multiple generators v. single generator

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  #1  
Old 01-25-07, 07:23 AM
gwh
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multiple generators v. single generator

Considering multiple 10Kw generators (2 or 3) instead of single 30Kw for SFR. One for general lighting and small appliances, and one (or 2) for two AC units. (Heat, clothes dryer, range, HWH are natural gas, with LPG space heaters for backup). Reasons:

1. Planning for extended outages of a week -- maybe longer. Need to conserve fuel, which was unavailable for over a week after Katrina. Better to have long period of some use of electrical rather than short period of total use. Can operate bare essentials without huge fuel consumption.

2. Allows use of alternate fuels w/o need for expensive change-over device. Do not want to be dependent on any single fuel source. In bad emergency, natural gas is subject to being diverted or turned off.

3. Redundancy is good; like two outboard motors instead of one on boat in ocean.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-25-07, 07:49 AM
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If you plan on plugging extension cords into the generators and running the appliances right off the extension cords then having and using multiple generators is fine, as long as you do not mind and can deal with the cords.

However, for direct connecting into your panel multiple generators will not work without special equipment. The issue is synchronization. Any and all generators connected together need to be synchronized with each other, and they cannot be allowed to backfeed. Simply connecting them together will not work.
 
  #3  
Old 01-25-07, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by gwh View Post
Considering multiple 10Kw generators (2 or 3) instead of single 30Kw for SFR. One for general lighting and small appliances, and one (or 2) for two AC units. (Heat, clothes dryer, range, HWH are natural gas, with LPG space heaters for backup). Reasons:

1. Planning for extended outages of a week -- maybe longer. Need to conserve fuel, which was unavailable for over a week after Katrina. Better to have long period of some use of electrical rather than short period of total use. Can operate bare essentials without huge fuel consumption.

2. Allows use of alternate fuels w/o need for expensive change-over device. Do not want to be dependent on any single fuel source. In bad emergency, natural gas is subject to being diverted or turned off.

3. Redundancy is good; like two outboard motors instead of one on boat in ocean.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
If your generator was set up for NG you could buy a gas carb to have just in case.

I managed for 2 weeks after hugo on a 1.5kw. In an emergency like this be prepared to replace your energy hog lights with smaller ones. The smallest you can get buy on. It really makes a difference when you are generating your own power. IF you really want to plan for something like this consider getting an a chest type freezer instead of an upright one. HAving this really helped. Since then I have added a well with pitcher pump in our front yard. This could be your only water for a while.
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-07, 11:25 AM
gwh
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
If you plan on plugging extension cords into the generators and running the appliances right off the extension cords then having and using multiple generators is fine, as long as you do not mind and can deal with the cords.

However, for direct connecting into your panel multiple generators will not work without special equipment. The issue is synchronization. Any and all generators connected together need to be synchronized with each other, and they cannot be allowed to backfeed. Simply connecting them together will not work.
I plan on having a separate outdoor Siemens standby power panel (W1224B10060GC -- 100A utility main breaker, 60A generator main, with 12 additional spaces) for each generator.

An outdoor Siemens service entrance panel (W0816B1200CT -- 200A main breaker with space for 4 additional 2-pole breakers) will feed the house indoor panel, a detatched garage indoor panel, and the two SPPs. One SPP will only feed essential house circuits, which will be independent of the house panel. The other SPP will only feed the isolated air conditioning panel.

Do you think this will work?
 
  #5  
Old 01-25-07, 01:11 PM
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Three separate transfer/subpanels, sure.
 
  #6  
Old 01-26-07, 06:04 AM
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I can say that I like your idea
I am thinking of doing that later on myself
I come from the ships where multiple generators are synced together to get more power when needed. Then run on one when demand is less.
I sent an interesting link below

http://yarchive.net/car/rv/generator_synchronization.html

I think it is very interesting and worth looking in to.
I will watch this post and learn more myself.
 
  #7  
Old 01-26-07, 07:19 AM
gwh
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Thank you all for the replies.
The link from Frankiee is a treasure-trove of information.
I will try to update this thread with status of my project.
 
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