THE SIMPLE PUMP WITH SOLAR POWER

PERFORMANCE

A typical submersible pumps a large volume of water really quickly.
This requires many solar panels and batteries.

The Simple Pump is designed to pump over time — requiring far fewer panels and batteries.

RELIABILITY

Our pumps are very cost-effective, in part because our precision manufacturing makes them extraordinarily reliable.

That reliability makes remote and often unattended pumping applications possible.

WORKS IN 2” WELLS

Precision manufacturing, and the materials used, also make our pumps narrow yet strong. The narrow profile cuts the required casing diameter to only two inches.

Drilling costs can be cut by as much as two-thirds.

LIGHT FOR TRANSPORT, EASY TO INSTALL

Hauling the pump to the wellbore is easy. All the parts required to pump from 200 feet weigh only about 130 lbs.

This is MUCH less than seemingly comparable pumps.

The pump is also very easy to install. In the words of one of our customers who installed our pump in a remote location:

“Having never installed a water pump, I was looking for something that was not going to take a rocket scientist to be able to understand the directions. We were able to finish in less than an hour without any problems.”

OFF-GRID SOLAR-POWERED WATER PUMPS

No other solar-powered water pump has this feature that the Simple Pump solar-powered water pump systems have.

Simple Pump’s Solar Pump makes off-grid water easy and reliable.

While hand pumps are capable of providing water for your off-grid living and Simple Pump’s hand pumps are far easier to pump than other hand pumps on the market, not everyone wants to hand pump their water. It sometimes becomes a chore. Especially with all of the other work that needs to get done around your house. It’s like washing the dishes by hand versus having a dishwasher. Some people don’t mind handwashing their dishes or hand pumping their water. But having the convenience of a motor-operated water pump enables you to concentrate on other tasks.

And with Simple Pump’s reliability, there’s nothing to worry about concerning your water pump.

SIMPLE PUMP’S CUSTOMERS LOVE THEIR SOLAR PUMPS

Recently, one of our customers recently told us about their experiences with the solar-powered Simple Pump solution.

My solar-powered battery system powers the Simple Pump to fill a 1,000 gallon tank. When the tank float drops to a certain level and switches the pump on, the pump fills the tank and then the float shuts the pump off.

Phil put a water meter on the discharge of the Simple Pump system to monitor the water being used in their home and garden. In about a year and a half, the Simple Pump delivered 237,916.13 gallons of water to Phil’s 1,000-gallon storage tank!

SIMPLE PUMP’S COST-SAVING WATER PUMP SOLUTION

The Simple Pump solar-powered water pump solution uses one or two small solar panels to charge 2 batteries powering the Simple Pump motor. The system is very economical. With the low-draw motor, the system only requires a modest solar panel. If someone tried to power their regular submersible water pump with a solar panel, the cost would be prohibitive in comparison.

The Simple Pump solar system is highly reliable with years of worry-free water.

If a disaster happens such as a wind or ice storm that takes out the solar panel, the Simple Pump motor can be easily powered with a car battery or for a longer period of time, the Simple Pump motor can be easily replaced with a Simple Pump handle to convert it to a hand-operated water pump until your solar panels can be fixed.

No other solar-powered water pump has this capability!

The Simple Pump has been very reliable. It is still pumping three gallons per minute to fill my tank. I would recommend the Simple Pump to anyone who could use the pump for their needs.

Phil

FREE WELL TRAINING EMAIL INFO ABOUT YOUR WELL AND ITS WATER

Look after your water and be an informed consumer of professional services.

Their ten email lessons are organized by topic.

1. THE SCIENCE OF GROUNDWATER

Knowing the geology of your well provides you with an understanding of possible sources of contamination, as well as how much water your well might be able to pump. It puts the science behind why some wells might run out of water while others have plenty. It also explains why some wells are more vulnerable to contamination than others.

