Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: lundys On: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:16 pm

So I am interested in purchasing an off-the-shelf solution for allowing my coal stove to continue to run after the power goes out. I am willing for that to be either a gas-operated generator or a battery backup solution.

There are all sorts of posts from people who seem to know what they're talking about listing various pros & cons, sticky threads with 100 posts, debates on clean power vs. ugly power, sine verses cosine waves, etc. My question is...

What's the bottom line? What's a model number of something I can purchase that is being successfully used for this purpose? I don't want to build anything, I don't want to make a science project, I just want to throw some money at the problem & am willing to shell it out. In reason, obviously.

Any advice? :D
lundys
 

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:21 pm

Any small genset will work, why not get something to run the whole house..
grumpy
 

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: Stoked On: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Whatever you get, to avoid possible problems, get a "true sine wave" UPS / generator. People have had problems with "modified sine wave"
Stoked
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker K2
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaskan Channing III
Coal Size/Type: Rice

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Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: UDT-SEAL On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:04 am

If you just want to run your furnace ........go get a Honda gen 2000watts done....the run times are great 1 tank gas can run 10 ---12 hrs.......... :D
UDT-SEAL
 

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: pvolcko On: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:33 am

People seemed to have the best luck with the older tech generators -- old alternator style, not the new inverter types. The alternator style has some maintenance issues where you need to keep the alternator mechanics (brushes, bushings, contacts, etc.) clean, but the sine wave power and better motor surge handling characteristics seem to make them better for motors and the Coal-trol electronics (if you have a Coal-trol in the mix). If you do go with an inverter type generator, try to get a true sine wave version (not modified sine wave) and I believe the suggestion was that you buy one rated for at least twice as much power as you intend to use so as to have a better overhead/buffer for surge handling, which give these inverter type generators problems.

Hopefully I got that right. If not, someone please chime in and correct me. :)
pvolcko
 

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: MiscCheetah On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:24 am

Ahhh.. English, ok. Here is a good basic rule, -GET A NAME- Avoid the "dollar store discount brand" I would recommend a brand like "Generac" "Honda" or "Briggs&Stratton" I feel that unless you are going to run your generator frequently and use it for more than just an occational power outtage "Honda" is likely just to much money to spend. I realize that comment will probably draw some flack from the Honda fans but hear me out.. I looked at the Honda generators and they are as tough as tough is made, however for something that, in my case, is run only about 5 hours a year I couldn't justify spending the money. I chose a "Generac 7000 Watt Generator" I've run Harman pellet stoves, and Leisure Line Stoves with this generator under load conditions ( well pump and fridge/freezers on and cycling ) with out an issue. The Genny has the reserve wattage that even a 3/4 HP 110 volt jet/well pump doesn't make it hardly hiccup. That's my thoughts and exp. on the matter. Hope it helps, cheers!
MiscCheetah
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kast Console

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: lsayre On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:39 am

Can anyone comment on whole house diesel standby generators (the ones with auto switching so they kick in immediately upon an outage) in the range of 10,000 watts and up? Any recommendations there? Are diesel generators any good? Are they better than gasoline generators? There is no natural gas around me, and I'm terrified of propane.

How much is actually needed in the way of watts for whole house backup use, considering that my home is all electric clear down to the well water?

For perspective, I believe off the top of my head that the burners on my electric stove are 6,000 (small burners) and 9,000 watts (large burners), and my hot water tank has two 4,500 watt elements. Microwaves and toaster oven are in the range of 1,300 watts. Refrigerators are probably in the 1,200 - 1,300 watt range also.

I'm thinking that in my case I could hardly get by on 20,000 watts of backup. I'm going to take the hot water tank out of the equation with my coal boiler, but the other electrical demands will remain.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:25 am

lsayre wrote:Can anyone comment on whole house diesel standby generators (the ones with auto switching so they kick in immediately upon an outage) in the range of 10,000 watts and up? Any recommendations there? Are diesel generators any good? Are they better than gasoline generators? There is no natural gas around me, and I'm terrified of propan.

