We've 2 generators.
first is a 15hp liquid cooled diesel that'll run the farm(mostly,including hammer mill for critter feed). The other
which i think would suit most needs is Northern Tools line with Honda engines its 2750 watts and quite portable
as the ability to power tools isn't met by lesser gen's.
Hey Robie -- Thanks for the reply --
It seems to me that buying the smallest generator that suits our needs is the way to go because it'll use less gas to run a 1000W generator (esp. if it has an 'economy' mode we can use when the load is low) so our supply of 5-gal cans would last, say, twice as long as with a 2000W+ generator.
One other consideration is that the generator has an inverter to avoid surges/etc. which could harm electronics (assuming one is going to use the generator to power electronics, which we likely would). Or is the whole "gotta have an inverter" thing a myth?
I appreciate your help, RR!
To the generator folks,
We have 10 acres and our weakest when TSHTF is an electrical outage. Our home was selected carefully, with about 25% to 50% of our local utility deriving electric from hydro. Because of that, I haven't purachased a generator or solar panels. Yet. We have a large water pump (5ph) whick requires 3.25kW to run it. We also have a freezer full of beef and frozen veggies. The intellectial problem I have with generators is that in any long term outage, fuel will become scarce. With a diesel generator plant oils or biodiesel can also be used. Solar seems the way to go, but the cost to at least operate the pump and freezer is high.
I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on backup generator vs wind vs solar vs?
The intellectial problem I have with generators is that in any long term outage, fuel will become scarce. With a diesel generator plant oils or biodiesel can also be used. Solar seems the way to go, but the cost to at least operate the pump and freezer is high.
Oh man, I'd love to have some wind or solar set up. But the buy-in is currently beyond our means and if we get our way, we'll sell our house this year (not looking good these days ) and change location -- so we'd ideally set up wind/PV at the next location.
For us, the generator is a stopgap for either (a) severe weather-caused outages, like the 5 days we were down after that big storm here in the NE in Feb, or (b) a possible future of intermittent but common outages.
But yeah, long term I'd love to have a freezer that could run off a PV array.
Viva -- Sager
Hello Sager and all,
About pet food...a book that is recommended on Amazon is Woofing it Down: The quick and easy guide to making healthy dog food at home by Patricia O' Grady. It was rated highly by a vet who also recommended one she wrote about making cat food at home (their dietary needs are not very similar.)
I bought a copy as I figure even if we go into a long slide downward instead of a sudden stop, our income is likely to be reduced significantly and the high-grade organic stuff I feed now will likely become way out of our reach...We raise organic grains so I'd rather make my own when time becomes more "homestead" and less "behind the computer'.
(Hope this comment helps a bit--BTW, I was thrilled to see the discussion regarding log splitters--I had a small foot-operated one on the brain recently...reading the thread helped me a lot! Keep it up, y'all!)
At a hurricane prep seminar last year, the presenter says he prefers the small Honda inverter generators that can be ganged together to handle heavier loads if needed. They aren't cheap, but they are very quiet....to alleviate what he calls "generator envy"....but what I call "potential bad guys don't know you're running it and decide they need it more than you do."
I purchased a generator several years ago and have used it several times a year. I needed to go bigger to get a 220 volt output for the well pump and heater. Probably could re-configure to 120V, but the well was a big factor in sizing the generator. Be careful of startup/surge current needs for fridge, freezer, etc.
Down side as you noted is the gas consumption. Also, realize that the generator will rarely go into low output (gas saving) mode. Any current draw typically bumps the generator up to higher output mode (damn wall warts).
The generator is basically an emergency resource. I keep thinking about a way to get off grid. No logical options yet at my current location.
I don't know have much personal experience with portable generators (never owned one), but I thought most of the portable generators that size all come equipped with an inverter for AC power (edit: I mean most portable generators of that size are "inverter generators"). I think maybe the thing you're looking for is making sure that the inverter generator is (pure) sine wave, not modified sine-wave. I'm not even sure if they make many generators using modified sine-wave inverters anymore (or square-wave inverters for that matter) but it's something you'd want to check for just to be sure. I think robbie made a good point about the ability to run power tools... it might be worth getting a slightly larger generator if you expect you'd ever use larger power tools around the house.
