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Utopia Talk / Politics / propane portable generators
sam adams
Member
Thu Sep 10 15:41:17
Anyone have one?
habebe
Member
Thu Sep 10 15:46:25
I have a gas and diesel generators.

I did switch my stove over to propane. $15 lasts me 6-12 weeks and its a lot more versatile than my old NG tank.
jergul
large member
Thu Sep 10 15:51:40
habebe
Do you have natural gas in your area? If so, then you should consider hooking a ng generator to your gasline.

Sammy
What is wrong with diesel? Stupid to canned gas instead of canned liquid because volume.
CrownRoyal
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:00:36
I bought gasoline generator after the big toronto power out of xmas 2013. I think I only had to use it once since then, and for like an hour
habebe
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:03:10
Jergul, Not piped in. It has to be delivered.

Gas is cheap here, usually about $1.40 per gallon.
jergul
large member
Thu Sep 10 16:07:07
CR
The problem with gasoline is a short shelflife. Diesel is good for a couple years. NG and Propane have indefinite shelflives, so are good in that way.

Moral of story. Gasoline is a bad choice for emergency power.
CrownRoyal
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:11:28
I agree. But it is what it is
habebe
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:11:59
If you buy real gas ( non ethanol) it should be fine for 6 months properly stored.

Ideally we would like to get Solar but first we have to remove more trees.

We all keep hurricane packa down here. Shake lights, generators canned goods etc.
jergul
large member
Thu Sep 10 16:15:41
CR
Heh, it is solvable. Just have a lot of other stuff that runs on gasoline and rotate cans so you always have a small store of fresh gasoline available.

I am sure you canoe can use an outboard engine and your axe can be supplemented with a chainsaw :D.

Yay national stereotypes.
CrownRoyal
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:17:35
"I am sure you canoe can use an outboard engine and your axe can be supplemented with a chainsaw :D."

sure, I'll get right on it, never mind that sounds like something from a bad dream
jergul
large member
Thu Sep 10 16:20:49
habebe
That was confusing. An old term for diesel in Norway is actually "Solar" (a forgotten brandname I imagine).

I learned about gasoline shelflife the hard way with a stubborn outboard engine when I was in my teens.

Off-grid capability is always tempting, but if you want the ultimate low volume (ie liquid) fuel, then go full old school with kerosene.
jergul
large member
Thu Sep 10 16:25:37
heh, yamaha and honda both make portable kerosene generators.

Given the state of the airline industry (that uses highly refined kerosene as the basis for aviation fuel), I think kerosene may be very affordabe soon (remember that oil is refined into fractions. to get x gasoline, you also get y kerosene).
jergul
large member
Thu Sep 10 16:27:37
Sammy
So to answr your inferred question.

The best solution is a portable kerosene generator. Long storage. Low volume. Flexibility (you can use the fuel for light and cooking directly in addition to electricity).

Yay me.
habebe
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:40:13
I mean I often keep gas in hand, but it does have to be replaced every few months.
habebe
Member
Thu Sep 10 16:41:53
You can get stabilizers too.
habebe
Member
Thu Sep 10 17:22:58
I should point out Im not trying to live off of the grid. So generally qe just go and buy some gas before a hurricane comes, other stuff like stocked up canned goods we just always have.
TJ
Member
Thu Sep 10 19:03:20
I installed a gasoline generator to my electrical box that can handle everything in the house a few years ago and have only needed it once. I've been considering a conversion kit where multiple fuels can be used, but I prefer NG.
jergul
large member
Fri Sep 11 04:36:12
TJ
If you have a gas line, then NG is definitely the way to go. The chances of gasline failure and electrical failure at the same time is quite small.

The kerosene argument is a good one. If you want complete energy security, then coke compatible will keep you for as long as you have wood (though with some effort involved).
patom
Member
Fri Sep 11 05:34:47
When I lived on the lake we I had a portable gas Generator. Burned about 8 gallons a day. The only problem was I had to run the wire to the house and get it started. My wife just doesn't have the strength to start one like that.

When we moved here one of the first things we did was have a propane powered automatic generator installed. Even though we are much closer to a larger metropolitan area we lose power more often here. So far the generator has worked like a charm. One time it ran for 4 1/2 days and another 2 1/2 days.

A word of advice to anyone going the portable generator route. Instead of having a separate circuit breaker box installed get a (?) line override or something like that. Can't remember the proper name for it. Essentially it is a mechanical block that only allows power to your house from either the street or your generator. Safe and simple. Available from electrical supply houses. In Maine they would only sell it to a licensed Electrician. Cheaper and simpler than haveing a sub box installed and wired.
patom
Member
Fri Sep 11 05:40:11
This is close to what we have now.
http://ape...-with-200a-se-transfer-switch/
TJ
Member
Fri Sep 11 08:56:58
jergul:

I think I can get a kit that allows gasoline, PG, and also NG fuel, called a tri-fuel conversion. The NG line and connection won't be a difficult task for me to install. I agree that the kerosene option is a good one, but NG is my preference. The Tri-fuel conversion provides considerable flexibility.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 11 08:59:17
A propane generator sounds really gay, like 90's gay, 1890s! I have dimensioned for a small nuclear reactor in my basement, not fancy around 500 megawatts. My uncle from Iran sent me some drawings. He said it is a matter of national pride.

All I need is to find some Libyans to sell me the plutonium. Oh wait that is the wrong movie... What I meant to say is I found a Nigerian Prince, willing to sell me yellow cake.
jergul
large member
Fri Sep 11 09:01:07
Yah, That sounds good. Combining ease of line connection with dire emergency propane stacked away in some shed gives complete security for as long as the generator actually works.
jergul
large member
Fri Sep 11 09:02:15
Nimi
Kerosene is 1890s gay. Almost as bad as parafin which is like danceline level transvestite.
TJ
Member
Fri Sep 11 09:04:36
Tom:

The automatic switch is probably code required. You wouldn't want to back feed from the generator to the Utility service feed. An unsuspecting utility repair technician wouldn't be very happy. It wouldn't be a good idea when power is restored to have the generator operating.
patom
Member
Fri Sep 11 11:05:17
The auto switch with the system we have now is mandatory. When the power from the grid goes out there is about a 30 second pause then the generator kicks on. When the grid power comes back on there is no pause. the transition is smooth as silk.
Now with a portable generator that isn't hooked up to the system. You need a separate switch.


Nimatzo, it is gay to have all systems in the house up and operating :) When Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy:)
habebe
Member
Fri Sep 11 14:17:14
" I have dimensioned for a small nuclear reactor in my basement"

Someone of Middle Eastern descent talking about nuclear reactors in there basement....... just saying, he may soon be sanctioned.
habebe
Member
Fri Sep 11 14:18:35
Did anyone see those Diamond batteries made from Nuclear waste that are supposed to last 28,000 years?
sam adams
Member
Fri Sep 11 17:31:21
Is champion a reliable brand?
jergul
large member
Sat Sep 12 01:37:06
habebe
The nano (very, very small) batteries you posted the link to?
patom
Member
Sat Sep 12 06:00:53
If you go portable buy a Circuit Breaker 'Interlock' kit. Much simpler and cheaper than having a separate circuit breaker box installed.

Not necessary if you buy a standby generator that is mounted and automatic.
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