and should it happen you have a better chance to your fridge replaced by insurance than without a sinewave genset.
Don’t buy an over-the-top genset, sure you see the big diesel gensets able to do 10KVA and more… one problem…. if they are not loaded with a minimum load (power draw) they might not work or produce power at all. Why run a 10KVA genset if you only draw 1KVA. More often than not if you are NOT running an airco 3.5KVA is enough….. (I am not an electrician so have that checked first)
We went to the different spectrum, we focused on power storage instead of power generation (which a generator would be). Our feed-in tarrif is very low, we lost our high feed in tariff when we expanded the solar array. Long story, but it is what it is.
We went with an ALPHA-ESS upgraded to 8Kw inverter so we could put a load of 8Kw on it. So why did we go power storage instead of generation. (I would NOT recommend company ABN 32 162 502 098)
- Feedback to the grid systems stop working the moment the power goes out, so all the energy that is produced by solar panels is wasted. The correct battery system will prevent that, it will actually allow you to produce, use and store power when the grid is off. NO the TESLA solutions does not do that.
- We use power produced during the day, at night taking the power out of the battery system. This drastically reduces our power bill, remember we do not have a high feed in tariff. We run everything electric (apart from cooking, we do that on gas for redundancy reasons).
- The battery bank is setup as a 80/20. This means we use 80% of the power in the battery bank before we start drawing from the grid. The remainder 20% of battery power stays in there in case of a power outage. We found that is generally enough because more often than not Energex restores the power within 2hrs. It is only at these big events that the power stays out for longer, but these big weather events happen more often in shorter periods of time.
- The battery bank also “filters” the power and as such “protects” the sensitive equipment like computers, fancy washing machines, fridges and like said before those circuit boards.
- If you look into the future… and it is already starting…. Power companies are implementing systems where they can use YOUR stored power to supplement for peak power demands. In particular the short peaks, there are rumors that they are willing to pay around $1.00 per Kwh for that privilege. Time will tell.
In short a battery bank is NOT cheap, but if you are like us and have no high feed-in tariff and not really want to listen to a genset all night (which falls under the council noise rules) it might be worth considering.
We very often receive emails or msgs with questions if we know a “good” this or that. This case is no different.
So have a search for Electricians on this website, they are all good.
Although we claim we are NON BIAS, we do not list companies that we believe are not an ethical business, this applies to environment and conducting business.