Generator - what is needed?


Old 11-30-05, 05:36 PM
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Question Generator - what is needed?

I apologize if this is a stupid question but it's all new to me. I am thinking of purchasing a generator for my townhouse. Ideally, I'd like to have enough energy for my heat pump as well as a couple of appliances (fridge and stove). Enough power to get through a major winter storm causing a day-long power outage.

How do I know what size generator to purchase? Are there other things I need to buy or put into place in order to get the generator up and running? What safety measures must I be attentive to? Sorry for such general questions. I really don't know the slightest about this or where to begin. I'd really like to learn though!
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Old 12-01-05, 05:05 AM
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You are going to need a BIG generator to properly power the items you mention. In addition to the generator you will need a fuel source/storage, of course, and a switching unit. You might try browsing the generators and equipment here:
Old 12-01-05, 07:23 AM
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Smile Thank you!

Thanks for the information! I'll give it a looking-over!!!

Thank you again! I appreciate it!
Old 12-11-05, 09:25 PM
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Take a good look at a quality diesel generator. You can install a sizeable fuel tank onsite. Diesel stores much better and safer than gasoline. Treated diesel (PRI-D or other fuel treatment) fuel can last for more than a year. You are going to have to have upwards of a 15KW run a heat pump I would guess, which is a very large generator. I have a diesel set up with 6KW and run a fifth wheel camper and my home freezer, refrig and 5000 window A/C unit. I stay in the camper at night (Live in Florida and do the hurricane thing each year) and turn on the family room window unit in the day. At the end of the season, I pump what left over diesel I have into my truck. Total cost of my setup with a Yanmar Diesel, 120 gal tank, pump and generator disconnect was about $4500. Onan makes a very quite diesel, I think it is the emerald series with about 7KW power that is real nice. Cost is up there about 6,000 or so. You can find them by doing a search for Onan Diesel. I think their engines are still make by Cummins Diesel. Your other option is to get a propane or natual gas generator (also made by Onan) You could also use some type of a vented gas heater to keep one area of the home warm. Good luck in whatever you choose.
Old 12-12-05, 05:08 PM
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Well, you mentioned that you live in a townhouse and want to run your heat pump and stove. Both of those take a lot of power so you are going to need a big generator. Will your association/neighbors allow you to install a large generator?

Probably the best fuel would be natural gas if you are in the city. You would have an almost unlimited supply of fuel without a storage tank.

Second for fuel I'd pick propane. It takes a large tank to store, but it lasts forever unlike diesel or gasoline that have a limited lifespan.
Old 12-14-05, 01:34 PM
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You need to provide more information. What type of secondary heat does your heating system use? Gas or Electric? If gas, you turn your thermostat to emergency heat and only need the generator to run the blower. If electric, you will need a giant generator. What about your stove? I'm assuming electric. I imagine you could use one eye without any problem. If you have gas emergency heat, you could use that, and power your fridge, lights, and outlets (used sparingly) off a standard 5-6 KW generator.

Tying the generator into your electrical system is another story, best answered on the Electrical forum.
Old 01-05-06, 04:47 PM
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Generator Backup

I have personally installed many backup generators in the area I live in. I found that most of the time a medium sized 10KW will suffice for critical circuits. Cutler-Hammer makes a nice line of medium size dual fuel (lp/ng) complete with transfer switch/panel for about $3K. I usually include the kitchen circuit, microwave, blower circuits for gas furnace, smoke detector circuit and misc lighting circuits. Occasionally a client will request a 200 or 400 amp whole house system, pricing for these systems normally go way beyond their budgets.
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