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Old 04-30-2020, 02:04 PM
Offrink Offrink is offline
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Originally Posted by Light in the Dark View Post
Oh and on the military units, you get to choose between Single AND 3PH 208V. Thats awfully handy for anyone with out buildings or equipment to run... you can run it in either setting, depending on your needs.
Would love to find a low cost three phase generator. That would be an exceptional score.
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:06 PM
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How many amps are you looking for in 3PH 208? Or do you need 416V or higher? Its totally possible (depending on what you think "low cost" is).
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:16 PM
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we had yanmar diesel generators in a portable bunker. the problem was, they were too big. running everything, the diesel would just idle. diesels do not idle smooth and steady. output frequency got outside the 57 - 63 hz input range of our UPS way too often. we ended up renting smaller generators that worked harder, but steadier.
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:25 PM
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A battery farm works well. Use some solar for extended outages.
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by biathlon View Post
First of all you will probably find that your local power company requires the transfer switch to be readily accessible to their linemen so they can lock it out while they're working on whatever is supplying power to your home.
I do mostly Commercial, but I have never seen a transfer switch mounted outside.

I also have never seen a residential transfer switch with the proper NEMA rating for outside installation.

Normally they are right next to the breaker panel.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:03 PM
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A generator can't just idle, it either runs at 1800 or 3600rpm unless it's an inverter generator.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:58 PM
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Not sure if my thought process will help anyone else, but Iíll run through what Iíve done on the off chance it will help!

Ok first my house has a fairly small electric load compared to modern houses, but many could be managed this way.

Issues I faced:
Big generators drink lots of fuel.
Maintenance/repair limited in my very rural location.
Wanted long run long lived generator.

After looking at what would work for me I decided to buy a construction site light tower. Youíve seen them along the road construction work sites lighting up the work site at night. What they are is a industrial grade diesel engine tied to a slow turning industrial generator that is mounted on a sturdy weather resistant trailer with a large internal fuel tank. The diesel engine is a very common industrial engine that should be repaired anywhere in the world that repairs diesels. Both are designed to run for thousands of hours on job sites.

I put a transfer switch that switches the whole house over and just control what gets run rather than only transfer part of the house. Basically I donít run the dryer and may turn off any electric space heaters. It will run the dryer if I turn off a couple other items, but itís easier to just tell everyone not to run the dryer when on the generator.

This setup allows me to store the generator in the barn when I want and put it in the shop for maintenance. I can also easily tow it for repair instead of paying the trip fee to repair on site. My UTV easily tows it around the farm and I made a heavy generator cord that runs from where I park it to the house.

The negative is that itís not automatic and if I have it in the barn it does take a few minutes to get it set up.

This 1,800 RPM generator is a tank compared to the normal units seen around the house. It sips fuel at a rate that is very nice compared to most generators.

SD
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Not sure if my thought process will help anyone else, but Iíll run through what Iíve done on the off chance it will help!

Ok first my house has a fairly small electric load compared to modern houses, but many could be managed this way.

Issues I faced:
Big generators drink lots of fuel.
Maintenance/repair limited in my very rural location.
Wanted long run long lived generator.

After looking at what would work for me I decided to buy a construction site light tower. Youíve seen them along the road construction work sites lighting up the work site at night. What they are is a industrial grade diesel engine tied to a slow turning industrial generator that is mounted on a sturdy weather resistant trailer with a large internal fuel tank. The diesel engine is a very common industrial engine that should be repaired anywhere in the world that repairs diesels. Both are designed to run for thousands of hours on job sites.

I put a transfer switch that switches the whole house over and just control what gets run rather than only transfer part of the house. Basically I donít run the dryer and may turn off any electric space heaters. It will run the dryer if I turn off a couple other items, but itís easier to just tell everyone not to run the dryer when on the generator.

This setup allows me to store the generator in the barn when I want and put it in the shop for maintenance. I can also easily tow it for repair instead of paying the trip fee to repair on site. My UTV easily tows it around the farm and I made a heavy generator cord that runs from where I park it to the house.

The negative is that itís not automatic and if I have it in the barn it does take a few minutes to get it set up.

This 1,800 RPM generator is a tank compared to the normal units seen around the house. It sips fuel at a rate that is very nice compared to most generators.

SD
PRETTY good idea

Have a website or name for the equipment?

Also, what kind of power is it producing? 2000w, 4000w ???
but
just to run light towers it doesn't seem like it would generate big numbers.

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Old 04-30-2020, 09:35 PM
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Here's a listing for a used one,

https://www.ebay.com/i/202950330324?...CABEgJ19fD_BwE
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:43 AM
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my 5kw military set consumes .6gph at full output (which is actually 6250w, but it can further peak at 7kw), and weights in at almost 1000lbs.

the 10kw units consume 1.1gph at full output (12.5kw) and can peak for very short durations at almost 15kw.

