Author Topic: Storm Eunice  (Read 1130 times)

Online awemawson

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Storm Eunice
« on: February 23, 2022, 04:18:47 AM »
Been having a bit of bother recently !

Storm Eunice came through on Friday - amazingly strong winds, things being blow all over the place. Not surprisingly we lost our power as we are on overhead supply. That was Friday just before lunch. Here we are on the following Wednesday  and we still don't have power  :bang:

The local Wi-Fi mast must be on the same feed so we lost use of mobile phones, and my land line uses a small Panasonic DBS exchange (which needs power) so we lost the land line.

I have a small (4kW) site generator - buried in the back of the tractor shed behind much equipment, but I managed to extract it. Starts first and every pull, but fails to run - though with far too much Ether squirted at it I got it to run long enough to power our private sewage system and drain it's processed effluent to prevent the overflow that was threatening. Then it stalled and I can't restart it!

At this point our water started to flow brown! Various pumping stations obviously without power in the local area including the one next door, which although it has a generator they hadn't started it up.

Can I somehow rig up my massive 110 kW generator 'jury rig' to power the farm. Well I came to the conclusion NO not safely - distance too far - not enough heavy cable and involves crossing vehicle paths.

Then the gas ran out !!!! We don't have gas but the hob in the kitchen (our only way to cook at the moment) uses 47kG propane bottles - luckily spare to hand and installed.

To get phone messages involved a 3 mile run down to the local supermarket - every time I go UK Power Networks update me with assurance that power will be restored by 23.30 and every day this hasn't come true.

Had to cancel one set of cottage guests due Friday afternoon, and have two more sets coming this Friday who's booking is very much at risk if things don't get sorted.

This morning at about 2:20 the power came back, then 10 minutes later there was a a big flash, power was off, and through the bedroom window I could see people with torches poking about with the 11 kV lines and 'recloser' equipment that's on our veg patch. Still no power BUT the local phone mast seems to be working.

I have managed to borrow a small 'suitcase generator' from a friend that currently is powering the boiler for the cottages, this PC, and the Klargester sewage System, and by borrowing the Wi-Fi dongle from the CNC Plasma Table and using my iPhone as a 'hot spot' now can connect to the internet.


. . . is this the promised apocalypse  :bugeye:


120 hours so far without power - no big deal but if we hadn't had a log burner and a gas hob we'd have been rather stuck


Oh and we had a large chestnut tree fall across a fence line - no immediate danger of stock escaping - low priority - when I inspected 24 hours later I found that it had severed one of our water feeds in the field and had been gushing (metered) water at full bore for at least 24 hours  :bang:

Not much other damage - 3 large green house pane lost, top cap of a 'street light' in the yard has disappeared, loads of branches blown every which where !
« Last Edit: February 23, 2022, 06:12:56 AM by awemawson »
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2022, 04:43:34 AM »
Hi there, Andrew,

I'm pleased that you don't report any damage 'to life and limb'!  But that's quite a catalogue of calamities!!

By comparison, we seem to have got off lightly here in East Hampshire.  Our neighbour one side has lost several woven fence panels.  I remember the last time we had a bit of wind it was soon said that there were no new woven fence panels in the country - apparently they are all imported from Scandinavia!  He also used to have one of those 'gazebo' things in his back garden - it ain't there now!!

Our Housing Association landlords re-roofed twenty of their houses in our street back in 2019 and I haven't heard of any lost tiles.  We have a largish willow tree on the boundary one side that drops dead twigs and small branches at the slightest breeze!  (It's not, as far as I know, the cricket bat variety.)  One consolation of being a tenant rather than a freeholder is that if there's a problem on the roof, I reach for the telephone rather than for the ladder!!  At nearly 85, that's a comfort.

Anyway, Andrew, I hope that your imminent posts here shall record stages on a path to complete recovery.


Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest design change-note!

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2022, 05:12:05 AM »
Thanks Pete,

I've just managed to collar a couple of UK Power Networks staff working on their equipment.

It turns out that the 'Recloser' has operated so many times in recent days that it has burnt off it's contacts. This unit sits on a pole and takes in the 11 kV lines and is basically a whacking great three pole HV switch that can be remotely operated via radio but has internal intelligence to trip on faults and attempt remaking the switch after predetermined intervals.

So it needs replacing which is not a small job I expect  :bugeye:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2022, 05:50:23 AM »
We have been having an interesting weather too. Some parts of the country more affected than the other, but one or another corner has some parts disconnected from the grid.

We had 1-4 times a year power outages from few hours to three days. I got a small diesel generator and we have a wood fired oven. That three day outage wasn't too bad for us, but our friends had only electrical heating on their house and they packed up to camp in our house and were just to come here for refugee when power came back. Quite a few people are better prepared now.

Hope it get better for you soon.

We got a lot of snow and someone stole my brother's snow blower....

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2022, 09:38:28 AM »
We have power  :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

More collateral damage: The Oil boiler that heats my workshop wont fire up (man on his way) and one of my PC UPS's has died - yet to investigate = argh I don't need all this - I just want to get back in the (currently freezing) workshop and catch up with some tasks.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2022, 05:03:38 AM »
Storm Eunice blew the cap off one of our farm yard 'Street Lamps' - a large sheet metal affair that has totally vanished - no sign of it.

The result is we were getting constant RCD trips (once the mains returned !) due to rain getting into the bayonet bulb connector.

I could have put a plastic feed sack over it (my first thought) but it would blow off with the first bit of proper wind and look unsightly.

