Master thread for disasters and generators.

Poppy

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I took some measurements with my Kill A Watt, and there were some surprises.

I guess it is a soft start 10,000 BTU Air conditioner because the initial surge was not all that bad, perhaps 100 watt additional surge.
It maxed out at 800 watts, and ran a bit less at about 680 watts.

refrigerator is pretty new, there was a momentary surge at 460 watts, but ran at 290 watts

One year old, 5 cu ft deep freezer only drew 60 watts when it was actively cooling, and there is no surge at all. That was a surprise.

55" TV 85 watts
router and modem 15 watts
powered digital antennae didn't even register.

washing machine: 350 watts, washing a heavy load of towels
800 watts for the initial spin which pretty quickly dropped to 150 watts.

Gas Dryer: This was a surprise.
200 watts running, but 600 watts when the igniter is heating up. This of course happens multiple times during drying.

I am very pleased to see that my little 2K surge/ 1600 watt generator can power:

refrigerator/freezer
5 cu ft deep freezer
TV, modem and router
some LED lights, and phone chargers

and one of the following at the same time
washer, dryer, or 10,000 BTU air conditioner.

I didn't measure the toaster, microwave, toaster oven, or hair dryer, but I suspect each would be at or above 1000 watts.

Keurigs use between 200 and 400 watts of energy to keep the water hot. They peak at about 1500 watts when in full brewing mode. In comparison, a 12-cup Mr. Coffee uses a more modest 900 watts
 
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PhotonWrangler

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...refrigerator is pretty new, there was a momentary surge at 460 watts, but ran at 290 watts

One year old, 5 cu ft deep freezer only drew 60 watts when it was actively cooling, and there is no surge at all. That was a surprise.

55" TV 85 watts
router and modem 15 watts
powered digital antennae didn't even register.

washing machine: 350 watts, washing a heavy load of towels
800 watts for the initial spin which pretty quickly dropped to 150 watts.

Gas Dryer: This was a surprise.
200 watts running, but 600 watts when the igniter is heating up. This of course happens multiple times during drying.

I am very pleased to see that my little 2K surge/ 1800 watt generator can power:

refrigerator/freezer
5 cu ft deep freezer
TV, modem and router
some LED lights, and phone chargers

and one of the following at the same time
washer, dryer, or 10,000 BTU air conditioner.

I didn't measure the toaster, microwave, toaster oven, or hair dryer, but I suspect each would be at or above 1000 watts.

Keurigs use between 200 and 400 watts of energy to keep the water hot. They peak at about 1500 watts when in full brewing mode. In comparison, a 12-cup Mr. Coffee uses a more modest 900 watts

Thanks for these measurements, Poppy. That deep freezer measurement is surprising. Is it a conventional electromechanical mechanism or peltier junctions?
 

idleprocess

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Thanks for these measurements, Poppy. That deep freezer measurement is surprising. Is it a conventional electromechanical mechanism or peltier junctions?

I can't imagine peltier junctions being adequately efficient to deep freeze any reasonable volume of space at that power level.
 

idleprocess

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It is a Magic Chef 5.0 cu ft chest. Model HMCF5W3
https://mcappliance.com/media/manuals/HMCF5W3.pdf

Apparently it has a compressor, and uses cyclopentane coolent. It is so quiet, I honestly didn't know the answer to your question. :)

A peltier junction (or TEC - Thermo-Electric Cooler) is a solid state device that transports heat in a somewhat similar fashion to a mechanical evaporator/condenser arrangement - i.e. there's a hot side and a cold side. Upsides are no moving parts, compact size, and far simpler construction; downside is that they're about 25% as efficient as a mechanical compressor. TEC's have seen use in CPU cooling, "cold plate" beverage coolers, extremely small refrigeration units capable of cooling down a ~half-dozen 120z cans - anywhere else that the advantages are worth the performance hit.
 

BVH

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Poppy, what Kill-o-Watt device are you using to measure inrush current? To accurately measure inrush current, one needs a very high counts per second, (typically 6000 or better) higher dollar clamp meter. Just reading the first number you see on a non-inrush capable meter will not give you even a remotely accurate measurement. They are not fast enough to see the true inrush current peak We're talking measurement in the milliseconds.
 

scout24

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As with all things, a dry run while the sun is shining to confirm would be a wise idea. Nothing like suprises when things go sideways.

Edit- Way out in left field but related to current discussion in this thread: If you want to see wonderful use of Peltier chips, swing by Data's Cool Fall subforum and read the Can Cooler 4000 thread about halfway down the front page... :D
 
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Poppy

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BVH,
This is the model I got.
https://www.harborfreight.com/kill-a-watt-electric-monitor-93519.html

P3 international "Kill A Watt"

If the inrush is only milli-seconds, I don't think the generator can respond that fast and it takes a couple of seconds to puke.

scout24,
A trial run in non-emergency situation, definitely makes sense.
I know that it will start and run my AC which is the heaviest demand.
Adding the frige should work out.
 

