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Old 01-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #16
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Help me design my service pedestal


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Your going to need a real on site electrition to look this one over and also help you size the wiring and help you with local codes.
Thanks, I will make sure my back is covered before doing any of the work.

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Old 01-09-2012, 02:22 AM   #17
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Help me design my service pedestal


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Originally Posted by zappa

Excellent point that I completely overlooked. I can think of some easy ways to get around that but what a mess to go back and redo it after the fact.
Go from meter straight to disco and then you can enter the trough.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Julius793 View Post
Go from meter straight to disco and then you can enter the trough.
That was my first thought but I wonder if there is such a thing as a fused generator transfer switch which should serve the same purpose? My thoughts are very preliminary and I need to check out equipment options a little closer.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:02 AM   #19
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Help me design my service pedestal


Another thought do you really want the generator for all the buildings? Something to think about because it is quite costly.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #20
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Help me design my service pedestal


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Originally Posted by Julius793 View Post
Another thought do you really want the generator for all the buildings? Something to think about because it is quite costly.
You have a very good point Julius. I'm fascinated with older stuff mainly because it is built so well and I will be using a 1961 military generator. It's not quite large enough at 15KW but military equipment is very underrated and I'll bet it will do 18KW 24/7 without breaking a sweat. I want to have power available to the whole property but I will have to be careful with how many things are running at one time by selecting breakers in my house panel. Emergency back-up are the key words here. This property is so far back in the woods there will never be an address for it and as long as I have enough power for the essentials I will feel blessed and I get the enjoyment of using my old crap.

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Old 01-11-2012, 01:53 PM   #21
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Help me design my service pedestal


I like the first diagram.

I'm not sure about the generator but likely it has neutral and ground bonded. If so IMO you need to have a 2 pole double throw transfer switch meeting the specifications that brric mentioned.

I would advise you to work closely with the utility and building authority on the generator installation.

I'm not sure how long your going to be before building the dwelling but you will need some form of temporary power during its construction. You probably already have that figured out.

There isn't much reason to add equipment to the distribution point to feed anything other than the existing barn.

You mentioned being allowed 3 wire unfused service from the distribution point (common pedestal) to each outbuilding and dwelling and only one meter ?? I'm not real familiar with that and I'm not real sure how you get around not having a service disconnect(s) grouped at the common pedestal. Maybe you have a service disconnect with ocpd at the pedestal and they allow 3 wire tap feeders to the buildings and dwelling with the ocpd in the building subpanels .

At any rate if you have service equipment at the pedestal and ocpd disconnects for each building and dwelling with 4 wire feeders to the buildings and dwelling sub-panels that would be compliant. My point being service disconnects must be grouped at the pedestal.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
I like the first diagram.

Thanks for your valued input. I have never worked with a trough so I don't have any experience to go on.

I'm not sure about the generator but likely it has neutral and ground bonded. If so you need to have a 3 pole double throw transfer switch meeting the specifications that brric mentioned. This allows you to switch the neutral from the utility to that of the generator without having those dreaded parallel paths due to the bonding of neutral and ground at the generator and service equipment (transfer switch). Essentially it will make the generator a separately derived system and you will need a ground rod at the generator.

The generator has seperate neutral and ground.

I would advise you to work closely with the utility and building authority on the generator installation. Will do.

I'm not sure how long your going to be before building the dwelling but you will need some form of temporary power during its construction. You probably already have that figured out.

It's going to be quite a while, money is tight and I want to do a lot of the work myself. I want to build or buy a small shed for the generator which will be close to the pedestal and I would like a small circuit for lights and receptacles. My well will most likely be in the same area also which has me thinking about using a meter main (meter and small panel in one enclosure) with feed through lugs at the bottom of the bus bars. I'm thinking that would be an easy way to provide some small circuits in that area plus an outdoor receptacle for power.

There isn't much reason to add equipment to the distribution point to feed anything other than the existing barn.

I was trying to show future equipment so yes, there will initially be one disconnect.

You mentioned being allowed 3 wire unfused service from the distribution point (common pedestal) to each outbuilding and dwelling and only one meter ?? I'm not real familiar with that and I'm not real sure how you get around not having a service disconnect(s) grouped at the common pedestal. Maybe you have a service disconnect with ocpd at the pedestal and they allow 3 wire tap feeders to the buildings and dwelling with the ocpd in the building subpanels.

I need to look into this as well. I was going off of comments by J.V. and yourself and I don't know what is allowed. A friend in SD has a similar setup (service extensions) but it is overhead. His POCO has multiple unfused feeders bugged and taped at the top of the pole. It's kinda scary having long lengths of large unfused conductors but that's what they do. I guess in my situation they would be spliced together in a j-box or trough. I think having a generator transfer switch or some sort of disconnect right after the meter will prohibit me from doing this.

At any rate if you have service equipment at the pedestal and ocpd disconnects for each building and dwelling with 4 wire feeders to the buildings and dwelling sub-panels that would be compliant. My point being service disconnects must be grouped at the pedestal.
Thanks for your time Stubbie.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:37 AM   #23
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Help me design my service pedestal


Just wanted to add that I really get nervous when it comes to these generator installations as there is a lot to understand about the correct bonding and whether or not the transfer switch is the service equipment or not the service equipment.

In your first diagram the transfer switch is the service equipment and this makes a difference about switching the neutral. I believe I was in error on my original advice based on the location of your transfer switch. IMO you would not switch the neutral and would use a DPDT transfer switch rated as service equipment to at least match your service size in amps. This allows bonding of the neutral and ground at the service equipment.

