Generator Power Inlet for 17kw


Old 10-02-11, 03:09 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
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Generator Power Inlet for 17kw

I am planning on purchasing the Generac 17500. My electrician gave me a quote for a power inlet and interlock setup. My question is I've been researching power inlets and everything I find says it only supports up to 12500 watts. What do I need to do to energize the entire panel? Is there a power inlet for higher wattage portable generators or do I need a transfer switch? If so, how do I energize the whole panel like I would with a interlock?

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Old 10-02-11, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,356
A generator of that size is almost always hard-wired. You would need the normal flexible conduit and connectors/junction boxes used with any wiring of a 90 ampere circuit. You could use either a manual or automatic transfer switch between the utility meter and the main panel or you could use the Interlock kit on the main panel in conjunction with a 90 ampere circuit breaker for the generator.
Old 10-02-11, 05:32 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
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An inlet this large would use pin and sleeve connectors.
Old 10-02-11, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Yep, the 50 amp inlets will get you to 12kw. The next step would be pin and sleeve connectors which will cost almost as much as the generator itself. You could find them on ebay for cheaper, or even using dual 50 amp inlets would cost about 1/4 of a new pin and sleeve setup.

Keep in mind however, that most 50 amp breakers are "HVAC" rated. This means that they will allow momentary surges well above rated capacity before tripping. Evaluate your expected loads, I doubt you will need more than 12 kw continously. If this is the case, you would be more than fine with the 50 amp inlet with a 50 amp breaker/interlock setup. The extra 5kw of excess generation capacity would allow a nice buffer for "starting loads."

Using a transer switch vs an interlock wont help your problem, because both would require a propery rated inlet or hardwireing it. Hardwireing what I assume is a portable generator would also expose your installation to many more code issues and may or may not be possibile to do legally.
Old 10-17-11, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southeast MI
Posts: 77
60-Amp straight-pin plug (#14-60)

I concur with Auger01.
The 50A plugs refered to on the 17.5kW generator output panel are #14-50, four-wire stove plugs. As mentioned, they are good for up to 12.5kW. There is a more rare #14-60 straight-pin plug that will give you up to 14.4kW, if you really need that extra 10 Amps. (Just google #14-60, and see what hits/pictures come up). If you are content with staying under a 50A draw for your house, then a conventional stove cord with the straight-pin #14-50 plug at one end and a CS6365 (California Standard) 50A twist-lock outlet at the house-end of the cord, mated to a CS6364 50A power inlet should do the trick.

Question: Do you really need to draw the full 17.5kW? If not, then a 50A set-up will give you a more-than-comfortable 5kW headroom.

Also, regardless if you use 50A or 60A input, depending on your panel arrangement,
Old 10-17-11, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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wmec905 has never again logged in so most likely has not seen the replies nor even cares.
Old 10-26-11, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southeast MI
Posts: 77
Maybe, but there are certainly others who look at these threads, and glean useful information from them w/o ever logging in. Just a thought.....

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