2. GROUNDWATER AND WELL CONTAMINATION

Now that we have an idea of how water is stored in the ground and how geology affects its movement and availability, we are going to look at how it moves to your well and what can happen as it does. In particular, we’ll discuss how water level, flow, and water quality can be affected when pumping a well. You’ll also learn how contaminants can move with groundwater, or be affected by groundwater flow and pumping. This lesson will give you the background to understand how pumping your well can influence groundwater flow. It will also give you a better idea of the value of source water protection.

3. WELL CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED ISSUES

When considering well contamination problems and risks, it’s important to know what kind of well you have and how it was constructed. Knowing how water gets into your well and from what source will help you understand what you need to do to protect your groundwater source and well from outside influences.

4. YOUR WATER WELL SERVICES

In order to understand common problems and maintenance practices related to your well and water system, you need to know the parts that make up your water system, what each part does, and how they work together to provide your water. Once we understand the components and process, we will have a better chance of being able to solve problems that arise, as well as understand why we should perform regular maintenance to protect our well and water system.

5. OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE AND BEST PRACTICES

Now that we understand how your well works, we can move on to how to best care for your well system, including what maintenance we need to perform and what best practices we can employ to keep your drinking water safe to drink and to keep your well system working properly. We’ll also cover a few common operational issues you might encounter with your well system.

6. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS AND PROBLEM SOLVING

Performing proper maintenance on your home water system will ensure that fewer problems arise, and help you deal with unexpected situations as they occur. Sometimes you cannot prevent bad things from happening, but being prepared may minimize the damage and harm. Once you understand the components and processes involved in your system, you’ll be more able to solve problems as they come up. You’ll also get a better understanding of why regular maintenance is an important part of protecting your well and water system.

7. GETTING HELP AND FINDING LOCAL ANSWERS

The focus of these lessons is to provide the resources you need to learn more about your well and water system, with the goal of helping you become a more informed and capable well owner. Since this class reaches the entire US and its territories, there may be issues specific to your area that we won’t be able to discuss in detail or even cover at all. In this lesson, we hope to share local resources and options that may be available to you. We also hope to show you strategies for finding this information in your area.

8. GROUNDWATER QUALITY AND SOURCE WATER PROTECTION

When you understand how your well and groundwater can be influenced by surface infiltration, naturally occurring contaminants, and even water availability, you have clues to the problems your well might face. Some of these problems include drinking water quality and having enough water for supply. You’ll also have a better understanding of the risks you might have if you use a well that is in a more vulnerable situation.

9. SAMPLING AND INTERPRETING RESULTS

Collecting a water sample is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your water is safe to drink. It’s a critical part of your overall well management strategy and provides you with some confidence that you are properly maintaining your water system.

10. WATER TREATMENT SOLUTIONS

If you have a contaminant in your well water, or a constituent that causes some aesthetic problem, there are options available to treat your water. There are literally thousands of treatment devices out there. Understanding the type of device you need, as well as knowing how different treatment devices work, will help you eliminate bad choices and protect you from expensive–and possibly unneeded–treatment. Adding treatment is a decision to make after seeking advice from a health or groundwater professional.

You can enroll in these lessons with the following link: http://privatewellclass.org/enroll

The lessons are delivered to your email address. Ten lessons will arrive by email, one lesson per week.

You can also access upcoming and past webinars on this page: http://privatewellclass.org/calendar

USING THE SIMPLE PUMP HAND OPERATED WELL PUMP IN WINTER WEATHER

SUB-ZERO FIVE MONTH-LONG WINTER — NO PROBLEM

All the local tradesmen laughed at me when I said I wanted to use a hand-operated well pump in Canada. My static water level sat at 110 feet below the surface. Apparently, I was an idiot!

AT SIMPLE PUMP CO. WE OFTEN GET STORIES FROM HAPPY CUSTOMERS. THIS ONE IS FROM JOHN IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO.

The Haliburton Highlands on the Great Canadian Shield is not for the faint of heart! You only have two directions — up the rocks or down the rocks.

My off grid log cabin sits 200 feet straight up from our lake. In 2008 I drilled my well. The drilling report was predictable … we drilled through 1 foot of topsoil and 339 feet of solid Canadian granite!

