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    Lost power

    190719-2347 EDT

    Storm damage caused us, and many others to loose power, about 60,000.

    From what I could observer close by, a much larger area than usual was out. Also my daughter lost power and she is not on my substation. Thus, it seemed like a major primary line may have been hit.

    This outage largely runs from Ann Arbor north to Brighton. MI along US-23. Looking at the DTE outage map there appear to be many large areas, but not one solid connected area.

    The map is at
    My area is on the east side of Ann Arbor where many adjacent areas are out. This area is covered by at least two substations.

    I am still amazed at how many in my area don't have backup generation. Driving around I mostly see dark homes, businesses, and street lights.

    Predictions are that most areas will have power back by tomorrow afternoon.

    My Honda 5 kW is powering me.

    Washtenaw which is US-23 and I94 into town runs mostly east to west from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor. Then westerly takes a bend to a northwest path to go to the U of M main campus. At this bend is my substation. I am about 3/4 mile from this bend with my primary lines following Washtenaw. Then it is about a little over a mile from my home to main campus.


    I still don't have a genny either. I had one years ago but it was such a bad experience for me that I decided not to use one. With houses in my area that are all electric, wells etc a small generator is worthless unless you just want refrigeration and water.

    So many people buy these small generators and they don't start when you need them because they sit for years without being started. As I have gotten older I think about getting a Honda inverter. They are so quiet and use so little gas--- I borrowed a friends last year for 1/2 a day. Expensive but nice
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky


      We have a couple inverter style that can be paralleled for up to 30 amps 120v for the camper. Some day maybe I’ll get that flanged inlet on the transfer switch. Thinking really hard about a transformer to change that to 120/240, then we could have water. The pump motor is on a VFD.

      We’ve been here ten years with no need for one, and in the previous thirty seven years only three days at one stretch.

      Power is pretty reliable.


        I should have bought stock in generac , being GMP having had so many outages last winter ~RJ~


          When windstorm forecast here we start the gensets to be sure one of them starts right off.

          Have a 2 kW for camping, 1.8 kW for small tools, 220V 3kW, 8 kW and 15 kw just to be sure something starts.

          The little 1.8 kW with lawnmower type engine almost never starts if ;eft sitting more that a few months. One of the valve invariable hangs up and refuses to close unless spark plug pulled and the valve tapped bac down.

          The 15 kW has a Datsun 1200cc engine from a 1965 bluebird, it always starts, battery on a 20 mA float trickle charger 24/7.

          Have had no outages for 3 years over a half hour, but when we do have outages, 1/2 the town can be down for a day or so in the winter, even with underground power lines. And always when the weather is cold but not freezer cold freezing naturally.


            GAR has DTE. We have Consumers and right now there are 139,000 without power. I am lucky, we have power here.
            Cheers and Stay Safe,

            Marky the Sparky


              190720-0823 EDT

              Our power is still out as I would expect, and the outage map looks about the same.

              Last night I told my neighbor that if they had some stuff that needed to be in the freezer that I had extra space. He did not feel he had anything of importance.

              This morning he stopped by to ask about buying a generator.

              In our area we have natural gas, lots of it, because of large underground storage capacity on the west side of the state. Per kWH gas costs us about 1/5 that of electricity. Our electricity is about $ 0.16/kWH total (all fees, taxes, distribution, etc.). Thus, most people heat and cook with gas, and use gas dryers. If you can get along without air conditioning, then a 5 kW generator is adequate.

              My neighbor is off to Costco to see what they have. He does not want to spend too much, that probably means less than $ 1000. A portable will meet his basic needs. But he would be better off with an automatic unit. He is a civil engineer and not electrically knowledgeable.

              When you look at overall cost benefit a lot of money in a generator is not a good decision. In my lifetime I believe my total outage time has been less than 2 weeks. Two weeks would be on the long side. Much of that was the great eastern blackout for about 5 days. That was when I bought the generator.



                Costco off of State st only carry the portable generators in the stores (the last I checked anyways). Whole house units will have to be purchased thru the website


                  190720-0940 EDT


                  My neighbor only needs a 5 kW portable. It will more than cover his basic needs. In our area one's basic needs are not much more than 1 to 2 kW, and extra capacity is needed for motor starting current. In most cases air conditioning is not a necessity here.

                  Do you live in the A2 area?



