Fridge/Freezer Food Preparation Appliances Well Pump Sump Pump Communication (Ham Radio, Small TV, Cable Modem, Cell Phone) Furnace/Water Heater Fan (Assuming NG or Propane heat.) Battery Charging Some Lighting
Air Conditioning Will require much larger generator and waste fuel 55” LCD TV Xbox/Playstation Washer/Dryer
VERSATILITY Be able to power ONLY what is needed. Low Fuel Consumption Keep running when there is NO GAS Portable Long Storage Life Convenience Reliability Quiet Security Low Price
Just Big Enough – 2,000 – 3,000 watts Inverter Technology (Not just a generator) Low Fuel Consumption Quiet Cleaner Electricity (Smoother AC Voltage) Reliable Portable ~$1000 - $1200+
Big/Cheap Generators (As lows as $300) Big Enough to Power Your Whole House! High Fuel Consumption Incredibly Loud! Less Reliable Less Portable Whole House Natural Gas Unit ($2000 - $3000+) Not Portable Very Convenient but Not Versatile
S ize your generator based on needs +30%. Assume only half of your appliances are running at the same time. Anything with a motor will draw at least 1.6X normal load upon startup. (But they won’t all start at the same time.) Fridge, Freezer, Furnace Fan, etc… Most Large Appliances have stickers that indicate their running Watts. Watts = Amps X Volts US standard outlet is 120V Large appliances, AC/Drier use 220V Use a Kill A Watt meter to measure small appliances Use a Clamp Meter to measure large appliances.
GAS Only if you have too Ethanol eats engines Some places sell 100% gas, for a price Degrades in 3 months, can be extended to a year+ with Stabilizer 2 X Tanks of Propane 2.44 Times the BTUs/Volume of Natural Gas Costs more to run. The 2 nd is a backup tank for your grill! Lasts Forever Natural Gas Most Convenient Lowest Cost Short of a Extreme Earthquake we will have fuel. Slight loss of power. (~3 amp loss) Cannot Store Natural Gas, Required Pressure is too high. (2,800+ psi)
Diesel More energy per gallon than Gas Known for being slightly dirtier/smelly but modern engines are much better. Diesel engines are easier to convert to alternative fuels. (Various biofuels/oils.) More Cost Efficient than Gas Last for 2-5 years dependent on temperature. Lasts 10+ years? with Stabilizer Diesel Formula
Kerosene Not for Generators Included to be thorough For kerosene lamps and heaters. Less refined fuel, means its extremely stable No Stabilizer needed Lasts 10+ years
With relatively small changes most standard generators can be made to run of multiple fuels. If your somewhat mechanically able you can do the work yourself. You can buy generators ready for Tri Fuel More fuel options mean more flexibility and the ability to run longer. In a real emergency, fuel is precious and you will only be running ~4 hours a day, just enough to keep the fridge cold, anything more is wasting precious fuel.
Goal is to run off Gas, Propane or Natural Gas (Wood Gas ??) Kits and Services are available for a price. http://www.propane-generators.com/honda-generators.htm Google “Honda Tri Fuel DIY” Found a Great Tutorial (Tutorial Files Are Below) http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/631123__ARCHIVED_THREAD__ __Honda_EU2000i_TriFuel_Install.html&page=1 http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/631123__ARCHIVED_THREAD__ __Honda_EU2000i_TriFuel_Install.html&page=1 Have not found any negative reviews about doing a conversion. Larger Generators need adapters for the conversion, small generators just have the carburetor drilled. READ MY NOTES, the diameter of the hose from the Carburetor to KN Regulator is too small! (I found out the hard way.)
After doing this, I found this site, which was recommended and does seem to have good kits. Even has an adapter plate for the Honda 2000 watt to avoid drilling. http://propanecarbs.com/ http://propanecarbs.com/ Also found a security bracket for the Honda 2000 watt. Nothing is fool proof but at least it helps slow them down. http://propanecarbs.com/ http://propanecarbs.com/
Drilling Services Results Will Vary DIY Results Can Be Very Clean Sourcing individual parts will save some money. Honda 2000 will need drilled, very limited room. Drilling Service: Ugly, Brittle and Sloppy Green Epoxy DIY: Clean and Strong JB Weld
Can be done on essentially any generator. Different “Kits” for different size generators and high/low pressure propane operation. “Kits” for small generators may or may not require drilling the carburetor, depends on available space. For $75 + Shipping, Kit manufactures will drill your carburetor. (But why do this? You still do the work removing it, and a drill press can be purchased for $125. Another great excuse to buy more stuff!)
Make sure you use 3/8 inner diameter hose from Carb to KN Regulator, without it the generator will not run right off of Natural Gas. Use at least a ¼” OD brass tube. 3/16” OD is too small. The gas shut off valve can be bought at Auto Zone. I ended up using http://www.hose-man.com/ to source a 25 foot Natural Gas hose.http://www.hose-man.com/ If your careful bending the brass tube you don’t have to cut off the white support. Take your time drilling the hole.
1 Large Person can carry everything. Natural Gas Quick Disconnect can be moved from one house to another in minutes with just two wrenches.
Electrical and Natural Gas Connections in Garage Pass Through Hole in wall is large enough for makeshift exhaust install. Garage provides a level of separation between fumes and home living area. Would be easier to defend. Quiet generator inside garage would be hard to hear from outside. This is dangerous! I have not done this and hopefully never will. Unless people with guns are outside stealing generators, you should not ever consider this, and even then very carefully. I assume no responsibility for anything you do.
Automatic Load Cycling Essentially a 4 Zone Thermostat Auto Cycle between Furnace, Water Heater, Fridge and Freezer based on Temperature Remote Override Load Sensing to prevent cutting power while load is running.
Dangerous Can Kill Electrical Repair Men Miles Away Generally Never Consider Doing This If truly in a Extreme situation, like after an EMP or Solar Flare and you know power will not be restored for a LONG TIME: ABSOLUTE MUST TURN YOUR MAIN BREAKER OFF!!! Find a way to physically stop the breaker from turning on, at the very least duck tape it off and write a note. If possible remove the main breaker?? May be convenient, but high load can be a problem. This is dangerous! I have not done this and hopefully never will. I assume no responsibility for anything you do.