Emergency Generator ponderings

To throw one in the air for discussion...
Let's suppose sometime around December this year there was a 72 hour solar eclipse which co-coincided with temporary national grid shut down caused by massive solar flares etc, so no natural heat/light and no leccy. It's gonna get might cold if this does happen.. 8Žo Would it be possible to simply plug a portable generator into a socket on ring main (plug<->plug) (genny<->ring main) in order to supply enough power to fire up combi-boiler and pumps to provide heat and a bare minimum of essential lighting?
And... is there such a thing as a small (portable) diesel generator that would be happy to run on paraffin or diesel/paraffin blend as we still have some paraffin left in the shop tank from the days of when it was a hardware store... May as well consider putting it to some use as an emergency back-up... ;Ž)
--
http://www.GymRatZ.co.uk - Fitness+Gym Equipment.
http://www.water-rower.co.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, of course; it even has a name. The Widow Maker cable.
--
Graham.
%Profound_observation%
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 9 Jan 2012 15:23:25 -0000, "MuddyMike"

Would something like this be sufficient: http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/KMT338212I.html
Only 44gbp exc vat and delivery, the price sounds too good to be true.
I'm not sure I could ever see me going down this route because the idea of joining the generator's neutral and earth would frighten me too much. I 'd be afraid of touching the generator and getting a shock! Presumably you must only connect the N and E together if also connected to an earth rod.
I would also be nervous about fitting a switch in the house's earth to switch between grid earth and generator earth. I would be afraid of the switch failing leaving me without an earth and all metal objects going live. I seem to have a phobia about live cases don't I!
This is something beyond my comfort zone, so I will stick to using torches in power cuts. Wouldn't gas lamps set off the (battery backed-up) smoke alarms?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fred wrote:

For a full house supply, it is. It's only capable of carrying a fraction of the normal domestic supply. It'd be okay for a single ring main, and maybe a couple of lights.
For an extra couple of quid:-
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/CGM125CS.html
Carries four times the current and is designed for the job.

NOt really a problem if you get a qualified electrician to do it.

No more than a gas cooker will, I'd have thought.
--
Tciao for Now!

John.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/01/2012 22:02, John Williamson wrote:

Just how much current do you expect to get out of a domestic genset?
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 13 Jan 2012 01:32:44 +0000, John Rumm

But it still has to be capable of carrying the "normal" house current. :-)
--
Frank Erskine

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 13 Jan 2012 01:32:44 +0000, John Rumm wrote:

supply.

I was wondering what he has that fully loads a domestic ring and must be powered... Base load of an occupied house is about 1kW, call it 2kW a nominal 8A.
But of course this is in circuit all the time so has to be able to handle the *full* load (say 20kW, 80A) when on mains...
--
Cheers
Dave.




Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:13:27 +0000, Fred wrote:

Why should they? All they produce is CO2 and H2O no smoke unless very badly out of kilter. The do get HOT so things near by/above might start to smoke...
Gas lights are by far the best source of emergency light IMHO, more light than a 60W light bulb with ease and in all directions.
Torches produce beams and eat batteries when used continusly. Small battery lanterns tend not to have long run times and produce little light. I do have a twin tube flourescent jobbie that lasts a good 8hrs in single tube mode with a fully charged 6v SLA battery. Also produces a decent amount of light over a good area and will auto switch on when connected to the mains when that fails. Handy to have setup when the weathers a bit bad and the lights are flickering... Uniross DL828 but it appears to be discontinued now.
--
Cheers
Dave.




Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/01/2012 21:13, Fred wrote:

If you house has TN-C-S (PME) earthing, then you would not switch it as such, just add your own earth rod to it - and that could be left connected all the time even when on mains.

Make sure you have supplementary equipotential bonding in high risk locations, and you mitigate that...
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 13 Jan 2012 01:36:48 +0000, John Rumm wrote:

Not sure that is a good idea. Under no supply conditions you can't rely on the supply wires still doing what they are supposed to do. If the upstream N-E bond broke the N would then be a floating phase, in theory your earth rod should pull that back down but you do have to make sure that your earth rod is fully up to spec regarding impedance etc otherwise you'll have to treat the installation as TT.

Aye, it's voltage differences that are the problem. Tie everything together and things become safer. But note that should the supply N-E bonding fail things can start to get "interesting" again.
--
Cheers
Dave.




Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Liquorice wrote:

Unless the house was next to the substation and/or the rod set in Marconite deep in wet ground, I doubt you could ever hope to get down to 0.8 Ohm L-E loop impedance. So generally if a rod is involved, best to assume TT by default.

--
Tim Watts

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 09 Jan 2012 13:51:59 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

When the charged particles hit the upper atmosphere the induce rather large ground currents not only in the ground (as in physical earth) but also in any conductors, like those forming a power grid. Wasn't a great chunk of NE Canada/US blacked out due to a mismanaged(*) solar event a few years back.

Define "portable". I have a 2kVA or there abouts diesel set. Weighs about 50kg I can just about pick it up and stagger with it a few paces or heave it up into the back of the Land Rover. It lives on a cheap flat bed trolley to normal moving about.
The advantage of a diesel is that you can run it on red at 90p/l (or less) rather than road diesel at 140p/l... The disadvantage of my cheap chinese thing is that it's fing noisy, really noisy. If I had the cash I'd get a Honda EU20i 2kVA with propane gas kit invertor jobbie, nice and quiet and nice clean power but my diesel set only cost Ģ200 rather than the Ģ1200 odd for a gas Honda.
--
Cheers
Dave.




Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 09 Jan 2012 14:52:05 +0000, Alan Deane wrote:

Hopefully for an hour or two and under load. Many a standby generator has failed when actually needed in anger 'cause the "testing" was simply start up, run for a few minutes without a load, switch off. Barely time for the engine oil etc to get warm let alone hot, and it doesn't test the alternator at all.
--
Cheers
Dave.




Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/01/2012 15:21, Dave Liquorice wrote:

I've run it for an hour today, under load for part of that time.
I must remember to run it up more often!
Usually I hook it up to the house and run from it for a while, to ensure everything works, and the UPS protected computers keep running during the downtime.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I always run the carb dry, then remove the spark plug and put a drop of oil in the cylinder when I lay mine up. I do the same with garden machinery.
Mike
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Testing backup systems can be a real minefield - if a test on a system supporting something that needs continuous power fails you've ended up causing the problem the backup system was supposed to protect against... Even running for half an hour may not always be enough - I came across a report where the backup power system to a major facility failed during a real mains power failure - initially it ran as intended, but then the generator suddenly cut out. It was found later that the pump which moved fuel from the main storage tank to the generator wasn't connected to the protected power supply - tests of the system had always stopped before the generator's local tank ran out.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article < snipped-for-privacy@ck5g2000vbb.googlegroup

We know of a company like that all of their PC's etc are backed up by UPS and a self start gennie.
However all their links to the outside world and in another building not so backed up;(...
--
Tony Sayer


Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 10 Jan 2012 11:01:48 -0800 (PST), docholliday

Was this by chance somewhere that has a close association with the transmission/ distribution of electricity?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/01/2012 14:00, js.b1 wrote:

It's a dangerous way to go about it no doubt and definitely not to be recommended. However if an area unexpectedly lost power for some time and someone had a generator lying in the garage for other purposes, then switching off the main switch on the consumer unit and plugging in a double ended lead at the house end first and making sure something heavy was in front to stop it being pulled out would not be too dangerous.
It's certainly not the way to plan for an emergency, but in an unexpected situation where being without any heating and light for an unknown time is weighed up against a complete bodge, the bodge probably wins.
You would also however have to consider earthing, as you couldn't guarantee that the earth provided with your supply would remain connected during repairs. There again, the most likely houses to lose power are probably provided by overhead lines right to the house and will presumably have a TT system anyway?

Indeed much better if you are planning ahead rather than reacting to a situation that has already occurred.

Agreed.
SteveW
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 09 Jan 2012 20:59:34 +0000, Steve Walker wrote:

Not here, I doubt there is much, if any, underground distribution from the national grid to our meters. We have a TNCS supply, ie only phase and combined neutral/earth come from the pole mounted substation. There is a hefty cable running down the pole into the ground, the other end of which is connected to one output of the transformer to form the combined neutral/earth.
As for rural v urban I know of several people in urban areas who have pretty iffy power. Normally down to new developments and the DNO not really keeping up with the locally increased demand.
--
Cheers
Dave.




Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.