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old-timer
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I guess it's never too late to start preparing so I'm looking to invest in a generator so I've come here to ask you good people what I need to be looking for as I know nothing about them.

I've been looking at petrol one's, I'm leaning towards one of those?

Please advise?

🔌⚡

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Guest Gone Fishing...
49 minutes ago, old-timer said:

I guess it's never too late to start preparing so I'm looking to invest in a generator so I've come here to ask you good people what I need to be looking for as I know nothing about them.

I've been looking at petrol one's, I'm leaning towards one of those?

Please advise?

🔌⚡

 

I would have thought diesel would be best? 

More efficient. 

And if you're going to get a large storage tank / container to stockpile fuel 'red diesel' can be bought much cheaper without the tax imposed for road vehicles, if it's being used for other purposes. 

BC 

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What are you planning to power from it? if its to keep your lights on and freezer running stay away from small two stroke petrol ones, they are cheep but basically crap. Personally I have a very old diesel generator with an old Lister single cylinder air cooled diesel engine driving a 5KW generator.  It can power my whole house if I'm careful what i plug in at any one time. the best thing is being a very simple engine it will happy run on veg oil, heating oil, i even ran it on a mix of old engine oil and petrol. so even if the pumps are all closed i can find/make fuel to run it.

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Don't even think about it old timer ...Stone age technology ... The noise will drive you crazy , the fumes , constant journeys to buy fuel ...the COST ... and it's going full blast , even when you only need a small light at night ! 

 

Solar panels are very cheap now , last 50 years with no maintenance and are tucked away , silent , and produce even on cloudy days ....

 

First step is to analyze your power demand , just what is the reason for this ? what do you want to run ? a fridge? lights? 

 

I can walk you through the steps involved in designing a system.  

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Thank you Oz for your reply, yes I was thinking that last night, about the noise etc. I was reading an article on the links that Odie sent about soundproofing your shed. We have a concrete cellar but it's directly beneath the house, ventilated only if we leave the door open and knowing our luck the neighbors would probably complain about the noise. One or two panels might be the way to go?

I also found something interesting by myself yesterday, not pertaining to generators.

 

Going off topic,

 

I think another important issue about being self sufficient is access to antibiotics.

I found an interesting article about the use of mould pre-antibiotics. I knew the mould on jam was a base form of penicillin so I was looking for more information on how to use it. I discovered that household starch can also be made into a topical antibiotic paste for skin infections.

Whether or not it works, I don't know but if you were desperate and you didn't want to go mainstream for healthcare ... interesting.

 

Thank you again for all the help and advice, I'll keep your offer in mind Oz if I decide to go down that road,

regards, OT

 

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There is some truth in what OZ is saying, generators can be noisy mine is in a building about 50 yards from the house and cant be herd by me or the neighbors with the doors closed. if you have a cellar under the house it would be quite possible to install in a soundproof manner the biggest issue would be air intake and exhaust.

PV can be very good even in the UK but a good solar system with a decent battery bank and inverter is going to be way more expensive than a good used gen-set.

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The last place you want a big diesel genny is under your house.  And yes it will cost a lot to run.  I have a 2.2 for emergencies petrol, ,but to run everyday its going to be a good £10 to £20.   About £5 just for an evening of tv.  Im an ex traveller and have used both petrol and a big lister diesel. So solar is def best long term. And they do get through oil too.

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11 hours ago, old-timer said:

Thank you IJBJ and RachelU for your advice, it is very much appreciated.

I'm looking at solar now.

 

Thank you all for your valuable input,

regards OT

Some questions to aid in our ...er...aid!

 

Which country do you plan to set up in?

What and WHY do you NEED the genny for?

Are you open to changing your IDEALS as to what you need it for?

 

The reason I say this is that you mentioned a freezer.  I ask could you do without one?  Could you preserve your contents in other ways?

 

I live off grid.  I use solar to run batts, and a small genny for other stuff that needs lots of power.

 

Today we lost a panel in our array.  So that's 300w lost until fixed. 

We vacuumed the house etc from the genny, and we tried a new leccy oven from the genny.  Both would sap at the battery array.  So we use the gen for that.

 

We get lights and a charging bay for laptops and battery banks for the phones, and we charge the phones.  We run a fridge 24-7.

We don't use a freezer.  But we could if required.

 

For washing clothes we use a top loader that takes hot water from the pot on the stove or direct from the hot water pipe.

We get on demand hot water from an LPG connected tap.  And water is pumped via an on-demand pump.  Turn the tap, and hot water comes out.  All from the batts.

We dry the clothes in a spin dryer.  Not a tumble dryer.  The spin drier spins at over 2000 rpm.  They come out almost dry.  This takes two mins on the gen.  We then air dry or in the winter we tumble dry on low setting via the tumble drier and the gen.

 

Internet is via the phones.

 

We have a huge TV. And a player and games console.  Via batts.

 

If the batts get too low, we use the genny to bring them back...and we ease off until sunny.

 

We could...

    Get a more powerful genny and connect it directly to the fuse box and use that on red diesel.

 

In an emergency use the car to power a converter via a cable into the house to power essential things like maybe a fridge if we had meds within.

 

Knowing what you want to achieve and why will help.

 

Cheers.

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Thank you Tom bombadil for your input.

 

What I want to achieve and why?  Survival 

 

I'm in the UK but with possible long term power cuts looming, food shortages etc ... we have been discussing other methods of keeping food without a freezer.

 

I think in order to survive you have to adapt to current situations, who knows what those situations might be so I'm trying to plan ahead.

 

It wouldn't be the first time I've washed clothes in the bath tub so I'm not too fussed about the washing machine.

 

Thank you again for all the advice,

regards, OT

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