Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    I have read that I live in the coldest spot in the lower 48 states of the US. Interesting to see pieces of ice last for over a month. It would be tough without the sun room. Shoot....still isn't easy. I sleep with several layers followed by maybe 20 pounds of blankets.

    Wouldn't spend winters here but there are so many criminals.....everywhere.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Get rid of the Blankets and get a GOOD 4 inch minimum loft down comforter. you will never go back to blankets, summer or winter
     
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    westbranch wrote: »
    Get rid of the Blankets and get a GOOD 4 inch minimum loft down comforter. you will never go back to blankets, summer or winter

    I have friendly dogs. I can't have anything nice.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    BB. wrote: »
    I can only imagine what it is like to live in extreme cold.

    Here is a small town in Siberia near the Arctic Circle (lots of pictures):
    I am sure pictures do not do justice to "the cold":
    -Bill

    But It's a Dry Cold !!
    BB
    ;)
    softdown wrote: »
    Wouldn't spend winters here but there are so many criminals.....everywhere.

    Only to become worst , next pen movement might just start the roll.

    VT
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,614 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    softdown wrote: »
    I have friendly dogs. I can't have anything nice.
    You have bed warmers. put them to work!
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Indeed, it is a dry cold, extremely dry. At -30 if I open my back door, a gigantic cloud of steam comes rolling out the door. The indoor temp at say 70f with a RH of maybe 25% rolls out the door, with a 100 degree delta T, and the outgoing air just turns to ice fog. Boiling water, when thrown in the air doesn't really freeze, it simply sublimates.

    In the old days when I had to carry water, I remember days of ~40. I would open the hole in the ice (we used the same hole all winter, covering it so it would only freeze a few inches think overnight) bail water out of the hole. By the time I put the dipper down, the I e hole would skim over, by the time I stood up, you could send on the newly formed ice, and by the time I carried the bucket the few minutes up to the house he bucket would be half frozen! In the old house we used to have water buckets freeze to the floor over night. Strange stuff happens in the cold, metal breaks, anything plastic will shatter. I once, as a kid had a cheap pair of plastic rain pants that I wore (once) for wind pants. At -50 or so, I took a few steps out of the house and they ripped. Cursing the cheap stuff, I took one more step, and the shattered into a million pieces, cast off in the wind. I was left with the drawstring with tattered scraps hanging around my waste, along with two scraps around my ankles.

    We've gotten really spoiled of late, ith year round running water, 24/7 power, insulated (well insulated) house, heck, I don't even have to cut much wood anymore since the house is so efficient.

    Tony
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,614 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    icarus wrote: »
    ... In the old house we used to have water buckets freeze to the floor over night. Strange stuff happens in the cold, metal breaks, anything plastic will shatter. I once, as a kid had a cheap pair of plastic rain pants that I wore (once) for wind pants. At -50 or so, I took a few steps out of the house and they ripped. Cursing the cheap stuff, I took one more step, and the shattered into a million pieces, cast off in the wind. I was left with the drawstring with tattered scraps hanging around my waste, along with two scraps around my ankles........

    As a kid you have to walk to school uphill, both toward and from ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    With barbed wire on my feet for shoes, in the snow...all summer long.

    T
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Yes, but in the cold there is real beauty. The cold also keeps the Riff-Raff at bay.

    Attachment not found.


    In case you're wondering why the water is still open. It's just down river from the power plant. This part of the river is open year round.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    Alaska Man wrote: »
    Yes, but in the cold there is real beauty. The cold also keeps the Riff-Raff at bay.


    Lot of truth to your statement. Scammers are magnetically attracted to sunny locales for some reason. Perhaps northerners are too smart for their scams? In a frigid climate, one real mistake can take on tragic consequences. A lot of people couldn't make it. Take Florida: Sunny state with shady people. I have some rentals there. I get robbed over once/year. Sometimes small, sometimes large. They took everything from one house, even the connection to city water.

    I would honestly have moved to a northern locale with high ethics but I have a little seasonal adjustment disorder I think. Normally a fairly happy guy....not in December.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Counterintuitivly, ice is real interesting, beautiful, alive stuff! Watching ice changei is one of favorite activities...unless of course I'm driving on the road with it. Ice road driving on the other hand is a cake walk ...usually.

    Tony
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,182 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    softdown wrote: »
    I have friendly dogs. I can't have anything nice.

    Well if it isn't a '3 dog night' it isn't cold!

    Wiki
    The phrase is a rudimentary nightly temperature gauge. Dogs huddled with humans at night for the warmth. On really cold nights, three dogs were called into the bed to keep the owner from freezing to death.
     
