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Flexible cable for generator backfeed use? - Page 9

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Posted by Derek Broughton on August 21, 2005, 12:59 pm

Jim Baber wrote:

It really depends on your definition of electrocution :-)  After the ice
storm that hit Ontario & Quebec a few years back, a number of linemen were
supposedly "shocked" by "dead" lines, because they were working in farming
areas where practically every barn had an improperly installed generator.
afaik, nobody was ever hurt, let alone electrocuted.  Presumably if they'd
been working right in the vicinity of said barn, they could have been
electrocuted, but that would have meant they had to ignore all proper
procedure _and_ the fact that they could see lights and hear a generator!

Methinks so too.

The whole point, of course, is that it wouldn't be supplying the grid - only
up to the first break.  I don't know how far you could go before that would
look like a short to your generator, but after Hurricane Juan, one friend
had three breaks in the 14 pole run from the road to his house - he could
easily have had his generator running out of sight and sound from the
linemen who fixed it.

Posted by Solar Flare on August 21, 2005, 1:44 pm

I know of many, many people that particpated in the Ice Storm you refer to
and have never heard of one incident as such.

You are stating that some farmer is smart enough to size and buy a
generator, hook it up and feed his equipment properly but doesn't know
enough to open his switch not to feed all the other farms on the circuit
after the circuit interuption? Buloney!

Posted by Dale Farmer on August 21, 2005, 10:51 pm

Solar Flare wrote:

    Your hypothetical farmer is going to forget to open the switch some
amount of the times that the generator is needed.  Granted that in some
of the cases, the generator bogging down due to all the other farms that
are isolated with the farm in a circuit segment will bring the mistake to
notice.  But out away from the city, where you have only one house
or farm being fed by a line of poles, if the break is on that run, there is
no other load out there to bring them to the notice of the farmer.  There
is also the case where Joe the farmer doesn't have a good grasp on
electricity, and the thing was rigged up by his good buddy Ed from
down the street who does.   Ed is very unlikely to forget to disconnect
the main switch, Joe on the other hand, can't quite remember how to do
it, and the phone is out too, so he can't get Ed to remind him how.
    Very small chance for one given location to back feed the grid.  But
when you multiply that chance by tens or hundreds of thousands of
customers, then it becomes rather a high likelyhood.


Posted by Solar Flare on August 22, 2005, 1:55 am

Anthing can happen when you install things illegally. Throwover switches are
mandatory anywhere I have heard.

Maybe generator owners will shoot somebody with a gun too. Ban generators
and maybe the shooting will stop??

Posted by Derek Broughton on August 22, 2005, 1:01 pm

Dale Farmer wrote:

Absolutely.  In any case, I don't much care if the story was true (I didn't
say it was - just that that was what the _utilities_ had claimed), the fact
that it is being propagated _by_ the utilities takes it out of the realm of
urban myth.  It might simply be propaganda, but it isn't myth.  

In any case despite Flare's stupid insistence that anyone who does suffer
from such backfeed deserves what they get, it's clearly _possible_ and
that's why we have safety regulations.

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