Dry ice & generators

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Where does one get dry ice for oxygen displacement in food packaging? Someone said fill the bucket, throw in a chunk of dry ice, lid and then tighten when 'smoke' stops... where do you get chunks of dry ice?

Plus, I need help!!! My husband is aware and hot on preparation.

We bought a small portable generator last week, 2500 watts, and I'm glad; it will be handy for charging batteries & the sump pump when the lights go out in the next couple of winter storms. BUT he has now ordered a 7500 watt generator, to the tune of $2500. I said ARRGGH!! I tried to tell him that we may have trouble getting gas to run it, and he is now filling up 6 gallon jerry cans. I tried to tell him that we DON'T NEED 7500 watts; we will have light & heat & cooking (lamps, woodstove, etc). He says we may need to pump water.

Next he is planning on buying a GAS powered water pump.

HELP!!! Can anyone give me more arguments??? I wondered if maybe the 7500 watt gen with the electric start may have embedded systems, is that possible? Maybe if someone will just post the obvious arguments, he'll listen to you. I'd really like to stop this purchase before it's delivered.

Maybe I'm wrong? I can't help thinking about the $2500 & what it could buy, like food or medical supplies.....

(It's a Craftsman...)

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), October 15, 1998


The local dairy used to be good for dry ice. Also try any place that makes ice cream. You can also get a little gadget that hooks onto the end of a CO2 fire extinguisher that will fill a little bag with dry ice in a couple of seconds just by squirting the extinguisher. Edmund Scientific used to carry them. REMEMBER - this stuff is cold enough to freeze your flesh in just an instant - ALWAYS wear a good pair of gloves and handle with extreme care. I try to pretend its red hot myself - we have more natural fear of heat than cold.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 16, 1998.

1) It might be instructive if he sat down and listed for both of you exactly what he wants to power, and for how long in each session, so you can both see the wattage requirements. (This might nit have the desired effect, but you both would be more educated....)

2) Equally instructive, after this load list, would be the company's prediction of fuel consumption per hour at this load level.

3) The fuel math then will be easy, and, if you live where I think you do, there might be some foolish little regulation about this much fuel being stored.

4) The storage of this much fuel will require aq LOT of STABIL (or whatever you are stabilising the fuel with) and you need to have him look at the thread that covers gas storage. this may be a REAL eye- opener.

My feeling on gensets was, to quote a comic strip (Apologies to GB Trudeau) "I SO GOTTA HAVE IT....." Hers was " It's so not gonna happen..." and she led me through the calculations and .....Voila (or base viol) I changed my mind.......

um I forgot about her left hook and the 2 X 4.


-- Chuck a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 16, 1998.

The UPS shipper in your town will probably have dry ice.

A generator is not on my list, not even last on my list. They cost too much, it's hard and dangerous to store enough gas to run them for any length of time, and you can buy so many more useful things for the cost of a generator.

What happened to the other messages in this thread? The ones about the pellet stoves seems to have disappeared. Anyway, pellet stoves need electricity to power the auger that feeds in the pellets, and to supply the forced air that burns the pellets and circulates the heat. You wouldn't be able to burn wood in one, at least not without ripping out all the guts. They're automatic - wouldn't it be ironic if some were Y2K challenged?

Conversely, it is possible to burn pellets in a wood stove, contrary to what I have read. The pellets are really small, like rabbit food, and they'll fall through the grate of your wood stove, or smother the fire if you dump in a lot at once. But you can fashion a device out of wire mesh that will hold the pellets in place, and provide channels for the circulation of air.

-- Ned (entaylor@cloudnet.com), October 16, 1998.

But seriously Chuck, there is another way. (there is always another way if you look for it) Get an old lawnmower with an engine that runs fairly well. Go to the auto junkyard and pick up a good sized alternator for a reasonable price. Get a cheap 12 volt car battery (deep cycle marine is better). Also stop by K-mart and get a voltage regulator - 12 volt of course. Go by the farm supply store and get a couple of pulleys the right size for the lawn mower engine and a belt. Put it all together and you have a really neat 12 volt gas powered battery charger and portable power supply. Add one of the cheap small inverters you see on sale for $30 or $40 and you have a 120 volt generator (not real good for electronics but it will run power tools fine). If you go by the welding shop and pick up a couple of big resistors (the guy at the shop would know more about the right size than I would - it was a welder that turned me on to this gimmick some years back) you can attach cables and clamps and even do light welding. And the whole rig doesn't cost much at all if you are any good at scrounging.

Ha - beat that Honda.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 16, 1998.

We found dry ice for sell at the local Dillons'store. It's a grocery store chain. If you don't have a Dillons' try another full service grocery store.

-- Gina (gngdecker@ckt.net), October 16, 1998.

But Paul

The last time I checked a 1KW inverter (handles 10 light bulbs, or...) it was a good $300. Your options WILL run the ocasional drill or saw, but will it run the fridge? or the AC in the summer? or.... without melting the heat sink.

Having said which, I will admit to seriously considering EXACTLY the option you propose, but in concert with a change to RV appliances, etc.

Gotta either narrow down my fingers or widen the keys!!


-- Chuck a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 18, 1998.

Chuck - sorry I missed your last posting on the 18th. The thing about the alternator with invertor gimmick is that the gadget I was really talking about is a sort of semi-inverter - it actually hooks into an alternator and uses some gadgets I don't really understand to boost the pulsating DC you get from the alternator to a sort of dirty AC. The local hardware store used to have them for as little as $18.00. They were sold as camping gear - good for lights and power tools - not for most electronics unless you have a 12 volt radio that converts down to DC for the internal power supply. Hope that clears things up.


-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 22, 1998.

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