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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.
 
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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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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.

-J.
 

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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!!!!:laugh:, 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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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.
 

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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 dryer....works 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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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).

dots.jpg
 

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Got a free 6.5Kw genny from the mother-in-law (had it for years, never used it once). Cleaned it up and it works like a champ. Wired up a transfer switch with a plug off the back of the house for the critical circuits (fridge, freezer, furnace, well, water heater, and power for the TV and 1 light.) Works just fine. Like Bubber - we treat it like camping.

Gotta get a tow mount for the iMatch as I'm planning on putting the genny inside of my JD 80 cart so that I can just tow it into the yard and tarp over the top when I need it out running in inclement weather (like winter)
 

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Amen to what everyone has said.

The 3 days without power where actually kinda fun!! We helped out neighbors (a lot - they lost their quonset), they helped us. We BBQ'd, we drank whiskey around the fire. It was good.

We did have to cancel a day of clinic to get things cleaned up, but oh well - could've been a lot worse.

Coaltrain - I hear what you're saying. If we didn't have to present ourselves in some degree of dress clothes for work, smelling relatively fresh, I'd be fine with your route as well. I don't NEED internet - but then how would I keep in touch with you guys??!!! We do actually need internet as our patient records are all electronic, so ya, we're kinda dependent in 2014. Spoiled meat and the thought of a frozen house if it ever happens in mid January also freaks us out.

If I lived in hurricane country I'd have a built in auto-start, etc.

It seems that a 6500W or 8000W has most people covered in terms of power needs. I'm not sure how that would change with a furnace running......

I considered the ODBPS system vs. the sharpie, but I worry that I might not be able to stop myself from impulsively shooting at my breaker box........:rocket:

-Jer.
 
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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.
Same here, lived in this rural house for 21 or 22 yrs, forget which. Longest outage we've had was 3-4 hours, which happened to NOT let the Brand New sump pump I'd just bought work.... as soon as the lights went out minutes after we got home with it, I told the wife instead of getting the second sump pump we should have got a generator, small one, to keep the one pump we had running! We had a small piece of carpet, maybe 4 x 5 feet get wet, we threw it away.

I considered getting a generator, portable, 4000-5000W for Y2K, but decided to get it AFTER Y2K.... still waiting to pull the trigger on one REALLY cheap.
 

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I think that I posted this before ... I got a free 6500W gas genny from a friend at work, the low oil sensor is shot and he told me that one day "it just stopped while running". Well to make a long story short, it did have some oil in it, a bit low, but not out. I changed the oil and it started right up. I didn't expect much for free ... best part, once I got it I haven't needed it. A couple of 1 hour to 4 hour outages while we were sleeping, but nothing major.

I also went the manual transfer box route, I have it mounted, but not connected yet.

My future scenario, get a 2000W inverter generator that is ultra quiet and sips fuel for overnight light use, running the oil furnace and fireplace insert in winter. Then use the 6500W just to recharge the fridge and freezer during the daytime for a few hours. We could probably do without the overnight lighting, but in winter, we need to have something for heat. I just couldn't stand the noise of the larger generators running all night.

Another experiment I haven't tried out yet. I have a deep cycle 12V battery and an inverter that can run my fireplace insert fan overnight. That should be enough to keep the house warm until morning. An improvement would be to recharge the battery with a small solar array.

One other comment about PTO generators. Not sure, but don't they have to run at the full PTO speed of 540 rpm? If so, then the tractor (at least mine) would be turning at 3200 rpm, almost full throttle. That's a lot of almost full throttle running on my expensive tractor. If I had to buy another generator, I'd still go stand-alone.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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One other comment about PTO generators. Not sure, but don't they have to run at the full PTO speed of 540 rpm? If so, then the tractor (at least mine) would be turning at 3200 rpm, almost full throttle. That's a lot of almost full throttle running on my expensive tractor. If I had to buy another generator, I'd still go stand-alone.

