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SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to leibold

Re: Voltage Drop Tolerances

I was thinking more like running a high demand appliance, like an electric dryer, and maybe one more thing to get close to the 6000 running watts point, and then energizing one of the farthest outlets and see what kind of voltage it's getting.

If the voltage drop should be no more than 5%, then would it be correct to say that the voltage should be no less than 114v at that outlet (5% of 120v is 6v, so 120-6=114v)?


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to nunya
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Here it is: 35' of #8 with an upgraded 30A 4-prong plug. I'll run some tests when I get some time to see what kind of voltage drop I'm getting. But at this point, I have 35' of #8 from generator to inlet, and 50' of #10 from inlet to panel.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider
Had the chance to give the new cord a good test, and so I hooked up the generator and ran the house off generator power for a couple of hours. After it warmed up, I switched it over to generator power (forgetting to shut off all the breakers and start slow...). Even with that larger burst, it simply handled all the house loads at once, and gave no hesitation.

I ran a load of clothes in the washer, ran a load of wet clothes in the propane dryer, and ran a load of dishes while keeping every breaker in the house on at the same time. Again, with well pump kicking on and off, and tankless hot water heater on and off, 2 fridges and one freezer on and off, generator just rolled with the punches.

I measured voltage on the generator while I knew it was under a pretty heavy load, and it measured 125v on both legs. I went inside and measured at a "far distance" outlet, and it was about 125v as well. Seems to not have a voltage drop issue.

The only issue I saw is that one light set in the house was dimming and brightening in time with the dryer (I think.. might have been washer). Once the load was done, that light never wavered from bright. I don't think that is a major issue (maybe someone can comment), but otherwise, that generator powered the whole house as if I had POCO power. Pretty impressive! I didn't think 6000 watts could handle that much... but apparently it can!


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
If a household uses gas for it's heating appliances, it's quite surprising to most people how little electricity they actually use.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
said by nunya:

If a household uses gas for it's heating appliances, it's quite surprising to most people how little electricity they actually use.

Indeed! 6000 watts let me pretty much operate as if I had POCO power. For a short time, I actually forgot that I was on generator power, and started to turn on outside lights, garage lights, TVs, etc. Even having every breaker on at the same time, there was nothing that the generator wasn't able to comfortably handle. With propane piped to the generator, I could be out for days and the beat would go on. Pretty sweet actually.

nunya, does that light fixture dimming in time with the dryer drum cycles mean anything? I measured the voltage on the legs through the 120v outlets on the generator while it was happening, and one leg was rock solid at 125v, the other was hovering back and forth between 125v and 126ish volts. Anything red-flag on that?

The bulbs in that fixture are Type A, not CFLs. I didn't see any other fixtures doing it during my test, which was for a couple of hours.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
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Some lights are going to flicker when loads come off / on line. Not much you can do about that except get a giant generator. I'd say it's a minor annoyance given the alternative.

I wouldn't sweat the voltage. Seems to be about just right.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

The bulbs in that fixture are Type A, not CFLs. I didn't see any other fixtures doing it during my test, which was for a couple of hours.

Incandescent lamps not only change intensity but also color when there is a change in voltage where as CFL and LEDs maintain a nearly constant color. The change in color coupled with a change in brightness makes even slight voltage changes noticeable with incandescent lamps. Nothing to worry about.
--
Zach


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
said by Zach1:

said by SwedishRider:

The bulbs in that fixture are Type A, not CFLs. I didn't see any other fixtures doing it during my test, which was for a couple of hours.

Incandescent lamps not only change intensity but also color when there is a change in voltage where as CFL and LEDs maintain a nearly constant color. The change in color coupled with a change in brightness makes even slight voltage changes noticeable with incandescent lamps. Nothing to worry about.

That makes sense actually. The vast majority of bulbs in my home are CFLs, and none of them were flickering. Only the Type-A bulbs in that one fixture were acting up. I don't think I had any other incandescant bulbs on during my testing, so that one fixture stuck out because it was the only one with that type of bulb, and hence, the only one flickering.

