Do you need your own power plant at home?

“Imag­ine the sit­u­a­tion: we are sit­ting on the New Year with friends in the coun­try, in the sauna, in sheep­skin coats and by can­dle­light. Every­thing start­ed well, but then- times, and turned off the elec­tric­i­ty. A week lat­er I bought myself a home pow­er plant.

From a conversation

Do you need your own power plant at home? Hon­ka Home pow­er plants run­ning on gaso­line and diesel fuel allow you to sup­ply elec­tric­i­ty to the house autonomous­ly, with­out a cen­tral­ized pow­er grid, so they are increas­ing­ly used in cot­tages and dachas. They do not take up much space, while some mod­els pro­vide an auto­mat­ic start sys­tem with switch­ing the con­sumer to the pow­er plant (auto start). ATIn this case, approx­i­mate­ly 20–50 sec­onds after a black­out, all house­hold elec­tri­cal appli­ances that are turned on can be “revi­tal­ized” again by a home pow­er sta­tion, and when the cen­tral­ized pow­er sup­ply is restored, it will auto­mat­i­cal­ly turn off with a break in the sup­ply of volt­age to the net­work for the entire for 2–5 sec.

Do you need your own power plant at home?Diesel pow­er plant with a capac­i­ty of 20kW mod­el L20000D firm AN-PA (Turkey). A home pow­er plant con­sists of an inter­nal com­bus­tion engine (car­bu­re­tor or diesel) dri­ving a gen­er­a­tor that gen­er­ates elec­tric­i­ty with a volt­age of 220 or 230V fre­quen­cy 50Hz at max­i­mum cur­rent from 4 to 40A. Syn­chro­nous type gen­er­a­tors are more com­mon­ly used, although they can be asyn­chro­nous. ATsome mod­els pro­vide three-phase volt­age 380 or 400V, as well as a con­stant volt­age of 12To recharge the car bat­tery. Pow­er plants with a car­bu­re­tor engine run on gaso­line (usu­al­ly brand AI92), and with a diesel engine- on diesel fuel. The sim­plest engine used- sin­gle-cylin­der two-stroke air-cooled, and the most com­plex- diesel twelve-cylin­der four-stroke with water cool­ing.

Power plant parameters

Do you need your own power plant at home?Gaso­line pow­er sta­tion con­trol pan­el with two sep­a­rate sock­ets- on the220V (left) and three-phase at 380B (right). Pow­er plants dif­fer in the val­ues ​​of oper­at­ing para­me­ters (pow­er, resource, effi­cien­cy, and a num­ber of oth­ers), size and ease of con­trol (see.table). Their pow­er can be from 0.35kW, but for home use it usu­al­ly does not exceed 5–20 kW. It should be not­ed that gaso­line pow­er plants have a capac­i­ty of 0.35 to 11kW, while diesel- from2.5 kW and above.

Anoth­er impor­tant para­me­ter- the resource of guar­an­teed trou­ble-free oper­a­tion until the first over­haul of the pow­er plant, mea­sured in hours. Accord­ing to it, pow­er plants can be divid­ed into three groups- sea­son­al (with­re­source from 500 to 1000 hours), robus­ta- only for pow­er­ing house­hold appli­ances and pow­er tools (with­re­source from 1500 to 2500 hours) and long-term use (with­re­source 3000hours or more). The cost of a pow­er plant, both gaso­line and diesel, grows in pro­por­tion to its resource.

Determining the required capacity of the power plant

The capac­i­ty of a pow­er plant lim­its both the num­ber and capac­i­ty of elec­tric­i­ty con­sumers that can be used at a time. The dia­gram shows the stan­dard, most com­mon­ly used house­hold elec­tri­cal appli­ances and pow­er tools, as well as the required pow­er of a home pow­er plant at which they will per­form their func­tions.

