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Household Loads
Shop Loads
Farm Loads

Sizing and Options

A typical home requires a 12 to 24kW backup generator.  To state the power of a generator differently, a 24kW generator produces 100 Amps of power.  Of course electrical heat/water heater as well as cooking on an electrical stove will increase requirement.

 We can help you size the generator most appropriate to your client’s needs by looking at your client’s past electrical bills and by helping you to survey their power requirements.

Power Management

 Depending on your client’s needs and interest in conserving energy use during a power failure they may not require a large generator.  Our home has gas appliances and we don’t do a wash load or work in the shop while the power is out.  By watching what we do we are able back up our 2400 sq ft. home with a small 5.5kW diesel generator.


Auto Start


Clients request automatic generator startup and power transfer back to the grid for a variety of reasons.  In order to start automatically there are two “automatic” components required.  Required are the and transfer switch and a microprocessor within the generator.  The microprocessor contains programming or settings for all or some of the following functions:


  • Settings such as how long to pre-heat,

  • How long and how often to crank the engine over,

  • How soon to start the genset after power fails,

  •  How long to wait until the generator is stable and warm enough to shunt the load,

  •   How long to run the generator to cool off after grid power is restored.


The automatic switch contains logic and additional equipment as well:

  • Timer and logic to periodically exercise the generator

  • Solenoid to throw the switch between generator source and grid source power

  •  Sensing and logic not to try starting a generator that is already running but had its breaker tripped.

  • Sensing and logic not to start a generator that has failed to start n number of times (a programmed number of attempts) so that starter, battery etc. is not damaged.

In general it costs about $450 to install a two-wire automatic start module within a generator.  The premium between a manual double throw type switch and an automatic switch varies by size and number of features available.  The additional premium for an automatic switch is usually about $1500.


Alarms and other options


When a phone line is available an auto dialer is available to alert service when an unattended generator fails or if unattended startup fails.  The alarm will dial up to three different numbers and continue to dial these numbers until one of the recipients dials in an acceptance code.  The alarm can be optionally be tripped in a number of other ways as well; including when temperature drops below an alarm threshold stetting.  Wired in an auto dialer costs about $400. 

Home Up Products Saving Energy Glossary Contents About / Contact


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Last modified: October 03, 2018