I think my test today confirmed that my setup doesn't have a voltage drop issue, and it demonstrated that it can handle darn near my whole house simultaneously so long as I use common sense while adding loads. I was genuinely impressed. I was always thinking about what loads I needed to shed or what I needed to shut down to power something else, but frankly, I used my house as I normally would, and other than a few light bulbs flickering and the humming of a generator outside... I never noticed any difference from POCO power.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
said by SwedishRider:

said by Zach1:

said by SwedishRider:

The bulbs in that fixture are Type A, not CFLs. I didn't see any other fixtures doing it during my test, which was for a couple of hours.

Incandescent lamps not only change intensity but also color when there is a change in voltage where as CFL and LEDs maintain a nearly constant color. The change in color coupled with a change in brightness makes even slight voltage changes noticeable with incandescent lamps. Nothing to worry about.

That makes sense actually. The vast majority of bulbs in my home are CFLs, and none of them were flickering. Only the Type-A bulbs in that one fixture were acting up. I don't think I had any other incandescant bulbs on during my testing, so that one fixture stuck out because it was the only one with that type of bulb, and hence, the only one flickering.

I think my test today confirmed that my setup doesn't have a voltage drop issue, and it demonstrated that it can handle darn near my whole house simultaneously so long as I use common sense while adding loads. I was genuinely impressed. I was always thinking about what loads I needed to shed or what I needed to shut down to power something else, but frankly, I used my house as I normally would, and other than a few light bulbs flickering and the humming of a generator outside... I never noticed any difference from POCO power.

The ballast/driver circuit in CFLs and LEDs also provide some current and/or voltage regulation which further reduces some of the visible flicker seen with incandescent lamps. Even with my relatively giant Cat diesel generator that provides backup to the house as well as livestock barns and wells, I notice some slight flickering that doesn't happen on utility power. Being this far out in the sticks, anomalies on one or more of the three phases is somewhat common so flickering goes mostly unnoticed by me.

With the weather you guys seem to be getting on a semi-regular basis, you've done a good job of preparing. Glad to hear everything is working even better than you expected.
--
Zach


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
said by Zach1:

With the weather you guys seem to be getting on a semi-regular basis, you've done a good job of preparing. Glad to hear everything is working even better than you expected.

Thanks! Weather here has been pretty brutal. Connecticut has had 3 major power outage events in 14 months, prompting many of us to rethink our preparedness strategies. The propane tech who ran my TracPipe said that previous to Hurricane Irene, he had installed maybe 3-4 standby generators for home use in his career, but since then, he alone has installed over 250! And that is just him... his company has apparently installed many more than that in total!

I'm really happy with the result of my project, especially since my test yesterday. It's code-compliant, very flexible, and can power pretty much my whole house during an outage (minus central A/C) using fuel on site from my 500 gallon propane tank. And if I ever did want to go with a standby, the infrastructure to add it in with relative ease is now in place.

My wife was happy to hear of the results of my test, but was very annoyed that all the clocks in the house had to be reset after my test was concluded. Hey... she wasn't home to ask if it was okay to switch to generator power... so I had no choice but to assume that she would have approved.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by SwedishRider:

Hey... she wasn't home to ask if it was okay to switch to generator power... so I had no choice but to assume that she would have approved.

Always much easier to beg forgiveness than seek permission...


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
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kudos:1
said by mattmag:

Always much easier to beg forgiveness than seek permission...

So true!


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to mattmag
said by mattmag:

said by SwedishRider:

Hey... she wasn't home to ask if it was okay to switch to generator power... so I had no choice but to assume that she would have approved.

Always much easier to beg forgiveness than seek permission...

Careful there.
I once did something like JimCT, but the wife came back home before I even had any work done.
Result was that she was pissed off (it was freezing cold in the house, clocks were reset) and I got nothing out of it except wasted my time re-wiring what I was taking off because I had no time to replace it.