Do you need your own power plant at home?Pow­er sta­tion con­trol pan­el with auto start. The left­most “Test” key is used to peri­od­i­cal­ly check the per­for­mance of the pow­er plant. It is espe­cial­ly impor­tant to make an allowance for the start­ing cur­rents of the con­nect­ed elec­tric­i­ty con­sumers. There are two groups of elec­tri­cal appli­ances- With­ac­tive resis­tance (elec­tric stoves, elec­tric heaters, incan­des­cent lamps) and with induc­tive resis­tance (drills, saws, refrig­er­a­tors, elec­tric motors, pumps, flu­o­res­cent lamps). The start­ing cur­rent of elec­tri­cal appli­ances of the first group dif­fers slight­ly from the cur­rent of their oper­a­tion in sta­tion­ary mode, and to deter­mine the required pow­er of the pow­er plant, you just need to add up their pow­ers, adding a mar­gin of 10% for reli­a­bil­i­ty. Start­ing cur­rent of elec­tri­cal appli­ances of the sec­ond group 2–3 times above the cur­rent of the sta­tion­ary mode, there­fore, when cal­cu­lat­ing the required pow­er of the pow­er plant for their simul­ta­ne­ous inclu­sion, it is nec­es­sary to mul­ti­ply the rat­ed (pass­port) pow­er of each elec­tri­cal appli­ance by the same num­ber before sum­ming up. This should always be remem­bered, espe­cial­ly if the pow­er plant is fre­quent­ly used in autorun mode. Pow­er plant over­loads reduce its resource, there­fore, the max­i­mum allow­able pow­er at which it can oper­ate is indi­cat­ed in the pass­port of indi­vid­ual mod­els for no more than 5min.

Enough to main­tain a sum­mer house 2–3 kW, to ensure the life of an aver­age-income fam­i­ly for a long time- up to 5–7kW and final­ly for the use of the boil­er room and sauna- 15–20 kW. ATin the lat­ter case, it is nec­es­sary to pro­vide an addi­tion­al capac­i­ty for stor­ing the fuel sup­ply, and since its con­sump­tion reach­es 8 l/hour, and for time­ly sub­mis­sion.

Our rec­om­men­da­tions:

  • Change the oil in the pow­er plant engine at the inter­vals spec­i­fied in the oper­at­ing instruc­tions, using rec­om­mend­ed min­er­al oils that should not be mixed with syn­thet­ic oils. In case of long down­time of the pow­er plant, gaso­line should be changed at least every month.
  • Only use the three-phase volt­age out­put ter­mi­nals to con­nect elec­tri­cal appli­ances direct­ly rat­ed for 380B. Attempt to inde­pen­dent­ly orga­nize sep­a­rate chains of 220It can lead to gen­er­a­tor fail­ure.
  • Do not try to start the car engine from the 12-volt ter­mi­nals of the pow­er plant designed to charge the bat­tery, since the cur­rent in this case is sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er and this can lead to fail­ure of the gen­er­a­tor.

Power plant installation sequence

Do you need your own power plant at home?The frame ground wire must be con­nect­ed to the ground ter­mi­nal of the pow­er plant con­trol pan­el, and the gen­er­a­tor neu­tral wire- toter­mi­nal “N”. To install and con­nect the pow­er plant, you should use the ser­vices of a spe­cial­ist. Any­one who has expe­ri­ence ser­vic­ing a motor­cy­cle or car, usu­al­ly using the descrip­tion attached to the pass­port, tries to install the pow­er plant on his own. With­out encour­ag­ing such attempts, we will describe, nev­er­the­less, the sequence of its instal­la­tion.

The pow­er plant must be installed on a lev­el sur­face, in a room pro­tect­ed from mois­ture, locat­ed away from flam­ma­ble mate­ri­als and hav­ing good air exchange. For per­ma­nent instal­la­tion in a house, it is rec­om­mend­ed to weld a met­al frame in order to raise the pow­er plant to 300–500mm above the floor for ease of main­te­nance. The frame must be ground­ed, but the “neu­tral wire” of the gen­er­a­tor should nev­er be ground­ed. It is desir­able to pro­vide for the removal of exhaust gas­es, while the length of the pipe should not exceed 3meters. It is not rec­om­mend­ed to get car­ried away with addi­tion­al muf­flers. ATthe room where the pow­er plant oper­ates, you need to be extreme­ly care­ful: you can not only smoke, but also spill fuel, oil and oth­er liq­uids.

Before putting the pow­er plant into oper­a­tion, it is nec­es­sary to turn off the auto-start but­ton, then the cen­tral­ized pow­er grid so as not to dis­able the gen­er­a­tor, all con­sumers of elec­tric­i­ty, and only after that you can turn on the pow­er plant. The rules for main­tain­ing a home pow­er plant are giv­en in the descrip­tion attached to the pass­port. It lists every­thing nec­es­sary to main­tain its per­for­mance with­in the resource.

