AC power line question

Chip Fetrow tacos at
Tue Jul 3 17:33:36 CDT 2012

At one time I maintained a 50 kW (100 kW circular polarization) FM  
that had a 50 kW generator.  The Transmitter Power Output was about  
22.5 to 25 kW (I just don't recall the exact number) and we ran a  
closed HVAC system, with two AC units to cool the transmitter.  This  
put the total load just under 50 kW of three phase 208 Volt power.

We had a 50 kW diesel stand-by rated motor-alternator.

We had a huge power outage for two weeks.  The power co-op and the  
station communicated hourly.  I spoke with them every few hours.  I  
expressed my concern that if we lose the generator, they loose the  
only radio station that covered their footprint.  I was very concerned  
about fuel.  I could not get the fuel companies to deliver because the  
roads were so unsafe, not to mention our long driveway.

I went to several Wal-Marts and bought a bunch of five gallon fuel  
cans.  I bought road taxed fuel and kept it running for two weeks.   
The co-op said they had trailers with 250 to 500 gallon fuel tanks on  
them and they could bring one out if we got to be in a real bind.   
Unlike the fuel trucks, the trailers don't have long hoses, so we  
would have had to cut the fence.

The co-op called the announcer who put on the air that everyone was  
back up.  I walked into the studio and the remote control told me  

I phoned them and they were embarrassed.  They got us back up in a  
couple hours.

However, and this is the point of my story, the road taxed fuel, and  
the maintenance visit for a stand-by unit that ran too long, cost less  
than half what power normally cost from the co-op for two weeks.


On Jul 2, 2012, at 1:00 PM, tacos-request at wrote:

> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 13:15:28 -0400
> From: Tad <tad at>
> Subject: Re: AC power line question
> Wish we had those here.  It is obvious where the breaks are this  
> time but
> in an ice storm it usually isn't.  We are burning diesel now for  
> water,
> lights, fridges and fans.
> Tad

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