Generator Recommendations

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Oh hi
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:22 am
My RE system: OUTBACK SKYBOX HYBRID NON BACKFEED

Generator Recommendations

Post by Oh hi » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:45 am

Hi I'm needing to back up a well pump and a booster pump for a fire prevention sprinkler and firehose system. I'm looking at a few different model 220V generators and weighing the pros and cons of each. I believe I should I get electric start so system can operate automatically in case of fire related emergency. Any advice is appreciated. I'm trying to stay on the affordable side of things.
I'm looking at:

WEN DF475T 4,750/3,800-Watt Electric Start
https://wenproducts.com/collections/gen ... -generator

Firman MODEL: H05751 7125 WATT Electric Start
https://www.firmanpowerequipment.com/sh ... or-h05751/

Rocoil Start
Firman MODEL: P03606
4550 WATThttps://www.firmanpowerequipment.com/shop/open- ... or-p03606/

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Generator Recommendations

Post by Mike Curran » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:49 pm

Just a couple of comments:

1) The smaller Firman is recoil start, I didn't see electric start mentioned.
2) Neither of the others mentions availability of an AGS start kit, so with them you'd have to rig something up yourself.

FWIW - Mike
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

fcwlp
Forum Czar
Posts: 544
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:40 am
My RE system: GS8048A, FM80 w/3,600 W PV Fixed, FM80 w/2,700W on Zomeworks tracker, Mate3, 24 Trojan 2V L16 1100AH @ C20, Grid-Tied with Kohler 14RESA LPG Generator and MEP-803 Diesel if needed
I also install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems, details will be given for these system if required
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: Generator Recommendations

Post by fcwlp » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:42 pm

Oh hi wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:45 am
Hi I'm needing to back up a well pump and a booster pump for a fire prevention sprinkler and firehose system. I'm looking at a few different model 220V generators and weighing the pros and cons of each.
Hi, I live in a wildfire prone area as well. Fortunately the original owner put in a 5,000 gallon pressure tank :grin: that always has 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of water in it, as a backup there is a 3,000 gallon bladder and a 1/2 acre pond that is 10' deep. That all feeds two gasoline powered fire fighting pumps (Davey and Cascade) through 2" PVC plumbing.

How many HP is your well pump and booster pump?
Can you measure the running current of the well pump and booster pump?
What is the LRA (Locked Rotor Amps) of your well pump? A good estimate if it is not a Grundfos is 3x the running current.
What is the GPM of your well pump and do you have a storage tank?

I highly doubt if the Wen at 3,800W will be able to start your well pump. What you may find is a better strategy is to increase your water storage with some 1,000 to 1,500 gallon tanks or get a 3,000 gallon mil surplus bladder and keep them full during the fire season. Make sure the plumbing coming out of the tank is at least 2" or you will get too much pressure loss at high flow rates.

Rather than investing in the generator to power a booster pump, you would be better off getting a real fire-fighting pump, Primo Supply is one source https://www.primosupply.com. I also keep a stock of Barricade (Primo Supply carries) which you apply to flammable surfaces and forms a hydro-gel (i.e., wet blanket) on the surface. It was developed by a firefighter in FL who noticed a used disposable diaper that was not burning.

The other thing that I do with the fire fighting pumps is to run only ethanol-free gas in them and make sure the carb runs dry after each use, as you want it to always start. Of course also maintain your defensible space around the house.

Oh hi
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:22 am
My RE system: OUTBACK SKYBOX HYBRID NON BACKFEED

Re: Generator Recommendations

Post by Oh hi » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:04 am

Thank you for your response. It sounds like you have an excellent setup. I'll get the specifics on the pumps and respond again with more information.

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