Home Standby Generator Advice


I have read a number of the previous posts, but I still have some questions.
Based on my understanding of my likely power needs, I will likely need a 12-16kW generator. I live in South Florida, so I will need to run at least one central AC and because there are no natural gas lines all appliances including cooktop and water heater are electric.I plan on installing a 500 gallon underground LP tank to run whatever I get.
1) Which one should I get? There are three standby generators that I am looking at:
Kohler 12kW Generac Quiet Source 16kW Briggs and Straton 15kW
Could I get some feedback on which one folks would recommend. Reliability is most important, obviously. Second is noise and finally efficiency.
2) During the post-Hurricane period, I have heard that LP companies use vehicles that run on LP gas, so deliveries should not be a problem. Is this true?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
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those are big, fuel used is largely dependent on absolute size. Are you getting a auto on generator that will start and run AUTOMATICALLY anytime the power fails?
If so 500 gallons sounds small, and during a disaster assume deliveries will be interrupted, downed trees on roads etc
you dont need to run your home normally, you can ration the power t run fridge for awhile, then poerhaps a window AC kept in a closet for emergencies, plus leave some power for the neighbors, then wouldnt complain about the noise if they are getting a extension cord from you.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

But they are very likely to complain when the generator exercises each week. From my experience he is on the right track in also considering noise impact.
The big box version generators such as commonly sold by Home Depot are *LOUD*.
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Alt.energy.homepower is where you should ask, many are off grid. 3600 rpm engines wont do much more than 3000hrs, real cheap small 3600 rpm units may not even last 300 . 1800rpm units can last 12000 hours easily. 500 galloms propane is alot of energy that should last you awhile. You have alot of options in price-quality to research
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I purchased a Generac unit 5 years ago due to the frequent power outages in my remote area in upstate NY. The unit handles all my essentials, furnace, well water pump, refridgerator, TV, etc. My advise is to not scrimp, spend the extra money so you aren't juggling extension cords every time you have an outage. Yes they do make some noise, better this than going without electrcity. Knuriata
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On Apr 8, 9:11�am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

the automatic generators with transfer switch appear pretty quiet, but ideally they arent placed right between 2 homes, but ratrher in the back yard somewhere, exhaust not pointed at anyones home.
exercising at say mid day shouldnt be a problem with the right install.
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I researched quite a bit before I settled on the Kohler 12k. It's a very nice unit, extremely reliable, and about as quiet as they get. I would buy it again and it's the one I recommend to people.
Are you saying that there are no natural gas lines in the area, or that you just don't have it run to your house? I didn't have natural gas and ran on propane, but had NG run to my house just so I could run my generator. You'll go through a 500 gallon tank of propane pretty quickly if there's an extended outage. If you can't get NG, you might want to consider a bigger tank than 500. Whatever the size, be prepared to ration your energy use; I wouldn't count on reliable delivery of propane in the event of a major disaster.

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I appreciate all of the information so far.
I agree with the sentiment regarding noise. I was thinking about the generac quiet source line of generators. How loud is the Kohler at say 50% load? Does any one know much about the quiet source line of generators from Generac?
My understanding on the NG is that in fact there are no lines where I live, so we will basically have to go with a buried LP tank. We will ration anyway, probably just running the AC during the hottest times of the day etc.
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Unless you can get some definitive data indicating that one type of generator is more reliable than the other, I would change your priority list to make noise the most important criteria. Based on the information below, it looks like the Kohler wins, except maybe in the exercise mode. If the exercise mode noise is more important to you than the regular operating mode, though, I would call Kohler and ask them what their figures are for the exercise mode.
Kohler 12RESL/12RESM1 65 db(A) at 7m (exercise mode unknown) http://www.kohlerpowersystems.com/pdfs/g4110.pdf http://www.kohlerpowersystems.com/residential/residential_gas_lp.html
Guardian QuietSource (Liquid Cooled) 20KW 72 db(A) at 7m (62 db(A) exercise mode) http://www.guardiangenerators.com/Products/Residential/QuietSource/LiquidCooled.aspx
Guardian QuietSource (Air Cooled) 16KW 71.5 db(A) at 7m (59 db(A) exercise mode) http://www.guardiangenerators.com/Products/Residential/QuietSource/QuietSource16kW.aspx
Guardian 13KW 71.5 db(A) at 7m (exercise mode unknown) http://www.guardiangenerators.com/PublicPDFs/GUARDIAN7.10.13kW.pdf
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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

If truly extended outages are expected and nat. gas service is not an option or might be interrupted as in areas prone to earthquakes, the most viable fuel will always be diesel. Diesel is very safe to store in large quantities, has decent storage stability with proper treatment and due to it's high energy density will give far more run time per volume of fuel storage space than LP.
As an example, a 300 gal diesel tank as typically used for home furnaces in the northeast will provide on the order of two weeks (more like 16 days) or continuous run time, that same run time would require a truly huge LP tank. Deliveries of diesel fuel also typically recover much faster after a disaster than deliveries of LP.
Pete C.
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Thomas Horne wrote:

300 gal LP would be something like 1,200# I think. The OPs hypothetical 500# tank would be about 120 gal. With a smaller home type generator under typical home loading he might get 2 days operation at best from the 500# tank.
Pete C.
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