Blog posts of '2021' 'May'

Power Outages Seem Likely To Get Worse

Many people never think about electricity. It is just something that is there when we turn the lights on or want to turn up the heating, and we never give it any further consideration.

Nonetheless, according to a report on January 6th, the UK market is “showing signs of strain”. It stated that for the fourth time this winter just past, National Grid warned that the buffer needed to keep the lights on and ensure continuity of supply was too small. The report continued that, as on Wednesday that week, when the wind didn’t blow and cold weather boosted demand at the same time that several nuclear plants were offline, the grid operator was scrambling to avoid blackouts.

Furthermore, things are only likely to get worse. The government is planning to quadruple the amount of offshore wind capacity in the next nine years. And when the winds don’t blow, those turbines will produce nothing. Certainly, there are backup systems in place, but National Grid needs to get better at balancing the system when the renewables are not functioning.

According to Weijie Mak, project leader at Aurora Energy Research Ltd, “As the U.K. continues to rely on intermittent renewables, you need to have more and more backup capacities in place. You get into this issue where it’s harder and harder to manage the system.”

This all seems to indicate that power outages are going to become more common rather than less. Sure, if the power goes down for an hour or two while you are watching Corrie, it can be frustrating, but it is hardly life-changing. You can always catch up with it later.

However, if you run a business and the power goes down in the middle of a manufacturing process it can at the least cost you lost hours of work, and at the worst may cost thousands if the product you are creating is not able to be finished and you have to start all over with a fresh set of materials.

The answer is to have a standby generator or two and if you want to buy new generators in the UK you need to talk to Blades Power Generation. As specialists in the sale and supply of generators, we have a full range of generators that will do everything from keeping Corrie running to keeping a full factory running – many with ATS (Automatic Transfer switch) so that you will be back to full power within seconds of the utility going down. Talk to us if you want to buy new generators in the UK.

Being Without Power For A Fortnight Is No Fun At All!

Not everyone will remember the Great Storm of October 15th/16th 1987, but this writer remembers it only too well. At the time I had a flourishing business that operated nationally and managed to achieve what is many people’s dream – the big house in the country.

I lived in a small village (pop. 2,000) in Kent in a large Victorian house built in 1882 surrounded by fields and woodland. In the summer the fields were full of young bullocks and in the winter full of sheep. I remember the Great Storm vividly because trees were felled all over the village and we couldn’t get out to drive to work. My wife and son were away in our seaside apartment.

The bad news was that all our power went down. There were not enough electricians to carry out all the repairs, so after three or four days, many were shipped over from Northern Ireland to help out. The freezer was full of food, but that all had to be thrown away very quickly. But never mind, we were promised that power would be restored soon.

Gradually, homes from the outside of the village on my road running into the village centre got power back on. So did homes running from the village centre down towards mine. But there were about ten of us still with no power.

And so it was for thirteen days! The nights were drawing in and we were sitting in the dark. No TV. No washing machine. No electric cooker (fortunately we had an Aga as well).

If I had only known about – or even thought about – getting an emergency power source in the UK. But it never occurred to me. Certainly, we did get occasional power outages from time to time, but only for a few hours, so nothing too serious. But thirteen days!

It turned out that the electricians working from the village centre towards the other lot working from outside the village had somehow between them missed out our ten houses in the middle!

Speaking from experience, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to be without an emergency power source in the UK. At Blades Power Generation you can find a generator that will kick in automatically when your power goes down, and there are also other models that need to be started manually. But don’t find yourself stuck out in the sticks with no power for nearly two weeks!