PTO Generator/Emergency Home Coverage
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    12-21-2017 @ 03:52 PM
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    PTO Generator/Emergency Home Coverage

    I am beginning to study the possibility of using my 1025r in conjunction with a PTO generator to supply power to my home in an emergency situation. I realize fuel quantity on hand in an emergency is a major consideration as well as KW capacity of the 1025r's PTO HP vs needs of my home. If I decided to do this I would purchase a larger fuel tank to keep larger quantities on hand (stabilized). I also would have the house wired so I could select critical circuits in an emergency. I also have a well which runs on 220.

    Has anyone taken this approach that can provide some guidance?

    Any particular brand favored?

    any wiring advice?

    Any other comments?

    Any and all help would be much appreciated.
    jhays likes this.
    Phil d

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    There are dozens of threads on this. A quick search on "PTO Generator" should bring them up.

    Seems to me that the general consensus is that a dedicated (i.e. stand alone) generator (either portable or perm. installed) is a better option.

    Wiring the house side of things is the same for all of them. Your choices there center around just how involved you (or your family) wants to be in the process. The "easiest" system is a completely automatic switch. That's also the most expensive. On the other end of things is several dozen extension cords - cheap but lots of work. In between is a manual transfer system.
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    Without going on a search, I think the consensus was to have a stand alone generator for the following reasons (in no particular order):

    In most emergencies where electricity is lost, you will need your tractor for clean up.

    Using your tractor to power a generator is very inefficient, compared to a stand alone unit.

    In the event the generator would seize, you would have a large rotating mass flinging around behind your tractor, which is very dangerous, and not very good for a tractor.

    You would not be able to run it unsupervised (would you leave your tractor outside and running overnight?).

    Just to name a few...
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    Jer is offline
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    We've done a lot of research on this topic after 71 hours without power this past August. Our decision have come to:

    Stand alone portable generator, 8000W. We don't live in hurricane or ice storm country, so a permanent install would only get used a few times a year for a couple hours. An event where we are without power for several days is quite rare, so it's better for me to have a useable portable geni for around the ranch. 8000W was more than enough to keep us comfortable, our food chilled, the well pump working (also 220V) and some lights going. 1700$ for a Generac XP8000E.

    Semi-auto transfer switch - what the hell is that, you ask?? We've chosen to go with a switch that fits in behind the power meter - GenerLink. It comes with a 220V cord that plugs right into the geni's plug. It is an interlock so that you CANNOT blow yourself up, or kill a lineman. Install time is about 22 seconds. Cost is 850$, which is more than the 400$ ones you can buy, but they would require electrician time for install, so you likely come in about even.

    The Sharpie Breaker Selection System (SBSS) - this is a very high tech, expensive, and complex system designed by a German, at CERN, deep underground. It involved getting one Silver and one Gold sharpie. I marked the breakers that we deem essential as one color, and the non-essential the other color. You can get separate breaker boxes, but that's a PITA and expensive.

    I, personally, would not want my tractor tied up running a geni. I can't imagine you'll save any money by buying a PTO vs. a stand alone. You WILL definitely want your machine free to help clean up (trust me on that one).

    Any other Q's please ask.

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    Bubber's Avatar
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    I went with a manual transfer switch and a stand alone generator. Our power lines are underground, so outages are rare. In the event of an outage, I can drag the generator, on wheels, outside, put the power cord between it and the house and flip the switches. The two fridges and freezer stay powered, I've got power at the workbench and the TV and BlueRay player are good to go. I don't have whole house coverage, but it is like camp. 100 hour candles and a movie. Good times.

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    I'm a stand alone generator guy also. I upgraded from 3kw to 7.6kw when I had the home service upgraded to 200amps with the generator connector inside the Bilco cellar doors. I would have liked to use a diesel generator, but they were out of the ballpark in price.

    I can run what I need in the house without worry about overload: SUMP PUMP!!!!, stove fans for heat or furnace for heat and my deep well 220v pump at any time plus all the little "amenities" like microwave, DISHWASHER, and TV, etc., in a common sense sequence.

    You won't regret a stand alone unit, just figure what you absolutely need in total amperage or watts and don't forget to figure in the "starting amperage draw" for motors (pumps, furnace, etc.) They are simple to maintain (easier than a gas lawn mower!) and depending on usage one can get along on one oil change a year. Though it was a spider web of extension cords, we got along fairly well on 3kw (other than not having the convience of the well pump for flushing).
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    I guess I'm in a different camp. I did the research also but have opted to go with......wait for it......nothing.

    After living "off grid" for 8 years a long time ago, I guess we've carried those ways with us. Been living in our present home with electricity for 20 years now. But we just don't need electricity for a power outage - and it has happened for up to 3 days here and is quite frequent.

    For water my spring is 20' from my front porch.
    For heat use the wood stove.
    For cooking, even though we have an electric range, will use the gas grill or the propane camp stove. Same used to heat water for a pitcher bath.
    For entertainment - read a book!

    This only thing that can go bad with an extended outage more than 3-4 days would be loosing what is in the freezer (at least a 1/2 beef in there at all times plus a lot of other stuff). But that is what homeowners insurance is for.

    I've read a lot of stuff on the internet about this subject. It really surprises me how many people say that can't live without their computer or internet. Huh?
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    PTO Generator/Emergency Home Coverage

    I am SOOOO glad this thread got started. We are currently in the process of getting a Generator. No Gas or Pro-Pain here so, it's Gasoline for us. Going to get a portable and a Manual transfer switch. Previous owner Back-Fed through a 220V outlet in the barn. Not exactly a good Idea. That outlet was changed out to use a welder and I will have a licensed electrician come in and make it work correctly.
    Last edited by HouseMouse; 11-24-2014 at 07:36 AM.
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    I went with a Northstar 8KW standalone....I am in the camp of having a few motors to keep up after the better, but having tractor free for other chores won out....8K will run whole house, including well, we just do not use oven or must turn things off if we used OK for the price point.....I can get up a few times a night and reheat house if necessary, better that $10K tied up in something I might use every other year or so....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    The Sharpie Breaker Selection System (SBSS) - this is a very high tech, expensive, and complex system designed by a German, at CERN, deep underground. It involved getting one Silver and one Gold sharpie. I marked the breakers that we deem essential as one color, and the non-essential the other color. You can get separate breaker boxes, but that's a PITA and expensive.
    I wanted to install a SBSS system but couldn't swing the price. Ended up going with the Orange Dot Breaker Priority System (ODBPS).

    Click image for larger version. 

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