[aprssig] Physics and generators

Perry Chamberlain canoeman at qnet.com
Wed Jun 8 10:54:55 EDT 2011

By going through the utilities and osha sites there are hundreds of examples of linemen being injured or killed by people back feeding a power line with a home generator.
I'm not sure what branch of physics makes this impossible, but when you back feed several thousand watts into a pole transformer, the high voltage( thousands of volts) comes out tof the high side.
The reason you havent heard of anyone getting hurt, is it is a common event.
The utilities now extensivley train the linemen to ground the lines, but everyone makes mistakes. That along with residual charges in transformers as the field colappses, (hysterosis), it sends a dandy high voltage surge down the line, grounded or not.
Just remember, the reason the power goes out is that the line is down somewhere, so your section of grid is isolated, and even though the houses around you are trying to use the power, and the breaker on the generator should trip, it can, will, and does happen all the time.
But never underestimate the power of the truley stupid.
They have a way of by-passing breakers, over sizing breakers, bypassing fuses, etc.
Back feeding utility transfomers is a major ongoing concern of utility companies, and its not going away any time soon.
They train to prevent injury, but accidents can and do happen.
Buy and install a ul rated transfer switch, and have it  installed properly.


: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 15:40:20 -0400
From: Patrick Wood <winston at winston1.net>
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Shack backup power
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at tapr.org>
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=C8CEEuQDVfpBSd6wRPumGNi3cAA at mail.gmail.com>
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Think of the physics here..  They will explain why you have not.


On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:33 PM, DALE <wa7ixk at embarqmail.com> wrote:
> I have never hear of a lineman killed because some one plugged in a home generator.
> Dale


Perry Chamberlain

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