BVH

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As mentioned, you're not getting peak inrush current from the Kill-o-Watt. You're just seeing the first reading the meter saw which is long after inrush event has taken place. But in the end, if it does what you want it to do then you've reached the goal.
 

turbodog

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Poppy, what Kill-o-Watt device are you using to measure inrush current? To accurately measure inrush current, one needs a very high counts per second, (typically 6000 or better) higher dollar clamp meter. Just reading the first number you see on a non-inrush capable meter will not give you even a remotely accurate measurement. They are not fast enough to see the true inrush current peak We're talking measurement in the milliseconds.

I mention your followup that 'if it works you're ok'.

Everyone gets hung up on inrush or locked rotor amps. These are largely theoretical and last but a millisecond. That's what the kinetic energy of the engine is for.

An occasional voltage sag during startup won't instantly destroy your equipment or generator.
 

Poppy

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Well, I don't know if it does what I want to do. I'd like to know, without a trial run, what I can operate simultaneously on my generator. Given that I may need to start things individually, to limit the amount of surge, so that it doesn't over demand the generator.

Do you think that the Kill A Watt will achieve that goal?
 

Poppy

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I mention your followup that 'if it works you're ok'.

<SNIP>.
I am really pretty sure that it will work, but I agree, a trial test run is worthwhile.

I have a larger genset, that is not as fuel friendly, but will probably be quieter, because it will be outputting a smaller percentage of its' possible output. IE., a 1500 watt load on a EDITout: 1800 watt generator is 83% capacity, Edit: 1600 watt running generator is @ 94% capacity, but a 1500 watt load on a 3000 watt generator is 50% load. The larger engine will not be working as hard, and may actually be quieter. The difference in fuel consumption may not be all that dramatic.

EDIT: Here is a video comparing the Honda 2000 unit to the Predator 3500 unit each under a 1450 watt load. The larger 3500 unit was quite a bit quieter than the 2000/1600 watt unit. 66 db @ 10 feet for the 3500/3000, and 73 db at 10 feet for the 2000/1600 watt unit.

 
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idleprocess

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Last week I graduated from this nonsense...
1629779594822.png

To this:
1629779655506.png

Also got the mechanical interlock installed:
1629779744074.png

Now I'm awaiting delivery of the components to make an extension cord and then I'll give it a test once I've cobbled it together.
 

turbodog

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Nice little afternoon storm came through. The winds uprooted trees in the saturated ground (from Ida). Power out 2 hours now. Genset running. Gas meter making a whirring noise.

Given that the crews are all in south MS on Ida repair... we could be out a while.
 

3_gun

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Only thing I wish I'd done different is using gasoline. Should've gone duel fuel natural gas/propane. And more amps, 20 runs the house but the ac unit needs 30 so in the summer = no ac. 5500w with 7300w surge runs the whole house; 2 refrigerators, freezer, m.wave, coffee maker, furnace, etc just have to watch out for overlapping start ups; only time the surge protection ever kicks in. Haven't needed it lately, fingers crossed it stays that way
 

turbodog

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My experience is that home gensets go two ways: 1) 2-3kw 110v for lights/fans/electronics and low fuel usage or 2) large propane/nat gas unit to run everything. Otherwise you spend a lot of time chasing fuel.
 

3_gun

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Always have had gas in supply & most of the time for free. Grocery here gives you $$ back on food you buy at their gas stations. Can't remember ever having less than $2/gal off the pump price. Always bought the full 30gal you we're allowed to get, so 20 or so gallons of gas on hand was common. Add in the generator was usually at 1/2 load or less, fuel lasted pretty good. Still gas is more of a pain than a pipe of natural or bottles of propane. Of course propane doesn't do well in the cold & we get a lot of that here
 

Poppy

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Only thing I wish I'd done different is using gasoline. Should've gone duel fuel natural gas/propane. And more amps, 20 runs the house but the ac unit needs 30 so in the summer = no ac. 5500w with 7300w surge runs the whole house; 2 refrigerators, freezer, m.wave, coffee maker, furnace, etc just have to watch out for overlapping start ups; only time the surge protection ever kicks in. Haven't needed it lately, fingers crossed it stays that way
3_gun,
The only thing in my house that is 220V is my central AC. My generator is a quiet 110V unit, and therefore like you, will not run my central AC. I picked up a 10,000 BTU window AC unit to make at least a couple of rooms comfortable, in the event of an outage, and I am on generator power.
 
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