I don't believe the diesel would be a good choice for a standby auto switching set up, their are glow plugs in a diesel and they can take 1/2 -1 minute to warm up and (possably) you may want a block heater to the generator, they don't always start as easy in really cold weather. I actually have an older onan 12k diesel, can't comment,I don't have it hooked in yet :( For a quick install of a 6k one could backfeed threw an electric dryer plug on a 30amp breaker, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKER IN FROM THE GRID FIRST, you could give a poke to someone working on the power lines.
AA130FIREMAN
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 anthratube

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:14 am

lsayre wrote:Can anyone comment on whole house diesel standby generators (the ones with auto switching so they kick in immediately upon an outage) in the range of 10,000 watts and up? Any recommendations there? Are diesel generators any good? Are they better than gasoline generators? There is no natural gas around me, and I'm terrified of propane.

I have a four cylinder 15 KW, 1800 RPM whole house generator. It's made by Korean Daewoo Heavy Ind. & Machinery. I bought new at a very discounted price in early 2001. The Y2K calendar change had many businesses scared. The smart ones bought generators but didn't install them. When the crisis didn't happen they just returned them. This created a generator glut. Mine was one of those generators. It came with a fancy automatic switchover control panel. I didn't install it. Just to costly to install it according to code. I instead back feed wired it. Yes, even back feeding can be done to code.

Here's my experiences. Most important is having good fuel available when you need it. For me that's home heating oil. I treat it with diesel fuel additives. Since I have three 275 gallon tanks it's likely I'll always have enough fuel. Other fuel uses are for my tractor and zero turn mower. The generator diesel is a completely mechanical injection system. It's tolerant of poor fuel quality. I'd be concerned about modern high tech injection systems on fuel stored a long time. My generator has an electric coolant heating element. It's 1000 watts and is intended to be powered all the time. I don't do that, too expensive. Instead I installed glow plugs and a controller. I also watch the weather forecast. When bad weather is approaching I turn on the coolant heater. Engine starts much easier when the coolant is warm. I'm on my second battery and I generously over-sized it. It's also constantly trickle charged with a high tech charger that doesn't over charge and boil out the electrolyte.

I sized my generator to run my central A/C. That was the wife's requirement for allowing me to get it. I've only had to use it 5-6 times in over a decade. Only once in summer A/C months. The 4 days it ran was a blessing. But, it's noisy, drinks lots of fuel, smokes on start up and makes the neighbors envious. Makes us happy and assured. There are lots of on-line sources to help you size what you need. Like many of life's choices, ideally you would have two. One generator sized for the minimum load and one for the full up load. Then at night when you are trying to sleep and need little in the way of electricity you could run the smaller one.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:32 pm

Yanche,

The way it sounds, YOU could NEVER run a small genny if you have to keep the A/C on for Mrs. Yanche !! :funny:


Lsayre,

Sure it would nice to have a big whopping tractor trailer sized generator, but in reality, would you ever be using that much electric at one time to necessitate the size of a 20k unit ?? I guess it is all about convenience but for me, I just have one sized to do the basics in the house. I do the well pump, AA 260 and circs and have outlets near the freezer and refrigerator wired. Oh and 1 outlet at the TV. For cooking we would use the gas grille or microwave. It's all about priorities I guess. But since we have had the generator, I believe it was only used for about 6 hours total in the past 10 years.

My Dad recently lost power for 3 days due to an ice storm. It only affected him and 2 neighbors on the line so it wasn't a high priority for the elec crews. He started out just using the kero heaters for the first 24 hours or so. Then I went for the generator. All we hooked up for him was the well pump and his 2 Alaska stokers. He was in the process of rotating power to the fridges and freezers when the power came back on.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: lsayre On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:48 pm

Yanche, does it look anything like these:


http://www.affordablegenerator.com/15_KW_Economy_Standby_p/15%20kw%20economy.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


http://auroragenerators.com/products/st ... ator-quiet
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: Matthaus On: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:47 pm

lundys wrote:So I am interested in purchasing an off-the-shelf solution for allowing my coal stove to continue to run after the power goes out. I am willing for that to be either a gas-operated generator or a battery backup solution. snip...
Any advice? :D