All the local tradesmen laughed at me when I said I wanted to use a hand pump. Static water level sat at 110 feet below the surface. Apparently, I was an idiot!

After much research, I found the Simple Pump but I was uncertain, so I called Gary. I told him all the trades were laughing at me with such a ridiculous aspiration as to use a hand pump. Gary laughed too … told me his story about his grandfather’s well and said that he would pay for the return shipping if it didn’t work!

I trusted Gary and ordered. Best decision of my LIFE!

Not only does the Simple Pump hand pump work perfectly in my deep well (and manages a painful, freezing -30 degree F and 5-month long winter with four feet of snow), it is powerful enough to pressurize a bladder tank which gives me off-grid running water in the house!!!

Solar Powered Well Pump Provides Stable Water When Living Off-Grid

‘Living without electricity is Simple—Living without water is impossible.’
Simple Pump owner Brett Parman, Minnesota.

Brett lives off-grid, like off-off-grid. No electricity, no running water.

Almost 5 years ago, Brett began an adventure. It started with building a house in the woods. They had a very limited budget and were collecting the rainwater into buckets off any surface they could. They actually had a well bucket too. Climbing rope, some pulleys, a Prusik knot, and a piece of 4″ PVC pipe with a check valve on the end and 140′ to static water.

So Brett and his family had a high appreciation for water.

SIMPLE PUMP’S ARE AFFORDABLE

We finally were able to afford the Simple Pump hand pump. Hooray! Freedom! I could pump 3 gallons in a third of the time it took to haul that bucket out of the well and with much less work. Then we got chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, cows, and a large garden. All of which require a lot of water. 1000 strokes a day worth. Which is fine, dandy even, until you get sick and there’s a drought and no rainwater.

Then we decided to upgrade to the solar pump, and what a relief!! Our garden won’t dry up in the next drought and we have an extra hour a day, at least. And if we get sick, well, we still choose to carry the water into the house and to the animals, but we are so glad we looked ahead at the upgrade possibility for the future.

The most important thing on our farm is water. Water, water, water. Living without electricity is easy. Living without water is impossible. Thank you Simple Pump!!!

U.S. POWER GRID GETS LESS RELIABLE

IS THE GRID REALLY UNRELIABLE?

(This article was written in 2011. You may find some details that have changed over time. The basic idea still remains the same… the grid is a mess.)


Those concerned with preparedness don’t want to live off-grid but fear that they may have to. They see a compelling business case for investing in power outage contingencies because a significant risk of outages is considered a given.

Many in preparedness not only think the grid has become unreliable, but they also say that it’s getting less and less reliable.

Recently we asked ourselves: Does this have a solid basis in fact? The answer, examined from any angle, by any authority in the field: Yes.

But before delving into all the problems, it is important to know the specific questions we set out to answer.

Has the bulk power system in the U.S. and Canada been failing more often and for longer periods?

If so, is it likely to get worse?

These questions address solely outages caused for reasons under the control of the companies that collectively run the bulk power systems. Examples include failures due to human error, component failure, and inadequate system resources and “smartness” to prevent a small outage from cascading into a big one.

Thus, this summary leaves out a substantial proportion of outages — those caused by external events that could not be controlled, like hurricanes.

Because of how reliability data is collected, excluding acts of God skews our conclusions toward understating the problem. Take the example of a heavy rain storm with high but not extraordinary (50 mph) winds. Most of the outages from such storms are due to tree branches falling on power lines.

Many of such failures are avoidable, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. They took Pacific Gas and Electric to task a few years ago, compelling PG&E to hire more personnel to trim trees that posed an obviously high risk to power lines.

Nonetheless, failures from natural disasters — preventable or not — are not included here in our definition of “outage”.

RESULTS OF OUR REVIEW SURPRISED US

No matter what source we consulted, we found remarkable agreement. The electrical grid serving the U.S. and Canada has been getting less and less reliable. The root cause of the failures, greater stress on the system, make it easy to say that we will see more and more outages like the one in early September 2011, in Arizona, Southern California, and Mexico, that left 5 million people without power.

