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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some might remember my reports every couple of days during our Texas ice storms this February, we lost power for 13 days (friends were out for 18 days). For many days our Honda EU7000is kept essentials going for a few hours every day until it stopped producing power (no trouble found), etc., etc. More to the story but I vowed to never again jug gas to a portable generator during an outage.

So here's a few pictures of our 13kw Aurora diesel gen set (Ontario, Canada.) It has a 3 cylinder Perkins engine (1.5L) running 1800 rpm and a Mec Calte gen head. This setup is rated for continuous duty and 500 hours between oil changes. The controller is a DynaGen TG410 and I'm running cable to the house for a TG410 remote panel (MODbus RS-485.)

The enclosure sits on a 100 gallon double wall diesel tank, at an average of 1/2 gph and 90 gallons usable in the tank we have about seven days of 24 hour running. If I need more diesel, I have a portable 50 gallon tank with pump that I can fill and move to the genny with the tractor and top off that tank.

The TG410 controller also reads fuel level in the tank so I can monitor that. I also had an oil pan heater installed that I can plug in for winter standby. The ATS is two wire connectivity to the gen controller so any two wire ATS can be used,

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1700 pounds!

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The family CFO admires our investment


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GenBobcatTrench.jpg

Dug a trench to the pump house to run the well pump and pressure pump from this meter instead of the shop meter. Skids are still on the bottom of the tank, haven't permanently mounted it as yet.
 

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Wow that is a hell of a unit. Everything looks really easy to access for maintenance, love the battery is front and center too. Curious about the fuel, while diesel has a decent shelf life if you go 5 years without more than a couple of short outages how will you deal with the fuel? Can you pump out to fill tractors or house tank (if you have oil heat) and replenish with fresh fuel?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What did you get for transfer switches ?
The transfer switch is a Vigilant VTS02001240SX, Ronk bought the line from someone else a while ago. Never heard of these guys but the switch is quite impressive. What I like about it is you can manually operate the transfer solenoid if the switch electronics fail. Generac transfer switches (as far as I know) cannot be manually operated. This switch has an exerciser feature and I think an option to exercise under load.

Wow that is a hell of a unit. Everything looks really easy to access for maintenance, love the battery is front and center too. Curious about the fuel, while diesel has a decent shelf life if you go 5 years without more than a couple of short outages how will you deal with the fuel? Can you pump out to fill tractors or house tank (if you have oil heat) and replenish with fresh fuel?
Aurora Generators is a first class product with a first class price (once you add a few options.) After watching their videos and their attention to detail, I was sold. All of the wiring is, speaking as a geek, gorgeous.

Maintenance access is fantastic and the doors can be easily removed for maintenance. Even the end doors are removable. This enclosure is large enough for their 20 and 30 kw generators so maybe those are a bit more cramped for space.

About fuel storage.... I spent many hours pondering propane vs. diesel. I have a 300 gallon off-road diesel bulk tank for my equipment and I use about 125 gallons a year. I use a biocide and a diesel stabilizer and have had zero problems with fuel quality. I think I'll add 50 gallons initially to the gen tank and for about a month or two I'll be running it under load for about an hour or two every week. I want to turn the fuel over every year or 18 months so I'll adjust the exercise schedule for that outcome.

In case anyone is wondering why I chose 13kw and not 20kw, diesels need to be run with a good load to avoid "wet stacking". We can easily run almost everything with 13kw - I'm hoping we can load it to at least 50%. I was very surprised at how much of our house could be run from our Honda EU7000is.
 

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I want to turn the fuel over every year or 18 months so I'll adjust the exercise schedule for that outcome.
I think that is a realistic setup.

I have a 150 gallon tank that I put 100 gallons in every other year. I treat it and have never had an issue going out 24 months. I use about 50 gallons a year right now which of course would change with a diesel genset.

I also have a 1000 gallon underground tank which is chock full from July on and at a minumum 400 gallons in the spring. I have a hand pump all setup for this and can tap into that at any time.

Very impressive unit! I’m glad you took the time to take pics and share the details - thanks!
 

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I used to work for a diesel generator company. Looks like you did your research and chose well. I have two pieces of advise. Run the unit frequently and under load. Seems like you have that figured out based on the above. Not only is it good for the engine to run, and the fuel to turn over, the heat in the alternator dries out the windings and prevents corrosion. The more you use the unit the longer it will last. You won't wear it out in a standby application. The other thing is find a way to keep the rodents out. It will be nice and warm and dry in there in the winter. The rodents like to come in and chew.
 

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Nice size. We put in a 12.5 kw Isuzu diesel generator from Central Maine Diesel in Nov 2012.

Like the bigger tank in that it projects out so you can get to stuff on it within entering the diesel enclosure. Could not figure where the vent was. I put a long piece of rubber line on our vent and ran it up around the engine rather than leave it open down low near the tank top where I sometimes water wash things.

Your diesel consumption won't be 0.5 gph. It's probably be more like 0.25 to 0.3 gph unless your average kw consumption is a lot higher than our 2.5.

We went with a new 200 amp Gentron panel that has 4 little panels that monitor 4 circuits to see if they can go onto the generator, like the clothes drier, etc. The electrician completely rejuggled all the circuit breakers, putting big stuff and stuff we could go without in power failure into the other 200 amp panel.

