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Old 05-17-2012, 05:13 AM   #1
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It seems to be very popular for people to be installing gennys,
What do you think, is the main reason, that it is so popular now ?
Are people concerned about reliability of supply?
Are black outs becoming more common ?
Whats the reason ?

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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When power is knocked out by storms, it is often out for days or even weeks. You can lose all your food in freezers/refrig. not to mention just existing without power. We still have to eat/cook, most of us need to go to work, etc. Candle power may have worked for Abe, but not now.

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:53 AM   #3
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the trick is to install them when you don't need it.set it up,test run it (no load) ever weekend for 20 minutes(keeping gas oil fresh).food and heating is the biggest reason along with 115V for the FIOS stuff and their signal module.you would be surprise how little WATTS a home uses during a normal night at home....2000W tied into your main panel and be somewhat conservative and the neighbors will be knocking on your door with extension cords
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
It seems to be very popular for people to be installing gennys,
What do you think, is the main reason, that it is so popular now ?
Are people concerned about reliability of supply?
Are black outs becoming more common ?
Whats the reason ?
I"m not sure what everyone else is thinking, but I did my install because of power outages due to ice storms in this part of the country. It isn't uncommon to have a few days outage here once or twice a year. The cold, the dark, the quiet and throwing out $250 worth of food (minus what we could stuff ourselves with in 4 days) was my decision maker.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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No working sump pumps is one good reason---
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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1) Manufactures are making it easy for general households by providing turnkey equipment and accessories.

2) It's fun to gloat while your neighbors are in the dark.

3) Life revolves around electricity more than ever.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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Typical Freezer, but also well pump. No power no water
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:23 PM   #8
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How much per year for an insurance policy against these losses?

An idling vehicle can probably put out way enough kW to run a generator but how to do the power take off and how to maintain 60 Hz?

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-17-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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I've done quite a few generator side jobs. I grew up out in the country and power outages are far more common there, sometimes up to three days at a time. Most of them all have generators already in and around the 5000w range. Running extension cords in through the door in the middle of winter is a pain. In more rural areas the most common reasons are to power the blower fan in the wood furnaces( you can't keep a fire in an airtight furnace with no blower, the fire box will crack) to keep the water lines from freezing and to run the well pump so there's water, albeit cold water. I generally set them up with a genny panel with a dual interlock to make it idiot proof. Weather proof 30A twistlock receptacle outside and a 30A twistlock cord to run from the genny to the house. Once i did the first one and word got around on what it would cost to still have lights, t.v, microwave, HEAT, and water, and some other general use things my phone starting ringing like crazy . As others have already stated the food loss alone can pay for it in a couple years worth of outages and if a pipe bursts well it's well worth it for most to have the piece of mind.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
An idling vehicle can probably put out way enough kW to run a generator but how to do the power take off and how to maintain 60 Hz?
I've wanted a good solution for this to power tools from my truck. It's harder than it should be. There are no good or reasonably priced under-hood generators available. High power inverters are affordable nowadays, but getting the 12V power to run them is a problem. A typical alternator maxes out at about 150A (1800W), and that's at high engine RPM. At idle they won't do more than a few hundred watts. Huge alternators are available (300A or so), but they don't fit many vehicles without modifications and they are very expensive and questionably reliable. And they still only produce 3-4kW max. So while you can get a 5000W inverter for a few hundred bucks, it will kill your battery in minutes even with the engine running unless you do a whole bunch of expensive custom work to add multiple high-output alternators to your vehicle.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #11
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I had to get real creative to keep all the fish alive during the big mid-west outage years back.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:08 PM   #12
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I'd say the prime reasons are:

- Fridge/freezer
- Heat
- Sump pumps if house is below sewer/storm drain grade and can't drain by gravity

Extra bonus is the convenience, can still use the microwave and other electric cooking appliances.

In my case I'll add servers to the list. While they do not host anything that crucial, having a 24/7 machine get turned off can sometimes be problematic if you still rely on it a lot. Older disks that have been spinning non stop for years may fail to start again when turned off and let cool down. The chances are good it will be ok, but if you can prevent it in first place even better.

I've been brainstorming a UPS solution for a while and finally found a good product (Tripp Lite inverter-charger) and that is basically my "generator". It's basically the same idea as a UPS except you can hook it up to larger/more batteries. I got 2 12v deep cycle marine batteries that I'll be hooking up to it. Will run my stuff for about 5-6 hours according to my calculations. Debating on adding two more batteries so I can get 10+ hours out of it. The outages here usually don't last more than an hour or so. The longest we had was the great blackout and it was maybe 12 hours at most. I'd still like to look at a generator at some point though.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
How much per year for an insurance policy against these losses?

An idling vehicle can probably put out way enough kW to run a generator but how to do the power take off and how to maintain 60 Hz?
Yoyizit.,

One of my truck I have a PTO ( power take off ) that hook up to the generator unit which it is a 10 KW unit and ran with the maunal throttle contol on diesel engine ( this have mechial pump system so I can able set it pretty tight on speed control )

But on second truck I have simauir but the diesel engine is electronic controlled so I modifed the cruise control for manual throttle useage but that one have 12 KW triphase in there.

But the key issue is you have know how much fuel you have in your tank and with the diesel at PTO mode it will burn about 1.15 to 1.75 gallon fuel per hour so you will have to figure out what is your running time on your fuel tank size. ( my thumb of rules ., Jamais let it go below 1/4 tank level at all )

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Yoyizit.,

One of my truck I have a PTO ( power take off ) that hook up to the generator unit which it is a 10 KW unit and ran with the maunal throttle contol on diesel engine ( this have mechial pump system so I can able set it pretty tight on speed control )

But on second truck I have simauir but the diesel engine is electronic controlled so I modifed the cruise control for manual throttle useage but that one have 12 KW triphase in there.

Man, you've got some bada$$ gear. Well done.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
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So the main reason would seem to be frequent loss of power ?

Maybe it is different here in Australia ?
Maybe two / three blackouts a year,
usually short, less then 2 hours.

Major blackouts are not common !
Perhaps one every 2 to 3 years,
where power could be off for several days.
And even then, they seem to get it restored
even if only partiually quite quickely !

But most of our water supplies are gravity fed
from storage tanks in evevated areas,
so even with out power,
gravity will supply most pf the supply.

usually 2 to 3 days supply with out power.
And sewerage stations all have back up gennys.

You guys seem more de centralised then us here in Australia ?
Perhaps that is the main difference ?


Last edited by dmxtothemax; 05-18-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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