[TowerTalk] Generator (natural gas) and lightning

Just Justin nevtxjustin at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 18 00:20:39 EST 2007

We're looking real close at using propane generators for a few WISP
tower sites and lightning issues were considered.

Local propane company said the tanks themselves are thick enough to
take the instantaneous thermal shock of a direct hit, its when the gas
piping connectors get blown off you have the problem.

We're going to use the idea oil companies use for their small well site
tanks and equipment. They have two poles on both sides of the equipment
with a wire running across the top and well grounded to intercept

On a side note which might be worth its own thread....

Most of our tower sites are within 200 feet of a utility pole and can
be fed with buried line, but some locations are simply too far from
commercial power. $10,000 for solar was not attractive. So we're
looking at a propane and battery hybrid system.

Our equipment uses about 2 KW per 24 hours. So at two extremes we have:
200 KW battery bay and 20 KW generator running 10 hours once every 10
days or a 2 KW battery and 2 KW generator running 1 hour once every

However self-starting generators start off in the 5 KW range (though I
need to look at RV versions next). So I'm figuring on a 5 KW unit
running 4 hours every 4 days is a good compromise on battery costs and
annual start-up cycles. This setup could be done for under $2,000.

-=Just Justin=-

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