The choice of power plant for country house

The choice of power plant for country house

People use cottages and dachas more and more active and live in them not only in the summer, but also in cold time, and sometimes and all the year round. Therefore the problem of uninterrupted power supply becomes more and more relevant. Not each area is equipped with electricity, especially in those volumes which demands comfortable, brought closer to city, accommodation. Besides it is frequent because of obsolete equipment or accidents there is interruption in supply of the electric power. As a result the problem of power supply is solved through power plants. The big offer of similar units nonpluses the inexperienced user before the choice.

The main thing at such choice is not simple to pick up the electric generator – cheap, expensive or even if exclusive, and to pick up it consciously, understanding that it is required to you and that you will be able to receive. Article task – to tell about offers in the market, about what is recommended by specialists and that is most often got.

The most frequent questions of unsophisticated clients usually concern two indicators: costs of power plant and its power. I can sometimes ask about that how many will consume the energy generator, its weight whether strong noise publishes during operating time. And about the power plants intended only for the house can find out – whether three-phase it. Though in absolute majority of cases single-phase stations will just have the best work.

Exact assessment of the power consumed by power plant

When choosing necessary power of the power plant (the petrol generators, the diesel generator) exact assessment of set of parameters is required. First of all, find out for yourself whether all buildings or only specially allocated points will be powered (it is quite possible that it will demand reswitching of the loadings and additional works connected with distributing of network); whether are available among the devices consuming power difficult for operation of the generator (so, for example, pumps or any electric motors have starting currents which quickly increase several times power consumption) or other specific moments which can affect assessment of necessary generator capacity. It is necessary to know also about whether increase in power or the number of consumers of the electric power is planned.

It is desirable for the solution of this question previously to get advice of the specialist who after inspection of object, except the recommendations of rather required power, will prompt the power plant location and also possibilities of permission of the tasks facing the engine.

Types of power plants

All power plants consist of connected by axis of the generator and engine, strengthened by means of shock-absorbers on the bed (in stationary models) or steel frame (in portable). The engine manually (cord), automatically (such power plant will be got itself if tension is gone in the main network), or turn of key by means of electric starter is started.

The durability of operation of the electric generator will depend generally on reliability of the engine. Before the choice of model it is necessary to consider that diesel generators more reliable and economic, but they are more expensive than petrol.

Petrol generators (gasoline engines)

There are 2 also 4-stroke petrol generators.

In 2-stroke there is mixing of oil and gasoline. The time between failures of such power plants makes no more than 500 hours therefore serious producers establish them only on the most compact and low-power models.

4-stroke power plants are made by set of the companies, but the most serious producers can be considered Honda (Japan) and Briggs and Stratton (USA).

If the power plant is constantly operated long time (about 8 hours daily), on it engines of professional class — OHV at which valves are located from above are installed. The system of automatic stop is provided in such models if oil level goes down. These are the most reliable power plants in the class with time between failures not less than 4000 hours and high power reserve. Bigger resource is available only for the V-shaped two-cylinder engines installed on petrol generators with power of 9-15 kW are the most powerful of the existing gasoline engines.

Diesel generators (power plants, diesel engines)

Are separated on way of cooling: air and liquid.

Diesel generators with air-cooling can be called intermediate niche between the petrol power plants and more serious diesel generators described above with liquid cooling.

At low-power diesel power plants (up to 6 kW) there are not a lot of differences from petrol power plants, they are almost so reliable, but at the same time stand approximately twice more. On fuel it is hardly possible to economy of such sum to reach. Therefore if there are no special reasons for acquisition of low-power diesel power plant, it is better to think of the gasoline-driven generator with the good engine which will be much simpler in service less Shumen. The unambiguous leader among small diesel generators it is possible to call the Japanese company Yanmar. They have unpretentious, economic and reliable engine which is steadily using diesel fuel, and the time between failures of such unit will make about 5000 hours. If to consider more powerful (10–30 kW) diesel power plants, then there are no explicit leaders. Quite good, rather acceptable, level at Lombargini collected in Italy. But upon purchase the country needs to pay attention to the producer: engines of the Turkish assembly are generally delivered, and you should not consider them even. It is possible to note the German Hatz and the Italian Ruggerini, however such models impose high requirements to fuel, but at the same time with liquid cooling fall short of the level of serious diesel power plants.