Never any overload problems. Only problem was with the battery. Had to go with a bigger marine battery and full time battery tender. Only service so far is oil and filter change. Next year is the big one to change all filters and to change the coolant.
 

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That’s a nice setup. Sounds like you really thought it out including fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've been wondering about how to keep birds and mice out of the enclosure, mice can squeeze into a very small opening. We are down to one barn cat from four (expired due to age) and he does make patrols around the house. I need to put traps in there in lieu of a better idea.

Thanks for details about your setup Ralph, Central Maine Diesel was my other top choice for buying a generator. Our stove/range, water heater, emergency heat and clothes dryer are propane powered so we don't need load shedding. 240V at 50 amps will essentially fully replace utility power. Our propane tank is 500 gallons so it lasts a long time.
 

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I've been wondering about how to keep birds and mice out of the enclosure, mice can squeeze into a very small opening. We are down to one barn cat from four (expired due to age) and he does make patrols around the house. I need to put traps in there in lieu of a better idea.

Thanks for details about your setup Ralph, Central Maine Diesel was my other top choice for buying a generator. Our stove/range, water heater, emergency heat and clothes dryer are propane powered so we don't need load shedding. 240V at 50 amps will essentially fully replace utility power. Our propane tank is 500 gallons so it lasts a long time.
Cover the openings with 1/4" hardware cloth.
 

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I got in on the Military Surplus diesel generator craze before it was a craze. I bought a 10KW MEP-803A Tactical Quiet set in 2015.

The prices they are going for these days don't make sense. The last I looked people were paying 60 to 80% of what you could get a new Perkins set from Hardy for. I got mine for $1185 after auction fees and was all in for two grand by the time I had it connected to the house. That money also included the homemade load bank I built to keep it exercised.

It's said these units will carry a full 10KW load, 24/7 in the desert. Mine is powered by a 4 cylinder Onan diesel and it sips about .7 GPH. I don't have remote monitoring so I don't use the remote fuel option. The 9 gallon tank is plenty of run time so I can just refill every so often. When I add fuel I look over the unit and gauges just to keep tabs on it. I run it with a 40 amp load for an hour every month to keep it checked out and I have loaded it to 13.5KW for testing.

I did have two 55 gallon drums sitting behind it but I recently changed to plastic drums and moved the fuel out in my barn. Most of my fuel gets used in my tractor and backhoe. I go through about 300 gallons a year and treat it with biocide for safe keeping.

Here is a picture of my generator connected to the load bank.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've looked at the surplus MEP's off and on for years, they are very attractive for a number of reasons. I was concerned about parts availability and service information so I didn't pursue that.
 

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Really well thought out selection and plan.
I have horrible power reliability here and did some investigating stationary units because I don't want to deal with low output gas powered junk.
Have not made a move yet but was looking at diesel units and found the highly desirable 1800 rpm units are way more money than the 3600 rpm.
Was thinking about getting a propane unit so that I wouldn't worry about fuel decay but I'm not settled yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It is indeed quite a dilemma when deciding on a standby generator. If you are any where near being a SHTF planner or being prepared for a long outage or breakdown of society, it's diesel all the way in my opinion. If your requirements are standby power for a couple of days or a bit longer, the usual 3600 rpm generators will be fine. They are designed for a run time of 200 hours a year which probably covers 90% or more of the average need.
 
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John, I was looking at Kubota job site generators. I know they are not "officially" rated for stand by use but I heard they take a beating and run quite a few hours. Any thoughts on them?
I looked at Generac units but for their price I was not that impressed under the hood, so to speak.
 

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Here is a company that sells Perkins units in the States. I have no connection with them nor do I know anything about them. They used to have their prices online and they looked to be reasonable to me but now they require you to ask for pricing.


What I saw before was they offered everything in pieces. Their enclosures seemed high for what they were. You could build an enclosure for a fraction of the cost of buying one. The actual engine/generator/controller part seemed attractively priced but that may have changed since they took prices offline.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
John, I was looking at Kubota job site generators. I know they are not "officially" rated for stand by use but I heard they take a beating and run quite a few hours. Any thoughts on them?
I looked at Generac units but for their price I was not that impressed under the hood, so to speak.
I'm a huge fan of Kubota, I looked at their diesel generators and every one I could find is running 3600 rpm - that was an immediate disqualification. An engine running at 1800 rpm is going to use less fuel and have a longer lifespan that one at 3600 rpm. The other standby generator I was closely looking at was the 1800 rpm Cummins (gaseous) but service would have been a major issue. Dealers are few and far between. Generac does have 1800 rpm and commercial/industrial models and those might be significantly higher quality than their low end units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here is a company that sells Perkins units in the States. I have no connection with them nor do I know anything about them. They used to have their prices online and they looked to be reasonable to me but now they require you to ask for pricing.


What I saw before was they offered everything in pieces. Their enclosures seemed high for what they were. You could build an enclosure for a fraction of the cost of buying one. The actual engine/generator/controller part seemed attractively priced but that may have changed since they took prices offline.
Aurora Generators has a few customer install pictures and one of them was the Perkins (basically like mine) with no enclosure but installed in a shed. The shed (or small outbuilding) looked site built but it could have been one of those factory built and delivered. Very nice install and I like the idea of having the gen set in a building for critter control and ease of maintenance.

Perkins sells the engine only and what they call Electropak (?) which is the engine, radiator, air cleaner, etc. Ready to bolt a gen head. One price I remember was $8k for this package.
 
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