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Hackers knock out the gird, which Generator to get instead of solar

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,396
476
Irvine
Wife read somewhere that if the grid goes down or out, we won’t have a place to charge.....she asked me about a generator.....said I would look into it....Anybody have any suggestions as to what generator is best for the application and can I use the charger cable in the car with the right adapter....I know the generator has to have a ground for the car to accept charge but I am lost as to if this can even be set up and work.....thanks in advance for any suggestions.....
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
There are a lot of generators out there that run on gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas. What you get depends on what you want to power and what resources you have available to you. Most large household generators are setup with a transfer switch that allows you to disconnect from the grid and use your generator to power your house directly without running stringing extension cords all over your house. These are a heck of a lot more expensive though.
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
646
507
New England, USA
The cheap construction generators are REALLY noisy, cantankerous, and generally a PITA.

Generac whole house consumer generators have a long history of failing soon, especially by burning up all their oil then self destructing. During "Hurricane" Sandy in NJ at least 8 of my mother's neighbors had Generacs that failed.

I've had good luck with Kohlers. One was from 1946, the most recent was installed about 3 years ago.

Depending on how much you expect to use the generator, propane is a good fuel. It lasts forever and doesn't degrade like gasoline. Note that a full house generator will need something MUCH larger than a BBQ tank, or even a 100 lb tank. Natural gas should be good, but look what happened this winter in Texas.

My preference has been for diesel since you can fefuel from a jerry can, but consumer diesel generators seem nearly extinct. Kubota makes excellent small-medium diesels and make a (expensive) generator that looks excellent. Should be very good. I've had half a dozen Kubotas tractors (some for 20+ years), and all were extremely reliable. None died, and only one has been retired (Friend took it and restored it).

I have used several diesel Kohlers for off grid use over the decades. My present emergency generator is a propane Kohler.

If you want gasoline and portable, Hondas are the best. Fairly quiet, very reliable. Have had about half a dozen over the years for various properties. Make sure you get an actual Honda generator, not a Honda engine attached to a crappy generator.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,251
686
Springfield, VA
FWIW, I have a small Honda generator (bought to run a saltwater fish tank during power outages) and it will not charge the Tesla due to the ground issue. Interesting video here comparing the Honda generator I have with a newer Generac portable:

 

maximizese

Member
Jan 16, 2018
484
464
California
I'm not sure a backup generator in Irvine, Ca would be all that practical for what you're trying to achieve in charging your Tesla during a powergrid hack-attack. You'll also want to take note at the rate of output the generator can produce and whether or not you plan to power your entire house plus charging the car. It seems the trend in Socal is pair a solar array with a whole-house battery bank since power interruptions are typically less than 2 hours. It's still something to be concerned about given all the cyberhacks these days.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,955
Boise, ID
While I think that's a really over-the-top fear, there have been plenty of threads discussing charging from generators here. I'll link several to get you the most information about this.







 

Gadget-X

Member
Feb 20, 2020
341
108
LA ( Lower Alabama )
We have a whole house Generac generator. Live in a hurricane prone area. I had the electrician tied the 60AMP Tesla Ver 3 connector into that. We actually had use it late last year. So in our case no separate generator needed.

M
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
646
507
New England, USA
Please note that all the small generators cannot output full wattage continuously. A gasoline 5kw probably can only output 2.5 kw continuously, ie, for hours at a time. It will wear out crankshaft bearings, get oil leaks, etc. So advertised 7.5 peak, continuous 5kw won’t last long at 5kw.

In my experience running a 3kw generator continuously at 2.5kw basically failed at 20 -30 hours. Couldn’t restart due to lack of compression. Don’t know if it was valves, pistons or what.

Well treated one should get 1000-2000 hours of life. So a $1000 generator for 1000 hours is a buck an hour just for depreciation. Don’t forget to change the oil every 50 hours, too. Charging a full 100kwh X at 2kw = another oil change.

As always YMMV
 

Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,352
4,111
Canada
We went with a dual fuel champion 3400 watt that we run exclusively on propane. Propane is easy to store and doesn't go stale. We bought it for backup to critical household loads though. Not for charging the Tesla. We exercise it once a month using the Tesla as a variable load. 12 to 24 amps on 120 volts. Never tried to put a serious charge for ay length of time on the car but I'm sure it would work. Electric start. Super quiet. East to store. Oh, and don't forget to use a bonding plug or the EVSE will fault out.

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