The diesel generator with liquid cooling is much more long-lasting and reliable. Such devices show the time between failures reaching till 20000-40000 o’clock are operated also in the power plants belonging to the industrial class (such power plants are supplied with more perfect generators and mass of available options).

The choice among engines with liquid cooling is separated between “low-resourceful” for 1500 RPM or more noisy with 3000 RPM. Except high noise level, the last differ in smaller resource and considerable fuel usage, but at the same time they easier also have smaller dimensions. But the main thing is that to use the engine round the clock all the year round, only that power plant which will work at turns in 1500 RPM will approach.

Power plants with average power (6-20 kW) well work with diesel Mitsubishi motors, more powerful installations (20-180 kW) – with American John Deere. This American company – the absolute leader in production of the engines intended for agricultural machinery, working in extremely adverse and severe conditions unpretentious in level of service and as the used fuel.

One more reliable producers of diesels — the English company Perkins. All engines of this brand possess the reliable classical design checked by time. They are less graceful, unlike Mitsubishi, however possess huge safety margin — till 40000 o’clock. It is possible to claim that the diesel power plants equipped with engines of this producer, have no real competitors.

The choice of power plant for country house


Are issued synchronous and asynchronous. Asynchronous differ in lower price, but, it is necessary to recognize that in this case it is impossible to speak about electricity of acceptable quality. As it was already told, loading from many devices (electric motors, pumps, electric tools or refrigerators) at launch repeatedly increases – power several times is quickly consumed more that demands from the chosen generator unit of the corresponding power reserve. And the asynchronous generator of peak overloads does not transfer. At synchronous generators the quality of the electric power is much better, they can quietly transfer 3-fold instant overload. In stationary and professional power plants only not serviced brushless synchronous generators made by recognized leaders (the Italian Mecc Alte, the English Newage Stamford or the French Leroy Somer) are put. These companies have the huge outputs, the developed service and old story of deliveries.

Unlike the Italian Lombardini petrolgenerators upon purchase of the generator it is necessary to pay attention to the brand, but not to the country manufacturer. So the German generator can quite be inexpensive asynchronous, Italian – unique duplicate parts are necessary to differ not in such high quality as Mecc Alte, among the Japanese many different brands, for each of which. Besides, in most cases on Japanese pass power plants brush generators which periodically demand replacement of the wearing-out brushes are installed, and, besides, very badly transfer connection of electric welding.

Ample opportunities of additional options

There is big set of additional options which significantly influence the price of power plant. The choice of regular options also leads to receiving the necessary station. Additional options equip both petrol, and diesel power plants. Of course, at diesel, with liquid cooling as the most serious, there is the maximum choice of options. Treat them:

  • opportunity to automatically start the station;
  • remote control of parameters on the computer;
  • availability of the liquid-crystal display;
  • protection against many factors (atmospheric phenomena, leakage of current, overload);
  • the increased fuel tanks;
  • the equipment allowing petrol generators to use liquefied gas;
  • casings, noise-insulating power plant;
  • mufflers for reduction of noise of exhausts;
  • casings shelters;
  • the Arctic containers for operation of the unit at cold of-60 degrees, etc.

Producers – quality of assembly

That as well as where the power plant has been brought together is of great importance. It is quite possible to buy the generator and the engine, to weld frame and to collect it in the conditions of garage, but the similar work will hardly meet the demands made for the qualitative station. For this purpose, except the engine of famous brand, the corresponding equipment, the culture of production and the prepared skilled staff is required. Otherwise, in any other case, at the exit the inadmissible percent of defects will turn out, and the cost of its correction will be put in the product price.

The best range, ratio between the price and quality, the high level of service is shown today by producers from Great Britain, to Spain, France. The station made by the company which is engaged only in production of power plants will become the best choice. As it is rather specific and narrow segment of business, the names known for all do not occur among them.

As serious producers of diesel generators it is hardly possible to consider the Japanese producers. From the Japanese stations small amount of models (most often it is not too powerful, 6–10 kW, petrol power plants) is offered, and diesel generators are delivered in very long terms. But it should be noted that the Japanese engines differ in high quality, the best in the corresponding power ranges diesel Mitsubishis and gasoline engines of Honda so can be considered.

What generator unit can be installed in cottage?

