Okay my daily usage is MUCH higher than some of those quoted. And I only signed up here cause I was hoping someone here could give me some advice, tho this thread is a little old I see. I am trying to pick a generator for Tx living. The summer is much harder to live through than the winter LOL. I could very easily store some cords of wood and last a very long time on them I would imagine. Plus we have those emergency blanket things that are supposed to hold in heat. Propane is the cheapest here, $2 a gallon and only $15 a yr to rent the tank to keep it in no matter how long I use the tank. I don't mind it being above ground but if elec goes during the winter then the fuel won't last as long....do I understand that right? If I rent the tank I cannot bury it. I could buy one but that is a LOT more expensive obviously. Is there any chance the heat will make the tank blow up? lol. I live on land so I have a well pump that has to kick in. It is a single phase 3.5 hp pump and that and my freezers of meat are the true necessities in a SHTF scenario. Can someone tell me about how much elec 3 freezers and a well pump would use? The a/c is PREFERRED but I'd rather keep it off and just go swimming outside or something to keep myself cooled so the generator does not waste my fuel. I am thinking either a 500 or 1000 gallon tank. I am working on having some things around the house that are causing me to use elec excessively fixed. My husband died last year and I have never done such things. I had no idea there were things I was needing to do every year, like service the ac/heater. Or change the filter, which apparently I was supposed to do every 2 wks in this area because of dirt/dust. I guess I want to know if there is a generator that uses less fuel when using less elec or if all of them are sorta like on/off and no difference in fuel consumption no matter how much elec you use? I would love to just get a big one and if I really needed it I could use more, but when I don't need it, I would use less fuel. kwim?
As a side note, I use about 4200 kwh a month right now.
I have not read this entire thread so I apologize if I am repeating any old info. In any case, I have built a completely off-grid power system to run an organic farm in the past few months. I researched generators for a long time before finally making my move on one. If it is possible to love a generator...I am there.
Two points to think about.
1. In a SHTF scenario, the ability to get NG or LP may become non-existent and all supplies run out eventually. Bio-diesel may be distilled at home or locally.
2. There is no comparison in the efficiency of NG/LP to diesel in terms of fuel consumed per kW generated. Diesel is simply the most efficient out there.
The 15kW Perkins consumes about 0.2 gallons/hour at full load. I can store at least 500-1000 gallons of diesel safely and long-term with a little additive and am in process of setting up a distillery to make ethanol and then bio-diesel from it.
I will also say that my only affiliation to the link above is as a satisfied customer.
I hope this helps...
Only 0.2 Gallons/hour for 15 kWh? I doubt it. 0.2 gallon of diesel contains 0.2 times 38 kWh/gallon is 7,6 kWh energy. Say the Perkins runs at 30% efficiency, then you got 2.3 kWh shaft energy. Leaving about 2 kWh electric energy. That sounds more like idle running.
Hi all..i'm new and not as knowledgable as all of you here..can't see how to post a new item so i'll do it as a reply..i live in south jersey and last year lost power for 5 days in height of summer heat..i don't want to repeat that experience!..
i want to be able to have power for 5-10 days..i want to run a frig,a 12cubit foot freezer and 2 window air conditioners 5k bto and 12k btu..and a tv!
my monthly kw usage is 5kw per day low and 13 kw per day peak(summer with air)..i want to handle peak
i have a separate old chicken coop 50 feet from the house where i want the generator if that is feasible..i do not want gasoline..and quiet as possible..i have a nat gas line right on the street..it is semi rural bot not suburban..i have 2 acres ..lots of trees..i'm in my 70's ..somewhat fit..but can't chop wood anymore so getting limited physically..
from reading all your comments it looks like nat gas propane or diesal are my choices..
i would like your comments on my situation especially as to the generator size..
In February of 2011 we had a cascade failure event precipitated by unusually cold weather occur here in NM. Some areas experienced natural gas failures and turned to electric heat. That overwhelmed the electric grid in Texas which then led to rolling blackouts that shutdown natural gas compressor facilities, which made the problem even worse. You can read about it here:
Severe Weather Event of February, 2011 and It's Cascading Impacts on NM Utility Service
So, in the event the electricity is out, you may not have natural gas either. Something to think about.
If you really want to be resilient, I think you need consider sources where you don't have to have external fuel: Solar, Wind, Micro-hydro with some form of storage when they are not available.
A diesel generator is the most durable. A natural or lp gas generator is the cleanest and because it has no residue, does not have to be 'exercised' from time to time like a diesel.
You only need enough power for emergency back up. Most times under 5000 watts.
I cant believe there are people who would consider generator power 24/7 and such a large unit that would require 1000 gallons per week. That would be $2000.00 per week to keep your power on.
Also the comment you can just have it topped off every week is absurd in a SHTF situation. There will be no deliveres of anything!
Rather than buying a huge generator you should buy a smaller one, use less fuel, less wear and tear with some electrical storage.
With a generator YOU ONLY HAVE HALF THE PACKAGE!
What you do is allow the smaller generator to only run when your storage batteries run low. Normally your generator is going to be producing more energy than you are using. Although mine is only 3500 watts I have both a diesel and a lp generator again, for redundency in longevity and fuel availability. Why not store it? I use 12 deep cycle marine batteries and three 2000 watt inverters (3 for redundency) to change the 12vdc to 120vac. All of this can be done automatically and for 1/3 the cost of a large generator that you would be running 24/7.
Yes I think this is quite true if bumping along in a temporary SHTF scenario. I have a 3.5 kW generator which will soon be adapted to run either NG, propane or gasoline. If power is out for few weeks this would easily satisfy the key needs, fridge/freezer, few LED lights, a 6,000 BTU window AC for master bedroom (we live in south and gets pretty humid at night) and of course the furnace blower if power is out in the winter time. Anything spent beyond this seems lavish and wasteful.
You will be hard pressed to beat the Honda or Yamaha generators for reliability and quietness. You can adapt them to NG and propane for a few hundred bucks with the tri-fuel kits from http://www.propane-generators.com/.
I'd really go for a propane generator or a tri-fuel generator. While diesel generators may be more durable in the long run, propane or tri-fuel generators can use many different fuel types such as propane, natural gas, gasoline as well as biogas or woodgas in emergencies.
Diesel generators on the other hand are limited to diesel, biodiesel and veggie oil.
Ultimately I'd get a renewable source of energy though, like a combo of solar and wind, if you have the money that is. Then use a propane or tri-fuel generator as backup for that.
I did find some pretty nifty plans for making a biogas digester and wood gasifier on that site on the alternative energy page.
also put a conversion kit to allow for burning gas or propane - I have two and they really are slick. The propane will burn much cleaner, with less worry about varnishing/etc., but still give you options. Just my two cents. http://www.propanecarbs.com/
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