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Generator Suggestions

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W2JKT, Sep 5, 2017.

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  1. N1FMV

    N1FMV Subscriber QRZ Page

    This thread is timely. My xyl just assigned me the task to get a whole house permanenetly mounted generator (around 25 to 30KW in our case). She wants me to have the natural gas pipe brought into our property from the street to power it and even get a gas fireplace insert. I am a fish out of water onthis ne. What should I look for? Any tips greatly appreciated.

    Frank
     
  2. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since I can't help myself...

    ...A new wife!

    (just kidding...you made it too easy...)

    You haven't given too much detail as to what you've done already, so I'll assume not much. I looked into this a few years ago and stopped when I reached about $30K in costs, and that was before the generator - just getting a line to the house and such.

    Do you even have gas lines on the street? It seems odd that there would be a line but you're not hooked to it. Very possible, of course, but odd.

    I'd start with the gas utility and see what's needed for hookup - permits, etc. They should give you parameters that (presumably) you'll need to take to a contractor to dig up the yard and install the line. Once you have those quotes, you're 'over the hump' on most of the cost, and you can price out a natural gas generator, a gas range top, a nice driveway lamppost, etc.

    That's how I'd approach this - however, I've not actually seen this project through.
     
  3. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where the Honda shines is fuel consumption. Yes, it's less power.. but it only burns 1 gal every 8-10 hours. In an extended power outage where gas is rationed due to shortages they can go double to triple the time on one gallon of gas which may not sound like much.. but in the aftermath of Sandy having talked to folks who had to wait 2-3 hours daily standing in line to get gas to fuel up their generators because their 5 gal tank only goes 8-12 hours.. fuel consumption suddenly becomes important.

    They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
     
    AG6QR likes this.
  4. WN2C

    WN2C Ham Member QRZ Page

    I lost power the other night. Called the power company and they told me it was a circuit breaker at a substation. Power would be restored in about 3 to 3 hours.
    It was out for an hour. Did the thought of having a generator cross my mind when it went out...yes it did. I do not lose power here very often but when it goes life does get miserable. Maybe I should buy a generator just to have (just in case) but then I would have to store fuel that I have no other use for. (no gas mower)
    Well I guess I could use it while camping. Maybe we as a society are to dependent on AC.
    So what would you do if you lose power and had to ruff it? Do you know how to survive without it? Can you cook food, store food etc...
     
  5. K5PHW

    K5PHW Ham Member QRZ Page

    No need to store fuel. If you have a car, you will have plenty.
    A pump is all that is needed. Seems I always have twenty gallons in the driveway. :)
     
  6. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    Talk to a few local suppliers/installers of these guys to gather information--locals will have the skinny on what permits you'll need and who to talk to for prep and set up. We installed a like-sized generator on a concrete pad outside my mom's place in South Florida and it's fed by what looks like a huge Tylenol pill: a large, white propane tank. We chided her for years because it was an expensive proposition and ever since it was installed (around 12 years ago) there hasn't been a hurricane...'til this year. It's currently purring away, providing electricity to her place while everyone around her remains in the dark.

    One important thought is "future-proofing". When we had the generator serviced/checked last year, the technician said it was an "old" generator and that getting spare/replacement parts for it will be difficult. My brother's checking into this--and I may be wrong--but generator technology hasn't changed all that much in ten years: maybe their controllers have? I don't know.

    As an aside, for the "portable" or rolling generators I lean toward Generac: of all things the engines from those are used in some ultralight aircraft as powerplants.
     
  7. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Honda generators are made by Honda-Mingdong Generator Company, LTD, in Fuzhou, Fujian, China (and, in fairness, 3 other plants in other countries). It just so happens that Fuzhou is also the home of Fuzhou Jet Electric Machinery Co. LTD, EN Electric Motor Co. LTD, and other OEMs of generators large and small. But, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that Honda's going to make the majority of their stuff in the cheapest place to make it, which is going to be either China or India. (Other plants in France and Japan are bound to be more expensive).
     
  8. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Two points: First, verify that you can get fuel out of the car's gas tank before you have a need for it. Many modern cars make it very difficult to siphon gas. Second, make sure your car has a relatively full gas tank when the power goes out. Storms give a bit of warning. Earthquakes, not so much. Some may want to adopt a practice of never letting the tank drop below half full.

    I find it's easier to keep a five gallon can in the garden shed. Every couple of months, when the car needs gas, I put the generator's supply into the car, and go to the station to fill them both.
     
    KE4OH likes this.
  9. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Natural gas or propane would be a good way to go.

    I was hearing Florida lost Natural gas, So it is not 100% reliable.

    Propane is easy to store without getting old.
     
  10. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Florida is a big state. Although the gas pipelines are uneffected, there might be some isolated pockets where the utility shut off the supply but it's unreported here.
    Parenthetically, most gasoline stations never ran out and only a few had lines of cars queuing for gas. The news media has exaggerated as usual cherry picking for headlines as the flooding and damage is limited here.
    We went to dinner tonight and didn't see one leaf on a road.
     

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