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Electrical Grid and why the system is brokenThe current “grid systemi” is, on the best of days, a broken system that is extremely vulnerable to failure and even attacks. Expanding a broken system and one that has proven virtually impossible to protect and defend seems almost like the proverbial exercise in futility. Focus will be given within the Integrated and Adaptive Community Developments to develop and perfect smaller, more integrated systems that are limited to a smaller, geographical location. This technology is commonly referred to as Point of Use Electrical Power Generators, and far from the days of the old Briggs and Stratton generator, noisily belching out smoke, this technology has progressed greatly over the course of time … to such an extent that in many cases, it can already be implemented in new growth and development.

Ideally, each home should be fully capable of producing its own requirements for electrical usage but this technology may still be completely viable or in some cases, not yet fully developed as the first Community Developments are being built. As such, this technology may have to be integrated into an existing system at such a time as it is made commercially available. There are however, a great many options currently available, many of which operate on natural gas (or propane) which is a natural by-product of the death, rot and waste of humanity anyhow … though is currently used as little more than decoration to fill landfills and pockets.

Solar and Wind power may be viable alternatives but have a somewhat limited role insofar as they are most beneficial and efficient when running in direct current applications and for things that do not require large amounts of amperage. The wind and solar systems are excellent resources for lightingii, stereos and home entertainment systems in addition to other more limited use as a supplemental source of power. At the time of this writing, they are not seen as a viable alternative fuel system to replace the existing grid, but neither have they been discounted or set aside to collect dust and be forgotten.

The existing solar systems, are in a great many cases, more than adequate for running many of the modern “creature comforts” of home. Have you ever had someone in the opposing lane approach you with their headlights on high beam? Blinding light such as that is more than sufficient to light most homes, requires nothing more than a little speaker wire and a battery and charger, and no connections to the more vulnerable grid. Ever pull up next to the mom in the minivan with a backseat full of kids watching the latest kids flick on the DVD player? Ever had to stop at a stoplight next to one of those cars with the boom box so loud it threatens to break your windows?

The untold truth is that solar panels and a small battery bank will power a surprisingly large portion of the requirements for any modern home, without the need for costly inverters or otherwise tying the solar into the existing power grid in its current, vulnerable state. Home wiring for a supplemental solar system can generally be accomplished with little more than two to four deep cycle marine cell batteries, a few small, inconspicuous solar collectors, and some speaker wire. While solar power may not be a viable alternative energy resource in and of itself, it has proven itself to be exemplary in terms of a supplemental power system, for secondary and even some primary electrical systems within the home that do not require high-amperage output.

Micro-turbines and other technologies look to be paving the way for the future though, and in such a fashion that perhaps one day, a fully sustainable home that produces its very own electrical power may not be nearly as far-fetched as it sounds at present. In the meantime, the research and development continues, but these technologies do show a great deal of promise for future generations.

Along these same lines, are power cells or fuel cells that operate off propane or natural gas. The smaller production models currently produce approximately twenty-five kilowatts on demand, fairly guaranteeing that a home will not require any outside electrical energy source. Given the level of fuel (propane and natural gas) production from the livestock, the wastewater treatment and the MSW or Municipal Solid Waste, it is not at all difficult to envision gas being piped directly into every home and energy being created on demand.

All utilities will be allotted based on averages as shall be established at the time, with an allotment based on average uses being granted to the people at no cost, or for a minimal monthly service feeiii. Standard billing rates for all services will be billed directly to the consumer in such cases as they do not elect to become members of the voluntary association, with monthly statements and billing as needed for full members. This will include water, propane (or natural gas) and electric, though it may very well include internet service as well, given the commonality and increasing demand for internet service in virtually all locations. Phone services will have to undergo some sort of technological progression before this can be accomplished with telephone services, due in large part to the varied rate structure and the inability to control all aspects of cost.

i The vulnerabilities of the power grid are oft discussed though to date, no viable solutions have been publicly proposed. The irony here is that in most of the more isolated locations such as are ideally suited for the Isolated Community Service Centers, the loss of electrical power would have very little, if any real impact on the immediate, daily lives of the people living in such locales. In the larger, more densely populate urban centers however, all research and reports available show that the resulting chaos would be catastrophic in both financial terms and in terms of human lives lost. Perhaps even more ironic, is that these isolated developments will also most likely survive any attack on the grid and even an EMP strike or a massive solar flare depending on their locations and the construction of the facility itself. Ongoing research is devoted to the development of integrated and innovative technologies to ultimately and entirely replace the power grid systems and remove them completely from the Integrated and Adaptive Community Developments.

ii There are some that doubt the ability of a twelve volt system to adequately run a home. While there may be some merit to this argument, the wind and solar generators can still serve well in more limited, supplemental roles. If the ability to generate sufficient lighting is a concern, think about what is powering the blinding bright lights of the “idiot” coming down the road with their bright lights on. Think about the kids in the next car over at the stop light whose bass is so loud that it may in fact break the windows of adjacent cars and will certainly set off car alarms in the surrounding areas. For more practical applications, the Germans have utilized solar power as a supplemental system to their traffic and street-lighting grids with great success. The American railroads use twelve volt direct current systems to power relays and switches and other system-critical infrastructure.

iii The utilization of a monthly service fee is based on the same principles that demand a one to two percent co-pay for the medical care, as it should theoretically reduce the propensity of people using the resources merely because they are available, and when free, have no tangible value.

Return to the Table of Contents for Whole System Sustainable Development

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