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Finally: a new Generator.
Topic Started: Sep 17 2016, 01:31 PM (124 Views)
crow
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I finally took a big plunge, and did something I've been delaying for far too long.
I bought a stand-by generator!

A Yamaha EF2000iS.
2000 peak watts of pure Sine-Wave 120v AC power.

This is very nice: as quiet as a generator can reasonably be, with a four-stroke engine which is far, far superior to a stinky, noisy, finicky two-stroke.

So now, I have three banks of Golf-Cart batteries running two separate inverters, with their own chargers, supplemented by the new generator which can, by itself, power everything connected to the inverters while restoring a charge to the batteries.
The battery banks have now gone from being the sole backup during a power-outage, to being a beefy buffer between power-loss, and generator operation. It's all fairly automatic, with transfer-switches instantly switching between grid power and inverter-power. The only manual operation involves starting the generator, which is exceedingly easy to do.

I like it!



"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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Generous
I also have a backup generator as we live in the country and mains power is shaky at times, although it is getting more reliable. I bought an 8000 watt unit and it drives the water pump from the tank, fridge and one power circuit. Only used it seriously once and ran it for about 3 hours and it did the job well.

In the new house I am building, I will make sure that the generator backs up the above and that the circuit has the TV on it as well. It is a pain running a 25m extension cord through the house to watch some TV.

When you lose power (sans Generator) and have no water it seems to be always as you have just emptied the kettle and need water to cook with. I could have at the time, lifted the lid on the tank and pulled some, or attach the sump pump but I always used to convince myself the power would only be out for an hour.

Now I have the generator I dare it go off for hours and it never does (touch wood).
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crow
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You might call my power-outage-preparedness enthusiasm a 'hobby'. I enjoy doing it.
Experimentation is a major part of it, and I really didn't know much about electricity when I started.
I still don't know as much as I probably should, but I can get things going in ways that get the job done.

Our longest power-outage, so far, was for four days, which really doesn't sound like much.
But when it's -10C outside and there's only about six hours of dark grey overcast, per day, it gets to feel like forever.
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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Generous
If one went for 4 days in my neighbourhood there would be outrage to go with the outage, the longest has been 8? hours in the last 10 years. We never get to -10C, -3C is the worst it gets and then only overnight and plenty of daylight.

I will get plenty of use out of my generator in a couple of months as I have to do about 400m of fencing and it will drive the tools.
Edited by Ardy, Sep 18 2016, 03:53 PM.
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crow
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Another power outage, this evening, amid high winds and torrential rain.
The generator works like a charm, the only problem being that I had removed it today, from its new alcove, to apply oil stain to the wood. So putting it back inside, then lifting the sound-insulating hatch into place got me a bit sticky.

I've had a problem lately with the original backup batteries, at least with one of them, emitting enough acid from the positive terminal to corrode the heavy gauge wire connected to it. This has the effect of dropping the battery voltage fast enough to watch it go down, which isn't a lot of use.
After cleaning the terminals with bicarbonate of soda, then coating them with vaseline, the problem seems to be resolved.
I've done this before, though, quite recently, and the fix doesn't seem to last long.
I suspect that particular pair of batteries are really on their way out.

Anyway: cable and phone still work, and enough power is being generated, quietly enough, that I am very pleased.

The prior outage lasted a whole four days, and who knows how long this one will continue?
Nice to know there will be at least minimally adequate power generation/storage available.


Edited by crow, Oct 6 2016, 11:23 PM.
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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Battery technology is soooo! 1880's. Yet there has been promises through my whole adult life that new technology is just around the corner.

We had a whole state out of power last week and an engineer wrote that if it was possible for all the batteries in the western world to be put together it would power the West for 9 mins.....

A possible solution would be to live at the bottom of a hill with solar or wind and any excess power pumped water to a large dam at the top then when the wind didn't blow and the sun didn't shine you could run hydro power with a simple turbine generator run by the water.

In other words, you could have 2 19th century technologies, wind and solar, being the means to power a 16th century water mill. Sounds like a huge step forward to me - NOT!!!!
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crow
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Haha :)
Sounds like Heath Robinson/Rube Goldberg. The stuff of fable.

Yes, batteries are a perennial problem. The ones I use cost over $200 each to replace, and they need replacing in pairs.
They do last several years, though.
But for now, the power's back on, and I'll deal with all that other stuff later.


"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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crow
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Like with snow tires: you spend all that money and then it never snows again, I hesitated a long time before buying this generator. We get power outages fairly frequently, but rarely for very long. My battery system more or less was able to cope.

But once in a while, power goes away for up to four days, and that's a problem.
So far, though, in only two weeks, power has been out three times, for a total of six days. It was out again last night.
For once I made the right move, at the right time, with the right gear.

There's something very cosy about losing power at night, but with the woodstove burning, adequate lighting, my wife watching tennis on the TV, our computers running, and raccoons visible in excellent 12v LED exterior lights...
All provided by a generator now so quiet you really have to listen hard to know it's even running, while sipping fuel slowly enough that it runs all night, without it disturbing sleep...

Very gratifying.


Edited by crow, Oct 8 2016, 10:31 AM.
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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Ardy
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In the country they are almost an essential item. I run mine once every couple of months from my garage.

I asked a guy in the car parts store and interestingly he said that you don't need to hook up the exhaust to the outside if you have it in a garage, just drill a hole in the wall and fit a piece of exhaust pipe, belled at one end. Put the generator close to the exhaust and the fumes will exit via the pipe. Sounds better than dying of fumes.

Never put it in but I have it and may install it into the new house.
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