Military light towers are available sometimes too. Some of the KW figures that people think they need for their homes are silly. You buy a generator for a specific need, which varies between all users. But MOST homeowners don't need anywhere above 10kw under emergency situations.
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:58 AM
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The house and seperate garage are ICF construction
R-50
Radiant floor heating with 97% efficient boiler so exhaust is plastic due to so little heat being wasted
Two A/C inserts with heat inserts
Back up heat in a wood stove

Lot of good suggestions
At my age, I want to live in full comfort
So auto whole house 22KW generator with dedicated propane tank makes sense to me
If life goes sideways somewhat
There is a small portable generator for spot use

If all goes south, no grid, small solar set up with a small battery bank for lights and entertainment
Wood stove for heat and nothing for the suck-fest humid summer heat
When I lived in the desert evaporative cooling worked well
Not here obviously

We have a member here who says he lives here in our area without air conditioning
The ICF keeps the upper level of the house to around 80į and the lower level at 78į in the summer, but I do not like humidity even at moderate temps

If you can take the humidity then you can get a small generator and have no A/C
There are two seperate A/C units in the home due to the concrete construction
The lower system rarely ever comes on, but 22kw is the minimum to run it all
The two systems deal with summer heat and humidity
It is not for TEOTWAWKI

For me there are two different solutions
Normal life with all the comforts , and survival life with much less comfort

We live in a forrest so we have wood up the wazoo
We have water up the wazoo
Right there, we can survive

Most every person who moved here came for the same reason you and I did
Freedom, as much freedom as you can get in the United States right now
The Ozarks are a great place to be right now

Last edited by Jack Swilling; 05-01-2020 at 09:26 AM..
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:03 AM
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Are there any streams on the property you bought? If so, a waterwheel that can put out a couple hundred watts and a battery bank could be a great source of power for a grid down situation that lasts longer than you can store fuel for.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:15 AM
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I have a whole house 17Kw Generac propane fed. I like it for stuff like when a storm comes through and knocks out the power for a while (we DO live in Oklahoma...) and yeah this happens. Of course it has an auto switch to disconnect from the main power and then reconnect when it senses power has been restored. The problem is... it uses quite a bit of propane so even in good times, it could get quite expensive to lose power and run on the genny. Yeah it would be comfortable with A/C and lights. However, I'd LIKE to add in a tertiary system with a smaller Honda generator (gas?) and just run the fridges, freezers and the mini-split A/C upstairs. That would maintain the food and give us all a comfy place to sleep if needed. I have NO idea of how to do this, I guess I would have to pay an electrician to come and plan it out.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:32 AM
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The 22kw uses so little fuel here, on the Springfield Plateau
That I almost have to beg the propane delivery driver to top it off
Max, $50 ...or less, for the last five years
If we had an extended outage, the cost would spike

Understand, I have zero interest in what you get
I only care about you getting what you want and need
Has zero to do with me
Lot of good info in this thread thank you for starting the thread and thanks to all who have posted
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:39 AM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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I established a battery system for my home and am very happy with it.
I am primarily on 12 volts which is primarily LED lighting every where.
I have generators but they are only for emergencies, or running equipment my battery system is incapable of handling.
One thing I found handy while living on the desert is a small 5 Hp Briggs engine driving an automotive alternator. It used very little gas compared to the big generator and provided 20 amps or more to the battery bank and the inverter gave us enough power to run AC appliances as required. If you have a substantial battery bank this means the generator does not have to be running 24/7.
I'd much rather wear out the little Briggs engine than a big generator.
One thing I'd like to add.
Where I live now I use my solar panels and wind mill and the grid to charge my batteries. My solar is installed on my shop trailer with my batteries as well as the wind mill.
If when I move I take it all with me. Being on a trailer, city county codes cannot prevent me from having the wind mill.
If I must bug out the camper on the truck and my shop trailer I am good to go.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Mine is a different brand, but otherwise thatís it!

The 240V outlet directs all the power into my transfer switch through a generator cord I made up. I oversized the cord a bit just because I could and made it long enough to park the generator behind a shed close to my house. This greatly reduces the generator noise which is pretty minimal compared to the screaming high speed generators!

Too long a cord and youíll experience line losses, but Iím not pushing it very far and am oversized to help any losses.

It can be refueled with Jerry Cans, but itís so simple to hook up and move it to the diesel tank and top it off that moving it is generally the option I go with.

SD
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:33 PM
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We bought a whole house generator because my wife needs AC and is not physically capable of starting a generator.

If I didn't go whole house, I would consider solar with a battery pack as backup.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:10 PM
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WOW!!!

For the cost of one of those diesel construction jobs you could have a couple different wattage gas gens and a WHOLE LOT OF GAS stored away

I purchased 3 new generators in the last 2 years, the 2 new Ryobi inverters this year and an 11K dual fuel electric start 2 years ago. I don't have $1700 in all 3 of them.(the 11K was a sale special at Home Depot)
now have a 2300k for light duty the 4000k for medium and the 11K for heavy lifting. So I can power as I need to and each provides redundancy if something breaks.

For the rest of the $3200 I can buy a LOT of gas.

So.. 3 generators and lots of fuel for the price of a single gen system before you start buying the rest of the stuff...

Just throwing it out there.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW GUY View Post
WOW!!!

For the cost of one of those diesel construction jobs you could have a couple different wattage gas gens and a WHOLE LOT OF GAS stored away

I purchased 3 new generators in the last 2 years, the 2 new Ryobi inverters this year and an 11K dual fuel electric start 2 years ago. I don't have $1700 in all 3 of them.(the 11K was a sale special at Home Depot)
now have a 2300k for light duty the 4000k for medium and the 11K for heavy lifting. So I can power as I need to and each provides redundancy if something breaks.

For the rest of the $3200 I can buy a LOT of gas.

So.. 3 generators and lots of fuel for the price of a single gen system before you start buying the rest of the stuff...

Just throwing it out there.

You are right but that construction trailer is industrial grade and is probably designed to need minor maintenance at 8000 hours and last 20,000 hours. Most homeowner generators are designed to get 2000 hours out of.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:18 PM
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Oh I should add that going on rusty memory right now, but I believe it burns between.25-.50 an hour depending on load!

It sounds a bit strange, but Iíll refuel it this summer when I do maintenance on it unless we get hit with several days of power outage between now and then!

SD
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