- Mar 27, 2018 -
Hurricane Survival: My Chainsaw Doesn't Run On Solar Power
As Hurricane Harvey bears down on Eastern Texas, we wish the best for the people of the region. We also think about what they might need to recover should the negative predictions prove true. Anyone who has lived through a major hurricane or similar disaster knows why gasoline and diesel are necessary fuels, even if we don’t like it.
Electric cars are not an option in these circumstances, because even the very newest and best only have a range of approximately 300 miles. That battery-powered car will not reliably transport an evacuee out of the hurricane zone through hours of heavy traffic.After the storm, electric cars fare worse, because they require a minimum 30-minute supply source of electricity, which is often out for days.
Chainsaws do not run on solar power, nuclear power, coal, or natural gas. Electric power tools are ineffective with burdensome power cords or short-life batteries, both problematic when the electricity is out. With downed trees possibly for hundreds of miles, chainsaws are vital after hurricanes to reopen transportation, restore electricity, and repair homes and businesses.
With power out for days, hurricane victims often turn to private diesel-powered generators to keep the lights on and the refrigerators running. They can be loud, dangerous, and smelly, but the power they produce helps restore sanity, comfort, and routine for thousands of residents and businesses. Rooftop solar panels can be used to power certain appliances but are not reliable unless the solar energy is first converted to battery storage – a technology that is not yet commercially viable.
Oil, on the other hand, is efficient, conducive to storage, and easily transported. It does not rely on any external power grid in times of emergency. In these ways, oil is still unmatched by any other source of energy. Someday, we will see technological advances that position new sources of energy (or old ones) to truly rival the efficiency and effectiveness of oil. However, we are not there yet, and natural disasters are often powerful reminders that oil is still the fuel of choice for the vital portable machines that make our modern lives run though nature’s toughest challenges.