Raptor has Moved

Started by Raptor, March 27, 2023, 02:04:01 PM

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EBuff75

Quote from: Raptor on May 12, 2023, 01:20:44 PMBTW I prefer wing nuts for this type of application because in the event I do not have access to a power tool for whatever reason (no power, damaged tool, etc.)  I can remove these fasteners by hand. 
FYI, you can use a "Gator Grip" style socket on wing nuts if you do have power (or a battery-powered drill).
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MacWa77ace

I have and use a 'wing nut' bit for my lexan hurricane shutters. It works fine.

IIRC I got it at home depot, they also have all the wing nuts, and bolts for that kind of stuff.



I also use these lexan 'keyhole' washer that they keep you from cracking your lexan.

I don't have any metal shutters that I attach like that but I'd assume you should use washers when putting them up too.
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Uomo Senza Nome

Quote from: Raptor on May 12, 2023, 01:20:44 PMThe electrician I scheduled to install a manual transfer switch has convinced me that if I am going to use a Generac generator I should install an automatic transfer switch that comes with the Generac generator and not install the manual switch. The Generac switch is designed by Generac to interface with the generator and is needed to run properly. If I install the manual switch it will be a throw away install. 

I am in the process of obtaining quotes to install an underground 500 gallon propane tank (at best ~ 5 days of fuel) to run a propane generator. Between the tank and generator the cost is almost  as much as a stand alone 15 kw diesel generator. The problem is that I need at least 15 kw just to run the HVAC units; I really need about 20kw to run HVAC and other household loads.

My previous diesel generator was a PITA to keep an inventory clean diesel fuel. I do like the idea of propane which has an indefinite storage life.

I am still working this issue.

I had a manual transfer switch self install on my last house (I have enough school training and experience to do simple electrical stuff). The little Gennie was only 6.5K so I merely shuffled a few loads over to the gennie, which of course I had to roll out of the garage to use, then run the cable back in to the transfer box. It worked fine, even if it ate fuel. Manual management allowed me to swap loads to keep food cold, the house cool enough, heat water, etc.

I used it shockingly little in 11 years and took it with me when I moved.


It gets expensive when you start talking underground Propane tanks, about twice as much as an above ground tank, before install. You might consider hiding it behind a masonry wall as a cheaper option to underground. I did that two houses ago with my propane tanks and it worked well.

Keep in mind that a 500 gallon tank only holds 400 gallons of propane. You shouldn't have to run it all the time, unless you have medical concerns.
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Raptor

Quote from: Uomo Senza Nome on May 12, 2023, 09:04:57 PM
Quote from: Raptor on May 12, 2023, 01:20:44 PMThe electrician I scheduled to install a manual transfer switch has convinced me that if I am going to use a Generac generator I should install an automatic transfer switch that comes with the Generac generator and not install the manual switch. The Generac switch is designed by Generac to interface with the generator and is needed to run properly. If I install the manual switch it will be a throw away install. 

I am in the process of obtaining quotes to install an underground 500 gallon propane tank (at best ~ 5 days of fuel) to run a propane generator. Between the tank and generator the cost is almost  as much as a stand alone 15 kw diesel generator. The problem is that I need at least 15 kw just to run the HVAC units; I really need about 20kw to run HVAC and other household loads.

My previous diesel generator was a PITA to keep an inventory clean diesel fuel. I do like the idea of propane which has an indefinite storage life.

I am still working this issue.

I had a manual transfer switch self install on my last house (I have enough school training and experience to do simple electrical stuff). The little Gennie was only 6.5K so I merely shuffled a few loads over to the gennie, which of course I had to roll out of the garage to use, then run the cable back in to the transfer box. It worked fine, even if it ate fuel. Manual management allowed me to swap loads to keep food cold, the house cool enough, heat water, etc.

I used it shockingly little in 11 years and took it with me when I moved.


It gets expensive when you start talking underground Propane tanks, about twice as much as an above ground tank, before install. You might consider hiding it behind a masonry wall as a cheaper option to underground. I did that two houses ago with my propane tanks and it worked well.

