Sunday, September 15, 2013

Projected Projects Project

Well, nature bats last.  We had some flashfloods last week---over a foot of rain.  It channeled down the trench for the power, and filled the future laundry room with some very rich soil.  It's not too bad really and my tenants are going to dig it out and use the soil elsewhere.
   It's a reminder that winter is coming.  This project will get backburnered a bit while I take care of some pre-winter projects----gathering firewood is one.  The other is the generator project.
 AnnaMarie's cottage was built to accept a small generator as backup power.  We get power outtages all the time--hot weather, windy weather, snow.  I finally found the generator I wanted---5,000 watts continuous, CARB compliant, electric start, dual fuel, 240v.  I'm plumbing it to the house propane cylinder which, if full, will provide about three weeks worth of fuel.  That should get us through anything.  I want it easy enough that if I'm gone AnnaMarie can just turn a key and flip a switch.  It was more complicated than I thought---geting the correct inlet pressure through the correct size pipes and all.


R said...

Gastite makes a pretty slick polyethylene system for buried gas lines. You'll probably have to get it from a HVAC wholesaler and if you aren't good at social engineering they may want you to take the class to become a certified installer. The class was free, easy, and only a couple of hours when I took it.

If you install extra pressure regulators you can drop from tank pressure to 4-5psi, distribute the intermediate pressure, and install a second regulator at the point of use to drop from intermediate pressure to your final pressure. This also allows you to get more flow through a smaller line.

Take a look at the installation guide if you want details.

Perhaps you want to lay in a 100lb tank for contingencies. The tanks aren't very expensive and LPG doesn't degrade in storage and require regular rotation like gas or diesel.

R said...

On second thought the higher intermediate pressure may only be 2psi, not 4-5.

flyingvan said...

I sat through AlphaFlex's online training only to find it isn't suitable for burial. Also I considered a two stage system, but my regulator is already a two stage and I can run the 11" W.C. 25' through 3/4" conduit. According to the tables I found it can provide the propane needed for the generator at full load all the way down to 0 degrees F (I've been here 18 years and 14 F is the coldest I've seen) All the wrapped iron pipe cost about $62 and it wasn't hard to clean up my trench for the straight run. Everything will be neat and tidy, just an inconspicuous little box behind a tree--a box that purrs a little when the power's out.
My regulator is 750,000 btu output. If I ran everything at once---water heater, wall furnace, all burners on the stove, gen at full blast---it's about 500,000.
AS far as backup fuel----I have 20# cylinders (which the gen is designed to run off of) that we use now for cooking and light (and the bbq) when the power goes out. I bought the dual fuel model so if things get really extended I'll have the gasoline option, but I'd prefer to keep the insides real clean with a strictly propane diet.