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Re: [TowerTalk] generators/transfer switches etc Re:YetAnotherLightning

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] generators/transfer switches etc Re:YetAnotherLightning Strike
From: "Keith Dutson" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 11:58:17 -0500
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I had a local electrical contractor come out to estimate the cost of backup
power for the house, shack and barn.  Each has a 200 amp breaker panel.  I
have one 500 gal propane tank for the house and another for the barn about
100 yards away.

For all three they proposed the Generac 45KW Quietsource unit running off
the propane tanks.  It has a 2.4 liter inline 4 cylinder engine.  HP is not
specified.  The unit measures about 6X4X3 feet.

I called and asked why so much capacity is specified.  The answer is that
the proposal is their standard for a business installation which requires a
rating of 2X max current to avoid power dips.  On average the load is 25
percent of max.

We decided to let them do the barn because my wife has her business there
and we can write off the expense.  Also, she has a horse water treadmill and
we need to have backup power in case it is lost during the time when a horse
is in the unit with a lot of water that needs to be pumped out before
opening the access door.

For the shack I am thinking about installing a much smaller unit (15KW)
where I can run only lights, fridge and station equipment.

73, Keith NM5G

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of K8RI on Tower talk
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 12:47 AM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] generators/transfer switches etc Re:
YetAnotherLightning Strike

> At 06:38 PM 7/8/2006, Clay Curtiss W7CE wrote:
>> > I'm thinking of getting rid of that 9500 watt portable and 
>> > installing a permanent 15 to 20 KW natural gas fired unit. First 
>> > thing they'd do would be shut off the gas and they'd not even have 
>> > to worry about transfer switches.
>> > That old 9500 has had over 100 hours of use in the last 5 years.
>> >
>>I have an 8 KW unit that is permanently installed and runs on natural gas.
> Around here (southern CA), the most likely natural disaster that would 
> cause an outage is an earthquake, which would shut off the gas at the

Michigan hasn't had an earthquake in a very long time. (I don't count the
salt mines under Detroit colapsing). However we have felt a few from way
down south from the New Madrid area. I shouldn't say "we". I've never flelt 
one, but a few claim to have.   Up here the land is such that an earthquake 
would do a lot of damage over hundreds, if not thousands of square miles.

> meter, if not further up the chain.  Diesel or propane are probably 
> better bets in some areas.  One advantage of natural gas is that the 
> air quality regulatory issues are easier.  A permanently installed 
> standby generator running on gas and/or diesel is going to probably 
> require a permit, if only for the periodic tests.

Man, but I'm glad I don't live in CA for a number of reasons.

My 9500 watt unit has a 19HP engine

> There might be a "safe harbor" exemption for single family dwelling 
> sorts of applications or for tiny generators (<10HP, I think), but for 
> a business, you're definitely on the hook.  And, if you run your 
> generator in a non-emergency situation (e.g. during a Stage 2 or 3 
> alert, but before the outage has occurred) there's a whole 'nother 
> raft of rules you need to be aware of.

The only rules I have to worry about is that the connection is incapable of
back feeding.
No permits required for periodic testing, but I do try to make it in the
middle of the day so I don't wake any one up. (We also have "right to

Roger Halstead (K8RI and ARRL 40 year Life Member) N833R - World's oldest
Debonair CD-2

> Jim
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