GenSet Test

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    So the power was out last week at our town place after a storm. We lost power for a little over 4 days. Previously I have used a suitcase generator for outages like this but I moved that to the cabin for power tools. I got a ONAN 5500W generator off of a bucket truck for free, well it actually required me to do a fair amount of wrenching in trade, but it cost no cash. This was the first time I tried the larger generator.

    I was able to run:
    Burnham 210,000 BTU Boiler with 5 zone pumps and 2 unit heaters
    Electric hot water heater
    3/4 horse 110V well pump
    Electric stove
    Refrigerator and 2 freezers
    Numerous lights and a TV w/ DVD player

    I noticed that I burned the same gal. per hour no matter what the load was on the generator. I averaged 1/2 gal a hour over the outage. When the outage started I was running the genset about 3 hours and then turning it off for 2 hours, but toward the end I just left it on. I calculated the burn rate every time I changed out the 15 gal drums that I use as a fuel tank. The only thing I noticed was that I could not use the water (well) and stove at the same time, the same was true for the water and the microwave. I did not trip the system but I could hear the generator struggle to keep up with the load. Hope this helps anyone trying to size a generator to their needs, as well as giving them some idea of what they can expect to use for fuel.

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