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[aprssig] Gensets [was] New Orleans APRS digi still on the air

KC2MMi kc2mmi at verizon.net
Fri Sep 2 16:11:41 UTC 2005

 <A generator that's buried under floodwater isn't going to be much use.>
 Actually, you can. A diesel genset can run underwater because there is no
ignition system. That's one reason diesel engines are popular on boats. If
you snorkel the air intake and exhaust above water level, and the oil fill
has been secured, the engine is quite happy to run while submerged. Not
forever and not at the bottom of the sea, but for quite a long time totally

<You absolutely *MUST* treat your stored gas with fuel
stabilizer!  >
 That applies to diesel, too. Gasoline has a design life of about 90 days,
but there are often 40-60 ingredients in it including gasses like butane
that do boil out or go sour at room temperature. Any lawn-mower shop or
outboard engine shop can tell you, you must "pickle" the gas with
Stabiliant(TM) or other treatments over the winter. And run the fuel intake
dry in order to clean it out whenever you shut it down.
 Diesel needs a similar product, because algae and "critters" grow at the
fuel/water interface and diesel always gets contaminated with water,
especially if condensation occurs in the tank. Diesel is less likely to clog
because of the fuel injection system being closed.

 And that leaves natural gas, which burns clean and doesn't have these
problems--but then you need a gas line or storage of explosive bottled gas.
For casual users, diesel is probably the best solution since it is safest to
store. For home users who expect their natural gas lines won't be ruptured
(no floods, no earthquakes) the ng gensets are probably the best. But
gasoline? Strictly for very short term users who'll use it infrequently.
Especially since the first thing that goes out in a blackout is the power
for the gasoline pumps, so what you have is all you'll have.

 If I had any room for a tower/antenna and wanted reliable emergency power,
I think I'd use a wind generator on the tower. Not such a bad alternative
when you consider the fuel storage problems.

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