Just my 2 cents.
You could belt drive your genny from the rear 540 PTO with a step-up ratio pulley set-up. Northern Tool and many other places sell belt-drive generators. Problem with that is the engine governor would have to hold the RPM REAL steady or the current from the genny would not be 60 cycle.

But really, your brand new JD tractor ought to be able to run full load at PTO RPM for several consecutive tanks of fuel without stopping.
 

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.. But really, your brand new JD tractor ought to be able to run full load at PTO RPM for several consecutive tanks of fuel without stopping.
I'm not saying that my tractor can't do it, I'm saying that I may not really want to put that many extra hours on it just to produce electricity.

More of my 2 cents.
 
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My only thought of having a generator running off the pto is WHY? We have only lost our electric ,maybe 2 at the most 3 times and outside temps were warm.
We usually loose ours during the winter months and usually with a large amount of snow on the ground. Meaning , if we have no electric I need the tractor to plow snow. I would go for the stand alone.
 
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I guess I would go against the grain here. I would buy a PTO generator, and actually plan to. One day.....:lol:

We have some nasty storms run through here occasionally and we lose power. Most of the time it's for short periods of time. I don't want or need another loud, gas guzzling, maintenance hog small engine laying around. Especially one that would get so little use. I'd rather get a generator twice the size for the price. I have a perfectly good, perfectly maintained, and sweet power plant ready to work already. I'm not worried about hours. It was built for it. It's not a display piece. Even if I do need the tractor, I wouldn't need it for hours at a time. This seems to be a perfect scenario. At least for me.

If more money were available, I'd have a NG fired auto standby unit like Kenny's.
 

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I guess I would go against the grain here. I would buy a PTO generator, and actually plan to. One day.....:lol:

We have some nasty storms run through here occasionally and we lose power. Most of the time it's for short periods of time. I don't want or need another loud, gas guzzling, maintenance hog small engine laying around. Especially one that would get so little use. I'd rather get a generator twice the size for the price. I have a perfectly good, perfectly maintained, and sweet power plant ready to work already. I'm not worried about hours. It was built for it. It's not a display piece. Even if I do need the tractor, I wouldn't need it for hours at a time. This seems to be a perfect scenario. At least for me.

If more money were available, I'd have a NG fired auto standby unit like Kenny's.
I have to agree. If I were to get a generator that is what I would do also. In addition to what you've said, I hate trying to store gasoline. Even with Stabil I feel it is only good for 6 months. Another reason for my vote for a PTO unit is I have 1000 gallons or more of #2 diesel at my place at any given time - maybe more like 500 gallons or so come spring. Plenty of fuel to run the tractor.

And for those who say they would need their tractor for other duties during a power outage - well me too! In the winter it would be snow removal - in the summer for tree cleanup from a thunderstorm. The way I have it figured I would run the generator for 1-2 hour increments possibly 3 times a day. You wouldn't have your tractor tied up to the generator 24 hours a day.

And a side note - posted on this subject this morning then left to have an early Thanksgiving lunch with my in-laws. Got home at 4pm and ....... wait for it ....... the power was out from the high winds today. Had a 1/2 hour of daylight left - fired up the Aladdin lamp and our beautiful Amish made high pressure gas lamp, got out the propane camp stove, and had supper as normal. Then on the read by the fire light while my wife did her crochet. Never missed a beat!
 

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Coaltrain - I hear what you're saying. If we didn't have to present ourselves in some degree of dress clothes for work, smelling relatively fresh, I'd be fine with your route as well. I don't NEED internet - but then how would I keep in touch with you guys??!!! We do actually need internet as our patient records are all electronic, so ya, we're kinda dependent in 2014. Spoiled meat and the thought of a frozen house if it ever happens in mid January also freaks us out.
I certainly understand your need for internet.

I have never had a problem presenting myself - we lived off grid for 8 years and had a shower everyday and I think I probably smelled just fine.........
 
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