What qualities do we expect from the power plant acquired for country house? Reliability, safety (fire and electric), opportunities to work long time (up to several days) in the autonomous mode without our participation, low noise level, automatic switch-on at shutdown of the main source of the electric power can often be required. Proceeding from such description, the specialist will understand what is told about the diesel generator with liquid cooling. However it is necessary to spend from 5 to 8 thousand euros for purchase of such model (depending on complete set, power, the manufacturing company). Only such diesel power plant will meet all made demands and at the same time will be reliable, safe and supplied large number of the options capable to cope practically with any task. Provided that mounting of the station will be carried out by the qualified organization supplier, neither with power plant, nor with electricity produced by it there will be no problems for many years.

But as from financial factor when choosing power plant not to get to anywhere, often it is necessary to limit requirements imposed to reliability and level of quality and to consider petrol or diesel stations with air-cooling. At the same time it is necessary to be ready to the fact that the similar power plant will be not really comfortable in operation: the small problems connected with automatic equipment, bigger noise level are possible, besides, long-term operation will is limited because the engine will overheat. The decision remains for future owner and depends on what is more important for it: smaller reliability and comfort or cost.

But as the recommendation about the choice of power plant for reserve or main power supply it is possible to advise stationary diesel generators with liquid cooling. Only they will meet the necessary requirements of reliability and safety.

Choice of the seller

As a rule, the solid company always provides the accurate and complete information about the offered goods. In statements of some sellers beautiful promises look much better than real digits. At the appeal to the different organizations it is possible to learn that the same units can have different power, differently rustle and consume different fuel quantity. And if to buy model in the market, then it is possible to buy the ideal device with resource in one hundred thousands of hours, and it is very cheap.

That the nobility on what valid digits it is necessary to be based upon purchase, we will list parameters which will allow to check professionalism and conscientiousness of the seller:

  • power of the power plant is measured in kVA — kilovolt-amperes or in kW – kilowatts. Usually the ratio for generators makes 1 kW = 0.8 kVA. There are cases when the seller gives the power measured in kVA for measured in kW that is overestimate of net power. It should be considered upon purchase as power, electrical household appliances is specified usually in kW. Usually European producers register the power rating of power plants at which the overload for 10% within 1 of 12 working hours is admissible. At synchronous power plants the maximum power is not specified, but, judging by experience, they are capable to sustain double starting current throughout several milliseconds. At the Japanese producers (and also at the Chinese collectors who work “under Japan”), it is specified both the maximum and nominal capacities having difference to 20%. It is necessary to consider that such power plant is capable to work with the maximum indicator without overload only several seconds therefore it is worth paying attention to nominal indicators.
  • noise level is calculated in decibels: rather often there are no instructions for what distance the value is given (standards assume measurement on 15, 7, 4 and 1 meters) and at what loading (at rated or idling). At power plants and the producer specifies absolute units of LWA which simplest and to compare in booklets. The normal digit is considered 100 LWA (on 7 meters 72-74 dB) for the unprotected petrol generators, for open diesel generators on 7 m — 77–82 dB (with 3000 RPM), for petrol power plants in casing on 7 meters — 62–69 dB and for the powerful diesel power plants which are in casing on 7 meters — 67–71 dB.
  • the time between failures – shows average digit of time which will be worked by power plant before major repair. For cheap and simple gasoline engines normal digits make 500 hours (it is necessary to carry to the same type and the units made in China under Yanmar or Honda as only the design is forged, and materials and the technology used in production are very far from the original), 1200 hours for semi-professional and 3000 hours for the professional stations. The largest supply — till 40000 o’clock, diesels with liquid cooling have (working with lowered 1500 RPM and possessing the maximum resource).
  • fuel consumption: depending on the producer data are specified or at 100% to rated load, or at 75% of it. If operation of installation happens to loading, smaller, than rated, fuel usage decreases, but it is no more than for 30–40%.

Mounting of power plant

Connection and mounting of power plant – task specific and rather difficult. Negligence or mistakes can cost very much. Therefore installation by the organization which sold the equipment will become the best option. Otherwise it will be too difficult to find guilty later, and it is very simple to damage the equipment nonprofessional mounting. One more option – to invite for installation of the generator to supervision of erection of specialists from the organization which will incur afterwards guarantee certificates.

This information is quite enough for the first visit to the company which is engaged in deliveries and installation of power plants.

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