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Old 11-10-2012, 08:32 AM   #76
CodeMonkee
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Just got a house out in the boonies (near the top of a mountain, 20 acres of trees etc.) and everybody here has a generator because the power does go out from time to time (single line in through trees). The house has a cutout box for the generator (around here, if the utility co. finds out you have a generator hooked up and back feeding, or you didn't even tell them you have a cutoff switch, they will cut your power and take their sweet time about hooking it back up to teach you a lesson).

I am eventually going to get a low RPM water cooled 10kw diesel genset with inverter that will power both the house and the shop and full power for extended periods as needed. The diesel genset will be have a block heater and a trickle charger on the battery so it will be always ready to go. It will get put inside the shop with a sound insulation setup and a really good exhaust silencing system.

I am also going to get a solar power setup as a partial backup.

But right now I am cash and equity poor, so I am going to get a small Honda inverter generator. There is a 6500iEU for $3600, but I am going to probably get the "Handi" (80 pounds) 3000i setup for less than half that. That might be enough to power the well pump and lights and a fan and the fridge if I don't run them all at the same time. Maybe the hot water heater - I need to figure out how much each takes. The main thing is to have something to power the well pump (I am going to see if I can get a larger and/or additional pressure tank so the pump will come on less often).

I have a woodstove that keeps the very well insulated whole house plenty warm for 12+ hours per load, especially if I use the ceiling fan to circulate the air. So mostly I need something to power the well and fridge for water and food. I usually heat food with the microwave, but I have camp stoves (hiking and camping) and I can heat food on the woodstove too. So I mostly need to keep the food cold and the water running and maybe keep from having to take a cold shower (lukewarm would be okay).

The more or less portable genset would be useful for when I take my truck with dirt bikes camping and as a backup for the diesel genset when I get it later.

I do have some experience with gensets - I maintained them in the USCG, and my first job out of college we were running several 1kw transceivers in the field for the DOD - we had a liquid cooled diesel genset in a trailer with a lead sheeting enclosure (it was still very loud).

The small air cooled gensets are not meant to be run constantly or at full power for very long, so if you anticipate needing backup for more than a few hours at a time it is better to go with a liquid cooled setup.

I don't anticipate that I will need power for my house for more than an hour each day - just enough to get up in the morning, take a shower, eat breakfast and then leave for work. The rest of the time I can get by without power until the power is restored as long as the woodstove works.

Eventually I want to have a better setup so I can have full power for extended periods if I have to.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #77
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A friend of mine is in a similar situation in NH. He has a cheap construction generator to run the well pump as it takes 240V. He runs everything else (selectively) on a EU2000i.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #78
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Bought the 3000is today. It has some hours on it but well maintained, clean and the propane conversion is a nice option, dual fuel . Sucker is pretty heavy at about 145 pounds. Very quiet too! I think it will do nicely.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:28 AM   #79
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Finally got the house wired yesterday.

We went with an interlock instead of a transfer switch for a number of reasons.
- Don't have to pick and choose circuits.
- Doesn't matter what size generator you use.
- Less expensive: we seldom lose power here in Boston so this is a real emergency backup.

There's a plug outside on the wall, and we have a long, heavy cable so we can keep the generator behind the house, near the back door. That way it's not visible from the street and is behind a locked gate, harder to hear, easier to get at for fueling, etc.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:39 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonkee View Post
Just got a house out in the boonies (near the top of a mountain, 20 acres of trees etc.) and everybody here has a generator because the power does go out from time to time (single line in through trees). The house has a cutout box for the generator (around here, if the utility co. finds out you have a generator hooked up and back feeding, or you didn't even tell them you have a cutoff switch, they will cut your power and take their sweet time about hooking it back up to teach you a lesson).

I am eventually going to get a low RPM water cooled 10kw diesel genset with inverter that will power both the house and the shop and full power for extended periods as needed. The diesel genset will be have a block heater and a trickle charger on the battery so it will be always ready to go. It will get put inside the shop with a sound insulation setup and a really good exhaust silencing system.

I am also going to get a solar power setup as a partial backup.

But right now I am cash and equity poor, so I am going to get a small Honda inverter generator. There is a 6500iEU for $3600, but I am going to probably get the "Handi" (80 pounds) 3000i setup for less than half that. That might be enough to power the well pump and lights and a fan and the fridge if I don't run them all at the same time. Maybe the hot water heater - I need to figure out how much each takes. The main thing is to have something to power the well pump (I am going to see if I can get a larger and/or additional pressure tank so the pump will come on less often).

I have a woodstove that keeps the very well insulated whole house plenty warm for 12+ hours per load, especially if I use the ceiling fan to circulate the air. So mostly I need something to power the well and fridge for water and food. I usually heat food with the microwave, but I have camp stoves (hiking and camping) and I can heat food on the woodstove too. So I mostly need to keep the food cold and the water running and maybe keep from having to take a cold shower (lukewarm would be okay).

The more or less portable genset would be useful for when I take my truck with dirt bikes camping and as a backup for the diesel genset when I get it later.

I do have some experience with gensets - I maintained them in the USCG, and my first job out of college we were running several 1kw transceivers in the field for the DOD - we had a liquid cooled diesel genset in a trailer with a lead sheeting enclosure (it was still very loud).

The small air cooled gensets are not meant to be run constantly or at full power for very long, so if you anticipate needing backup for more than a few hours at a time it is better to go with a liquid cooled setup.

I don't anticipate that I will need power for my house for more than an hour each day - just enough to get up in the morning, take a shower, eat breakfast and then leave for work. The rest of the time I can get by without power until the power is restored as long as the woodstove works.

Eventually I want to have a better setup so I can have full power for extended periods if I have to.
sounds like you need a minimum of 4k-5kw to support your well pump. have you considered a smaller Chinese diesel genset with 8hp. there are several available for about $850 range.

despite what the perception of Chinese engine not holding up. that's no longer true. with advent of Chinese companies meeting ISO 9000. some engines produced are high quality as any in the world.

some of those 8hp diesel engines can run for days on very little fuel. I've got two EU2000i ... an 8hp diesel will be running my next genset.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #81
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I will also recommend the Honda EU2000i. I bought mine several years ago for about $800 and it has never let me down. They cost a bit more these days but are definitely worth it. I got mine here:

http://www.wisesales.com/generators-...erators-1.html

I am also interested in the diesel genset discussion as my wife and I are looking at some off grid properties. I am interested in this one and wonder if anybody has any experience with it.....

http://www.generatorsales.com/order/...age=yanmar_4kw
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #82
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After seeing the problems of getting gas in an emergency situation, I am also thinking about a diesel genset. We have an oil fired furnace, so I have a big oil tank as a backup fuel source. This one looks pretty nice, I will be interested to see if anyone posts up a personal experience with it. Thanks for the link.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:27 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonkee View Post
Just got a house out in the boonies (near the top of a mountain, 20 acres of trees etc.) and everybody here has a generator because the power does go out from time to time (single line in through trees). The house has a cutout box for the generator (around here, if the utility co. finds out you have a generator hooked up and back feeding, or you didn't even tell them you have a cutoff switch, they will cut your power and take their sweet time about hooking it back up to teach you a lesson).

I am eventually going to get a low RPM water cooled 10kw diesel genset with inverter that will power both the house and the shop and full power for extended periods as needed. The diesel genset will be have a block heater and a trickle charger on the battery so it will be always ready to go. It will get put inside the shop with a sound insulation setup and a really good exhaust silencing system.

I am also going to get a solar power setup as a partial backup.

But right now I am cash and equity poor, so I am going to get a small Honda inverter generator. There is a 6500iEU for $3600, but I am going to probably get the "Handi" (80 pounds) 3000i setup for less than half that. That might be enough to power the well pump and lights and a fan and the fridge if I don't run them all at the same time. Maybe the hot water heater - I need to figure out how much each takes. The main thing is to have something to power the well pump (I am going to see if I can get a larger and/or additional pressure tank so the pump will come on less often).