As an addition to what was written here, we have a dealer who also sells and services Motor Home Inverter systems, his contact info is :
Harbold's Garage & Trailer Sales Inc.
4803 Carlisle Rd
Dover, PA 17315
(717)-292-3231
www.harboldsrv.com

They have been running a particular unit on our stoves for several years and have had good luck with it. It is worth checking it out if interested. We plan to add these units to our website and direct our customers to Harbold's once we get the pics and data.
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:23 pm

I have a Yamaha EF6300iSDE, true sine wave inverter generator. I bought it mainly due to Yamaha's reliability -- I want it to work when I need it. I had a $300 generator before ... and when I needed it for 5 days straight (while it did do the job), I ended up losing a motion light, & a ballast for my kitchen light due to the unstable voltage output this thing had. Unless both 120v legs were PERFECTLY balanced, it would send out some pretty high voltage spikes. Not good. Could've fried my new fridge .... that would've been very painful financially ... :shock:

With the chinese ones you'll have a tough time getting parts for them unless you can identify which Japanese company they copied. When I layed out the big cash for the Yamaha, it was with the plan to have it no less than 30 years. That justified the expense for me. I'll never need to buy another one. I bought a Yamaha service manual to figure out all the complex circuit boards this thing has, when & if the time comes. I'm running top-of-the-line Amsoil in the crankcase. Whenever I shut it down, I shut off the fuel & completely drain the carburetor. The gas has been in the tank since October of '09, & it still fires up after a few seconds of cranking.

While my gen is a 6,300W, I never come close to using all of that. My range & dryer - each of which draws over 5,000W (the range capable of drawing OVER 10,000W with everything on) - aren't wired into my transfer switch. Worst case I can temporarily backfeed those appliances, as either one is only needed for an hour max. My transfer switch runs my computer, TV, security system, fridge, all lights, boiler, & well pump. And I wired in some switches so I can run my dishwasher & washing machine as well. Even with all that running at the same time, I'm barely drawing 3,000 watts. The thing is, when electric motors first start up -- like the oil boiler burner or fridge compressor -- they initially draw a large amount of power (called "surge power"). Once they're up & running, the power required to keep them running is minimal in comparison. You'll have to factor all these things in when buying a whole-house generator.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:37 pm

Matthaus wrote:
lundys wrote:So I am interested in purchasing an off-the-shelf solution for allowing my coal stove to continue to run after the power goes out. I am willing for that to be either a gas-operated generator or a battery backup solution. snip...
Any advice? :D

As an addition to what was written here, we have a dealer who also sells and services Motor Home Inverter systems, his contact info is :
Harbold's Garage & Trailer Sales Inc.
4803 Carlisle Rd
Dover, PA 17315
(717)-292-3231
http://www.harboldsrv.com

They have been running a particular unit on our stoves for several years and have had good luck with it. It is worth checking it out if interested. We plan to add these units to our website and direct our customers to Harbold's once we get the pics and data.



Another thing to add is his stove is not on the grid. It is done with batteries and solar. I am pretty sure he only has 2 30 watt panels .
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Can someone summarize the battery backup/generator thread...

PostBy: gerry_g On: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:49 pm

lundys wrote:So I am interested in purchasing an off-the-shelf solution for allowing my coal stove to continue to run after the power goes out. I am willing for that to be either a gas-operated generator or a battery backup solution.

There are all sorts of posts from people who seem to know what they're talking about listing various pros & cons, sticky threads with 100 posts, debates on clean power vs. ugly power, sine verses cosine waves, etc. My question is...

What's the bottom line? What's a model number of something I can purchase that is being successfully used for this purpose? I don't want to build anything, I don't want to make a science project, I just want to throw some money at the problem & am willing to shell it out. In reason, obviously.

Any advice? :D


Any conventional generator is decent repair will do the job fine. Beware of inverter generators of any waveform. It's complicated! Inverter generators cost more as well.

By actual test (weeks) an oversized 2000W Prosine inverter works very well if running off batteries. I suspect a 1000w version would handle a stove fine. Be very careful what other loads you put on an inverter or inverter generator. The other loads (a computer or TV are examples) draw very high currents at the voltage peaks distorting the waveform.

"Modified sine wave" anything are a no no, the stove controls need a smooth voltage curve supply.

gerry
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

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