Economical home power plant

Do you need your own power plant at home?Prac­ti­cal Tips

  • The pass­port of the pow­er plant gives the val­ue of fuel con­sump­tion when loaded at 50% of the rat­ed pow­er, there­fore, at a high­er load, fuel con­sump­tion will increase, and dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly to the increase in pow­er con­sump­tion.
  • If it is nec­es­sary to sta­bi­lize the out­put volt­age (for exam­ple, when using a com­put­er), espe­cial­ly when con­nect­ing or dis­con­nect­ing a pow­er plant, you should use a house­hold volt­age sta­bi­liz­er.
  • If your pow­er plant does not have an auto start, it can be upgrad­ed by pur­chas­ing and con­nect­ing a spe­cial remote con­trol, but on con­di­tion that the design uses not a mechan­i­cal, but an elec­tric starter. Con­sid­er this fea­ture when buy­ing a home pow­er plant.

Basic data on some power plants presented on the European market

Com­pa­ny name Mod­el pow­er, kWt Fuel
Type, con­sump­tion l/h
Volt­age, V Cur­rent strength, A Resource
engine hours
Cool­ing type Dimen­sions, mm
denom­i­na­tion Max. height width length
HONDA EP1000F 0.75 0.85 petrol 0.46 220/12 3.4 3000 air 425 295 465
EP2500 2.0 2.2 petrol 1.10 220/12 9.1 5000 air 470 420 555
EP6500 5.0 5.5 petrol 2.70 220/12 22.7 5000* air 490 510 885
KUBOTA GL4500S 4.0 4.5 diesel fuel 1.44 220 18.1 6000* water 564 550 995
GL6500S 6.0 6.5 diesel fuel 2.00 220 27.3 6000* water 646 587 107
DAI SHIN AM2800 2.0 2.2 petrol 1.12 220/12 9.0 5000 air 420 425 408
AM5500 4.0 4.8 petrol 2.46 220/12 18.1 5000* air 505 515 665
YANMAR YDG3700S 3.0 3.2 diesel fuel 1.37 220/12 13.6 5000* air 530 496 656
ELEMAX SH2900DX 2.0 2.4 petrol 1.00 220/12 9.0 5000 air 474 422 605
SH4000DX 2.7 3.7 petrol 1.70 220/12 12.3 5000* air 496 495 605
SH7000DX 5.0 6.1 petrol 2.74 220/12 22.7 5000* air 496 511 679
GENERAC EG650 0.55 0.65 petrol 0.5 230/12 2.3 3000 air 400 325 485
MC2200 2.3 2.8 petrol 1.10 230 10.0 5000 air 510 390 610
ED4000 3.5 4.4 diesel fuel 0.64 230 15.0 5000* air 540 450 700
ED5000 4.4 5.5 diesel fuel 1.10 230 19.0 5000* air 615 510 800
MC6503 6.5 8.1 petrol 2.50 230/400 17.5 5000* air 720 510 770
GEKO 2500 2.3 2.5 petrol 1.10 230 10.0 4000 air 450 410 550
2602 2.5 2.6 petrol 1.10 230 10.9 5000 air 395 405 510
6900 6.2 6.7 petrol 2.50 230/400 20.0 5000* air 590 500 795
9001 8.5 8.8 diesel fuel 2.50 230/400 26.0 5000* air 795 685 1000
COLEMAN Pm1000 0.85 0.95 petrol 0.76 230/12 3.7 800 air 351 310 460
Pb1850 1.85 2.3 petrol 1.00 230 8.0 1000 air 440 370 490
SPARKY AG‑2.2 2.2 2.4 petrol 2.00 230 9.5 2500 air 512 413 590
AG‑4.0 4.0 4.2 petrol 3.00 230 17.4 2500 air 512 533 700
ROBIN MG 750 0.65 0.75 petrol 0.50 220/12 3.0 3000 air 360 300 420
AKSA 10000 8.5 10.0 petrol 2.80 220/380 15.3 5000* air 940 610 710
SHRIRAM EBK 2800 2.2 2.4 kerosene 2.00 220 9.5 3000* air 475 358 545
AN-PA L20000D 14.8 16.0 diesel fuel 7.50 230/400 26.7 5000* water 1250 700 1550

The edi­tors express their grat­i­tude to the Gen­er­al Direc­tor of TMO “INTEGRAL” Alexan­der Ivanovich Avra­menko for advice on the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of pow­er plants.


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