Off Grid Solar & Battery Systems
NicaSol: Off grid generator and SW+2524 inverter-charger configuration
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Some more random comments...
Do you need 240 VAC power, or just 120 VAC? With gensets that have 120/240 VAC, you either need to spread your loads between L1-N and L2-N to get near full output power of alternator... And some genset/alternators allow you to choose between 120/240 VAC or 120 VAC full power.
Runtime at 50% output for 9 hours (Homedepot website) (4,250 Watts rated), 4 gallon tank.
4,250 Watts * 0.50 power = 2,175 Watts
2,175 Watts * 9 hours / 4 gallons = 4,894 Watt*Hours per gallon at 50% load
4 gallons * 1/9 hours per gank * 24 hours per day = 10.7 Gallons of gasoline per day at 50% power
So, if you need to run a lot of the time at 2,175 to 4,200 Watts--Not a bad genset.
However, if you want to run less power (things are difficult, just a fridge, a few lights, perhaps an LED TV/radio/cell phone charger)... Maybe an 1,800 Watt eu22i with 0.95 gallon tank, and 3.2hr @ rated load 8.1 hrs @ 1/4 load:
1,800 Watts * 3.2 hours * 1/0.95 gallon tank = 6,063 Watt*Hours per gallon (still sounds high--Is 5,000 WH/Gallon more realistic? Not sure)
1,800 Watts * 1/4 load = 450 Watts
450 Watts * 8.1 hours per tank * 1/0.95 gallons per tank = 3,837 WH per gallon @ 1/4 load
Run at 50% loading (average load): 900 Watts * 24 hours * 1/5,000 WH per gallon--guess) = 4.32 Gallons per day (900 Watt load--guess)
Run at 1/4 load: 450 Watts * 24 hours * 1/3,837 WH per gallon = 2.81 gallons per 24 hour day (at 1/4 load)
How much fuel can you store? How easy will it be to get fuel? If your loads are 2,000 kWH per day (fridge+LED lights+cell charger), running a quiet genset 24 hours per day (get the extended runtime cap+hose+tank for eu22i, or figure out ;plumbing the bigger genset to external tank)... Something like 2.8 gallons of gas for eu22i... Vs 10.8 gallons of gas per day for the big genset...
For me, I am storing fuel for earthquakes (we get the "big one" very roughly ,every 100 years or so--Last big one was 1906). So I am trying to carry a few weeks of fuel (assuming gas stations lost power, no backup power). So, 30 gallons of stored gas does pretty nicely for me (recycle gas to vehicles once per year, use fuel stabilizer).
Running a noisy genset (or even genset+lights at night when everyone else is "dark")--Not a good thing to advertise in a bad situation.
For me, the A1 for the 3rd source (large enough for unexpected power needs). And the eu22i I can run for days/weeks on on-site stored fuel:
2.8 gallons per day (450 Watts * 24 hours per day) * 10 days = 28 gallons of fuel storage
10.7 gallons per day (2,175 Watts available * 24 hours per day) * 10 days = 107 gallons of fuel storage
I prefer to run smaller loads for more days without 2x 55 gallons of stored gasoline (for more power--That I don't need).
For me, I do not have off grid solar (just Grid Tied--No backup power), so that works for me (>10 days--Either emergency services supply basic needs, or have to leave property? Living in zombie land city without food/water/sewer/energy may not be great (also, stored genset fuel can be transferred to car/truck to leave if needed).
For your needs... My guess is to look at your minimum power needs for XX days (who know if the solar array stays whole or gets some rock/other holes in in them--Possibly need to bugout to elsewhere for family safety).
Your first to options are a "cheap/larger genset", and put extra money in solar array (need genset even less). Figure out optimal fuel storage (size/fuel type).
Or the hyper expensive eu22i plus 1/4 the amount of stored fuel--More solar panels sound like a very good idea--But wallet may force to wait until later ($1 per Watt is not bad for solar--15+ years ago, it was closer to $10 per Watt).
Propane, there is a company that has a fair number of youtube videos on propane conversions (a typical propane kit--Carburettor adapter, low pressure regulator, some hosing) is not very expensive ($150 +/-????).
Have no idea of their reputation--But the videos are nice. And the costs/risks of trying their product is not high... And the conversions I have seen, aways preserve the gasoline mode too.
Stored propane is great (sealed, never goes bad). Propane is Less BTU per gallon, so your propane usage will be higher than GPH of gasoline.
Going back to survival basics:
3 minutes without air (drowning)
3 hours without shelter (snow, hurricane, etc.)
3 days without water (well water, filters, sterilizing chemicals)
3 weeks without food
Passive and Active security?
Electricity--While very nice for fresh food storage (fridge/freezer)--But power is probably one of the first things to go and not really needed for longer term survival (keeping fuel for gasoline/propane stove, wood fired stoves, etc.).
Water and stored whole grains (plus a manual grinder to make flour/maza, etc...) which store longer than flours/ground grains.... Oils for cooking?
Anyway--I am certainly no expert in this stuff--And the answers has to meet your needs--Not mine.
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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NicaSol, are you the NicaSol company guy here in Nicaragua? If so, I've heard good things about your work.
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No, I'm not. If you are talking about the NGO yes a worthy organization - helping many through better (and self perpetuating) access to educational, employment and resource (water, power) management opportunities.
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