Green Tractor Talk banner

21 - 40 of 205 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
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.

That 200 hours a year limit is set by the EPA. There are different emissions requirements for standby vs. non-stanby generators. Those 1800 RPM standby sets will run WAY more than 200 hours per year. The manufactures just have to say that so the gensets are not mis-used. There is a new market for low hour units, think 3600 RPM diesels, these units are not designed to live as long at full load. They will still get you through an outage but we are talking hundreds (couple thousand hours) of hours of life vs. many thousands for the 1800 rpm units.

For example a rental genset (no-standby) with a built in trailer needs to be Tier 4 final with SCRs, DOCs and DPFs. A crafty person could take your new genset, bolt it to a double axle trailer and use it in a rental application for about half the cost and have it work just as well if not better because it doesn't have all of the after treatment. Here in the US, the department of transportation shuts these homemade units down for not meeting DOT rules but in other countries a lot of generators get bolted to old boat trailers and run for many years as rental units.

Here is an example of what the EPA does not allow here but you see a lot of in other countries.
786884
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Right you are! My Perkins is interim Tier 4 since it's a "standby" generator. As I researched generators I discovered the EPA also was dictating generator generator emissions based on use. I suppose any engine emissions is now regulated - the government bureaucracy has its hooks into everything.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,625 Posts
Nice purchase John. I'm looking for a natural gas one myself. Well a cheap used one ( in good shape) I pull off one of these cell sites. They are few and far btwn compared to the diesel. Generac generators with an asco transfer switch is usually what we see.

I'm flying generators this morning. Got one a day to install. Full week!
PXL_20210511_122845850.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Nice purchase John. I'm looking for a natural gas one myself. Well a cheap used one ( in good shape) I pull off one of these cell sites. They are few and far btwn compared to the diesel. Generac generators with an asco transfer switch is usually what we see. I'm flying generators this morning. Got one a day to install. Full week!
I did find previously used cell site generators on the interwebs but those were much larger than I needed. During our power outage, the ATT cell tower that I use ran on generator for 14 days and then it went down for a day or two. It must have been refilled and the site came back up (thank goodness.) Our local ham radio repeater lost power and it went down so it was cell or nothing.

Your pix of lifting the generator with straps has given me an idea. I been thinking about how I'm going to lift mine without damaging the enclosure, my initial thought was making a couple of spreaders out of old pipe and use chain. Then after taking some measurements I can use my pallet fork attachment with the forks spread out maximum to four feet and chain from each fork straight down. Using straps would be much easier to work with than chain.

Nice, John. Really nice.
Thanks! How did you guys make out after the winter storms - back to normal for the most part? Our beautiful oak tree canopy is gone and some of the oak varieties might not recover, live oaks should be fine. Our trees took such a beating, very sad to see them.

I still haven't repaired my shop plumbing and the motorhome has a serious water leak somewhere around the water heater, that's not a priority to fix right now. I was told the RV waters are on backorder until the June timeframe.

Just got back from town, I picked up some concrete anchors, special concrete/fastener adhesive and a new 5/8" masonry bit. Also got 1/2" hardware cloth to place over the ends of the enclosure to keep out undesirables.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
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.
I think you should probably top the tank off. A tank outdoors half empty is asking for condensation to form on the inside walls and contaminate the fuel. Top it off and keep it topped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I think you should probably top the tank off. A tank outdoors half empty is asking for condensation to form on the inside walls and contaminate the fuel. Top it off and keep it topped.
You were reading my mind, I was rethinking my plan for initially filling it half full. I'm wondering if a double wall tank would minimize condensation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,666 Posts
I keep my equipment tanks full. You mostly get condensation from the return fuel to the tank being warm and warming the fuel in the tank. Then at shut down the fuel has to cool. Do this over and over on a daily basis is the most cause of condensation.

A standby generator won't suffer from this as much but still to some degree depending on how long you run it during maintenance runs.

In any event I like to keep tanks full. But in this case you are playing the possible condensation game against the stale fuel game. Tough one.

My 150 gallon bulk tank sits outside but is always in the shade. Of course it doesn't get the fuel warmed by any returned fuel. As I've said that fuel has gone 2 years for me without any issues.

I feel in your situation I would keep it full. But set something up with a portable pump to empty the tank once a year into your other machines and refill with fresh treated fuel. That would seem like the best scenario to me.

I also have a 1000 gallon underground tank that feeds my furnace. It is not real particular on the fuel it needs. When I have fuel that I am in doubt with I dump it in there. It gets blended in with all the other fuel then. I of course monitor the water (if any) with a visible fuel filter. I think these Goldenrod filters are great as you can see the water trapped and drain if necessary. Don't know if it would be able to be installed on your generator but would sure give some peace of mind as far as water in the fuel. They have one that is a "water block" that will stop the flow when enough water is present and one with a normal cartridge. They are available in 1" NPT and 3/4" NPT.


