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coelacanth2
09-07-2009, 06:35 PM
I'm thinking of putting in a backup generator, since we can lose power on a regular basis and it has, historically, been for up to several days. I have a 500 gallon LP tank buried near the barn (we used to have lp for heat, switched to oil and wood a while back), and a line runs to the barn for heating. An LP line, capped, runs to within 2' of the back of the house, and the barn is wired to the house for 100 amp srevice. I do not need portability, a permanently mounted unit is ok. I'm thinking of putting one in at the office, too, to keep that place running during outages (still looking at grid-tie solar, too). The question for the house is - diesel to run off the home oil/truck supply or lpgas, which is probably a less expensive generator and easier to fuel. Opinions and experiences, please.

TerryLL
09-07-2009, 06:53 PM
No experience with LP generators, but I ran a 6K diesel genset for many years. Does the diesel generator you're considering operate on the same grade of fuel as your oil furnace? If not, you may be looking at a separate tank.

Bill R
09-07-2009, 07:03 PM
I have both at my various sites. The diesels are big- 50Kw and 100Kw. Smaller sites are LP gas, 5Kw up to 25Kw.

If you are doing a home or small business that has a 10-15Kw demand, you should be good with LP. Just make sure your vendor can do emergency fills if needed- you can't just run to a nearby gas station or truck stop to refill your LP pig in an emergency. With a diesel, you can fill 5 gallon cans with diesel or heating oil and refill that way in a pinch.

I got burned by a now former LP vendor during a bad storm at the beginning of the year. My 25Kw LP genset ran out of fuel in an extended storm caused outage, taking 2 stations off the air. I called for a fill after 24 hours, and the vendor just never showed up, despite repeated calls. All our contracts specify 24 hour emergency delivery. If this set were diesel, we could have refueled it ourselves in this situation.

Paul Pless
09-07-2009, 07:04 PM
I have a 500 gallon LP tank buried near the barn (we used to have lp for heat, switched to oil and wood a while back), and a line runs to the barn for heating. An LP line, capped, runs to within 2' of the back of the house, and the barn is wired to the house for 100 amp srevice. I do not need portability, a permanently mounted unit is ok.Given the above, I'd go with propane.

I have both at the kennel and prefer the permanently installed propane ones, over the portable diesel ones.

jack grebe
09-07-2009, 09:07 PM
Go with Diesel, You can make it yourself, has a long
shelf life, and there are a ton of "other fuels that an
be used in a pinch.
Also, the diesel is more durable.

George Roberts
09-07-2009, 11:53 PM
I don't know about the local conditions, but when people don't have power there tends to be a run on fuel.

Gas stations - a source of diesel, don't have power during power outages. Farmers may have gravity tanks.

Often tough to get refills.

Paul Girouard
09-07-2009, 11:59 PM
LP's the most common choice around here.

ChaseKenyon
09-08-2009, 01:04 AM
we used to have lp for heat, switched to oil and wood a while back),

This says it all!!!!

Go diesel!!!\\

My "camper" a 40 ft Prevost LeMirage bus conversion has diesel generator with own tank. However I can pup that tank full from the mainn over the road tank which is 150 Gallons. On the other hand if that runs low i can pump the 20 gallon gen tank to the main tank if I need it to get to a sation when running low.

The situation at you domicile is the same If you tank the gen set with a 30 gallon tank and put good stabilizer additives in it it will keep up to two or three years and yo should power it up and run till good and hot four times a year anyway. The house tanks are usually 275 minimum. diesel and home hear are both no2 home is coloured red, diesel is semi clear that is the only difference. BTW no1 is keroseene a different animal that is lighter and can be added to diesel no2 for extreme cold weather use.

So You can steal fuel from the gen set for heat or from the house tank for electricity. as they are boht stationary you can have your home heating oil service fill both with cheaper (no road tax) red no 2. You could even install a second 275 tank for the gen set and as you would be over 5oo gallons most places you get an extra discount for the big fill up.:D;)

Chase

Btw if you search and have access to a used veggie oil source you can start both the gen set and the house furnace on no3 and then switch to filtered prepped used veggie oil direct without the need to make biodiesel.

If you want more info on that one PM me or make a big stink here or start a new thread for it.:cool:

Tylerdurden
09-08-2009, 03:33 AM
LP is best if you want to leave it alone for extended periods as it never decays. Diesel requires fuel treatment for long term storage but by far is the most versatile. You can run just about anything from JP-8 to K-1 in an emergency. If possible you want a mechanically injected motor so no electronic issues will arise. Just feed it fuel and it goes.

The other option is to use inverters and a battery bank then charge from source, Auto, genny, wind, solar.

Mrleft8
09-08-2009, 07:20 AM
A buried LP tank probably ought to be inspected before you pump 500 lbs of propane into the topsoil.

Tylerdurden
09-08-2009, 07:25 AM
Its nice to have a big LP tank but have one construction tank so if one is out you can haul it to be filled. The big box stores usually have them for $150 or so.

For diesel a caddy or carboy is better than hauling five gallon cans too.