How can we say this? Because the points of greatest stress are well known. One article written three years ago proved prescient. After noting that excessive congestion is a major source of failures, the article noted that one of the two areas in the U.S. “…with excessive congestion in Southern California. Changes to the grid structure are needed to relieve stress in this area…”

NUMBERS THAT DESCRIBE HOW UNRELIABLE

An article published in 2011 in IEEE Spectrum (See footnote 1) said:

The U.S. electrical grid has been plagued by ever more and ever worse blackouts over the past 15 years. In an average year, outages total 92 minutes per year in the Midwest and 214 minutes in the Northeast. Japan, by contrast, averages only 4 minutes of interrupted service each year.

The study excludes interruptions caused by extraordinary events such as fires or extreme weather. When those impacts are included, the trend is even worse.

For the past 15 years, utilities have invested less money than required to keep it at the same capacity, age and state of repair.

The Report Card for America’s Infrastructure http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/energy), prepared by the American Society of Civi Engineers, says:

The U.S. power transmission system is in urgent need of modernization. Growth in electricity demand and investment in new power plants has not been matched by investment in new transmission facilities. Maintenance expenditures have decreased 1% per year since 1992. Existing transmission facilities were not designed for the current level of demand, resulting in an increased number of “bottlenecks,” which increase costs to consumers and elevate the risk of blackouts.

WHY THE GRID’S RELIABILITY MATTERS TO SIMPLE PUMP

The Simple Pump hand pump can be economically justified in a number of different ways, for use in a variety of applications, in some of the poorest countries, to some of the most affluent.

For example, the Simple Pump is the lowest-cost and highest-reliability approach to the delivery of water to the poorest rural populations in the world, most notably in Africa and Haiti. On the other hand, its reliability and narrow yet strong profile enable it to fit alongside submersible pumps in most wells. More and more well owners in the U.S. and Canada are installing it to ensure continued access to water in the case of power failures.

It is this last trend the prompted us to ask: Is this application in “rich” nations really as compelling as other Simple Pump applications? Yes, unfortunately. There are a number of additional factors that will likely drag down reliability for at least the next decade.

ROOT CAUSE OF THE DECLINING U.S. AND CANADIAN GRID

The preponderance of factors driving reduced reliability stem from the deregulation of the grid that started in the late 1970s. Explaining just a bit about that deregulation makes it much easier to understand the forces at work now.

The bulk power industry was partially deregulated in the wave that deregulated the U.S. airline, telecommunications, banking, health care, and natural gas industries.

New Federal law forced utilities to purchase electricity from any qualified producer. To qualify, the power generator had to use alternative technologies like wind or solar, or meet an efficiency standard so lax that natural gas qualified. The intention was as with other industries: Cut prices for the little guy by enabling competition amongst providers.

This was a huge change from the status quo — which is covered next.

THE 1960S WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS

One article noted that our current grid dates from the time before man walked on the moon, and years before cell phones were invented.

In those days, electric utilities generated power for and were regulated within, local areas. Each utility handled everything in the supply chain of electricity production and distribution. Each utility’s transmission system was set up to do just that — serve their local customers. Transmission lines tied systems together only to cover problems arising during emergencies.

Utilities were regulated as monopolies, and, by in large, invested to achieve a quality standard, passing the required costs to customers, with regulators’ approval. The critical difference between that regulated time and every period since was that, just like all other costs of local utilities, the upkeep costs for transmission lines were funded. Obviously necessary for operation, they were kept in good repair.

As important, the lines were not routinely stressed by power pulled through a local utility’s grid to serve remote customers. The wear imposed by power flow was mostly incurred, and paid for, within each utility’s local area.

BULK POWER DEREGULATION: 1980 INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

In the years after 1980, there was a move toward free-market capitalism. The purpose of a utility, under the new model, was to make money for its stockholders. Growth was an important objective. In some states, utilities were forced to divest their assets, with the idea that the smaller pieces would encourage competition.