786937
81jxvRBTAkL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Have you thought about fuel gelling?

You probably have that figured out already, but was that a problem when you had your recent cold snap? Do the diesel fuel providers blend with kerosene or whatever in the winter, and down to how low a temp?

Even if they blend it, what are the chances of you not having that blend in your tank, or if there's an early cold snap. Is that fuel treatment also an anti-gel?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
We never need a winter diesel blend here and I don't think it's even available. After some really cold weather here (below 4F) in February I started my Deere 4720 with no problems, I was wondering if it would start but no problems.

The fuel treatment I use is Pri-D and Biobor-JF, not sure If Pri-D is anti-gelling. Biobor-JF is a biocide.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jimmy Walker

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
I looked up Pri-D. I don't think it's got anti-gel properties:
INDUSTRIAL GRADE DIESEL TREATMENT for LUBRICITY ● STABILITY ● DEPOSIT & EMISSIONS CONTROL

  • Engines perform better and last longer
  • Fuel lubricity is enhanced for reduced wear
  • Power is increased and fuel economy realized
  • Fuel stays fresh and ready to use
  • Degraded fuels are restored to freshness
  • Tanks and fuel lines remain free of slime and sludge
  • Smoke opacity is dramatically reduced
I used to use PowerService (white bottle) in my VW TDI, especially when an early cold snap could occur before the fuel had been cut with kero. I'm not in Texas though, lol. But seriously, were there any news articles about gelling diesel fuel tanks during your cold snap? Once gelled, only warming heat can ungel, and the little guy will be sitting out there in the open.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
If you are worried about the end of society you won’t have diesel to buy. A major grid emergency will prohibit pipelines and fuel farms from operating. State of Wisconsin did a practice grid black out drill. One of the biggest problems? Getting diesel to hospitals etc. no power, no pumps, no pumps, no fuel. I’d think about solar and battery storage etc and supplement with a generator if needed. You must have quite the load to need 13kw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
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.
Now you have me rethinking going the MEP units…I guess I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the current MIL gensets used a lot of the same parts and/or there was a surplus of parts for those very common engines.

I’ve kinda given up on the company I found probably 3-4 years ago..I’ll have to look it up and edit this post…I asked one question they answered…but the second about shipping costs has yet to be answered. They have no email address or phone number posted; which is somewhat concerning!

I’ll check out the link posted about another company above. I liked the MEPs as they seem pretty beefy and I think I was looking at 8Kw unit for around $5K. The downside you have no clue how many hours it will have until it shows up….I don’t really want to drop $10K (or more) for a whole home backup generator…..mmmm


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
You must have quite the load to need 13kw.
It does not take much to get to a need for 13kW.
Base load for most with just lighting and a fridge is in the 1kW range (that is with LED lighting)
Add in other requirements he may have, Well Pump and Sump or Septic Lift Pump and those items if they come on at the same time (which they often do) will have startup draws pushing 8kW combined. Now add in AC (he is from TX where many places that is not a luxury item) or Heat (assume heat pump, again TX) then you might have to start budgeting your power usage to not overload 13kW.

Also if you get a standby generator like this you generally size it to power the majority of the house not just the absolute bare essentials.

EDIT: Forget other high draw items like electric hot water, electric stove or range, etc. Now for the stove and range those are easy items to budget with, want to cook turn the AC off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I looked up Pri-D. I don't think it's got anti-gel properties:

I used to use PowerService (white bottle) in my VW TDI, especially when an early cold snap could occur before the fuel had been cut with kero. I'm not in Texas though, lol. But seriously, were there any news articles about gelling diesel fuel tanks during your cold snap? Once gelled, only warming heat can ungel, and the little guy will be sitting out there in the open...........snip.............
Zero reports of diesel fuel gelling here in the Texas Hill Country, now up in the Texas panhandle they might indeed need to blend in some kerosene for winter.

If you are worried about the end of society you won’t have diesel to buy. A major grid emergency will prohibit pipelines and fuel farms from operating. State of Wisconsin did a practice grid black out drill. One of the biggest problems? Getting diesel to hospitals etc. no power, no pumps, no pumps, no fuel. I’d think about solar and battery storage etc and supplement with a generator if needed. You must have quite the load to need 13kw.
My 'end of society' remark was a bit of hyperbole basically for comparing propane to diesel availability in an emergency situation. Propane tanks need to be filled from a delivery service like my bulk diesel tank however I can jug diesel wherever it can be found. Propane delivery here was impossible for several days due to iced up roads or lines down across roads. We got out and grabbed 20 gallons of gas from our local station after they got fuel delivery. Friends that needed propane bottles filled were waiting in lines that were over an hour long. I was able to lend them a full 20 pound bottle for their little propane radiant heater, that was their only emergency heat for their house.

