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Lux in Tenebris
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok...here we go..We're bugging in place per previous posts on topic, will not rehash it...I also live in a HOA governed hood, so there are things that i can't do, dont want visible anyway....I suppose if TSHF, hoa regs go out the window! :D: Keep that in mind when commenting...

I wanted to bring this to the group for evaluation, comments...

I have been in the market for a genset for the home..a 1600sf ranch...electric ac gas heat with gas fireplace....NOT to power the entire place, just a small fridge, light or two, misc.stuff, fan, window ac unit recharge batts, etc..

I have been looking at Northern Tool, and have decided on this propane unit ETQ Portable Propane Generator — 3500 Surge Watts, 3000 Rated0 Watts..

Here is my rationale..I need to be able to refuel it easily and being a propane unit, vs a similar sized gas unit, is easier to do IMO...

A standard #20 (grill tank) tank has approx 5 gal of fuel, I have three of em already, and am buying a #100, 25 gal tank for reserve.. that's 40gal right there...

We grill often, so I always like to have extra tanks, they came in handy during a very nasty ice storm that killed power in the area for 7 days...We hunkered down in the living room, turned on the gas fireplace, cooked out, ate by candlelight, listened to a little battery operated am/fm radio..

Ok, the refueling is going to be easier than gas, why? if the grid goes down, so do gas pumps..Even the 500 gal gas tank located on the golf course, will I am sure, be discovered by others too, and drained...I will be able to store 10-20 gal of fuel if I am lucky, then foraging for more....

I "walked the dog," last night, and made a mental note of my neighbors, and how many of them had grills, in my immediate area, 13 that i could see...plus we live in a large community, several hundred homes, many accessible from the golf course..Right there is a couple hundred...

I am assuming that many will split, that leaves their tanks ripe for the taking..(no moral judgements please) as i doubt they will be hauling their BBQ's with em..

Plus, our golf carts run on LP too, and I can harvest those..

In addition, every gas station and grocery store, has those cages with tanks in em...I figure i can pay cash for some tanks, while folks are trying to get gas, or worst case, cut the locks off and nab em...

I only plan to run the genset every few hours or so, if at all, depending on OPSEC situation...

There you have it...am i missing something?

Thanks in advance....RC
 

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Well, going along with your thinking, I would be buying as many FULL 25 gal tanks as possible. Maybe you can dig a "pit" area somewhere hidden in your back yard, pour a concrete floor and store about 6-8 of the big tanks in there. Propane will still be propane ,even 10 years from now. Be sure to put a raised wood slat floor on the bottom to keep water from collecting around the tanks. Maybe a small basement pump to be sure to keep water from filling or seeping in. Also, it may be a good place to put up a cheap metal garden shed over the top of the hole. Looks natural, and hey, you could even put a lawnmower , rakes etc in there. Actually, I would go for a 5kw or so , otherwise you would be really taxing the 3kw even with a refer. Keep in mind the surge elect. needed when a compressor motor like a refer starts up. A generator running to only produce about 1/2 the power possible, will last a much longer time then one running at max output.
 

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Lux in Tenebris
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both...First, the tri fuel is out of my budget, and for the difference of 1700.00, buys alot of small tanks, or Beans, Bulletts, Band Aids....Great idea though :thumb:...the wife would shoot me...:)

Second, our foundation is a raised slab concrete, no basement option...Also, in our section, small open backyards, no strorage sheds allowed, otherwise another great idea..:thumb:

I have had to be very discreet about my preps, using the garage, installed shelving, above eye level, cabinets and the inside of the house to store and conceal my stuff...We have alot of "old files and x-mas" stuff in tubs...:)

It is a lesson in stealth i will tell you that....Everyone else around me is in the same boat too...:xeye:

RC
 

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I built one with a honda engine that runs two hi output alternators to a batt bank then an inverter. That way you can store what you dont use in the batterys. www.theepicenter.com is a Great source for stuff and info. I produce about 6000 watts and tested it with a big stand up freezer and a 500watt light at the same time. the bigger batt bank that you have the more you can run.
 

