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Old 12-29-2008, 03:21 PM   #21
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Some municipalities are buying hybrid buses and plan to use the vehicles as mobile emergency generators for use at schools and other central emergency sheltering areas when there is a mass power outage. Apparently a single bus can provide a lot of juice, at least as long as they have diesel fuel. Of course, all the buses used for this aren't carrying people around the city, but it does sound like a useful option. Compared to a dedicated emergency generator, the bus is probably more likely to actually run when you need it, and will be less expensive overall.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:41 PM   #22
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Practical info: We use the inverter on our car, through the cigarette lighter, when the power goes out. I use it only for powering a fluorescent light for reading or cleaning up the kitchen, or the fan (on low: 20 watts) that distributes heat from the woodstove (actually a woodstove-type fireplace).

This has worked well, and the battery has never discharged enough that the inverter shuts off (which it will do so that the battery is always strong enough to start your car).
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:07 PM   #23
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Some municipalities are buying hybrid buses and plan to use the vehicles as mobile emergency generators for use at schools and other central emergency sheltering areas when there is a mass power outage. Apparently a single bus can provide a lot of juice, at least as long as they have diesel fuel. Of course, all the buses used for this aren't carrying people around the city, but it does sound like a useful option. Compared to a dedicated emergency generator, the bus is probably more likely to actually run when you need it, and will be less expensive overall.
That's a pretty cool idea. What modern, forward thinking company make these buses? :confused:

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Old 12-29-2008, 10:24 PM   #24
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Some municipalities are buying hybrid buses and plan to use the vehicles as mobile emergency generators for use at schools and other central emergency sheltering areas when there is a mass power outage. Apparently a single bus can provide a lot of juice, at least as long as they have diesel fuel. Of course, all the buses used for this aren't carrying people around the city, but it does sound like a useful option. Compared to a dedicated emergency generator, the bus is probably more likely to actually run when you need it, and will be less expensive overall.
Did they mention what technology they'll use to convert the battery DC into 110/220 AC? I can't imagine an inverter capable of handling a school or emergency shelter.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:26 AM   #25
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Did they mention what technology they'll use to convert the battery DC into 110/220 AC? I can't imagine an inverter capable of handling a school or emergency shelter.
The key word in the statement was "generate." An inverter doesn't "generate" electricity, it only converts. The real question is: Is the bus's generator putting out 12v or 115v electricity? Another important question would be about the wattage. It seems to me that a generator large enough to provide enough useful electricity to do more than run low-wattage light bulbs would be pretty expensive... not to mention quite heavy. But, again, I am way out of my league here.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:34 AM   #26
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The key word in the statement was "generate." An inverter doesn't "generate" electricity, it only converts. The real question is: Is the bus's generator putting out 12v or 115v electricity? Another important question would be about the wattage. It seems to me that a generator large enough to provide enough useful electricity to do more than run low-wattage light bulbs would be pretty expensive... not to mention quite heavy. But, again, I am way out of my league here.
Hybrids generate high voltage - think 300+ volts. This article indicates they have the capacity to put out 200K watts of power. To put this into perspective, I run my whole house off a 4K generator during outages.

Hurricane Emergency Power From Hybrid Buses – BAE Mass Transit Power - Popular Mechanics
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:39 AM   #27
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Did they mention what technology they'll use to convert the battery DC into 110/220 AC? I can't imagine an inverter capable of handling a school or emergency shelter.
Here's a link with a little more info. Not much about the logistics of converting the power, just that the buses produce DC and that inverters for making AC are being sold. The options are to either put them on the buses permanently or put them at the likely sites of use. A bus puts out 200 KVA, and can do it for 22 hours straight on a single tank of diesel. They say that is "enough for a 12,400 sq ft hospital"

San Francisco also plans to use the buses to provide emergency power to move electric streetcars out of the way when the power goes out.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:34 PM   #28
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San Francisco also plans to use the buses to provide emergency power to move electric streetcars out of the way when the power goes out.
I can hear the bus driver now: "Eh, brah, no need electric-- I push, ya?"
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