Keep in mind that a 500 gallon tank only holds 400 gallons of propane. You shouldn't have to run it all the time, unless you have medical concerns.
I have noticed with propane tanks at least locally is that when the local provider fills them, they rarely fill it more than 75% so a 500 gallon tank is really 375 gallon and at 3 gallons +/- an hour that is only about 5 days. If/when I need a generator it will likely be post hurricane and the power will likely be out for more than a week. So this also means that the propane company will need to come refill the tank even if I reduce run time to only 10 or 12 hours per day.

BTW the reason I am looking at the underground option is because of hurricanes and the possibility of damaging the tank . That said a masonry "box" around it may also be a decent option.

Here are pictures of the lexan shutters on the large set of 4 windows in the front of the house.
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Folks you are on your own...Plan and act accordingly!

I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers. As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

NT2C

10-12 hours per day?  At what percentage of the normal household load?  My thinking on this is probably way off from yours.  In my planning for here at this house heating/cooling when power is out is done with fans (battery or low-draw ceiling fans) or with propane and/or kerosene heaters.  A Mister Heater Big Buddy heater can keep our 1,800 sq.ft. house in the 60s even with below-freezing outdoor temps.  Cooking is done with a propane grill and/or butane single burner indoors.  Lighting is done with rechargeable light sources that I can recharge from multiple sources including solar.  This leaves our little 1.5kw generator just powering the fridge and freezer for an hour or two out of twelve (depending on outside temperatures as the freezer is in the garage).  With our bigger 7kw generator I can manually cycle loads to do everything I would normally do, just not all at once.  Water stays hot for a good long time in the insulated tank, the gennie will easily run our washer, and even our electric dryer.  It has enough capacity to run our HVAC system if I really, really need it to, like say to get the house temps up above freezing to protect pipes, but that's not a constant load, just for an hour or so every 10-12.  Hell, it will also easily run the oven (wall oven or microwave) and cooktop.  All the lights in the house are now LED, which greatly reduced the electrical load.

The last really extended power outage we had I went through about 25 gallons of gas in a week, with the generator running at half load or less most of the time.

I think the difference between our two sets of needs on this are the degree of comfort we each want/require. 

I'd also suggest that a portable solar setup of even just a few hundred watts which you could put out and hook up to a battery bank (normally kept ready by commercial power) might be enough to keep essential items like lights and fans working indefinitely.
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Raptor

#25
QuoteI think the difference between our two sets of needs on this are the degree of comfort we each want/require.

This is certainly on aspect of the situarion.
The other is the climate and conditions in which a probable long term power outage may occur. In your case it seems like your preps will work very well for a winter time power outage.

I am on the other hand prepping for the next Katina...18 days without power and ambient temperature of 92+f and 100% humidity. Battery operated fans will not do  anything except remind me about the heat when the fan blows air on me.

In my case I need to run at least 2 of the 3 HVAC units, each of which have minimum circuit requirements of 25 amps @ 240 volts. That is 12 KW for starting purposes. The running amperage is likely to be about 1/2 of that so call it 6KW. Throw in a couple of refrigerators and That is another 1 Kw.

If being the in the dark was the only concern then as you note there are easy solutions to that matter. In fact If I turned on every light in the house inside and outside the draw would likely be less than 750 watts.

I am not saying that a 2kw cannot provide a lot of power. In fact in the aftermath of the last hurricane I reported that I had loaned a 2KW generator to a friend who alternated the load between his refrigerator and a 5,000 btu window unit I loaned him. It worked very well.

That said I am looking for a more robust preparation to deal with a likely risk.
Quote10-12 hours per day?  At what percentage of the normal household load? 
Typically at my old house when I am on generator power I set the HVAC (& Refrigerator & freezer) to a low temperature to keep it from cycling off and on. Even with soft start capacitors this cycling puts a load on the generator. the cycling may trip the circuit breaker. When I am in a fuel conservation mode. The generator runs in cycles of 1 hour and is shut down for 3 hours during the day. At night I let the generator run while I am sleeping. I use the Hobbs Meter time to assess the use. It generally works out to 10 to 12 hours.

