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Ready for Zombie Apocalypse!

Discussion in 'North America' started by Lloyd, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    #1 Lloyd, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    Transitioning to Electric Vehicles has made me more aware that we are dependent upon the electric companies for reliable power. I decided to search for a used generator and install it on my home for backup power. I am now ready for Elon's Zombie Apocalypse! I thought everyone here would enjoy seeing some photos.

    Found the generator I was looking for 30 KW Engineers Special in Los Angeles. It was previously used by Nextel as backup power for a remote cell site. This Generator is set up to produce either single phase or three phase with the flip of a switch. It was previously set up to monitor all parameters of the generator remotely from a cellular data link. It has a 120 gal tank which would run for some time if necessary. It burns about 1 gal per hour with a moderate load. It is powered by a 62 HP John Deer turbo diesel. I paid $7500 and it has 5000 hours on it.

    IMG_0954.jpg

    The seller told me that it weighed 6000 lbs, and when I got there it was 8200 lbs with 900 lbs of fuel on board! It was a little much for my 1/2 ton pickup. I melted my catalytic converter, started a small fire, but Cal Fire was going the opposite direction, saw it happen and put it out immediately. You may see a little smoke in the background.

    IMG_0955.jpg

    Well finally got it home, and in position with help from my friends at Johnboys Towing.

    IMG_1020.jpg

    I fabricated a connection point with Cam Loks to keep the generator portable.

    IMG_1023.jpg

    I dug about 300 feet of trench with Direct burial wire and control wires. I used 2/0 aluminum good for up to 190 amps as service entry.

    IMG_0979.jpg

    This terminated at my meter panel where there are 2 X 200 amp services.

    IMG_1026.jpg

    On the opposite side of the meter panel I installed 2 X 200 amp automatic transfer switches.

    IMG_1025.jpg

    These automatically start the generator in the event of grid loss, and once weekly for 20 minutes to exercise the generator.

    IMG_1022.jpg
    IMG_1024.jpg

    This was a fun project and everything went together seamlessly. When going on an exercise cycle, I dont even notice the transition in the home. Monitoring the voltage, the generator runs at only several volts less than the utility power.

    This generator has no problems charging the Tesla even at the full 80 amps from the HPWC.

    zombie1-300x413.jpg
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Next time you may want to consider solar so you can handle a 30 year attack. ;)
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I have 17 kw of solar also! Solar does no good, however when the grid is down.
     
  4. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    That's what I thought too.... then I discovered AC coupling... for ~$4k (Inverter + 15kWh batteries) I can use my ~10kW array during the Apocalypse.

    MAGNUM-AC-COUPLED-LINE-DIAGRAM_large.jpg
     
  5. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I knew this would be available some day. What did you use for your diversion load and controller?
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    That's a pretty reasonable price for that piece of equipment. 5000 hours though? Wonder if they ran the site on pure diesel for a while until the power company delivered service?
     
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Records indicate that it had 1000 + hours in the last few months running continuously, so you may be right. From what I was able to gather from other owners it should be good for about 15000 before any major maintenance.
     
  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Since I only expect to use this system in an 'emergent' situation I don't have those... they're not needed for operation. The primary... and really only benefit would be to allow for '3 stage charging'. Without a diversion load the Battery-Based inverter shoves all the energy not being consumed into the battery bank without regard to SOC. Once battery voltage reaches a pre-set level the Battery-Based inverter raises frequency to 60.5Hz... this causes the grid-tie inverter to trip.

    I've considered buying one of the new 3.6kW 600vdc charge controllers that morningstar released recently but I'm having a hard time justifying the expense... This would serve the same function as the diversion controller (precise 3 stage charging) to prolong battery life, with less complexity and slightly more redundancy. I'm not too concerned about over-charging... my back-up batteries are flooded lead-acid and they're fairly resilient to overcharging.
     
  9. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    $4 K for an inverter AND 15 kWh of storage? That's insanely cheap. Way better than Tesla's Powerwall. I'm going to have to look into this.
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #10 nwdiver, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    4.4kW AC coupled inverter $2159.20

    I went CHEAP on the batteries since they're just standby... $83ea + ~$15 core fee at Costco. That's ~$800 for a full 48v bank ~10kWh/bank.
    If your batteries will get more use... or you want a higher quality brand I would get Rolls Surrette S550s

    Lithium Ion is definitely going to have the last laugh... but for the next ~3 years lead acid is still the cheapest standby source... if you don't plan on cycling more than once a month... I really like the power wall and if I was going to use a battery system on even a weekly basis it would be WAY better than this. The efficiency of a 48vdc PBSO4 system are TERRIBLE. ~90% charging * ~80% DC-DC * ~90% inverting = ~65%... the Powerwall is SIGNIFICANTLY more efficient since it's ~350vdc, DC-DC charging/discharging...

    One 'trick' I discovered instead paying ~$4 per batter jumper is using 5/8" copper tubing cut to length... I've tested it to ~100 amps and the voltage drop is negligible.

    IMG_0681.JPG
     
  11. Tedkidd

    Tedkidd Member

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    Lol. MacGiver.
     
  12. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    The SunnyBoy SMA inverters have a secure power feature that provides power even if the grid is down. A second option is some battery back up.
     
  13. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    I have micro inverter panels - could I do battery backup - I already have 12KW generator.. thoughts? BTW I love the genius of the copper tubing....very cool..
     
  14. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    The best price/performance, in a year or two, will be a couple of powerwalls with the correct solar inverter. That will give ~8000 watts output. With the grid down, and a large solar array, a house and car should be manageable. Not "just like the grid", but manageable.
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #15 Cottonwood, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
    If you use SMA Sunny Boy Solar PV inverters, SMA also makes the Sunny Island Inverter controller that is UL approved. The Sunny Islands will control a battery bank, throttle the PV inverters as needed, avoid shocking utility linemen, and even control a backup generator if the PV is not enough.

    See SUNNY ISLAND 6.0H / 8.0H

    I went a little excessive (retired engineer syndrome). The system is 24 kW Solar PV, 20 kW Sunny Island, and 150 kWh of lead acid batteries. I do have one 14-50 on the system that is turned on when the backup batteries are over 50% SoC. 40 Amp charging works fine with or without sun, but is better to use when the backup batteries are nearly full and there is good sun. My only problem is that system is too good; and I had to add an indication that I was off-grid. The power failed a couple of times, and I did not find out about it I tried something on a non-backed up circuit.
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Wouldn't solar and battery backup be better in the Zombie apocalypse?:). I mean going outside the compound for fuel can be dangerous.
     
  17. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Yes, but don't you need 30 KW of lights to keep them away? Hard or expensive to do that with solar and batteries:scared:
     
  18. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    You are probably thinking of the vampirocalypse.
     
  19. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Oh right ...... :redface: Mixing up my horror movies!
     
  20. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    That's the beauty of AC coupled systems... you can use ANY UL1741 inverter off-grid... even micros.
     

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