Info needed on standby gen autostart

Options
westbranch
westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
Hi all, had a brew with a friend that I can not, so far, get to look into solar as a good system to consider for his new retirement house, which is situated in the midst of our Mountain Pine Beetle infestation area, ie there will be lots of power outages over the next decade from trees shorting the grid lines...

So he wants to install a grid off / gen on backup system for his house. Considerations are that he will be spending some winter time, the period of highest probablility for outages, below the 49 th parallel = Snow Bird..:cry:. = unattended installation, therefore it has to also shut down when the grid is back up...

Can someone please head me to a good article or 2 , with diagrams if possible, that covers this type of install. May not exactly be NEC but I am sure it will be close here in BC...

Q 2 would it be cheper to go with some type of inverter sensor to do the autostart rather than something form the gen maufacturer?


thanks
Eric
 
KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
West Chilcotin, BC, Canada

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,523 admin
    Options
    Re: Info needed on standby gen autostart

    I am confused... Just a generator with transfer switch, or some sort of battery/inverter/generator with possible solar in the far off future?

    The home centers (and places like www.costco.com) sell generator/automatic transfer switches now-a-days.

    My complaint has been that the "home generator backup systems" are relatively large (typically around 10kW minimum) and if you have lots of power outages, they are not cheap to operate (1 gallon per hour of gas, or 100 cuft/Therm of natural gas per hour) which runs from $1.00 to $3.50 per hour of operation with NO LOAD--even more under load. That is $24 and approaching $96 per day (when we hit $4.00/gallon fuel here in the next couple months).

    Let alone the issues of managing ~24 gallons of fuel per day. Hence my current use of a eu2000i Honda generator (I should use about 1 gallon per day) and a simple manual transfer switch to operate a fridge/freezer and a few lights and central heat (blower motor--hope it works--never tested it--but it does not get that cold here).

    So, as usual, the first questions are how much power, how often, glitch-less switch overs, fuel choices, etc... A home that is occupied 9+ months per year makes good sense for solar PV system--but one that is occupied much less is probably better off with grid and a simple generator backup.

    I would like find a small efficient diesel system (or even natural gas--but since I am in earthquake country--I am sort of trying to have backup power for the "big one" where natural gas services may fail too).

    So far, about the best I have seen are the small systems designed for Recreational Vehicles. The are small and quiet and can be found to operate on many different fuel types (gas, propane, etc.). I would be nice to find one that would operate on several fuels (natural gas/propane/gasoline for example) to allow multiple options in an emergency.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Info needed on standby gen autostart

    ssorry about thaqt Bill, I thought it to be evident that there had to be a battery to start the genset, and that it would need a float charge type of setup. No nat gas available as it is almost as isolated as my avatar...about 30 miles away. EXCEPT he has mains power... but no phone. they already suffer from frequent power outages year round, but Murphys law applies and they spike in the fall, winter months... I have suggested that he innvestigaett either diesel or Propane due to limiting the stale fuel problem. thought he night go with an inverter type gen but he wants something in the 5 - 7 kw size, maybe a bit big, he hasnt added all the loads up yet. Consrtuction, new house, to start as soon as the 4 feet of snow melts... occupation will be > 9 months, he likes to ski....

    I stated my preference beiing something that meets the KISS principle...
    HTH
    Cheers
    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada