Master thread for disasters and generators.

orbital

orbital

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deal ended::::
 
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dmenezes

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Yes dmenezes, now that you mention Bluetooth, I remember I have a kestrel drop that would be great for measuring the air temp blowing out of the generator. Fast response and has it's own memory for logging data. I would prefer cylinder head temperature and oil temperature but this is a good idea I can implement right away. Air cooled engines can be very hard on the oil.
Thanks!
You are very welcome, and thanks for mentioning the Kestrel Drop, never heard of it (some googling returned this, which is what I think you are referring to: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JAKKNCG/?tag=cpf0b6-20).

I use a Xiaomi Mijia like this, much less expensive but much less rugged (for outside temperature monitoring, I have one inside a zip bag strapped to the bottom of my motorhome) and with no logging capacity (I record temperature/humidity with an app on my smartphone): https://esphome.io/components/sensor/xiaomi_ble.html#lywsdcgq

The good thing, apart from being inexpensive (under $10 vs $70 for the Kestrel D1) is that it also measures humidity, and its 'protocol' is entirely documented, with a number of open-source software implementations to read and record the data.
 
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Bob2650

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You are correct dmenezes, the Kestrel D1 Drop should be quite useful. I have the D3 I bought cheap on ebay for the automatically calculated Density Altitude numbers used in another hobby. I would not buy one just for this measurement. Any cheap thermometer with a high enough range will work. The Kestrels are expensive but the data logging makes testing easy. Cheaper ones come up on ebay occasionally. Search for "Kestrel Drop" as the D2 or D3 frequently shows up for less than the usual price for a D1. Most people who spend a lot of time outdoors can look up at the sky and predict the near term weather as well as most professionals but add the barometer, humidity and temperature data logging information can extend your best guess a few hours further into the future once you become familiar with what to expect. A useful skill during disasters.
I have not used my generator since the last winter storm power outage and do not know what temperatures we should expect during normal operation.
 
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dmenezes

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Followup on my original post here: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/t...-disasters-and-generators.241581/post-5495627

Thanks to @Bob2650, @turbodog, @bubbatime, @Poppy (in no particular order) great advice, I decided to abandon my original idea of just plugging an inverter to my pickup truck (a la CarGenerator.com) and instead buy a Honda EU10i plus the two altitude jet kits plus 2 sets of gaskets to keep in reserve.

The best price I can find locally (Chile) is CLP 1095k new, which is about USD 1270... expensive, but probably cheaper than importing one from Europe (the equivalent EU1000i from the US won't work as I need it to be 220VAC like the European models).

Both sellers I've located [1] [2] purport themselves to be Honda concessionaires (whatever that means), so I will contact them beforehand to inquire about the altitude jet kits and whether they can offer me a quick course on swapping them.

[1] https://servimotor.cl/insonorizados/25-generador-electrico-honda-de-1-kva-eu10i-insonorizado.html
[2] https://www.rembrak.com/products/generador-honda-1kva

Thanks again to everyone who helped.
 
Poppy

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Bob2650

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Heat wave? This is nothing compared to what we will have during the next several months. I live in North East Texas. My 3 year electric contract expires next month, looks like at least a 60% increase in my bill for the contracts available these days. Rolling blackouts are occasionally expected to turn into longer outages as we repeat the familiar rhymes of history.
Back on topic: I bought a Toshiba portable AC/Heater (heat pump) with inverters rated 14,000 BTU (old method rating) 12,000 BTU (new DOE rating). It has NO big start-up surge. The inverters bring it up gradually and the Honda EU2200i runs it in ECO mode with no ugly noises or drama. Quiet for that much power and is rated for 550 square feet. Using the new DOE ratings, which are slightly more realistic, this is one of, if not the most efficient portable AC available. It may be more efficient than my 2006 vintage Trane central AC system. The Toshiba is somewhat expensive but it will serve double duty as a backup during repair/replacement of the aging Trane system and the usual power outages. The Honda EU2200i will develop an expensive drinking problem powering that portable AC but I think much less expensive than most other combinations providing the same cooling power in a portable package. There are some ductless mini split AC units that are very much more efficient.
 