I will probably be looking into a generator that size (or maybe 2000W) myself when I get enough saved. Right along with solar pv, deep-cycle batteries, solar water heating, wood-stove.... there is just too much. At least I've got water, food, and short-term emergency heat (long-term if we stay at my dad's place) covered
I can further vouch for the Honda 3000W Emergency Generator as it got me thru 2 Hurricanes. What is great about this generator is that it has a load sensitive throttle, so its very efficient. We used it for 2 weeks after Hurricane Ike and it more than paid for its extra cost in fuel savings. Its also very quite for a portable generator, and its output is computer friendly. We ran a 10000 BTU window A/C unit and a TV with no problems.
Its just light enough that a strong man can get it in the back of a pick-up too.
Just found this option for LP/NG/Gas
Re: Honda generators. The Amish folk in our area who have a need for a generator or engine to run belts all have Hondas. I have assumed that they consider the Hondas more reliable, but the quiet may be a factor also.
Awesome! Thanks Jim.
Not sure if this is the right spot for this ,, but five of the neighbors took advantage of the Govt. program to get hoop houses on there place. These, of course ,come with a list of stipulations and I hope it does not turn and bite them in the butt. Think of how many in the community they will be able to feed .
What are your thoughts on taking grant money for such things ? I have tried to keep them out of my business as much as possible .
thought some of you might like this-
Ran across this very good animation which describes where words fail.
Generators are great,and I have a couple of them,but as someone else pointed out in a long term crisis fuel would become scarce.my home is set up without electricity in mind.I have a woodstove for heat/hot water,LED,oil,and propane lights,and cordless power tools.To charge my cell phone,camera,laptop,or cordless tools I have an inverter in my pickup that i run on my way to work.Although I am not expecting people to go off the grid as far as I have,a person should still diversify their energy needs.Also, one should realize that it wasnt too many years ago that no one had electricity or indoor plumbing(1940's where I live).
Sorry I've been away folks, we ha a month of fiascos... check out the blog for more info.
Anyways, all the wedge-type foot-pump splitters were pretty underwhelming... ok if you absolutely can't swing an axe or do a maul and wedge anymore, or maybe if you have a lot to split and want to swtich from upper to lower for awhile. However, I did find one hand-crafted that was AWESOME. Basically, it's a pneumatic lift jack, welded to a oil drum that was cut in half, with a 4-way blade lattice at the end (like one of those nifty apple correr/splitters). Anyway, it's mounted at a slight angle with the jack on the bottom, you pump it up, roll the log into the barrel, then release the pneumo pin... and WHAM the ram rockets the log straight through the blades... then the lift falls back into position with a twist of a valve, then you close the valve and set the pin and do it all over again. Was wicked cool an very fast.
Sager -- dog food. If you vac-pack kibble with an O2 and dessicant in mylar it will pretty much keep for the rest of your dog's natural life span (keeping it cool and out of the light will help keep it from going rancid). HOWEVER, I'd still recommend that you feed your dog more wet food since that is way more sustainable if TSHTF. It's pretty easy to make wet dog food from bits and ickies left over from our food prep an animal harvests. Just chuck it all in a grinder and can it like any other meat. Small bones, organ meats, lips, older eggs, and other unmentionables can all go in and pup will love it. Same goes for kitty, although you need to add taurine unless you're grinding up whole mice and rabbits. Dogs need a bit of carbs -- either veg or a hypoallergenic starch (like rice, potato, or barley). Cats don't need carbs at all (obligate carnivores), so don't waste your time adding it in.
Anyone considering a generator of any fuel-type needs to keep in mind 1) whether that fuel or it's replacement will be available long-term (we went with gas for cold and because ethanol is easier for us to make); 2) everything breaks, so get two and double spare parts, and the manual; 3) make sure you get one that you can hot fuel (i.e. fill while running) or is continuous feed (from a large storage tank); and 4) consider getting the electric autostart feature on both your generator and inverter, that way when the batteries run low the inverter will use the last of the juice to kick off the generator (as long as it's fueled up -- see pt #3).