Our bulk fuel dealer ran out of gasoline in stages according to price per gallon, then on-road diesel and then off-road diesel. They were only completely dry and out of all fuel for six hours before they had a delivery. Again, no mention of diesel gelling.

So my emergency power requirements was to be completely grid independent for a minimum of 30 days with basically no lifestyle disruption. We have a deep well, 3,000 gallons of potable water in tanks and six months of food. Our two week outage pointed out the priorities in no uncertain order: Priority one by a long shot was water. No water, no life.

As far as 13kw requirements, our house is about 3,000 sq ft with multiple HVAC units, one freezer and two fridges, a deep well pump and tank pressure pump. so 50 amps at 240V will service just about everything.


Now you have me rethinking going the MEP units…I guess I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the current MIL gensets used a lot of the same parts and/or there was a surplus of parts for those very common engines........snip......
I was looking at surplus military gen sets on government auctions at IronPlanet and as I recall most of the ones I found were three phase, some were three and one phase and I think even some were 400 Hz. I've bought equipment from IronPlanet and how the equipment was represented at auction was accurate when I took delivery.

As far as parts for the surplus MEP units, I believe they are unique to the MEPs.There is no way I would buy one without parts availability. If a retail surplus dealer was supplying parts, that business could close the doors and disappear overnight. Too much of a risk for a 'bargain' generator for me. My Aurora generator was assembled from readily available assemblies that could be replaced with other vendor parts (like the gen controller or even the gen head.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Now you have me rethinking going the MEP units…I guess I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the current MIL gensets used a lot of the same parts and/or there was a surplus of parts for those very common engines.

I’ve kinda given up on the company I found probably 3-4 years ago..I’ll have to look it up and edit this post…I asked one question they answered…but the second about shipping costs has yet to be answered. They have no email address or phone number posted; which is somewhat concerning!

I’ll check out the link posted about another company above. I liked the MEPs as they seem pretty beefy and I think I was looking at 8Kw unit for around $5K. The downside you have no clue how many hours it will have until it shows up….I don’t really want to drop $10K (or more) for a whole home backup generator…..mmmm


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
If you consider a MEP make sure and do your homework. IMO the only units worth considering are the old 5KW MEP802A and 10KW MEP803A units.

I don't remember the numbers off hand but they have some 400 Hz units that look identical to the 60 Hz. Those are useless for home backup.

The 15KW up units are 3 phase only and not convertible like the noisy old air cooled units were.

The newer units have a digital display that is very difficult to source and expensive if you do.

I haven't needed many parts for mine but I saw hundreds of case damaged units sell a couple of years ago. Not sure where they all went but I suspect there is a junkyard full of spare parts somewhere.

Join up at the Steel Soldiers Forum to get in the heads of the old timers that really know these. They will have some guys that recondition and sell sorted out units if you aren't up to the task yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,590 Posts
How did you guys make out after the winter storms - back to normal for the most part?
We were lucky and didn't have the prolonged power outage that you did. Lost 1 oak that I suspect was already ailing. The only pipe freezes were an outside bib and a short section of irrigation pipe in the pool pump area. I'd disassembled a lot of the pool equipment, so dodged the bullet that devastated many of the TX pools. We were without water for most of the freeze period, but that was an electrical problem that just was going to happen sometime. Too bad I didn't see it earlier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
I have had fuel gel on me three times. It was on my previous Kubota BX stored in a unseated garage. Twice I was clearing snow with ice and slush splashing up on the underside of the tractor. Another time it was near or below zero for an extended period of time. I’d say it possible it could happen in Texas especially with bio-diesel but not likely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
It does not take much to get to a need for 13kW.
Base load for most with just lighting and a fridge is in the 1kW range (that is with LED lighting)
Add in other requirements he may have, Well Pump and Sump or Septic Lift Pump and those items if they come on at the same time (which they often do) will have startup draws pushing 8kW combined. Now add in AC (he is from TX where many places that is not a luxury item) or Heat (assume heat pump, again TX) then you might have to start budgeting your power usage to not overload 13kW.

Also if you get a standby generator like this you generally size it to power the majority of the house not just the absolute bare essentials.

EDIT: Forget other high draw items like electric hot water, electric stove or range, etc. Now for the stove and range those are easy items to budget with, want to cook turn the AC off.
We have an all electric house and have never had a problem with the 12.5 kw Isuzu starting up. The OP has some stuff on gas, too. Should not be a problem Just because stuff is connected does not mean that it wants power right away. Frigs, hot water heaters, etc. have thermostats that call or don't call for juice. If everything was down for a few days, MAYBE it might have a startup problem, but you can easily click breakers off and gradually bring them all back manually.
 
21 - 40 of 205 Posts
Top