When the power grid fails

When the power grid fails

Posted in: Diesel Generators Performance Power Outages

The nation’s system of power plants, utility poles and electrical wires is aging. And compared with other developed countries, it’s less and less reliable. Among the worst hit states: Connecticut.

Three historic storms hit the state in 2011 and 2012. Each time, more than 600,000 residents lost power for days. More than lights went out: household water comes from wells in the town of Marlborough.

“The well runs off electricity,” resident Cliff Denniss says. “And when you lose power you don’t have the pump working to push the water into the house. And you only get about two flushes out of the toilet. ..and when you’re out for a week it can get pretty tough.”

Marlborough went dark for a week in all three storms. Cliff Denniss’s wife, Dorothy, now fills the tub with water when a big one’s coming. Which she admits is not enough for a week-long outage.

“You don’t flush every time,” she says. “Trust me.”

Gas stations in town lost power to pump their gas. Cellphone batteries died. And perishable food … perished. Unless you ate it.

“I had filet mignon all week,” Dorothy Denniss says. “I just bought a brand new one, had it chopped up into steaks. It was in the freezer, we lost the power. I said ‘we have to eat this!’” 

In the average year, New England loses power for a total of three and a half hours, compared with four minutes in Japan. The U.S. fares worse than any other rich country. The cost – in lost work and production – is estimated at $80 billion, more than Google makes in a year. 

In 1882, Edison built the first electric “utility” system. Edison’s very first utility went up in Manhattan. Like a local drugstore, it was a local electric company, with generators and customers in the same place. But this local model lost out. Two of Edison’s rivals, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, developed long-distance transmission, to send power from big sources far away.

“Westinghouse transmitted power from a Niagara Falls hydropower plant to the city of Buffalo about 20 miles distant,” Hirsh says.

Long-distance electricity was more efficient and cheaper. So America ended up with a hub-and–spoke system of poles and wires.

But then, the grid aged, and investment didn’t keep up. Power failures have tripled since the 1980s.

Until a major investment is made to solve these problems a backup generator is your best solution to get the power you need. Call us at 305-592-6800 and learn how a Triton Diesel Generator can help your home or business.

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