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Spunky Curmudgeon
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I agree with your choice of propane, as it is the most versatile fuel around. Not to be Hank Hill, but it can cook your food, heat your house, warm your water, fuel your car, run you generator, and make a very nice BOOM if you need to teach looters a lesson.

I think the tri fuel is a waste of money as well, you're smart to think that way. You can buy 34 grill tanks with propane for the difference, and that is a LOT of electricity. That's if you waste your money buying tanks at the local Lowe's for $50 a pop. Instead I'd have a 200 gallon tank installed behind my house (you can get them on Ebay fairly cheap if you're willing to go pick up) and let it sit until I needed it. Propane will store 15 years.

I'd also covert one of my cars to run propane and to be able to use the grill tanks as fuel.

I actually plan on doing this once I buy land next Spring. Hopefully I'm not too late.
 

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I have a Honda EU3000i with a tri-fuel kit enroute.

Low db coupled with multiple fuel options. The plan is to use natural gas as long as its available. I need to call the gas company to see if their backup generators are powered by gas/diesel or natural gas. If its natural gas then I am set for most contingencies and will be able to save the propane and gas for other use

I do need to decide what I am going to get for larger capacity. Either a larger tri-fuel or diesel. My friend mentioned that when he went through a hurricane in Texas that he didnt have to wait in gas lines and when the gas service was interrupted that only the diesel generators were running in his neighborhood
 

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Anyone?
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All my research on propane generators show that they DRINK LP gas.
What is the consumption on that - be careful, if it's duel fuel, they usually only list gasoline.

Consider getting a LARGE 500 or 250 gallon tank. The kind used by folks who heat with LP gas. See if your HOA will let you install them for "gas logs".
A grill tank wont last you through the day.

IMO, the ideal storage fuel is kerosene. Diesel appliances will run it. You can heat, light and cook with it too. Great BTU/ gallon. If you live in an HOA, though that's likely out of the question.

On another note, I would consider using deadly force against someone "harvesting" or "foraging" my fuel. I'm sure your neighbors feel the same. Not a moral judgment. Just a word of caution.
 

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All my research on propane generators show that they DRINK LP gas.
What is the consumption on that - be careful, if it's duel fuel, they usually only list gasoline.

Consider getting a LARGE 500 or 250 gallon tank. The kind used by folks who heat with LP gas. See if your HOA will let you install them for "gas logs".
A grill tank wont last you through the day.

IMO, the ideal storage fuel is kerosene. Diesel appliances will run it. You can heat, light and cook with it too. Great BTU/ gallon. If you live in an HOA, though that's likely out of the question.

On another note, I would consider using deadly force against someone "harvesting" or "foraging" my fuel. I'm sure your neighbors feel the same. Not a moral judgment. Just a word of caution.
The ETQ generator that the OP is looking at is rated at 1.5 lbs per hour. A 20# cylinder will run it about 12 hours at 50% load. A 100 # bottle will last about 65 hours.

I think that is about the same consumption as a similar sized gasoline model. Right now propane here is $1.32 a gallon, gasoline is $2.79 and diesel is over $3.00. Propane burns cleaner and will store for a very long time. I used to have a propane tractor and truck and I can tell you that any small amount of extra fuel usage is worth it due to the increased life of the engine.
 

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Lux in Tenebris
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bueller et al;

Thank you all for the comments to date..very helpful in my decision making process...Unfortunately, the large external tanks are a no no, and our homes are on 10' lot lines apart, foundation to foundation, we can't put anything between the homes, fire code issues, zoning, etc.

My garage is pretty tricked out, and i have space for two #100 tanks inside the garage, and a 12' hose to the genset located outside should work ok...

With respect to "harvesting" other folks tanks, that would only happen after they have split, in one way or the other...I have no intention of grabbing tanks of folks who are in place, as I do not like being shot at and missed, shat at and hit.... :)
 

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I have a hard plumbed propane generator at my BOL and am in the process of arranging for one for the primary residence.... I have two 100 lb cylinders at the BOL and a 500 gallon underground at the primary residence........ I also have two 40lb cylinders and six 20lb cylinders............ and as money allows will be increasing that stock........

