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ZigZagZeke

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One thing to consider, most breakers aren't switch rated, so try not to operate those things too often. Also, the UL listing for thermal magnetic breakers is a one and done deal for use, it is recommended that you replace them after an overcurrent incident.
All my breakers are switch rated.
 

ZigZagZeke

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Most of them won't generate without a grid based 'load' to work with. If the grid goes down they won't even power your house. The 'offline' systems that will, have a transfer switch or the equivalent.

In order to be connected into the grid and selling power back to the utility those solar systems must synch with the grid. That means they have to be producing the same voltage at the same frequency, and in phase with the grid. The system won't parallel with the grid unless those conditions are met.

If you've ever watched an operator manually parallel a generator to the grid you know that they have a synch meter that tells them when to switch the unit in. It shows whether they are at the right phase angle and frequency. A volt meter tells them they have matching voltages.
 
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Dinglenutz

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In order to be connected into the grid and selling power back to the utility those solar systems must synch with the grid. That means they have to be producing the same voltage at the same frequency, and in phase with the grid. The system won't parallel with the grid unless those conditions are met.
They use an inverter - it's not like they have inertia and have to spool up.
 

ZigZagZeke

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They use an inverter - it's not like they have inertia and have to spool up.
And the inverter has to synch with the grid. Phase angle, frequency, and voltage has to be right. As a power plant tech I used to work on the inverters used for house power with battery backup. That's 480V, 3 phase. The inverter controls won't parallel to the grid unless everything is perfect.
 

ZigZagZeke

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Using a generator without a transfer switch is asking for trouble. If I were working on a downed line I'd be working between grounds. That's the only truly safe way to work in that situation. That means that if somebody somehow connected their generator to your downed line it would be a dead short to ground. Hope the generator has good circuit breakers.
 
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Do all of those home solar panel systems end up back feeding the lines when the utility power goes down?

All the newer home solar systems are usually set up to sell excess electricity to the utility. But they do sense power loss at the utility and wont backfeed a dead line. So the safeties built into modern solar systems protect the incoming lines.
 
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Capn Jack

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I've found the smaller generators tend to burn up the crankcase oil when run hard all day.
Most of them now have a low oil sensor that will kill the motor if it gets too low.
Keep some extra oil handy just in case.
When this happens, you can really work up a sweat trying to figure out what is wrong. :s0001:
Been there, done that. :mad:
 
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It's always surprised me that people ignore the instructions that tell them to check the engine oil frequently! Really should check the oil level every time it runs out of gas, or every time you fill the gas tank!
 
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When I built this place we hooked it up to NG. I've got 2 pipelines on my property, NW Nat. gave me a farm tap when negotiating the easement. Everything I can have running on gas I do (except the fridges, they're electric). Being remote we lose power for extended periods at times so I had a 13kw NG gen installed and wired into it's own panel. I could have wired it to the main panel and used a couple 50amp load shedding switches but the installer chose to wire to a separate panel which is fine. I have a well and a septic pump which I power, we have 2 NG stoves to heat the house so we're good there. I power the kitchen (main refer, the range is gas), master suite, living room (media electronics), utility room (2 refers, a freezer and washer and dryer [gas]) and some misc. outlets. The garage door openers I just do manually. The gennie is pretty low maintenance. It's not set-up for a weekly exercise but as has been mentioned running NG is pretty clean and you don't need to worry about it going bad.

My only worry would be if the gas infrastructure were compromised I'd be out of luck w/no option for running optional fuel. I have a couple smaller gas generators I can use in that case, I would be w/out water and septic but can keep my refers and freezer powered like we did in the old days.
 

Capn Jack

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It's always surprised me that people ignore the instructions that tell them to check the engine oil frequently! Really should check the oil level every time it runs out of gas, or every time you fill the gas tank!
On mine you can still see oil on the tip of the stick when the oil level switch is open.:mad:
Now I fill the crank case until it runs out.:)
 
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