I will have to modify this fuel conservation plan for the new installation. I would assume a run time of 8 hours at night and the remaining 4 hours spread out over the rest of the day. 
 
A portable battery power station in this situation is not a good fit. The need for portability intrudes expense, complications and un-necessary issues. If I were to go that a hard wired battery bank and inverter would be a better approach. That what I will likely do is get a 50 amp 240 volt power inlet and if necessary  use another generator as a plan B.
Folks you are on your own...Plan and act accordingly!

I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers. As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

NT2C

Quote from: Raptor on May 14, 2023, 08:47:35 PMA portable battery power station in this situation is not a good fit. The need for portability intrudes expense, complications and un-necessary issues. If I were to go that a hard wired battery bank and inverter would be a better approach. That what I will likely do is get a 50 amp 240 volt power inlet and if necessary  use another generator as a plan B.

I see that I wasn't clear about this part.  I wasn't referring to a portable battery power station.  I was referring to an in-house (or garage, outbuilding, wherever) battery bank that is normally maintained on mains current and could pick up the load when the mains went out.  At that point, portable solar panels could be brought out from storage (to avoid them being lost to storm damage) and plugged into the bank.  Even if the panels aren't enough to take the full load what power they do supply is that much less the batteries have to supply.  Such a system will eventually become depleted but could give you power over a time period equal to or even greater than a generator system that relies on fuel which may be unavailable for replenishment.

Now, if the generator was connected to a natural gas line rather than local propane storage then you could run for as long as you wish, or can afford the gas bill.  But I'm thinking about weaknesses in your plan in the event of a widespread/long-term disaster and the biggest one that I can see is you'd have that finite quantity of propane and that's it until more can be delivered, however long that may be. A battery bank system for the whole house which can be replenished from multiple sources, including solar panels, generators (all types), and mains voltage could meet your basic needs just as well and meet your bare minimum critical needs almost indefinitely.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Current Weather in My AO
Current Tracking Info for My Jeep

Raptor

I agree the key weakness to my long term energy plans both at the new house and old house is the need for fuel. The reliance on propane al9ne at the new house basically doubles down on that weakness by relying on a fuel that requires a 3rd party to deliver by truck. 

At least at the old house with NG the supply only required NG infrastructure to be functional. I could also go get diesel for generator as i did during Katrina.

It is a weakness.
Folks you are on your own...Plan and act accordingly!

I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers. As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

MPMalloy

Quote from: Raptor on March 28, 2023, 01:55:19 PMThe cost of living is lower than many places. The cost of housing is likewise low. I am amazed at how polite people are in general.
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Raptor

#29
A quick update after several months of delay and messed up order for parts I decided to take the simple approach and install a generator inlet with an interlock. The existing panel needed updating anyway. The code folks were giving me grief about a transfer switch.

The approach was to install a main power shut off that shuts off utility power add an interlock to make the inspector happy and put in a 50 amp 240 volt inlet.

50 amps @ 240 (~12KW) is not enough power to run 2 central HVAC units. Still it is enough to run the one smaller HVAC unit. That and it can run a wide variety of smaller items. So IMO it is decent short term solution.

You can see the meter and old box to the left of the new box. The box at the bottom with the yellow label has the twist lock 50 amp plug. The "generator in" circuit breaker wire is sized for 100 amps  so that IF I want or need to move my trailer mounted generator to the house I can still do that (obviously I would have to bypass the 50 amp plug and breaker if I did that).


Also if and when I want a permenent generator installation I can use the same setup without making a change. 

BTW Since this is an older house there are Cable TV & landline boxes and wiring all over the place.  I will deal those later.

Not pretty but it is a cost effective and useful solution to a power outage.



Folks you are on your own...Plan and act accordingly!

I will never claim to have all the answers. Depending upon the subject; I am also aware that I may not have all the questions much less the answers. As a result I am always willing to listen to others and work with them to arrive at the right answers to the applicable questions.

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