Can you put in an underground tank...?...... As things start to go down the tubes I would seriously consider obtaining more tanks even one 20lb tank a month would increase you time that you would be self-sufficient.........
 

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The end is,,,,,
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most of your consumtion rates on gens are listed at peak output. I got one that drinks 18 gallons an hour at peak. 1300 gallon tank dont last long. Diesel of course. run clean and fuel can be stabilized.
 

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most of your consumtion rates on gens are listed at peak output. I got one that drinks 18 gallons an hour at peak. 1300 gallon tank dont last long. Diesel of course. run clean and fuel can be stabilized.
Generator fuel usage is rated at 50% load. I have a 110 HP diesel tractor that only burns 2 gallons of fuel per hour pulling a 15 ft. bush hog mower. What the heck have you got that burns 18 gallons per hour. You lighting up a whole town?:D:
 

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you can get a generac that are the quietest i have ever heard. if yuo get the gas model you can put in a trifuel kit for pretty cheap. plumb natgas. convert the grill to natgas as well. get the 100# tank and the propane as backup.

if you go with the generac make sure you get the built in with cage. its like the honda with all the isolation. we use them in commercial settings.

husky gens with a robin engine are great and can be quieted pretty easily and cheap. yamaha with a trifuel kit.

anyway yamaha honda are on par with their inverter series and quiet. robin engins totally rock and again can be quieted pretty easy. the quietest as a builtin is generac
 

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Thank you both...First, the tri fuel is out of my budget, and for the difference of 1700.00, buys alot of small tanks, or Beans, Bulletts, Band Aids....Great idea though :thumb:...the wife would shoot me...:)

Second, our foundation is a raised slab concrete, no basement option...Also, in our section, small open backyards, no strorage sheds allowed, otherwise another great idea..:thumb:

I have had to be very discreet about my preps, using the garage, installed shelving, above eye level, cabinets and the inside of the house to store and conceal my stuff...We have alot of "old files and x-mas" stuff in tubs...:)

It is a lesson in stealth i will tell you that....Everyone else around me is in the same boat too...:xeye:

RC
trifuel kits are cheap.

the nice thing about trifuel is if you aleady have natgas running in the house power outage will not stop your fuel unless the station fails. then you can swap over to either gas or propane. best of all worlds.
 

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The ETQ generator that the OP is looking at is rated at 1.5 lbs per hour. A 20# cylinder will run it about 12 hours at 50% load. A 100 # bottle will last about 65 hours.

I think that is about the same consumption as a similar sized gasoline model. Right now propane here is $1.32 a gallon, gasoline is $2.79 and diesel is over $3.00. Propane burns cleaner and will store for a very long time. I used to have a propane tractor and truck and I can tell you that any small amount of extra fuel usage is worth it due to the increased life of the engine.
that is run time correct? most people do not run their genny straight through unless there is a major need. fridges and freezers should be left closed and only opened when needed. chest freezers retain cold very very well and need even less. i would use my genny 3 hours a day to cool the fridge and freezer. during this time i would wash clothes and recharge the ups and laptop batterys and any other needed batts. so that 20lb cyl would last me at least a week.
 

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Generator fuel usage is rated at 50% load. I have a 110 HP diesel tractor that only burns 2 gallons of fuel per hour pulling a 15 ft. bush hog mower. What the heck have you got that burns 18 gallons per hour. You lighting up a whole town?:D:
yea our 50kw cat gensets are on par with your quote of 2 gallons an hour. the 150kw's drink 5.5 gals.

http://www.dieselserviceandsupply.com/Diesel_Fuel_Consumption.aspx

this says 6 but we have ours rated for 5.5 but we also load ours to about 1/4 the office and we need the extra for start up of the hvac's
 

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crustulum latro
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You could run it from this.
 
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