Generators, run on nat. gas....

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Awl --
I was just informed of the existence of these, here's an example: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Generac-5837-Standby-Generator/p5524.html?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=shop+portals
$1700 (for 7 kW) doesn't seem too bad (altho 25 A x 240 V calcs out to 6 kW -- <sigh>). They have a 17 kW for about $3500.
This seems like a really good idea, just for the lack of carburetor alone! And of course the lack of stored gasoline....
Altho I (miraculously) escaped the wrath of this last early snow, 3 million other people didn't, and overall I have (had) disconcertingly frequent power problems, and should proly prepare. As of a day or two ago, over 100,000 are STILL without power, mostly in CT.
Any comments, experiences generator-wise? Comments on this particular brand, other brands? Generac seems to have some good SEO people on board, judging from search results. :)
--
EA



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The only time natural gas fails, there's usually just a big crater left behind. Unless you're using LP, natural gas is way at the top of the reliability list.

You know what? Most people get a good feeling from helping other people. I thought you did too.
In this last storm I was on both the receiving and giving end. I think we all came out ahead.
--
Dan Espen

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**spamblock##@hotmail.com says...

Maybe you should just move to a better neighborhood. There were more than 2 million people without power and no incidents of people with generators being attacked by their neighbors.
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There is an old (optimistic) Dutch saying:
Wie goed doet, goed ontmoet
Wie is pronounced as the game thing, Wii The g is a hard g, like in Hebrew The oe sound is like the english oo in good the rest should be similar ...
"Whoever does good, will encounter good"
--
Best regards
Han
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so far behind in passing along that I will probably never catch up. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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I have a neighbor that had a Generac automatic generator that ran on natural gas. He paid $7K for it about 5 years ago. It failed after 4 hours of use during the recent hurricane. Company that installed it told him it's not worth fixing and he bought a new one.
My two cents is this. The automatic transfer generators add compexity and more sources of failure as well as cost. For under $1000 you can buy a portable generator, an interlockit kit for your main panel, and an inlet to connect the generator, as well as a natural gas conversion kit. Some kits are permanent, others allow selecting between nat gas, propane, or gasoline.
IMO the automatic systems make sense if there isn't going to be someone there to connect the generator and start it up. Otherwise a portable that you can connect when needed as well as have for other possible portable uses and which costs a lot less could be a better choice.
And in my recommended solution, if the generator is trashed, you can buy a whole new one for $600 or so.
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On Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:28:13 -0800 (PST), the renowned

At $1,250, something like this would appeal to me if I lived in an area with unreliable power:
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod2450243#desc
It doesn't include a transfer switch, though. There are some systems (such as the furnace and gas water heater electrics) that you'd want powered in a long blackout.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
snipped-for-privacy@interlog.com Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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wrote:

I agree, keep the transfer manual.
If you have a main disconnect switch or breaker, it's actually sort of a no-brainer to safely hook up a generator -- Can literally just add two 30 A breakers to the panel, and feed to the whole house from there. Just make sure the main disconnect is off when running the generator.

A diesel generator, 70 db, 20 A at 240 V. Weight??
My Generac link I think was 62 db, 25 A at 240 V, $1700, nat. gas. Weighs 250#.
--
EA



> It doesn't include a transfer switch, though. There are some systems
> (such as the furnace and gas water heater electrics) that you'd want
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wrote:

not legal,I'm sure,and it doesn't consider emergency personnel or others who don't know your unsafe arrangment.
Do it right.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On 11/14/2011 5:26 PM, Existential Angst wrote: (snip)

Time for this thread again already? Yes, your solution works, but it is a bad idea, and probably illegal in many places. Sure, you know which way to throw the switches, but what if you are injured/dead/out of town, and somebody else fires it up, trying to be helpful? Unless there is a mechanical interlock that won't let the backfeed breakers be turned on unless main breaker is turned off, you have to potential for killing linemen or neighbors with that wire on pole or ground you just energized. Not as bad as the all-too-common suicide cords, but still way too risky. The correct solution is simply not that expensive.
--
aem sends...

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I'd bet that includes virtually all the USA.
Sure, you know which

An Interlockit kit is the cheap, easy and IMO best solution. It's essentially a sliding bar, available for most panels, that prevents the breaker going to the generator and the main breaker from being on at the same time.
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On 11/13/2011 5:28 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Assuming the Generac was installed and maintained properly, and the automagic controls did the regular cycling (once a month for an hour?) to make sure nothing froze up, I'd be leaning on dealer and manufacturer over that short a lifespan. It had at most a hundred hours on it? I certainly wouldn't eat a failed unit, unless it was my mistake that killed it. No good reason such an installation shouldn't last for 30+years. Or was neighbor overloading it trying to light up the whole neighborhood or something?
--
aem sends...

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On 11/13/2011 8:47 PM, aemeijers wrote:

the description this may have been the home depot version with a short warranty.
According to this a 3 year limited warranty is their best:
http://www.guardiangenerators.com/PublicPDFs/0G8676A.pdf
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On Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:28:55 -0800 (PST), Too_Many_Tools

Lubrication- Full pressure lub with filter/without filter or splash lubricated. Iron cyl, iron liner, silicone aluminum, or aluminum.
Those are just a few of the BIG differences between CHEAP and GOOD.
Automatic low oil cutoff? Not only yes or no - but quality and reliability of the switch. Some work every time, some work sometimes, some never work, and some shut the engine down even when the oil level is totally up to snuff.
Camshaft - plastic or metal??? nd quality of. With OHV engines, quality of engine rocker arms and other valve train parts.
Then there is the generator head. Quality of insulation, quality of assembly - soldering etc - and copper or aluminum windings.And quality of control electronics. Amount of air gap, brush or brushless design, etc.
Always SOMEWHERE an unscrupulous manufacturer can cut corners to reduce the cost by another couple of cents and reduce the lifespan by another couple of hours.
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http://www.propane-generators.com /
Check out the type 4 kit.
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generators running on natural gas produce about 20% less power than on gasoline.
plan on having some extra power to help neighbors, who will help keep you safe..
having a inverter to run some lights off a car battery is a good idea, for quiet times
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On Mon, 14 Nov 2011 03:52:03 -0800, bob haller wrote:

AFAIK, that's a worst-case for after-market conversions with poor airflow. Best-case is about a 4% loss, and real-world typically ends up being somewhere between the two (but I think CNG usually reduces efficiency more than LPG does).
I suppose most people over-spec their generators anyway, rather than buying them to run right at their load limits, so even a loss in maximum power as high as 20% might not be an issue in most cases.
cheers
Jules
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On 11/14/2011 8:31 AM, Jules Richardson wrote:

I have seen a note about 20% natural gas derating on the manufacturers specifications of generators.

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Same here. I think the issue is that gasoline packs considerable more energy than nat gas. So, not surprised that there could be a 20% loss.
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On Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:31:23 -0800 (PST), Too_Many_Tools

and if the engine is DESIGNED for, say, PROPANE, and propane only - with compression ratios etc adjusted to take advantage of the higher octane (115AKI) a propane engine can make just as much power as a gasoline engine. Takes more fuel to do the same job though.
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