Electricity became a commodity like any other commodity, with widespread trading in electricity contracts, futures, and power plants were bought and sold. The new buyers were not necessarily in the utility business — some were hedge funds.

While deregulation enabled competition amongst power producers, there was not enough thinking about the transmission system — the grid. With the emphasis on buying from the cheapest supplier with little regard to what wear and tear transmission from that provider would impose, many utilities “generated” power by buying out of state.

But additional power flowing over lines causes premature wear. What deregulation did for the bulk power industry was, in some cases, to make power generation cheaper. But it ignored the cost of transport. It is as if they mandated competitive pricing for a commodity that could be provided from anywhere in the U.S., but gave away use of the Interstate highway system. No one had to pay what it was worth for transport.

At one point, the marketing of electrical energy became a huge source of revenue, apart from the actual generation of the revenue. Derivatives were created based upon future energy and capacity delivery.

If this sounds familiar, you probably remember Enron; in 2001 it became the poster child for deregulation-related excess. The result was some pullback on deregulation at the state level. However, the hallmarks of deregulation that raise havoc with the grid are still in place. There is still widespread trading of electricity across long distances and the use of derivatives and other financial instruments.

Today, U.S. states that are some of the largest consumers of electricity are importing over 25% of all their power! These over-25%-importers include California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia.

What we have now boggles the mind. We have a system that was designed in the 1960s as an array of nearly atomic, fully-integrated, and self-sufficient utilities, with little thought given to cross-region transmission, now supporting the interstate delivery of a good chunk of all electricity consumed. Most of all, no one entity owns the grid, or even its planning and management, so businesses playing within this setup avoid outlays if at all possible — replacing components only when they fail, rather than replacing near the anticipated end of life.

PRECIPITOUS DROP IN R&D SPENDING

First, some background: On average, equipment in the bulk power industry has a useful life of 40 years. Companies therefore are allowed each year to write off as an expense 1/40 of what it originally cost to buy the equipment. Starting in 1995, the industry-wide total of that write-off of historical costs (depreciation and amortization) has exceeded utility construction expenditures.

In other words, for the past 15 years, utilities have invested less in the grid than required to replace existing equipment at the prices paid up to 40 years ago. The bulk power business has harvested more than they have planted. The result is an increasingly stressed grid. Indeed, some experts say that grid operators should be praised for keeping the lights on while managing a system with diminished shock absorbers.

Rather than merely replacing equipment with the same technology, one way to work around the problem could be to invest in R&D. For example, existing computer technology could be adapted to build a “smart grid”. Things look even bleaker there. The IEEE Spectrum article says it best:

R&D spending for the electric power sector dropped 74 percent, from a high in 1993 of US $741 million to $193 million in 2000. R&D represented a meager 0.3 percent of revenue in the six-year period from 1995 to 2000, before declining even further to 0.17 percent from 2001 to 2006. Even the hotel industry put more into R&D.

By comparison, the computer industry invests almost 13% of revenue; pharmaceuticals invest over 10%.

THE IMPACT OF DEREGULATION ON ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION

There are a number of consequences beyond those already discussed — declining investment and overuse between utilities. Some of these include:

1. MORE RAPID DETERIORATION

After deregulation, to maximize profits by selling electrical power from the plant that can produce it most cheaply, there is much more cycling on and off of power plants and the structures involved in transmission. As a result, metal is heated and cooled far more frequently, accelerating deterioration.

2. UNPLANNED ADDITIONS TO THE GRID: RENEWABLE

According to NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation,

Nearly 30 states over 4 provinces have Renewable Portfolio Standards in place in one form or another. Wind and solar are added to the grid, with the expectation that the grid will accommodate them.

There are a number of unplanned additions to the grid. States are mandating increased generation from renewables — but many of the abundant renewable resources are far away from load centers. So, as more alternative generation sources come online, just to keep the grid performing at the same level, additional lines must be built to bring wind, solar, and geothermal energies to market. But that investment is not planned.