                    If we lose power in the winter I can deal with that as I have a wood stove and food can be set outside however the summers here can be brutal...-- no a/c, no water, no place for food etc. We usually fill a few very large pots and a plastic pail with water if we think the power may be out. The last 5 times we did that we only lost power once
                    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
                    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
                    I can't help it if I'm lucky


                      Originally posted by gar View Post
                      190720-0940 EDT

                      Do you live in the A2 area?
                      Yes, luckily we still have power


                        190720-1119 EDT

                        My power is restored, but the outage map still shows us as out.

                        During the outage I used about 12 gallons of gasoline.

                        My neighbor is still going to get a generator. From Costco an 8200 W with electric start. Under $ 1000 and about 220 #.



                          Sounds like the Generac portable they carry.


                            190721-0751 EDT


                            It was not Generac.

                            New outage information.

                            As I mentioned my power was restored yesterday. But later in the day yesterday another big storm came thru. To an extent it was along I69 from Lansing east.

                            By last night most power around Ann Arbor was restored, but not at my daughter's home. I believe a transformer was blown in her area, and not just downed wires.

                            Looking at the latest DTE outage map, , you see not much change from Ann Arbor north to Brighton. But now there are many new outage areas.

                            The new areas are generally from Lansing along I69 toward Port Huron, and part way up the thumb. Many small outages all over the Detroit area. I69 was the major path of the storm.

                            Last night's news indicated about 360,000 customers were without power, and about 1000 downed wires.

                            We have many trees and overhead lines. Would underground be better? I don't know. Underground are harder to fix, but trees are not such a great problem for underground. Over my lifetime I can't really say that overhead have been much problem to me.

                            My uncle was a field engineer for DTE for about 40 years, about 20 in overhead, and then in underground. He did not like a desk job and thus he got field work. He headed the field operation in the 1950s of installing a large high voltage underground that roughly circled around Detroit.

                            Went looking for some information on the underground line my uncle worked on. Did not find anything. It was likely nitrogen filled cable.

                            Found this very long and interesting report
                            And in there
                            Upgrade AMI firmware on 2.5 million meters to enable detection of broken neutral connections without replacing existing meter hardware
                            Also found that nitrogen cable has not stood up well. Note the age of some equipment, out to 90 years. Also newer electronic stuff is not expected to have such good life.

                            Is the following a realistic comparison
                            Currently, there are over 31 large solar parks connected to the DTEE’s electric grid, for a total of 66 MW, that can power more than 14,000 homes.
                            My calculation is this is 4714 W or 4.7 kW per home.

                            It may seem like I am jumping all over the place, but interesting things pop up.

                            The volume of requests for customer-owned DG in the DTEE service territory has been predominately residential rooftop solar. The typical project size is 5-10 KW for residential customers and 150-750 KW for commercial customers. Additionally, there are several multi-MW synchronous generators and dynamometers connected to the grid that are typically located at commercial and industrial facilities. Exhibit 5.1.9 shows the historical projects installed for small DG projects.
                            The DTEE system has experienced an increasing number of major substation outage events in the past three years as substation equipment continues to age. Exhibit 5.2.1 shows a summary of the major substation events where DTEE experienced a temporary loss of an entire substation, with the details shown in Exhibit 2.5.2. Most of these major substation events were caused by aging, end-of-life critical assets. During events such as Benson and Alpha, DTEE was able to achieve full restoration within a few hours because the failure was isolated to a portion of the substation and capacity existed on adjacent substations to allow for quick load transfer. During events such as Webster, Apache, Arnold, Warren, and Plymouth, customers were not fully restored for 24 hours or more. These instances required combinations of mobile generators, portable substations, and the creation of temporary overhead jumpering points to transfer circuit loads. The number of customers affected and duration of the outages are dependent on the system configuration and the available capacity of surrounding substations to pick up the load.
                            Overall this is a very interesting report to the Michigan Public Service Commission. I only scanned it. Clearly part of its objective is to provide justification for needed money, possibly meaning rate increase.



                              Originally posted by gar View Post
                              We have many trees and overhead lines. Would underground be better? I don't know.
                              I think underground utilities are better for allocation of manpower after an outage.

                              We don't get much snow here (as you would guess) but every few years we get ice storms.
                              You wake up and can hear the tree limbs breaking and you just know there are going to be a lot of downed power lines. Many of the problems are just downed service lines to individual homes. The power companies try to restore power to as many homes as possible as quickly as they can but electricians are needed for the individual home services and you can only put up so many broken masts and service connections in a day. This keeps lot of POCO service trucks running around local neighborhoods trying to connect power when they could be working on larger problems.
                              The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.