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    westbranch wrote: »
    Well if it isn't a '3 dog night' it isn't cold!

    Wiki

    Ha...guess I live pretty comfortably then. No danger of freezing to death. They usually hang out together by my feet. Keeping an eye outdoors for any rabbit activity. I've been grumpy after the Broncos got crushed. They look worried sometimes.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    softdown wrote: »
    Lot of truth to your statement. Scammers are magnetically attracted to sunny locales for some reason. Perhaps northerners are too smart for their scams? In a frigid climate, one real mistake can take on tragic consequences. A lot of people couldn't make it. Take Florida: Sunny state with shady people. I have some rentals there. I get robbed over once/year. Sometimes small, sometimes large. They took everything from one house, even the connection to city water.

    I would honestly have moved to a northern locale with high ethics but I have a little seasonal adjustment disorder I think. Normally a fairly happy guy....not in December.

    That's what vacations are for... ;-) Kauai is a favorite winter escape of ours, but this winter has been so mild up here that we pushed our escape into June this year.

    The thing that gets stolen most around here is heating fuel and Toyo heaters. Any vacant house listed on Craig's list will be depleted of both in a matter of hours.

    I hate thieves most of all.
  • Sun DogSun Dog Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    My diesel generator is in a shed heated with propane. Large lines with a high pressure regulator from the propane tank mean no problems well into the -40s (knock on wood). I also have a 2002 VW TDI which will start at -26C without being plugged in. Not good for it, but it will start. Tried the other morning when it was -33C and it wouldn't quite catch. Of course at those temps even a fully charged battery is down to less that 1/2 of it's capacity. Boosted the little diesel with a fully charged, warm battery and it fired right up.
  • SaggysSaggys Solar Expert Posts: 52 ✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    We have now added another Onan LK generator to our collection, this one has a tri-fuel carburator so we hope to use propane during warmer months and gasoline during the colder months. Hope this works.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    I am using a Yamaha 2800 watt generator converted to tri fuel which I normally run on natural gas (piped in not CNG). I find that it is difficult to start with natural gas when temp's are below freezing, so I often start with gasoline and then immediately switch over to natural gas. Once it fires and gets up to speed with natural gas, there is no problem.

    Ironically, I get marginally more power from the generator when cold. The air is denser and so has greater oxygen content.

    I also have a problem with extreme cold, as the oil gets heavy, and the generator keeps giving a low oil indication, until the oil warms up a little. I believe the colder (thicker) oil splashes up and sticks to the sides, thus lowering the oil level temporarily. Can be a real problem if it's down even just a tiny bit and extremely cold out. And I've even switched to 0w-30 weight! The joys of living in the great white north!
  • SaggysSaggys Solar Expert Posts: 52 ✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Are you using synthetic motor oil? That is a great idea to switch from gasoline to propane on the fly. I will try it once I get the LK setup.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?
    Saggys wrote: »
    Are you using synthetic motor oil? That is a great idea to switch from gasoline to propane on the fly. I will try it once I get the LK setup.

    Yes, I'm using synthetic oil. Natural gas has a higher ignition temperature than gasoline, and thus more difficult to start with when really cold. I also reduced my spark plug gap, as a smaller gap produces a hotter spark, which allows the engine to run smoother on NG.

    I believe the same applies to propane, which also has a higher ignition temperature than gasoline. If it does get very cold, you may have issues with the vaporization rate from the tank as well.
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Finally got cold up here, -42°F this morning. Had to set the Yamaha in front of the heater for awhile. Even though it was in the cold room and not outside the temp at floor level was 17°F and the battery was not up enough to turn her over. The batteries for the house are in the same room, up at 6' above the floor the temp was 55°F.

    The Sun is rising above the horizon though and soon enough my Panels will get sun well into the late evening. Then the little Yamaha gets to take the summer off.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Cold Weather Starting Fuel for a generator?

    Just wondering....how many miles to things like gas, food, supplies? I used to think that super remote was awesome. Maybe....but winters can be taxing. -42F? Does wildlife stir at that temp?
    Alaska Man wrote: »
    Finally got cold up here, -42°F this morning. Had to set the Yamaha in front of the heater for awhile. Even though it was in the cold room and not outside the temp at floor level was 17°F and the battery was not up enough to turn her over. The batteries for the house are in the same room, up at 6' above the floor the temp was 55°F.

    The Sun is rising above the horizon though and soon enough my Panels will get sun well into the late evening. Then the little Yamaha gets to take the summer off.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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