Note that, without including the true cost of getting alternative power to the ultimate customer, prior to the decision to mandate the use of the new technologies, the size of the implicit subsidy is obscured.

3. OTHER UNPLANNED ADDITIONS TO THE GRID

“Merchant” (investor-owned) natural gas power plants are also added to the grid, sometimes without adequate consideration as to whether sufficient grid capacity exists to accommodate the additional production.

4. DIFFICULTY IN ASSIGNING COSTS BACK

Since the industry is more fragmented, if any transmission lines are added, the cost must somehow be allocated back to the many participants who will benefit. Ultimately, the cost must be paid by a consumer. Depending on the area involved, and therefore the state public utility commission with jurisdiction, these consumer rates may in fact be capped, so it may be difficult to recover the additional cost.

5. LITTLE INCENTIVE TO ADD GENERATING CAPACITY

Deregulation not only makes managing the grid much more complex. It also makes utilities wary of investing in new plants. As long as electricity can be bought and sold, utilities defer starting up major projects.

6. AGING WORKFORCE

The “aging workforce” and its impending impact on reliability has been a recurring theme in NERC’s recent Long-Term Reliability Assessments. (See Footnote 2.) Quoting NERC, a corporation now solely responsible for creating and enforcing reliability standards in the U.S. and Canada:

In 2007, NERC reported that, according to a recent Hay Group study, about 40 percent of senior electrical engineers and shift supervisors in the electricity industry will be eligible to retire in 2009. This loss of expertise, exacerbated by the lack of new recruits entering the field, is one of the more severe challenges facing reliability today.

A 2007 study by NERC confirmed industry concern on the issue, ranking the aging workforce as both highly likely to occur and of having a severe impact on the reliability of the bulk power system. It’s no wonder; KEMA says that one in three U.S. workers was age 50 or older in 2010. Meanwhile, the demand for workers is increasing. A 25 percent increase in demand for industry workers is anticipated by 2015.

Exacerbating the problem of a declining workforce is a simultaneous decline in the number of potential recruits from colleges and universities, as well as vocational schools. During the past two decades, reduced demand for industry workers has led to the decline and closure of many electric power engineering programs at colleges and universities.

7. FUTURE ADEQUACY & CAPACITY MARGINS

According to NERC,

…projected increases in peak demands continue to exceed projected committed resources beyond the first few years of the ten-year planning horizon.

8. NATURAL GAS DEPENDENCY

Natural gas has become the fuel of choice for a new-build generation as gas-fired plants are typically easy to construct, require little lead time, emit less CO2, and are generally cheaper to construct than their coal and oil counterparts. Certain states have placed a moratorium on building new coal plants, citing environmental and emissions concerns as justification. These trends are expected to continue over the next several years, further increasing the number of new-build natural gas plants in areas with already high dependence.

19% of the U.S. electric industry’s generation is powered by natural gas — and is expected to rise to 22% in ten years. But Canadian imports recently peaked.

This supply gap is expected to be filled by new supplies of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from overseas, which will require siting and construction of LNG terminals throughout North America. However, this terminal infrastructure is facing delays in most locations where it has been proposed.

GLIMMERS OF HOPE FOR THE GRID

The issue of freeloading use of the grid by energy producers now has the full attention of the Federal Energy Regulator Commission. In late July 2011, it issued a new federal rule requiring grid expansion be paid for only by those who benefit from it, and guaranteeing that costs align with benefits as the country seeks to upgrade and expand its power-transmission infrastructure.

However, the same day as the new rule was announced, a number of “stakeholders” asked the U.S. Senate to oppose it. Clearly this will take a long time to sort out.

HACKERS ARE ANOTHER THREAT

And, in a perverse turn of events, the grid may be less reliable because of the very technology that has been implemented to make the grid “smarter” and more efficient. The design point for the earliest smart grid devices — ease of use and interoperability — makes it far too easy for anyone to maliciously hack the grid. In fact, there has been at least one hacking attempt coordinated from China, according to the Wall Street Journal (“Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated by Spies, April 8, 2009).

