Hot Temperature Shuts Down L.A. Power

Chromasun’s solar thermal process cools buildings
Chromasun solar thermal process cools buildings.

You wouldn’t know that there were power outages by listening to radio so-called news reports, but the L.A. Times admitted that thousands were without electricity all afternoon and into the evening: “Record heat brings power outages, fire and light-rail delays

“Southern California Edison reported 11,000 customers without power Monday evening in cities including Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Diamond Bar, Alhambra, Glendora and Rosemead.”

You can include parts of Culver City. No lights, no fan, no news report, not a watt of energy. Maybe the shutdown was a drill for survivalist preppers.

Air conditioning and refrigerators account for most electricity use, but in these lean times strapped utilities aren’t prepared to meet the heavy peak loads they’ve handled in the past.

Sometimes it seems that Valley Electric in my home town of Pahrump, NV has planned weekly power outages. I’m sure that’s an exaggeration. When I traveled to the Los Angeles area this week, Vegas style hot weather must have tagged along with me and overwhelmed L.A. DWP with record high temperatures.

Speaking of off-grid power, Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast published a timely video a couple of days ago, “Wagan 400-Watt Power Dome EX – Power Inverter Test One.” That would certainly keep a fan running for longer than the ten minutes the computer’s “uninterruptible” power supply lasted here. A similar outage happened to me a few L.A. visits ago, “Power and Water,” after a small earthquake, but it was transient and much less traumatic.

Ever since I watched the video of Adam Grosser giving a TED talk in 2007 about absorption cooling, I’ve wondered if a similar process could cool buildings without all that grid electricity used by our typical refrigerators and air conditioners.

A simpler, already deployed low tech “pot-in-pot” refrigerator is described at my blog with the headline “Non-Electric Zeer Refrigerator Transforming Life.”

There are several different kinds of absorption chillers, such as ammonia, lithium bromide (seen above), and silica gel.

There are also other recent advances in air conditioning efficiency, including the m-cycle indirect evaporative system, magnetocaloric refrigeration, and thermoacoustic cooling to name a few.

2 replies on “Hot Temperature Shuts Down L.A. Power”

  1. […] high temperatures. Speaking of off-grid power, Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast published …Continued hot weathergrid power, hot weather, record high temperatures ← Pirate Fancy Dress […]

  2. […] I found a few candidate designs and link to them in the resulting Resilient Freedom blog post, “Hot Temperature Shuts Down L.A. Power.” […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *