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My generator came today, a week early!

Discussion in 'Random Nonsense' started by Daniel~, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Why bring up reading the manual at a time like the present? load balancing...I don't suppose there's any chance of mine doing that automatically? Please explain the concept, you know, so like even I can understand it.
  2. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Talked to some folks, They suggested putting the Genie next to the propane
    to keep it from freezing up....That's of course if I can get it started at 20F

    There's sure to be a solution as so many share the problem.
  3. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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  4. danrok

    danrok Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think the propane will freeze, but it will become liquid instead of vapor in very cold weather.

    But, it should give off vapor down to -43.6°F.

    https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/2084-can-and-does-propane-freeze-does-lpg-freeze
  5. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    Actually it's the butane fraction that causes problems. Propane's good down to -40°F. My concern was only that domestic cylinders are usually a blend rather than single gas.

    Anyway, just putting your hand over the regulator for 5 minutes should get things moving.
  6. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Weren't the famous long bows of England olde made from Yew?

    Personally, I'd make sure those wires are completely covered.

    You need to balance the load on your generator. I'm guessing you have three outputs available? If so, each output needs the same load. Ideally this means that circuit A, B, C are the same load. 2000 Watts on one channel means 2000W on the other two outputs. Not 2000 Watts on A, 600W on B, 1000W on C. A slight difference is OK, however.

    I've never heard of automatic load balancing. Read the manual, ok? Yes, this makes you less than a REAL American Man. So what? This generator is a substantial investment.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  7. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    Ok I've had time to read the thread properly.

    Load balancing: generators, including ones in power stations, typically produce 3 phase power. To get the maximum performance out of a generator, the phases need to be balanced as close as possible, in terms of power consumption, otherwise the energy produced in the windings for the under-used phases manifests itself as heat, which may damage the generator. To mitigate this, power companies do two things (in the UK/Europe at any rate. American power standards are weird*). First, in any street, each house is connected to each phase in sequence - you might be connected to R phase, your neighbour to Y phase, next house to B phase, then back to R for the third house along. On average, people use roughly the same amount of power, so in any given block, the substation should be roughly balanced. The next is load shedding - unwanted power from under-utilised phases is passed through a resistive load (basically an electric heater) to get rid of it outside the generator.

    Some better domestic generators can manage a certain amount of automatic load shedding - typically not enough for the full power off a winding, though.

    It's useful that you plan to supply 3 houses as then your best bet is to put each on a separate phase. If you need to keep your 220V sockets running, that's also simple. (house 1: R+Y, 2: Y+B, 3: B+R)

    50% is maximum load: as noted above, phases need balancing. If you have unbalanced loads, the output must be derated to avoid overheat and/or over-current. Domestic generator manufacturers know they're not selling to engineers, so they de-rate it first, in order to prevent you from letting the magic blue smoke out of your generator the first time you use it. In principle, with a properly balanced load you could get the full 15kW out of it, assuming the breakers are up to it.

    Winterisation for propane: check the datasheet, or label on the side of the cylinder - if it's 99% propane you're fine. If it's 90% or less, insulate the regulator and hoses. Do not put the bottles next to the generator - they don't like getting too hot.

    Now get back on eBay and look for an Automatic Transfer Switch with generator start contact and you could have the generator fire up automatically on power failure :)
  8. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Kaitain! Hope this is helpful to Dan. Good to know that SOME generators can shed out of balance loads automagically, with luck Daniel's will have this feature.
  9. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Kaitain!
    We have a pro coming sometime in the next week. Patti's discussed all our concerns and he's bringing us 150 gallon tank and all the trimmings (Like connectors, hoses etc.) I'll check on our gas purity when he brings the new tank. We already have to insulate and heat our water hose so we know the drill.

    He delivers to a lot of people out where we are, knows the conditions and seems to really want to help.
    It's a lot cheaper and a hell of a lot quieter to share power between three or four trailers on one geny.

    I'll catch you guys up on my adventure into the realms of power when the gas arrives.

    I thought about an auto start setup for power failures. But I only have to walk around the trailer, unplug main power and plug in my geny. So we continue to save for Patti's retirement. ":O}
  10. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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  11. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    George thank you for keeping this thread moving along. Now if you just had a really really long extension cord..I could maybe move the genie a few feet closer if that helps? ":O}
  12. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    This is wonderful news Daniel. Please remember to ask about load balancing. I have had thoughts of obtaining a generator (I have lived in houses. Some of them had gardens in the basement or spare bedroom) yet the balancing load requirement always put me off. And I never had a power outage that I can remember out in the 'burbs.

    Glad that a professional is coming to visit!
  13. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    George!

    You have once again bullied me into doing something I just know I will regret! I have started in on the manual.

    Lots of scary pictures and diagrams More warnings than a NASA rocket on reentry.

    So basically as I misunderstand things it should go like this:

    1.Start gen. nothing attached.
    2. prior to starting add up all the running voltage of each trailer I wish to power
    Then add the highest starting voltage to that figure
    4. trying to balance the loads on each outlet
    adding one thing at a time to be powered by the Gen.
    6.Before turning off gen turn off anything that is running on gen power.Disconnect all plugs.
    7. turn off gen by cutting off fuel supply.once everything is unplugged.
    8. do not run in rain or snow unless sheltered.

    I now feel that I know enough to understand what the delivery and set up guy has to tell me.
    fortuitously I have help! If they want power they will have to show me all their secrets!!
  14. danrok

    danrok Administrator Staff Member

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    Is your oven and heating gas or electric powered?
  15. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Good on you, Dan! You actually cracked open the manual. Yay!!


    "Add up all the running voltage of each trailer"? I find this to be confusing. All voltages will be the same, I think. 117 V. Or 220 V.
    The Wattage is what must be added up, I think. AFAIK. Let's ask danrok for a mathematic formula that must be used. If not danrok, that sparking engineer Sir Kaitain that we are so fortunate to have as a Member will probably help. I hope!

    Of course, Amperage may be the crucial number here. But I don't know. I used to fix little electronic things and install miles and miles of wiring for bigger electric things. I dunno how to design them. Or I've always been terrible with mathematics if I must be honest.
  16. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    AC power is weird and annoying. To get it absolutely correct, you not only have to know the power consumed by equipment, but also how the equipment consumes its power. This is why I never studied electrical engineering, but went from chemical to control systems...

    In terms of the above, there's not a lot of point in being exact - just have a startup checklist instead of sheets of numbers.
  17. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Any forwarder with your generator, Dan? Sure hope so. I'm guessing you may have thought that a generator would solve all of your going without power from your utility company without further hassles?

    Looks like things become much more difficult when you become your own power company. Drat!
  18. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Could you let us know how your adventures in generator land are going, please?
  19. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    We have both Dan.
    This is where it gets tricky. We WERE pay 450 a month with separate utilities, but we moved to a better spot without a separate electric meter. So we now pay 525 a month WITH included utilities.

    So we will pay more during a power outage, but our view of the river justifies the added expense

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