I have a woodstove that keeps the very well insulated whole house plenty warm for 12+ hours per load, especially if I use the ceiling fan to circulate the air. So mostly I need something to power the well and fridge for water and food. I usually heat food with the microwave, but I have camp stoves (hiking and camping) and I can heat food on the woodstove too. So I mostly need to keep the food cold and the water running and maybe keep from having to take a cold shower (lukewarm would be okay).

The more or less portable genset would be useful for when I take my truck with dirt bikes camping and as a backup for the diesel genset when I get it later.

I do have some experience with gensets - I maintained them in the USCG, and my first job out of college we were running several 1kw transceivers in the field for the DOD - we had a liquid cooled diesel genset in a trailer with a lead sheeting enclosure (it was still very loud).

The small air cooled gensets are not meant to be run constantly or at full power for very long, so if you anticipate needing backup for more than a few hours at a time it is better to go with a liquid cooled setup.

I don't anticipate that I will need power for my house for more than an hour each day - just enough to get up in the morning, take a shower, eat breakfast and then leave for work. The rest of the time I can get by without power until the power is restored as long as the woodstove works.

Eventually I want to have a better setup so I can have full power for extended periods if I have to.
Sounds to me you should be putting less thought into generators and more thought into solar panels, a low voltage well pump and a water storage tank. A storage tank no matter what. <$5,000 and you rarely buy fuel again. Add more as needed.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
sounds like you need a minimum of 4k-5kw to support your well pump. have you considered a smaller Chinese diesel genset with 8hp. there are several available for about $850 range.

despite what the perception of Chinese engine not holding up. that's no longer true. with advent of Chinese companies meeting ISO 9000. some engines produced are high quality as any in the world.

some of those 8hp diesel engines can run for days on very little fuel. I've got two EU2000i ... an 8hp diesel will be running my next genset.
I probably need 3 to 4kw to startup the pump, probably less to run it once started.

The used generator I am looking at is a Honda 3kw inverter "Handi" model. It only weighs about 70 pounds and I figure this would be a good one for camping and with my truck when dirt biking. Also, if I had to, this would be one I could loan out.

I would want a larger water cooled diesel genset regardless, but I just bought this house so I am kind of cash poor (I need to buy an AWD car too as my Bimmer just won't make it through any snow we will get this winter).

IF the 3kw genset isn't enough then I can get another just like it (or close enough to use the pairing module for Honda inverter gensets) and use them together until I can afford a diesel. Then I would let the kids have one of the small Hondas for their house.

I know some of the stuff coming out of China is okay, but some of it isn't. The Honda generators are a known quality so I will stick with them. Plus I like the size and weight, and the fact that I can pair it with another, and the fact that it is an inverter model (haven't seen any used China made inverter models) and therefore uses less fuel and is quieter.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #85
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Sounds to me you should be putting less thought into generators and more thought into solar panels, a low voltage well pump and a water storage tank. A storage tank no matter what. <$5,000 and you rarely buy fuel again. Add more as needed.
Solar is in the plans, but I am going to wait another year or two to build up more cash and for the price on panels to come down. I would also like for better battery tech to make it on the market.

I have thought about a storage tank, but I don't have enough elevation on the upper side above the house to get enough pressure to do without a pump. I would need at least 45 foot elevation to get 20 PSI and the well is barely ten feet above the house and then the terrain doesn't get that much higher.

Still, a cistern/tank up the hill would help somewhat and would allow me to at least get a little water from the faucets if the pump wasn't running. I might also be able to run a just a booster pump.

That is all in the future plans too. This winter I just need some at least some minimal emergency power and an AWD commuter car (I have a large 4WD truck, but it lost 5th gear and it is too large to be good for commuting).

