Emergency Power/Storms/Prepping etc

IReallyLikePizza2

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Found it! I watched this a long time ago (maybe on the forum here?) and thought it was really cool. You can get a LARGE diesel home-heating-fuel tank for cheap, and have a good fuel supply on hand...

Yeah I love those MEP gensets, if I could get my hand on one for cheap, I would!
 

abita_brewing

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If I had it to do again... I'd seriously consider a tractor pto model and keeping 20 gal of diesel in rotation. Noise is worse... so a long/expensive cord would be part of the setup.
 

MTL4

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I looked into having a manual transfer switch installed on the outside of the house with a 50A inlet for portable generator use, but I ended up nixing the idea as I don't know if my wife would be able to set all that up if I wasn't around when power went out.

It's a hell of a lot cheaper though to go that route!
I wish we could have those panel breaker lockouts up here but they're not allowed where I am. Everyone seems to either have a transfer panel (what I use along with a 50A inlet) or one of those generlink meter transfer switches (usually limited to just 30A).

So here is the full generator story. When I was looking for a generator and made the other thread, I decided I wanted a liquid cooled unit. At the time, the smallest liquid cooled that Generac made was 22kw, the RG022-QS. But, to jump up to the RG027-QS was just $500, and on a $20,000 install, it seemed dumb not to pay an extra $500 for that capacity. I said 27kw, but its actually 27kw on Propane and only 25kw on Natural Gas, which is what I'm running. Both those generators have the same 2.4L Mitsubishi Inline 4 engine, and just recently they stopped supplying Generac, Cummins and some other brand with them, so now you can only get warranty replacements for them, but no net new units. The smallest liquid cooled unit that is 1800RPM from Generac is now the new XG32, and a 32kw unit is way, way, WAY overkill and uses a lot more natural gas at idle. The other liquid cooled models they have are turbocharged units running at 3600RPM, boo!

I could have gone with Cummins or Kohler at the time, but the Cummins installer was a no-show for the quote, and the best Kohler dealer in the area was trying to tell me I had to change a bunch of electrical stuff as well, bumping up the cost (I did NOT have to change anything, they were just being scummy)

It ended up working out really really well. At that time, I didn't have any power monitoring in place, so I really didn't know how much power I needed, and the City has this antiquated load calculation sheet, and if they determine you are above the kw rated of the genset, you are required by code to install the really annoying load shed modules that fail all the time. The city calculation came out a hair under 25kw, so no load shed modules required!

Much after I did get power monitoring, and with the AC's running, electric oven on, etc I see around 14kw, so I have 11kw to spare. But as @TonyR mentioned, my wife got a Mach-E last year, and we put in a 12kw EV charger in the garage. I'm thrilled I didn't get a smaller genset, as I have enough headroom to pretty much do what I want.

The larger genset also means starting larger motor loads is no problem, and the thing runs super cool all the time.

As for natural gas cost @MTL4 , I got my gas bill and punched the numbers into excel and I have an estimated cost. This assumes a constant 6.25kw load, which is way, way way high. In reality I'm using more like 3kw most of the time. So this is almost a worst case, and it comes out to just $20 currently. I've seen it as low as $10, and as high as $32. Either way, I would happily pay that cost to have power for an entire day!

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We recently had an outage for almost exactly 24 hours during some bad storms here in Houston, and my gas bill was I think $12 above normal, pretty cool!
That is incredibly cheap for fuel, wow super jealous, no wonder you went that route. Most folks up here would probably go off grid at $0.14 per KWH.

If you ever need to analyze your power consumption and power quality more seriously I have a Fluke 43B meter and it works amazing. I use it with an ammeter clamp on each power leg and you can capture all the current surges as well as giving you very accurate average consumption and total harmonic distortion (ensures everything plays nice with electronics, many generators aren't nearly as clean as they claim). You can usually pick them up used for a pretty decent price.
 

MTL4

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Oh I have quite an extensive power monitoring setup. This is in Grafana, all the data from InfluxDB and then I have my IoTaWatt, Genmon and UPS's all feeding data into it. Unlimited data retention and all 100% local and offline
Very cool, I like it. Will it do THD monitoring too? Do you run it all off your Blue Iris machine? Might be nice to see photos of how you have that set up if you don't mind sharing.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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I don't think it does THD but I will check, I think if it did I would have added it in

I don't run it on the Blue Iris machine, but I actually have a post on the full setup here


Got a closet in the center of the house as my small "Server room"

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IReallyLikePizza2

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From the other thread too, but I'll post here it here now. These Ecoflow batteries are awesome. I got this River 2 Pro on sale for $269.99 and got a 100w foldable rigid solar panel from Harbor Freight. The flexible ones just didn't seem as sturdy. I cut the SAE connector off and put MC4's on it

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I’m interested if we can have both Grafana and Mobile Link? We have Mobile Link for remote monitoring but would also really like to know how the generator is performing.

Here, we went with a 24Kw and a 1,000 gallon underground propane tank. I’m hoping we can get more than 2 weeks with power management.
 

IReallyLikePizza2

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I’m interested if we can have both Grafana and Mobile Link? We have Mobile Link for remote monitoring but would also really like to know how the generator is performing.

Here, we went with a 24Kw and a 1,000 gallon underground propane tank. I’m hoping we can get more than 2 weeks with power management.
You mean Genmon? If so, yeah you can. There is a splitter

 

IReallyLikePizza2

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I’m no longer in a position where I can perform the maintenance and so as part of our install price, one year of remote monitoring was included. And, I don’t know what failure points to look at in the generator.

I am certainly open to suggestions!
Probably best to leave it in place, at least until that time is up

But Genmon will give you 100x more information than MobileLink ever could
 

dudemaar

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2 yrs ago we installed a new pacific energy wood stove right in the center of our house on the main floor, This keeps the hole house, including upstairs nice and toasty on those cold Canadian winters. Best $10,000 ever spent. We were spending $3500 every winter on propane, as that is our only option out here. We would be going full on Amish in an event of no power. Only thing I need to do is figure out a way to pump water from the well. Preferably a solar set-up.

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IReallyLikePizza2

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2 yrs ago we installed a new pacific energy wood stove right in the center of our house on the main floor, This keeps the hole house, including upstairs nice and toasty on those cold Canadian winters. Best $10,000 ever spent. We were spending $3500 every winter on propane, as that is our only option out here. We would be going full on Amish in an event of no power. Only thing I need to do is figure out a way to pump water from the well. Preferably a solar set-up.
Looks great! I'd love one here in Houston even if I only use it a week of the year
 

MTL4

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2 yrs ago we installed a new pacific energy wood stove right in the center of our house on the main floor, This keeps the hole house, including upstairs nice and toasty on those cold Canadian winters. Best $10,000 ever spent. We were spending $3500 every winter on propane, as that is our only option out here. We would be going full on Amish in an event of no power. Only thing I need to do is figure out a way to pump water from the well. Preferably a solar set-up.
Right there with you! We use wood in both the house and garage to keep things toasty in winter. Definitely helps when it gets really cold and the heat pump’s efficiency goes into the toilet.
 
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