Sager -- dog food.
Anyone considering a generator ...
Nice! Thanks P-Cat! WIll have to get some kibble to store for the mutt when we do our big long-term food-storage thing in a week or two from now.
The electric autostart feature is next on our list... I am sooooo tired of the inverter alarm going off in the middle of the night ;) Our little Honda EU2000i generator works pretty good and supplies us with plenty of juice... run a gallon of gas through every other day or so. The batteries would last a bit longer if we weren't running the satellite and wireless network 24/7. But we don't use a lot of power out here, and surprisingly don't miss all those electric gadgets. Other than the internet, the nicest thing was having overhead and porch lights that were bright and came on instantly... real important in the wilderness during the long long winter nights. Heck, in the winter, you get more juice from your PV panels from the moonlight than you do from the 2 hours of weak sunlight... it's crazy. Only issue with a small generator is that it doesn't like to run at -40F or below cuz the unit just won't stay warm enough to support combustion... it's even worse with diesel most times.
The favorite Cherry pitter in the Lehman Cat . Is wonderful! . The trees are loaded ! 10-15 gallon from each . So many people are giving them away also . High in Vit . C !
Get the canners ready !! Time to get busy .
We have turned into our grandparents ! I find myself saving weirdest things! Like the rubber bands off the Asparagus and broccoli ..... my husband found my stash and used a couple to strap a red light to my hand _ _ _ .
I Save every newspaper for mulch and egg cartoon to reuse . I take home scraps from a get together to feed to the chickens .... and got a call to take home free rabbits from the thrift shop.
I find myself remembering following my grandparents around also trying to remember all the ways we did things before they had indoor plumbing . And I tell you we have practiced the bath schedule and I am the first one in the water ! I know why the outhouse had two holes because no kid was brave enough to go in alone .
I remember a guy in a truck making his rounds to the farms to pick up live rabbits . He must have done the butchering and had regular city people to buy them . We put a list in the mailbox and the mail man brought out our needs next visit . This I used last winter several times during the bad storms. The grocery store kept a list and we settled up when we went into town .
I remember sleeping clear down under the covers (at my grandparents feet )to stay warm and never felt more safe in all my life . Now when my grand-babies come over they still have aunts and uncles to climb into bed with , but I bet they still have that safe warm feeling .
At times it seems we will hit hardest and first since we are already in the below 100k income bracket . Then I think ... We have a lot less to lose .... we have a lot less changes to make .
I still like going into town to eat out once in a while and the Challenge of seeing how long we can go without spending money is a flop .
STILL So not ready ... Still not sure if we are going to go backward or just maintain .
I had found a great site for a diesel generator but got side tracked and now can not find it again . Anyone using one ? Out here the neighbors will hook up their tractors to the electric pole but this one that I had found was set up in the basement and the exhaust was piped out side in a PVC underground . It appeared to be able to run off old oil of any kind . I figured it might be easier than wood gasification and gober gas ... maybe not ?
I was also thinking..... that a person with a portable generator could go to the gas stations in a power outage and make some extra bartering ???
found it ! http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001011.php it is a Lister 1930's model . Looks indestructible not many parts ! NO Computer to be venerable to EMP .
And since we are here amongst the homesteading type . I had bought the steam juicer from the Lehman cat. Made jars and jars of juice ! But .... I not knowing my dad was going to the cellar and getting his juice himself and my dad not knowing it was CONSENTRATE .. Made for an interesting situation and almost a trip to the Dr. before we figured out why he always had the scoots. Life is never dull for this gal .
sorry I could not get the picture to post . I am most pleased with the juicer from the Lehman Catalog . two small buckets of plums made 8 pints of juice .
A group for sharing the concerns and strategies of "senior" or near senior and/or retired members of the Peak Prosperity community.
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