I have edited my 1st post to correct this error. My apologies I've been retired for a few years and I'm a little rusty on this generator stuff..

I'm going to attach a utility link that will show you the differences. Just consider some on site professional help during the installation or if possible get a guide like I have attached from your power company.

In your case your interested in figure 2 or 3 depending on what your power company approves.

http://www.alliantenergy.com/wcm/gro...ent/012676.pdf
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #24
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Help me design my service pedestal


Round file the meter main idea. I just realized that would put my well pump and generator shed lights upstream from the transfer switch.

It's a shame....I really like those meter mains but the well pump is an important essential.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:47 AM   #25
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Before I can discuss more on the generator unit can you run me the model number and the voltage on the name plate due most miltiary generators typically useally have triphase supply and to run on single phase it can get little tricky if not carefull with it.

The other thing when you decided to pick a service size I know many place will provide 200 amp service without issue however when you get into 320 amp ( 400 amp ) service this will become a game changer due some POCO will use straight 320 amp meter socket and other will use the CT's ( current transfomer ).

I know in state of Wisconsin which I have dealt from time to time for non farm useage it can get away with 320 class socket but for farm no it have to be CT'ed for other POCO's that will varies a bit so you will have to talk to them and see what is their specs on that.

Ditto with meter socket type some will provide you one and most case no ., the customer will own meter socket but the meter itself is POCO item but anything else is customer owned even with lateral run ( this you will have to check on that carefull some will cover both primary and secondary but most will say secondary side )

15 KW generator is ok for basic load as long you use the MTS ( Manual transfer switch ) but ATS ( Automatique Transfer switch ) it may not meet the code so that is a catch 22 there.

Merci,
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #26
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Help me design my service pedestal


Hi Marc, thanks for looking in. The generator is a couple of hours away at my property and I donít have the model but I can explain some things. The generator has 4 different shorting bars to configure the output. The one in the picture (with 14 nuts in 2 rows) is for Y 120/208 3 phase and I have since installed the bar for 120/240 single phase. I canít remember the other 2 bars but I think one is for a delta connection.

An interesting note about this model. Its purpose was intended as a back up generator for another generator system. It spent most of its life standing ready in case the primary generator failed so even though itís 50 years old it only has 43 hours of runtime and is almost like new, operational wise.

My POCO doesnít use CTís until a 600 amp service so the 320 (400) would be a normal meter socket which I have to purchase. They said if I want 400 to just call them before they come out so they can bring larger secondary wire from the xfmr to the meter socket. I know itís a load calculation thing but I would think they should install a 50KVA xfmr if I requested a 400 amp service. They are installing a 25KVA xfmr, the smallest they stock, for both 200 and 400 amp service. Nothing changes except the wire size and of course my service equipment which would be downsized to 200 amps as soon as possible because I wonít be using a 400 amp feed for any of the structures. So I'm not really sure if I should request a 400 amp service. It would be free at this point but it would cost me if I had the 200 amp upgraded in the future.

An ATS would be nice but I would like to keep it simple. Plus, I donít like to start engines up and place them under load until they are warmed up nicely and besides, this generator is a very manual unit. I should be ok with my loads without too much intervention. I may want to turn the breaker off for the water heater while running the heat or A/C but we will see once things are installed. The barns would have battery maintainers but they draw next to nothing. My shop will have a large air compressor but I always turn them off unless Iím in the shop working.

I donít know how reliable the grid will be but the overhead is very old and nasty looking and a generator will be nice if there are extended power outages. Iím laying 1800í of conduit through 3 creeks and hilly terrain from the last pole up to the pad mount transformer.

I spent some time last night reading the NEC trying to figure out where service equipment ends and feeders take over. It would be nice if I could just have a meter socket, generator transfer switch, and a large enclosure or wire trough to splice all of my feeders in, present and future. I donít mind the extra cost and labor of having all of the disconnects but the less equipment that is outdoors the better as far as reliability IMO. I do want to cover the pedestal with a lean-too structure that is only open in the front. It might be wise to place the generator shed first and install the service equipment on the side of the building with lean-too overhead unless there is a code problem with doing that. More reading, I hate trying to decipher the NEC. I called the AHJ a while back who will be doing the electrical inspection and they mentioned the Residential Building Code so that is something else I should be looking into.

Cheers

Help me design my service pedestal-p9120001.jpg

This is before I bought the generator. It's all nice and clean inside now. You can see the other shorting bars clamped to the top of the vented panel towards the bottom.

Help me design my service pedestal-p8290196.jpg
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:38 PM   #27
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This is interesting. A combination meter socket and generator transfer switch.

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Old 01-24-2012, 09:41 PM   #28
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Cool that will be a good item to use for your meter box but before you jump on this make sure you snag the model number of that or print that pic and show that to the POCO so they can see if they can allow that type of meter socket in your area.

I think you should not have major issue with that if your POCO say ok with it.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Cool that will be a good item to use for your meter box but before you jump on this make sure you snag the model number of that or print that pic and show that to the POCO so they can see if they can allow that type of meter socket in your area.

I think you should not have major issue with that if your POCO say ok with it.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #30
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Plus it has two breakers that use the safety interlock idea, one for the main service and one for the generator. I don't see a way to bottom feed it though.

This is a Durham but if they make them maybe there is hope that other big manufactures make something similar with a bottom feed.

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