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dmenezes

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Heat wave? This is nothing compared to what we will have during the next several months. I live in North East Texas. My 3 year electric contract expires next month, looks like at least a 60% increase in my bill for the contracts available these days.
Ouch! 60% sounds really abusive. Like, 20% a year?!

Isn't it worth yet to consider going off-grid, if not financially at least to give these guys the finger?
 
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Bob2650

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Every electric bill will be 60% higher than my current rates.
 
Poppy

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<SNIP>
Back on topic: I bought a Toshiba portable AC/Heater (heat pump) with inverters rated 14,000 BTU (old method rating) 12,000 BTU (new DOE rating). It has NO big start-up surge. The inverters bring it up gradually and the Honda EU2200i runs it in ECO mode with no ugly noises or drama.<snip>
Bob2650,
That looks like a wise choice!

From what I read inverter AC units are quite a bit more efficient. Also, most important for a portable unit is that it is essentially a TWO hose unit (a hose with in a hose). A two hose unit brings in outside air to cool the condenser coil, and it gets blown out hot. The air inside the house gets cooled when it travels through the evaporator coil and gets circulated back into the house.

Other one hose units, exhaust HOT air, but the air it exhausts, is the air from inside the house that you paid to cool. That creates a vacuum in the house that is refilled with the hot humid air that is outside through every little crack around the windows, and doors. Maybe from the attic, down the walls, and out through the wall electrical outlets.

We had a dual hose Frigidaire 14,000 BTU unit that worked well. I don't think it was a inverter unit.
 
idleprocess

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Also, most important for a portable unit is that it is essentially a TWO hose unit (a hose with in a hose).
+1 on that recommendation. I need to see if there's something I can do with my old 2-hose unit to make it serviceable again because its single-hose replacement literally sucks.

At this point I just wish the market would produce a window unit that mounts flush relative to the exterior since I have to maintain a clean exterior profile - otherwise I'd need to remove the bespoke solar screen which is ... difficult ... to access.

Isn't it worth yet to consider going off-grid, if not financially at least to give these guys the finger?
Mere grid tie solar in TX is normally 20+ year ROI proposition; adding in enough production capacity + storage + ancillary equipment would easily double that.
 
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Bob2650

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When running full blast the inverter AC units, and old school AC units are similar. The big efficiency takes place when running at less than full capacity. This Toshiba AC slows down the compressor and fans instead of cycling off and on. Once the room is at temperature it slows way down and is very quiet.
A company named Midea sells the same or a very similar version of the Toshiba units under license:
They might be easier to find in some locations. My Toshiba was found at Home Depot.
 
turbodog

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+1 on that recommendation. I need to see if there's something I can do with my old 2-hose unit to make it serviceable again because its single-hose replacement literally sucks.

At this point I just wish the market would produce a window unit that mounts flush relative to the exterior since I have to maintain a clean exterior profile - otherwise I'd need to remove the bespoke solar screen which is ... difficult ... to access.


Mere grid tie solar in TX is normally 20+ year ROI proposition; adding in enough production capacity + storage + ancillary equipment would easily double that.

You might be able to make a shroud over the intake/exhaust and connect to a 2nd hose. Some foam filled poster board, straight edge, knife, tape of your color choosing, and a little time.
 
orbital

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Mere grid tie solar in TX is normally 20+ year ROI proposition; adding in enough production capacity + storage + ancillary equipment would easily double that.

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Double that? noooo.
It's not going to take 40 years to break even.

You don't have to go full grid tie-in,
two 320W panels and some storage will really help the e-bill, you would be surprised.
(approx. $1/W for good panels)

There's something satisfying about capturing solar.
Everyday in use, they get just a little bit cheaper😉

What does this have to do w/ generators? well ultimately solar is powering or generating from a stored form (like gas)
 
Poppy

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+1 on that recommendation. I need to see if there's something I can do with my old 2-hose unit to make it serviceable again because its single-hose replacement literally sucks.