THE ROOT PROBLEM IS ELECTRICAL

Deregulation of a number of industries has shown that price competition ultimately helps the consumer. But power transmission is a unique problem, because of the very nature of electricity.

Power flows throughout transmission networks along paths of least impedance, regardless of contractual obligations or political boundaries. Bulk power distribution decisions made by regulators in one location can conceivably have some impact on everyone in Canada and the U.S. Deregulating power generation only works if the power providers pay the real cost of supplying, including transmission.

Finally, in 2007, the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) acquired the authority (delegated to the NERC, the North America Electric Reliability Corporation) to fine operators who don’t hold to standards. (However, it is instructive to note that, even today, some reliability standards have not been completely defined by NERC.)

So, part of the problem is solved, because one entity (NERC) has responsibility for defining and regulating reliability. However, after-the-fact enforcement, without the power to compel who will pay for grid projects, is insufficient. The Public Utility Commissions in 50 U.S. States, also exert considerable control over who pays for what, even though it has been obvious for some time that costs can be shifted from state to state. An MIT study comments:

Electric power industry policy is a hodgepodge, rooted in the federalism of 50 state laboratories. There is no coherent national vision and policy.

To take the best example, also from that MIT study:

Allocation of grid expansion project costs is often the most contentious issue a proposed high voltage transmission project encounters. Difficulties increase geometrically in proportion to the number of states involved.

The grid needs to be managed with one steady hand. Grid management and planning must include funding (and therefore chargeback) decisions, particularly when the average high-voltage transmission line takes 14 years to gain approval.

As it stands currently, FERC and its appointed agent, NERC, face the daunting challenge of herding 50 regulatory agencies. NERC does not have the authority to mandate cost allocation of grid-related costs back to any power, distribution or transmission company in U.S. and Canada. And granting it the authority to do that is not on the horizon. Until that happens, the sheer complexity of the political situation will mitigate against an effective solution.

TO LEVERAGE SMART GRID, U.S. FEDERAL POLICY MUST MATURE QUICKLY

Many experts think that applying technology to manage the grid is the clearest way out. The “smart grid” could significantly reduce the amount of power that needs to be generated to get the same amount of power to consumers. Granular and accurate control of the grid would also make big rolling outages far less likely — but only if all the technology is designed to communicate in one unified control scheme.

One of the biggest benefits touted for smart grid is increased ability for grid operators to add variable renewables, especially wind, to their systems. Experts (including NERC) agree that the transmission capacity to support the currently-mandated renewables buildout over the next decade is just not there, so the Smart Grid could play a major role in making renewable buildout possible.

Robin Lunt of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) said state regulators have been hoping smart grids would help achieve renewable portfolio standards and clean power to meet EPA standards. (http://energy.aol.com/2011/09/19/gridweek-analysis-smart-grid-losing-to-epa/?icid=related1).

Yet, the pending spate of EPA rules tightening sulfur, nitrogen, mercury and particulate emissions, with deadlines hitting coal plants in the next four years, will force investment dollars into abatement projects and away from longer-term efforts like the smart grid.

“The EPA bubbles to the top,” said Jon Hawkins of Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). “We have to invest hundreds of millions at our coal plant. That elbows out smart grid funding.”

The obvious answer is to get EPA, Energy and technology companies together so the right decisions get made. You would have to be very hopeful to expect that this will happen quickly.

HOPE FOR THE BEST, PLAN FOR THE WORST

It is heartening to see that the fundamental problems that must be addressed are recognized by the regulators at the U.S. and Canada federal levels. It is even better to say that direct action has been taken, and will continue to be, in the right direction. However, the sheer complexity of the political change that must take place in order to have a chance at getting this right is daunting.

Fixing enough jurisdictional problems to start implementing a long-term plan will not happen next week or next year. This reminds us that it is always good to hope for the best while planning for the worst. And in this case, any model for predicting the worst case should assume continued declines in reliability for the next few years.