. . . my solution . .  :beer: Put an inverted pint beer glass over the bulb - it sheds the rain nicely and the light shines through .

First picture - the missing cap

Second picture - how it should be.

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline modeng200023

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2022, 05:57:39 AM »
That is a shame Andrew. Quite a job to make another cap like that.
It must be around somewhere  :Doh:

John

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2022, 08:16:29 AM »
Wow, I somehow missed all this - never showed up in "Recent Topics", for some reason. Very sorry about the damage and difficulties, Andrew!

We had similar winds a few days ago, I wonder if it's even possible that the same storm could affect both sides?

(whiteout here now, 12" snow predicted, heading out to the tractor to plow)
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2022, 08:31:45 AM »
Thanks Steve. Most of our weather crosses the Atlantic !

I always click the 'Show unread posts since last visit ' link :

https://www.madmodder.net/index.php?action=unread

So anything new shows up

John yes it must be somewhere - as the Goons used to say 'everybody has to be somewhere' ! but where in this case is eluding us. OK I've not done a finger search of the full 12 acres (!) but you'd think that it would be A/ down wind and B/ pretty visible.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2022, 10:53:49 AM »
Yup, that's the one I meant, Recent Unread Topics. For some reason this thread didn't show up for me until  today. Anyway, hope things are improving, and I hope you don't get this snowstorm on top of everything else. Just did the first plowing at 6", and it started hailing toward the end for about 10 minutes, then back to snow. it's 11:00 AM here, and predicted to continue until 7:00 PM tonight.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDubB0-REg

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2022, 05:35:44 AM »
That that was lost is found  :ddb: :ddb: :ddb:

Actually hadn't travelled far and has sustained remarkably little damage - just a bit of bending needed. It hinges on two sliding pin hinges and a third one on the opposite edge acts as a retaining latch. Hinges made from copper and pins look to be brass.

. . . needs a bit of re-engineering. Simple job if down on the ground but not too clever at the top of a ladder. I'll probably have to remove the entire head, bring it to ground and fix it but as the electrical bits won't fit through the hole in the base plate it'll need disconnecting first. I've a feeling that hole may end up bigger when it goes back!
 
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline modeng200023

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2022, 12:24:36 PM »
 :clap:

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2022, 09:52:11 AM »
And here back without power  :bang:

Text this morning saying it was going down for emergency safety repairs so back on tiny generator.

Iíve ordered a bigger one via Amazon that arrived with bits missing that are due to be delivered within the hour but meanwhile back in low power mode.

Good thing is if my calculations are right the compensation from the last outage will pay for the generator  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline tom osselton

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2022, 05:36:41 PM »
We donít get many power outages in Alberta a momentary drop maybe during a storm thatís enough to reset all the dam clocks though.

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2022, 07:51:58 AM »
The stars were in alignment today - Not raining and cottage guests leaving at 09:00 so I could plan to connect up the generator change over unit and input socket.

Last night I'd told the guests that power was going off at 10 am being 1 hour after their check out time, so I'm afraid despite that fact they hadn't left I threw the switch at precisely 10 AM internet time  :clap:

Theoretically a straight forward job as my meter box was already equipped with an isolator switch that I'd had fitted some years back, but made fiddly as the box is at the end of a bit of a blind alleyway.

Apart from the fact that 25 mm csa meter tails have a will of their own, and a habit of loosening fastenings at one end when you fix the other despite torquing the screws close to shearing point, it all went well and I'm still alive  :ddb:

Put it back on mains initially while I tidied up, then ran on generator for half an hour to prove all was well - no hot cables etc, then reverted to mains.

Hopefully having done this at last will ensure we NEVER have another power cut or the need to use it.

Although I've only put a 32 amp input socket on it, all the internals are stout enough that I can replace that with a 63 amp commando input should I ever find a 20 kva diesel enclosed silent generator which would be much more satisfactory.

(Don't blame me for the excessively long earth cable - that was UK Power Networks when the box was installed and both ends are in sealed terminals :bang:  )
 
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Sea.dog

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2022, 03:55:31 AM »
Tut, tut Andrew. You know that you're going to find a 20kVA generator. You've now made work for yourself by not fitting the 63A commando  :lol: :lol:

Nicely done, BTW.

Offline John Rudd

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2022, 04:25:12 AM »
Being the cautious type, whatís the failure mode of your changeover switch?

Iíd hate for it to fail in a fashion whereby the incoming mains is parallel up with the gensetÖ. :zap: :zap: :zap:
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Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2022, 07:16:23 AM »
It's a three position manual switch so you switch through all isolated when going from mains to generator or vice-versa.

I suppose a welded together connector pair might make an issue but it's rated at 125 amps (and 200,000 operations) and that's at least double what it's ever likely to carry when on mains, and far less when on generator.

At the worst were your scenario to occur the generator would go pop, but I expect in reality its 32 amp circuit breaker would trip.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline mattinker

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2022, 04:46:49 AM »
Hi Andrew,

Sorry to read all this, I've been away and I haven't looked in here for a while! Life and limb OK which is the main thing!

I couldn't help thinking that it's a pity you got rid of the Lister generator, would have been ideal

All the best, Matthew

Online awemawson

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Re: Storm Eunice
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2022, 05:56:58 AM »
I've thought that several times Matthew, and it was bought for precisely this application. However it was open frame so no soundproofing or weather resistance, and would have needed some sort of structure built round it as it was far too heavy to shift in times of need. By the time I'd worked out how big the enclosure was going to have to be I realised that it was impractical on the patio by the house where the power input is so sadly I sold it.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex