Portable generator system alive
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    Pedals2Paddles's Avatar
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    Portable generator system alive

    I finally got around to buying a generator and setting the house up for it. I bought a Champion 100297 dual-fuel portable generator. On propane, it is good for 30 amps, which meets my maximum load requirements. Lights and electronics are only about 5 amps. Fridge is another 4 when it cycles on. Well pump is 6 when it cycles on. Water heater is 20 when it cycles on. So basically the only thing I need to keep in mind is what else I have powered on at the same time as hot water is being used. I can't be taking a shower while the garage doors are opening for example. All the lights inside and out are LED, which helps a lot. It will also run my portable air condition (thing with the ugly hose you put out a window). It will probably handle the central air conditioning too as long as I keep the water heater off. I didn't try it, and I may need to put a hard start capacitor on the compressor to get it to work.

    I have two 100 gallon propane tanks, and had them put in a quick connect hookup I can plug the generator into. I also had them put a quick connect around on the patio for a BBQ grill. The tanks also feed the direct vent gas stove in the lower level. The gas stove is my heat source in a power failure, since the primary heat source (electric heat pump with electric auxiliary) is way out of the question. The electric auxiliary uses 44 amps when it kicks on. So that will stay off and the gas stove will provide plenty of heat.

    Based on the propane consumption math, I have 7-12 days of fuel for heat and power. 7-12 because it depends on temperature and how many hours per day I run the generator. In the spring or fall when neither heat nor air conditioning are needed, that stretches out to two weeks and change. I would always estimate on the lower side of that, and that always assumes starting from full tanks. I plan to make a call to the propane company in advance of any forecasted blizzards or hurricanes to make sure I'm topped off.

    To connect it, I put a new 240v 30 amp breaker in the panel, and a weatherproof generator input (L14-30) box outside. Which is right next to the propane hookup, which all happens to be right where the electrical service and breaker panel are located. Conveniently enough, that side of the house has only one window up high and is otherwise a big brick wall, which helps a lot with the noise. There is a UL listed interlock kit which I just ordered (
    https://www.geninterlock.com/product/siemens-murray-generator-interlock-kit-200-amp-panel-transfer-switch/). It interlocks the generator breaker and the main breaker. So the generator breaker cannot be turned on until the main breaker is off. And you can't turn the main back on until the generator breaker is off. I installed all this myself (with my dad helping out over the weekend), and is actually all legit and up to code.

    I have it strapped to a pallet, which I can truck between the garage and the other side of the house with the pallet forks on the 1026r. And the 1026r provided plenty of scene lighting to get everything hooked up. For storage, I drop the pallet onto a furniture dolly so I can roll it off to wherever I want it in the garage. I'll put the wheel kit on it later so I can take it to a friend's house if needed. The cable and propane hoses bungee corded to the generator frame so I don't lose them.

    I ran a full load test this evening, and it performed flawlessly. I maxed it out at 30 amps to see what it would do and it didn't even flinch. Ran it at about 25 amps for 30 minutes, and 5-10 amps for another 30 minutes. All in all, I couldn't be happier with this arrangement. And it cost less than half of what a permanently installed auto start / auto transfer would have cost. As a bonus, I can take the whole thing elsewhere if someone else needs to borrow it.

    To-Do: Make a little roof and maybe 3 walls on the pallet to keep the generator dry and protected when it's out in the yard.















    Last edited by Pedals2Paddles; 11-13-2018 at 07:30 PM.
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    Very good work.

    Something to keep in mind with these (and the event of this happening might be a rarity if ever) is the 30 rated amps of a generator like this is full duty cycle. The rated longevity of generator head is never full duty cycle. Precise numbers are hard to get but our construction gens are rated about 85% (guessing again, but yours is likely lower) which in your case is about 25 amps. Our Onan inverter gensets are around $10k per and made specifically for the application. They have one of the best duty cycle ratings available and I would never push them past the 85% duty cycle for any extended period of time. Ours are just north of 80 amps each at full duty or just south of 70 at the rated 85%.

    Just something to keep in the back of your head when you start loading your gen up.
    Last edited by Fozsey; 11-13-2018 at 10:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedals2Paddles View Post
    I finally got around to buying a generator and setting the house up for it. I bought a Champion 100297 dual-fuel portable generator. On propane, it is good for 30 amps, which meets my maximum load requirements. Lights and electronics are only about 5 amps. Fridge is another 4 when it cycles on. Well pump is 6 when it cycles on. Water heater is 20 when it cycles on. So basically the only thing I need to keep in mind is what else I have powered on at the same time as hot water is being used. I can't be taking a shower while the garage doors are opening for example. All the lights inside and out are LED, which helps a lot. It will also run my portable air condition (thing with the ugly hose you put out a window). It will probably handle the central air conditioning too as long as I keep the water heater off. I didn't try it, and I may need to put a hard start capacitor on the compressor to get it to work.

    I have two 100 gallon propane tanks, and had them put in a quick connect hookup I can plug the generator into. I also had them put a quick connect around on the patio for a BBQ grill. The tanks also feed the direct vent gas stove in the lower level. The gas stove is my heat source in a power failure, since the primary heat source (electric heat pump with electric auxiliary) is way out of the question. The electric auxiliary uses 44 amps when it kicks on. So that will stay off and the gas stove will provide plenty of heat.

    Based on the propane consumption math, I have 7-12 days of fuel for heat and power. 7-12 because it depends on temperature and how many hours per day I run the generator. In the spring or fall when neither heat nor air conditioning are needed, that stretches out to two weeks and change. I would always estimate on the lower side of that, and that always assumes starting from full tanks. I plan to make a call to the propane company in advance of any forecasted blizzards or hurricanes to make sure I'm topped off.

    To connect it, I put a new 240v 30 amp breaker in the panel, and a weatherproof generator input (L14-30) box outside. Which is right next to the propane hookup, which all happens to be right where the electrical service and breaker panel are located. Conveniently enough, that side of the house has only one window up high and is otherwise a big brick wall, which helps a lot with the noise. There is a UL listed interlock kit which I just ordered (
    https://www.geninterlock.com/product/siemens-murray-generator-interlock-kit-200-amp-panel-transfer-switch/). It interlocks the generator breaker and the main breaker. So the generator breaker cannot be turned on until the main breaker is off. And you can't turn the main back on until the generator breaker is off. I installed all this myself (with my dad helping out over the weekend), and is actually all legit and up to code.

    I have it strapped to a pallet, which I can truck between the garage and the other side of the house with the pallet forks on the 1026r. And the 1026r provided plenty of scene lighting to get everything hooked up. For storage, I drop the pallet onto a furniture dolly so I can roll it off to wherever I want it in the garage. I'll put the wheel kit on it later so I can take it to a friend's house if needed. The cable and propane hoses bungee corded to the generator frame so I don't lose them.

    I ran a full load test this evening, and it performed flawlessly. I maxed it out at 30 amps to see what it would do and it didn't even flinch. Ran it at about 25 amps for 30 minutes, and 5-10 amps for another 30 minutes. All in all, I couldn't be happier with this arrangement. And it cost less than half of what a permanently installed auto start / auto transfer would have cost. As a bonus, I can take the whole thing elsewhere if someone else needs to borrow it.

    To-Do: Make a little roof and maybe 3 walls on the pallet to keep the generator dry and protected when it's out in the yard.















    Yeah I use to Have that sort of the same set Up at My old House Had a Plug In connection and used a Older Version of this Honeywell Generators - Portable Power | 5500 watt Portable Generator
    . At My Newer House Just Had One of these Installed Honeywell Generators - Home Backup Power | 22kW Home Generator
    Because I hated Having to run out and Plug the Generator In . Glad I have it Now Because in the town Of Wayne, IL the Power Likes to go out a lot. Last week some Hit the Power Pole and it knocked out the eastern half of Town. We are Lucky enough to Have Natural Gas But the whole Town is On well and septic Last year someone Took Out the Main to the whole town So now when that Happens a 10 second wait and I am in Business for Both the House and Barn and we Have 400Apm service But we Barely use More than 38Amps even with Both AC units On
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    If I could rewind a few months to when my old electric water heater died, I would have replaced it with a propane water heater to remove that 20 amp load.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozsey View Post
    Very good work.

    Something to keep in mind with these (and the event of this happening might be a rarity if ever) is the 30 rated amps of a generator like this is full duty cycle. The rated longevity of generator head is never full duty cycle. Precise numbers are hard to get but our construction gens are rated about 85% (guessing again, but yours is likely lower) which in your case is about 25 amps.
    Correct. For a close comparison, my 6500 watt Honda is rated for 5500 watts continuous. Which is precisely 25 amps.

    Like the OP, I have a similar hookup and run the entire house except for the hot water heater and central air. I *can* run the hot water heater by itself if I turn off the other breakers. So in an emergency I can generate hot water if necessary. The central air conditioner has been a bit finicky. I ran it once successfully but on subsequent attempts it always trips out. So it's pretty much the ONE thing I cannot run. I have no problem with 8000 BTU window air conditioners. I figure heat in the winter is far more critical than cool in the summer.
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    The surge capacity is 10,000 watts. The 7300 propane is running continuous watts. I made sure not to fall for that advertising BS where they brag about surge watts to trick people.
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    I have the same basic setup at my house. For me, it's fine. My generator is a 7500 watt Generac - gas only. I thought about buying a propane adapter but decided not to. I usually keep several 20lb propane tanks here, but if we had an extended power outage, I'd be using those for cooking and maybe backup heat. I also have a couple of indoor rated propane heaters - just in case.

    Since we bought the generator 7 years ago I've only needed to use it once. About 2 weeks after we got the interface set up, the power went out for a few hours one morning - right as Sweetie was getting ready for work. Lights went out, I plugged in the genny, lights went back on. More importantly, she was able to use her curling iron and hair dryer!! I was a real hero that morning!!
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    I have 2 of the Champions. One is 9500 gas only I use for the house and the other is 9000 duel fuel that I have for my shop which has our well pump wired to the panel. Haven't needed either since I put the whole systems together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robnik View Post
    I have 2 of the Champions. One is 9500 gas only I use for the house and the other is 9000 duel fuel that I have for my shop which has our well pump wired to the panel. Haven't needed either since I put the whole systems together.
    Yup

    That's generally how it works.
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    I'm sure buy buying all this stuff and putting it together properly, I've single handedly saved my neighborhood from ever having another power outage for the next decade.
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