Author Topic: Standby Generators  (Read 1375 times)

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Offline ChrisOlson

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Standby Generators
« on: April 07, 2012, 09:32:28 AM »
I year ago when we were looking at various options for backup to our standby generator (we have a 6 kW standby gen, plus a 3 kW backup gen), we looked at an Alten diesel DC unit.  One nice thing about the Alten is that it has its own controls so it starts automatically without needing any sort of external controller or inverter controls.

The bad thing about the Alten is the price (look at the attached PDF that they quoted us for an 80 amp unit).  In the end we settled on a Champion Power Equipment 3 kW as a backup using the standard Xantrex GSM controller.
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Chris

Offline Rover

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Re: Standby Generators
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 01:15:47 PM »
Ouch... big $$$

I'm grid tied, but have a small 4.5 KW ( portable) unit from HF, Elecrtic start. Had for 6 years, run it at least once every 2 months. Subaru engine. Yes I have a ton of extension cords....

It has never let me down, yes it not automatic.

but for 500$ ... Ok gasoline.... but for emrgencies... it has already paid for itself... 3 hurricanes, and responeded when needed

I like HF.. but know what you are buying....

Rover
Rover
Location: South East Virginia US

(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline ChrisOlson

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Re: Standby Generators
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 02:07:55 PM »
It would be nice to have one of those Alten DC units as a backup because they're really quite efficient.  The will auto-start when the bank drops below a preset level.  They run at full throttle during bulk, then when the bank reaches absorb they start idling down to maintain the absorb voltage as the amp requirement drops.  Then it will float the bank for whatever time you want it to, running basically at idle, and shut off automatically after the float timer expires.

But the price is the bad part.

I had a DC gas charger when we had our 12 volt system and loved it.  I could start it and leave it basically run at 1/4 throttle to "fill in" for heavy load times in the evenings and it burned way less gas than an AC generator.
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Chris

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Standby Generators
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 02:38:15 PM »
Since I have been mostly working along the idea that I will have the grid as our backup,
( as unreliable as it has been here in the middle of no where)
I have had plans to build a dc generator trailer for the back of our tractor, for those long outages we see here after large storms. I know that the PTO might be a tad slow for most pre made, but think I will still  give it a try on an old airplane gen, just to see how much it can give.

Failing that some sort of matched axial might be in order.?.
 If so I'll likely build with a single magnet rotor, and have some sort of ferrous material in, and backing the coils. 
Mostly for heat dissipation, as this will be able to run full out as long as its needed. I think the dual axial stuff would be toast in no time. I also have no worries about drag and cogging driven on a PTO.
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline ChrisOlson

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Re: Standby Generators
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 04:09:45 PM »
Wolv, usually the Leece-Neville 24 volt 135 amp truck/heavy equipment alternators work excellent for backup power.  When I build a new DC gen that's what it's going to have on it, powered by a little diesel, so we can run our air conditioning system at night on really hot nights in the summer without over-taxing the bank.
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Chris