At this point I just wish the market would produce a window unit that mounts flush relative to the exterior since I have to maintain a clean exterior profile
Yeah, I'm glad you agree with me about the single hose units. I don't understand WHY so many manufacturers produce the single hose units, and they are sold at the home depot. Honestly, I had not seen ANY two hose units at HD. I'm glad that Bob found them at his HD.

I think that @tubodog and I are on the same page, or at least similar pages.

Although it may look like a cannibalized unit, on the inside of your office; from the outside no one would know.

You might be able to combine your non-functioning two hose unit, and swap some of its parts into the one hose unit to essentially convert the one hose to a two hose.

You'll have to separate the duct work of evaporator coil (the cold one) from the condenser coil (the hot one). Even just cardboard, and duct work, might fit the bill, but as turbodog suggested, foam board may be better. From the outside, all people would see is the plastic holder with the two hole ducts coming through it.
 
idleprocess

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Double that? noooo.
It's not going to take 40 years to break even.
I've benchmarked this more than a few times and the TX market does not incentivize solar at all. Adding reasonable off-grid capabilities means a more expensive inverter as well as a pricey battery bank.

None of this is to say I dislike or disapprove of solar - quit to the contrary, just that the economics haven't penciled out for me.

What does this have to do w/ generators?
Not much - discussion meandered a tad OT.

I don't understand WHY so many manufacturers produce the single hose units
Cheaper, easier to install, they still manage to cool a room, and I suspect that pretty much the entire industry is now using the "pump condensate over the hot coils to improve efficiency and not require the user to deal with a drip pan" trick.

From the outside, all people would see is the plastic holder with the two hole ducts coming through it.
Thanks to the solar screen noone sees it as is.

Given that my old dual-hose unit still ran last time it was in service, I expect that it might just need refrigerant. I could take it apart and see if there's any obvious damage then see about recharging the refrigerant system... but internet also says that's apt to be a leak so it would just demand additional R134A on an accelerating pace without a repair that's apt to push the fix-vs-buy argument towards "buy".
 
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dmenezes

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Mere grid tie solar in TX is normally 20+ year ROI proposition; adding in enough production capacity + storage + ancillary equipment would easily double that.
That was *before* the 60% price increase @Bob2650 mentioned, right? What about now?

And I suspect it was also based on quotes from commercial installers. I'd bet someone willing to source and install most/all of the equipment could save quite a bundle.
 
turbodog

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I don't think IP is far off. I have run the numbers in my state also. Easily 15 year break even, and that's on grid tie.

But this, PV ROI, would make an excellent thread OF ITS OWN.
 
Dave D

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Living in Andalusia, in southern Spain, we average 300 days of sunshine per year. Last August I had a grid tied solar system installed that consists of

11 x 540w Monochrystalline panels.
1 x Fronius Symo Gen24 Plus 6kw Inverter.
1 x BYD HVM 16.6kWh Lithium Phosphate battery (LiFePo).
1 x Fronius Smart Meter.

The system gives full back up power in the event of loosing the national grid supply.

We have the option of adding an additional 3kw of panels, which I may do in the future if I buy an EV.

I had estimated that it would take 15 years to recoup the investment but with the recent rise in power prices it may be closer to 10 years now.

I have also added a solar water heater with a 200 litre tank. All are on the south facing roof of my house.

I live up a mountain and we only have electricity, we have no gas, so far I am very pleased with the system.

IMG 5604
 
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Bob2650

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An update for those using my numbers of 60% increase in my electric bill to estimate break even time for solar!
I was able to find a new 3 year contract at only 33% increase and a cancellation fee of only $49.00. Once the war in Europe is over I expect the prices will drop and I will switch to a better contract with a more highly rated company.

With the price of gasoline predicted to continue increasing over the foreseeable future, the little Honda EU2200i generator is looking better and better.
 
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