The presence of electricity in the house is considered a necessary condition for life and is taken for granted by many. But not everyone can boast of stability, uninterrupted power supply. Bad weather, breakdowns in power grids can leave entire neighborhoods without light. And some dacha settlements are still not electrified.
Generators can help in this situation – equipment that can perform the role of an autonomous power supply and power all your appliances in the house. Our article will help you to understand which generator for the house is better.
The main types and their advantages
Provide autonomy in the power supply can be done in different ways, such as installing photovoltaic panels or wind turbine generator. But such technologies are not available to everyone:
- First of all, they are quite expensive.
- Second, it would be difficult to secure such property, especially if you don’t live in the house year-round.
- And thirdly, there could be questions from the energy companies.
So often connecting a generator becomes the most profitable and even the only true solution.
Generators are distinguished primarily by the type of fuel used in their operation. The most popular are gasoline models. They are quite affordable, have a compact size and work with an acceptable noise level.
At the same time, most of the products in the economy line have high fuel consumption, which is also more expensive compared to its counterparts.
Gasoline units require A-92/A-95 fuel. Approximate power up to 15kVA. But you can not use them for a long time, so connect them as the only source of electricity is not allowed.
The longest duration of operation without shutting down is 8 hours. A pause in operation is required for effective cooling of the entire system.
When choosing this option, you need to determine which type of engine is right for you. While the two-stroke variant has a capacity oriented to power installations up to 0.9 kVA, the four-stroke model allows for limits of 1-15 kVA.
The material of the cylinder block affects the service life of the equipment:
- for aluminum blocks is 500 hrs, which is enough to cover short-term electrical needs;
- Cylinders with a cast-iron liner have a service life of up to 1500 hrs.
A gasoline-powered generator can have a four-stroke engine with quieter operation, longer service life.
Two types of its design are possible:
- Single-cylinder with a service life of 2.5-4 thousand hours;
- Two-cylinder with up to 5,000 hours.
The main advantages of this type of generator are ease of use, compactness and the ability to start in harsh conditions at temperatures down to -30 degrees. Relative cheapness and not too high noise level make it an excellent solution to compensate short-term power cuts.
We should not forget about the disadvantages. These are the high cost of fuel, the limitation of its storage for no more than six months, explosion and fire hazard.
Diesel type units
Are a more economical and reliable type of equipment compared to the previous option. Diesel generators are used if the absence of light in the house is long – more than 8 hours. The cooling system (air and liquid) allows their operation as household mini-electric power plants.
Air-cooled diesel-powered household generators have only one advantage over gasoline-powered units – longer duration of one-time operation, but will take up a lot of space and be noisy to operate.
But the service life of liquid-cooled diesel generators reaches 40 thousand hours. You can buy models with motors at low speed – 750 and 1.5 thousand rpm. They are less noisy and save fuel.
3k rpm generators are also available. At a low price and compact size, this option will be more costly in operation.
Advantages of diesel generators include:
- higher MTBF;
- total economy in power generation;
- Possibility of round-the-clock use in a mini-electric power plant mode;
- safety according to fire safety parameters.
But such models also have serious disadvantages. Firstly, they are not used at low temperatures below -5 degrees without special thermal protection. Secondly, they are noisy in operation. Thirdly, it is necessary to take careful care during the application. For example, if you bought a diesel unit, but you do not use it often or it runs idle, the wear and tear can be significant.
In general, the option under consideration is a fairly effective way to solve the problem of autonomous power supply for a private home.
The high cost of this type of equipment and the need for a stable gas supply are factors that significantly inhibit their spread. Although in terms of noise level and efficiency the gas generator demonstrates quite good indicators.
At the same time several operating modes are allowed, depending on the type of gas fuel:
- on liquefied propane-butane (LPG);
- on natural gas of mains supply (NG);
- Combination option with the ability to switch between LPG and NG modes if necessary.
The economic sense of buying this model the customer must determine for himself. After all, if you work regularly and need to use propane-butane mixture, you will have to constantly refill the cylinders or change them.
So if you can boast a centralized gas supply, but light outages are irregular, it makes sense to install low-power (limited to 6 kVA) gas units. True, they are air-cooled and have 3 thousand rpm.
For full autonomous supply more powerful liquid-cooled generators are advantageous. Thanks to 1500 rpm, such a variant can have a service life up to 60 thousand hours.
The risks of gas generators should be kept in mind:
- risk of explosion during fuel storage;
- Requirement for installation in warm rooms;
- The need for good ventilation;
- Expensive equipment;
- Project and connection approval requirements.
If you are not intimidated by these points, you can buy this model. As a result, you will get a stable power supply with moderate noise and a large operating reserve.
Emissions will be less hazardous and economics can be improved by connecting to a common gas supply system.
Which particular option to choose, you have to decide for yourself, based on the conditions of future operation. In the photo of the generator for the house you can consider the most common types and models.
How to properly calculate the right power
The price of equipment for autonomous power supply of the house is in direct dependence on its power. In different houses there is electrical equipment with its own parameters of power consumption.
If you plan to achieve full independence, you need to power the whole house, which means you have to sum up the power of all the equipment. In this case, you will need a generator with a capacity of at least 10 kW.
Well, if you rarely go to the cottage or the light is turned off only periodically, it is advisable to connect only vital appliances. Then the power of, for example, an ordinary generator with auto-start, 3-5 kW will be sufficient.
Calculate the required power is easy. You have to study the data sheets of the appliances and add up the values. But remember that a number of units with electric motors, such as a refrigerator or a pump, have a starting power, which can be 3-5 times higher than the rated power.
Some manufacturers specify the power consumption in kVA. To convert it to kW this value should be multiplied by a factor of 0.8. And be sure to allow for a 10-20% margin when calculating the total power.
Tips for choosing equipment
In order for your generator to work efficiently and for you to have no problems with it, consider a few simple rules:
The functionality of the equipment is determined by the type of starting. The simplest dacha option is the manual start with a cord. The electric starter does not require brute male force – it is enough to turn the key or press the button. Autostart is useful in that it turns on the generator automatically when the mains voltage is lost.
Electric generators can be single-phase, designed for 220 V, or three-phase under the voltage of 380 V. This feature is important to know when choosing a model.
The comfort of the occupants should not be disturbed by a strong hum. Choose gasoline units with a noise level as low as 74 dB and diesel units with less than 82 dB. The presence of an enclosure can significantly reduce sound discomfort.
A large fuel tank increases run time until the next refill, but it also increases the size and weight of the equipment.
Choose models equipped with additional surge protection. A liquid cooling system is more effective.
The range of equipment suppliers is quite wide. The right model should be chosen based on the set tasks and financial capabilities. But if a generator is purchased as the main source of power supply, the selection criteria should be more stringent, since reliability, safety, and reliability are especially important here.
Photo of a generator for your home