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704 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2015784 14-May-2018 14:52
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http://www.abwelectric.co.nz/backup-power-generators/

 

The LPG generators look cool (not cheap)


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2015863 14-May-2018 15:54
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blackjack17:

 

http://www.abwelectric.co.nz/backup-power-generators/

 

The LPG generators look cool (not cheap)

 

 

That youtube video sure makes a permanently installed LPG / Natural gas generator seem luxurious. Of course it is comparing a $NZ 15k fixed system with a $NZ 3k portable generator.

Regarding LPG, also of note is the likelihood that LPG supply networks are likely to be stretched if a power outage is widespread. (most people rely on an LPG fired BBQ as a backup cooking appliance).

NZ regulations only allow the storage of 100kg of LPG, unless you go to the hassle and expense of getting a location test certificate, note that bottle in the back of the USA video is a 210kg LPG bottle.

 

That said, even if you changeover valve triggers on a 2x45kg install, just when your standby generator fires up, you still have 5 days for power to be restored, or to source more LPG.


Natural gas obviously gives infinite run time, but would be vulnerable to the likes of earthquake damage.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2016097 15-May-2018 01:28
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blackjack17:

http://www.abwelectric.co.nz/backup-power-generators/


The LPG generators look cool (not cheap)



Get them to confirm that those generators can handle NZ LPG. As LPG here is an 80/20 mix of propane and butane. While overseas LPG is either pure propane or pure butane. For example there are European gas central heating boilers that can't use NZ LPG due to the mixture.


As for inverters, you will need at least 1.5KW, preferably 2KW to run a fridge. Due to the very high startup load of a fridge compressor. And you need a pure sine wave inverter to run fridge compressors. Due to them being capacitor start motors. And don't install a large inverter in your car if it has smart alternator control.

If you are considering spending $10K+ on a generator. Consider getting a solar + battery system instead. You can even get inverters that can synchronise with a generator. So your load capacity is the sum of the generator and inverter capacity. And the inverter instead charges the batteries when total load is low. Which means that you can use a smaller capacity generator than otherwise. And you can do things like have round the clock power from the inverter and batteries for lower load devices. And just run the generator for a few hours each day while you are using high load devices. And to recharge the batteries.

I don't think such inverters can be used for grid connect applications though. As grid inverters are designed to stop an island from forming. While the above inverter is deliberately designed to create an island.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2018561 18-May-2018 19:51
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Very interesting topic! Have been thinking about this for a while. We've got solar panels, but we don't have battery storage as that's still quite expensive.

 

Without battery storage, it shuts down in case of a power outage which is annoying.

 

So, we could buy batteries at $7k+ or buy a Ryobi 2kW generator for $1100 at Bunnings. Or are there other options?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2018567 18-May-2018 19:56
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Kohler LPG generators run fine on NZ LPG.


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  Reply # 2018569 18-May-2018 19:59
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boland:

 

Very interesting topic! Have been thinking about this for a while. We've got solar panels, but we don't have battery storage as that's still quite expensive.

 

Without battery storage, it shuts down in case of a power outage which is annoying.

 

So, we could buy batteries at $7k+ or buy a Ryobi 2kW generator for $1100 at Bunnings. Or are there other options?

 

 

Yeah, plenty of options. Molten salt, pumping water up hill, pushing trains up a slope, etc. They all need a bit of space and investment though, and will cost you more than a generator.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2019440 20-May-2018 19:11
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k1w1k1d:

 

Kohler LPG generators run fine on NZ LPG.

 

 

Yes, I can confirm this. I have owned a Kohler 12RES 40 Amp capable LPG powered model for many years. The unit can be set up quickly for either LPG or Natural Gas.

 

I specifically chose this generator because I wanted LPG fuel to avoid all the petrol and diesel fuel storage, quality, age and rotation issues.

 

In my case I run it with 2 x 9kg bottles on an auto change over regulator. Two full bottles will give me approx 10 hours run time and I always have a couple of spare full bottles as backup for extended outages such as the recent Auckland storm where we were on generated power for 18 hours. Bottles can be 'swapped over' while the generator is running.

 

It did cost around 10K installed but considering that it runs my entire house and office automatically every time a power cut occurs, the money was well spent.

 

The only downside is cost of LPG!


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  Reply # 2019601 21-May-2018 08:50
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datahawk: The only downside is cost of LPG!



Get LPG via the 45KG cylinders instead. Equivalent to $20 per 9kg bottle, and they deliver it to your house for you. Only problem is having to pay a rental fee. But you can quickly recoup that, and it is just more convenient.





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  Reply # 2019730 21-May-2018 12:40
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Aredwood:
datahawk: The only downside is cost of LPG!


Get LPG via the 45KG cylinders instead. Equivalent to $20 per 9kg bottle, and they deliver it to your house for you. Only problem is having to pay a rental fee. But you can quickly recoup that, and it is just more convenient.

 

It would be nice to have large 2 x 45Kg storage sitting there but it's that rental aspect that eats away at me.

 

I have not done the math but my issue is that the generator may not run for months (apart from exercise) and when we do have outages they only last for short periods in most cases so 9Kg have been working fine so far.

 

Anyone wish to quote their monthly rental cost of the 45Kg bottles?


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2019781 21-May-2018 13:38
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I have relatives who farm out in the wop-wops who are often without power for days.

 

For power cuts they have a petrol generator which they only run intermittently for the refrigerator freezer water pump and to charge cell phones tablets and 2 way radios. Heating is by log fire and cooking is by gas babeque or a camping gas stove. The genny is run after dusk to provide light for cooking eating and washing up thereafter LED lamps are used

 

If by dusk of the third night power has not been restored it is off to town to stay the night at a motel for hot showers and a restaurant meal.

 

Their top tip, leave a light switched on so you know when power is back on. They once went a whole day without using mains power because they did not realise power had been restored


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  Reply # 2019895 21-May-2018 15:31
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It's worth keep on eye on used machinery auctions etc.  I picked up a grunty little three phase back-up generator that was being replaced by a local authority.   Got it because we lived in a house with a pump dependent water supply.  Had it connected compliantly by a registered electrician and never skipped a beat.  Still own the house and the genny still goes.  To be fair it hasn't done a lot of work.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2019914 21-May-2018 15:47
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datahawk:

 

Anyone wish to quote their monthly rental cost of the 45Kg bottles?

 

 

For one site we have it's $120 inc GST per annum paid yearly. For another $56 inc GST per annum paid yearly. Those are in different regions with different companies

 

edit: thats for two 45kg bottles at each site.


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  Reply # 2020001 21-May-2018 18:19
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littlehead:

 

For one site we have it's $120 inc GST per annum paid yearly. For another $56 inc GST per annum paid yearly. Those are in different regions with different companies

 

edit: thats for two 45kg bottles at each site.

 

 

Thanks for that.

 

Yes, that confirms it is not cost effective for me to rent 45's because of the ongoing accumulated rental and the relatively low generator LPG usage that I currently experience.

 

Most outages are less than a few hours but we have had a couple of all day events for major local line maintenance and some longer storm event outages which seem to happening more often in recent years.


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  Reply # 2020009 21-May-2018 18:28
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MikeAqua:

 

Got it because we lived in a house with a pump dependent water supply.

 

 

Yep, Although my primary need for 24/7 power was my business, we have similar issues with my rural property...

 

Electric Water Pumps, Septic System Pumps, Garage and Workshop Doors and Solar Hot Water circulation pumps (to prevent the panels boiling) all benefit when the generator kicks in.


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