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How to survive long power outages in an apartment. The engineer explains

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May18,2024

How survive long power outages in the apartment. Explains the engineer

Recently, "Ukrenergo" implemented controlled emergency shutdowns for industrial and household consumers in all regions of Ukraine.

Deficit of generating capacity due to missile strikes on the power system may reach 3 gigawatts of electricity as early as May 2024. For example, 3 gigawatts of energy supply almost all of Moldova. The danger of such outages has increased due to the recent missile strikes on the CHP, especially the Trypil CHP in the Kyiv region.

Speka offers blackout survival tips for residents of multi-apartment buildings, to get expert data they talked to i3 Engineering engineer Bohdan Kalinin.

How long can you live without electricity

If we are talking about the cold season, it is worth finding out what type of heating in your house. If it is an electric boiler, it can freeze and burst pipes in winter during a long power outage.

If it is a warm time of year, like now, electricity is needed mainly for lighting and the operation of household appliances. Rechargeable or battery-powered flashlights can be used as autonomous light sources, especially convenient camping models — they have light directed in all directions. Or candles, but with the observance of fire prevention measures.

Separate equipment according to the degree of need

«It is not known in advance how long the blackout will last, so it is worth saving the charge and do not constantly use heating devices, electric stoves, vacuum cleaners, electric kettles, refrigerators. The rest of household devices do not consume so much energy», – says Bohdan Kalinin.

Do not turn on large household appliances. If the blackout lasts a long time, the refrigerator will probably have to be placed outside the window, the washing machine should be washed by hand, and the microwave and electric kettle will have to be replaced with a tourist gas burner. Therefore, it is especially important to stock up on gas or dry alcohol.

What are the alternative sources of energy for apartments

There are three alternative sources of energy for an apartment: electric storage station, charging stations and power banks.

Power bank

«The rule works here&nbsp ;there is no such thing as too much capacity, even if you have a large pot and there is an opportunity to take another — take However, it should be chosen wisely. For example, modern laptops can be charged from a USB type C connector, but not every power bank with this connector will be able to provide the voltage required for the laptop,— explains Bohdan Kalinin.

It is also worth taking into account the power that the power bank can receive at the input when charging. The exact numbers depend on the specifications of your electronics. For example, a 30,000 mAh power bank with support for the Power Delivery protocol up to 65W is enough for two full charges of a laptop or for approximately eight charges of a smartphone.

Portable charging stations

The power of the power bank is sufficient only for smartphones and laptops, but not for household appliances. For this, you will need a charging station. Most charging stations have a power of 200 to 3600 W.

Power of some household devices:

  • LED lamp — 10-20 W;
  • mobile phone — 10-25 W;
  • laptop — 30 W, during high load up to 60 W;
  • refrigerator 150 W and 1000 W during compressor operation;
  • microwave — 1000 W;
  • electric kettle — 2000-2500 W;
  • portable electric heater: 1000 to 4000 W on average.

If your charging station has less power than the device, it will either run slower and less efficiently, or may not start at all. Their cost is much higher than power banks, for example, Ecoflow charging station for 200 W it costs UAH 14,000, for 2000 W — 90 thousand UAH, and for 3600 W — UAH 198,000.

Electric storage stations

In essence, these are large batteries that store energy in the house. They can collect electricity from the household power grid, solar panels, windmills into batteries.

They are able to provide power to all devices in the house. For example, Tesla Powerwall, which can provide 5-10 kWh. Such a device costs from UAH 300,000. Ukrainian manufacturers have similar equipment. For example, a station with a capacity of 2 kW·h will cost UAH 244,000, and for 15 kW, which will be enough to more or less fully supply several apartments, — 980 thousand UAH.

How to properly charge devices?

Bohdan Kalinin notes that at low temperatures, the mobility of lithium ions decreases, so the battery quickly loses charge. But if the battery is warmed up to room temperature, the charge is restored.

However, in conditions of interruptions, charge until the electricity in the outlet disappears again.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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