Footnotes 

1. “U.S. Electrical Grid Gets Less Reliable”, by S. Massoud Amin / January 2011. IEEE Spectrum is the flagship publication of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), explores the development, applications and implications of new technologies. (http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/policy/us-electrical-grid-gets-less-reliable)

2. As of June 18, 2007, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted NERC the legal authority to enforce reliability standards with all users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system in the United States, and made compliance with those standards mandatory and enforceable. Reliability standards are also mandatory and enforceable in Ontario and New Brunswick, and NERC is seeking to achieve comparable results in the other Canadian provinces. NERC will seek recognition in Mexico once the necessary legislation is adopted.

NERC is a non-government organization that has a statutory responsibility to regulate bulk power system users, owners, and operators through the adoption and enforcement of standards for fair, ethical, and efficient practices.

WELL HAND PUMP EVALUATION TIPS

Whether you are looking for a hand pump to be the main pump to supply water into your pressure tank or a hand pump as an emergency backup water pump, there are several things to consider when evaluating hand pumps.

FIRST – CONSIDER YOUR WELL SPECIFICATIONS AND PUMP CAPABILITIES

There are a lot of different hand pumps with different capabilities. Some basic pumps can only pump into a bucket from a very shallow well. Other hand pumps can pump from a deep well. A small number can pump into the pressurized water system of your home.

Before you can evaluate different pumps, you need to know or decide on 3 important questions:

Do you have a DEEP or a SHALLOW Well?

Whatever your well’s depth is, your water level could be anywhere between there and ground level. The water level is the single most critical factor.

If your water level is deeper than about 20 feet, you will need a deep well pump. Here are some tips on measuring your well for a hand pump.

What's the pump going to be used for?

Do you want to pump water into the pressure tank of your home’s plumbing system? Or will you be satisfied just pumping directly into a bucket, or through a hose to your garden?

Do you need a Long term pump or a reliable backup to your submersible pump?

Will an inexpensive (and cheaply made) pump suffice? Or do you want a long-term back up pump that you can rely on to last a lifetime with minimal maintenance?

Now that you’ve considered what you want from a hand pump, consider the different pumps available and ask these specific questions of each. Below is a handy list of questions to help you decide which is best for you.

Here are the 12 BEST QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN EVALUATING HAND PUMPS

Choosing a hand pump involves balancing cost with the capability and the quality of the hand pump.

HAND PUMP COSTS

  1. What is the TOTAL COST (with shipping) of a ready-to-pump system?
  2. Is there a DISCOUNT for multiple purchases — for family and friends?
  3. Can you earn a COMMISSION for more family, friends, or neighbor sales, after buying your own pump?

Get a quick estimate of a Simple Pump water pump cost.

HAND PUMP FUNCTIONALITY

  1. How much PUMPING EFFORT is needed from your water level? (This is a critical and often overlooked factor.)
  2. How many GALLONS PER MINUTE can the pump give you?
  3. Is the pump FREEZE-PROOF?
  4. Can it pump into your home’s PRESSURE TANK and give full use of all your taps and fixtures?
  5. And if this applies to you — Can it pump UPHILL?

Here are some of the capabilities of the Simple Pump.

HOW EASY IS THE HAND PUMP INSTALLATION?

  1. DIY: Can you do the installation, or do you need to pay a professional?
  2. Can the hand pump go down beside your SUBMERSIBLE?

Simple Pump has the best dealer network for our water pumps. Find the closest Simple Pump dealer if you need help with the installation.

WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF THE HAND PUMP AND THE MANUFACTURER?

  1. Is there a WRITTEN WARRANTY?
  2. Is the pump made in the USA?

Simple Pump Hand Pump parts are warranted against defective materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product with the only exception being parts designed to take wear (i.e. seals, guides, shims, bushings and bearings).

Hopefully, this shortlist of items to consider when purchasing a hand pump will help you find the best hand pump for your needs. If you want additional information on water hand pumps, check out the Simple Pump hand pump and see why it’s one of the best hand pumps for most people.