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Senior Tinkerer
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After putting it off for many years, I finally decided to get an emergency generator. If there is no more need for it in the future than there has been in the past, it will be a waste, but who knows?

So, it is a Tri-Fuel Powerland 8000/10000 kw. ( http://www.powerlandonline.com/c=Bu...E/Gas-Generator-10000-w-portable-on-sale.html )

It took about a week to get to me and it came in a 18-wheeler, so some people might have a problem if their location can't handle such a big truck. The truck had a power lift gate, but I just helped the driver slide it out and onto a piece of plywood on top of my 10 cu.ft. cart. Just drove the rig into my garage and dumped the cart while my neighbor slid it onto the floor. The thing weighs almost 300 lbs., so you need to be careful.

Set-up only involves putting the axle and wheels on plus the handles. However, this step was by no means trouble-free. Neither the axle nor the handles would fit without modification. No problem for a typical backyard mechanic, but if this situation is common, I expect they have received some irate phone calls. Anyway, I made the necessary modifications, put some oil and gas in, and it started right up and ran well.

Power gets to the main panel via a 50A input box on an outside wall and propane is supplied via a T in a new 1/2" gas line from the 320 gal. tank. It comes from the tank at 10 psi.

Power from the generator is via a 50A cord and the gas connection is via a 3/8" high pressure hose with quick disconnect fittings at each end.

The connection at the main panel is via a 50A breaker with an interlock that I made out of a piece of metal in my junk box. No transfer switch is required and managing which breakers to have on/off is simple. I put red tape on the ones that require special attention. A couple of the remaining circuits (marked with blue tape) need to be on, but we need to be careful what load we put on them. (microwave, toaster, coffee maker, etc.)

Here are a few pictures. Sorry for their quality, but both the camera and the photographer leave something to be desired.
 

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Nice setup!! Thanks for the pics
 

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Senior Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter #4
...

So, it is a Tri-Fuel Powerland 8000/10000 kw.
"Did he say 8000/10000 kw? :confused:"
"Yeah, must have had a brain freeze. He meant watts. :rolleyes:"
"OK, I was looking for a bigger engine. :D"

:sorry1:
 

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Nice, neat work. i'm curious about the function of the interlock. Does it somehow stop the generator current from backfeeding into the grid, or do you have to manually switch off the main?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice, neat work. i'm curious about the function of the interlock. Does it somehow stop the generator current from backfeeding into the grid, or do you have to manually switch off the main?
The purpose of the interlock plate is to prevent the generator breaker to ever be switched on when the main breaker is on AND to prevent the main breaker to be switched on if the generator breaker is on. So, yes, the main must be turned off before turning on the generator power.

This function is often provided by a (very expensive and very limiting) transfer switch. With the interlock plate, any circuit in the house can be connected to generator power while with a transfer switch, only the circuits selected to be handled by the switch can get generator power. Typically, that would be 6, 8, or 10 circuits. The trade-off is that when generator power is fed to the whole panel, the load must be carefully managed so as not to exceed the capacity of the generator. In my case, I plan to just shut off the breakers marked with red tape and manage what is going on if I need to turn a red-marked breaker on. For example, one would be the h/w heater (4500W) and to use it would require keeping other loads below 3500W total and balanced between the phases (8000-4500=3500). There is some flexibility since the peak capacity is 10,000W, but that is for only a limited time, like when a motor is starting up. I should make a chart that links the breakers with the phase they are on and their possible loads. I have not gotten that far yet.

Gerald
 

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Thanks for the detailed explanation Gerald. I'm familiar with transfer switch operation but wasn't sure how the interlock stops power from backfeeding into the grid. I like the idea of being able to control power to any circuit within the constraints of the generator output. :fing32:
 

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Power gets to the main panel via a 50A input box on an outside wall and propane is supplied via a T in a new 1/2" gas line from the 320 gal. tank. It comes from the tank at 10 psi.
So if I have this unit figgered out... You can generate propane or natural gas for your cookstove by running the generator on gasoline...? Or is there something I'm missing in the hook-up?:D:D

My electrician was here Saturday replacing the wire between the outside generator input receptacle and the transfer switch... "Bad wire installation!" he said. He also hooked up a ground fault receptical next to my kitchen sink as a "free good will gift".:) I too am now ready!(again):D
 

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Great installation, I like your lockout switch. The first time you fire it up in an emergency situation you will know it's worth every penny!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So if I have this unit figgered out... You can generate propane or natural gas for your cookstove by running the generator on gasoline...? Or is there something I'm missing in the hook-up?:D:D

My electrician was here Saturday replacing the wire between the outside generator input receptacle and the transfer switch... "Bad wire installation!" he said. He also hooked up a ground fault receptical next to my kitchen sink as a "free good will gift".:) I too am now ready!(again):D
HH, I read the owner's manual three times and never did figure out that I had that feature!!! Thanks! Now I've got to go out and buy a gas stove! :ROF

That was nice of your sparkie to put in a GFCI outlet for you. Now you won't have to remember to unplug your toaster when you wash it in the sink. :sorry1:

Gerald
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great installation, I like your lockout switch. The first time you fire it up in an emergency situation you will know it's worth every penny!
Thanks. The installation went smoother than I thought. The hardest part was making the hole in the block wall!

There was a time when I would have thought an interlock was not necessary. After all, how could someone forget to turn off the main? But, because of the many discussions here on the forum about that topic, I decided to play it safe. The first time I hooked everything up and prepared to go on generator power, it became obvious to me how mistakes get made. There is just too much going on that could cause enough of a distraction to switch the wrong switch at the wrong time. And in a real emergency situation, it would be worse. The interlock forces you to do the right thing.

Gerald
 

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Old as Sin
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I too have one , when using natural gas i don't use the choke , as for the manual , it leaves a lot to be desired , the wiring diagrams are wrong , other wise they have stood by there warranty .
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I too have one , when using natural gas i don't use the choke , as for the manual , it leaves a lot to be desired , the wiring diagrams are wrong , other wise they have stood by there warranty .
SHD, what did you find wrong with the wiring diagram? I know one of the illustrations got the 50A and 30A connectors mixed up, but the wiring diagram is right in that respect, at least. Thanks.

Gerald
 

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Old as Sin
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SHD, what did you find wrong with the wiring diagram? I know one of the illustrations got the 50A and 30A connectors mixed up, but the wiring diagram is right in that respect, at least. Thanks.

Gerald
That was it
 
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