I have a lot of plans for things and stuff to do to spend money on and now that I spent all my money on buying the property I don't have much left to buy or do any of it. I don't even have curtains yet (the room with the woodstove has large picture windows that are double pane, but they leak heat) or rugs or stuff like that.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:16 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by oj may View Post
After seeing the problems of getting gas in an emergency situation, I am also thinking about a diesel genset. We have an oil fired furnace, so I have a big oil tank as a backup fuel source. This one looks pretty nice, I will be interested to see if anyone posts up a personal experience with it. Thanks for the link.
I run 10kw power head from a 220D Mercedes diesel engine.

Engine is a overkill for that small power head but I was able to gear it down to run engine in lower rpm for better fuel consumption.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:12 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by oj may View Post
After seeing the problems of getting gas in an emergency situation, I am also thinking about a diesel genset. We have an oil fired furnace, so I have a big oil tank as a backup fuel source. This one looks pretty nice, I will be interested to see if anyone posts up a personal experience with it. Thanks for the link.
It isn't just fuel, if you are going to be running the generator for any length of time (more than a few hours, more than a few days) you probably want a water cooled diesel engine anyway.

For short term emergencies (or camping), say the power goes out once and you need to run a generator for a couple of hours for a day or two and you are running at less than say 80% of the rated continuous power, and this is something that happens once a year or so, then okay, a small air cooled generator is fine.

But if you need to run for 4 to 8 hours (or more) a day for a week or two or more, and this happens several times a year, then you are probably going to wear out a small air cooled generator in very little time at all.

I am going with the small gas powered air cooled generator for now because I can always use it when camping/dirt biking and/or to loan out to a neighbor or family. A water cooled diesel genset with more than enough power to run everything I have, including everything in the shop, for weeks, may not really be needed, but it will be nice to have and will add to the value of the property (along with a solar setup).

Also, diesels can be run at least partially on propane or natural gas (google "propane fumigation diesel") which extends the run time of the genset and (depending on the cost of propane) may decrease fuel costs. Propane also will store longer (almost indefinitely) than diesel or gasoline and can be used for heating, cooking or even cooling.

If you have natural gas then it is much cheaper than propane and you can run a diesel genset on it too. If the infrastructure was there (CNG filling stations) I would run CNG in my truck, but unfortunately we don't have any public CNG refueling stations in the region and I don't have NG to my property.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #88
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Been looking at used Honda "suitcase" generators.

Most of the local used ones are not that much cheaper than new that I would not just go ahead and get a new one.

Noticed that Wise Sales has some good prices (free shipping) and they have a a triple parallel kit for the inverter generators that lets you hook up three inverters of different sizes. So I could get a 2000i for now, buy another Honda inverter later, and maybe yet another - same or different size.

Some things this may help for my usage:

a) Let's me have at least one for now while I am a bit tight on money.

b) Let's me add on more later as cash reserves are increased and I recover from depleting my savings buying the property. I like to keep enough reserves for living expenses (including mortgage) for at least 6 months.

c) Gives me the flexibility to get different sizes.

d) Lets me get one and add a tri-fuel kit to it. This is good for both my own use (will have backup propane here and on the truck) and to loan out to my kids (they have NG at their house).

Some things I found doing research:

1) There is a tri fuel kit that puts the regulator at the NG/LPG source instead of the generator. For a suitcase genset this is better because it doesn't make the genset have the kit hanging off it.

2) The triple parallel kit.

3) There is a guy who makes a remote electric start kit for the 2000i (generally for an RV). It is $800, but if that is what you want/need, there it is. For my truck/RV this might actually be desirable.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #89
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^^unless you're running ~really~ old fuel, the Honda EU2000i starts easily enough that an electric start isn't necessary. One - two pulls at the most and it's running.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:21 PM   #90
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^^unless you're running ~really~ old fuel, the Honda EU2000i starts easily enough that an electric start isn't necessary. One - two pulls at the most and it's running.
I am sure the e-start is to facilitate the remote start feature.

There are also some people who are disabled enough that they cannot pull a rope starter regardless of how easy it is.
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