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Who is using a regular generator with pell stove & how r u doing it.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Mackdog, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    I am currently living off the grid in two travel trailer parked side by side with an addition built in betwee. I am running a motomaster 3300 watt peak, 2400 watt continuous gene, with a modified sin wave 1750 watt inverter on 8 deep cycle 6volt batteries wired to 12 volt with a kozi baw win pellet stove. So far no problems. I dont yet leave the stove for long periods timeby itself because i dont trust the batteries to last and not have the stove shut down without cooling off properly when the voltage drops and the inverter turns of automaticaly. That said, i only run the gene in the evenings for a few hours with the stove plugged into the inverter. When i go to bed, the genne runs out of fuel and the inverter keeps running the stove for a few hours until i get up. By then the voltage has dropped to about twelve volts. I could probably fill the gene full, let it run for about 6-8 hours, then when it runs out, the inverter would probably run the stove for an additional 3-5 hrs of the batteries alone. When the gene is running it is charging the batteries with the trailers chargers as well as a scheumaker (canadian tire) charger set at 20 AMP. I also run about 20-25 amps of solar, although it probably isnt that high in the winter. As said above, as the voltage dropps without the genne running, the lower it goes the faster it dropps. The inverter shows that the stove draws 50-70 amps. The system is slightly weak. That is why i dont run the stove while im at work. But it works great while im at home, and if only used in emergencies, the generator fuel costs would be alot cheaper than the gen running space heaters. It take alot of batteries to work well, but if u can find slightly used deep cycles on line for a decent price it can be a decent emergency . Mine works well but i babysit it as its a fairly new system that i dont trust alon yet with my stove for fear of low voltage and the inverter shutting off and the stove over heating. If i had double the bateries and a couple more solar panels i would probably trust it. Basically i could run it for about 6-10 hours alone between the gen and batts after gen runs out, but i drive truck for 12-15 hrs so i dont leave it alone

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  2. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    When i said that the inverter shows the stove drawing 50-70 amps, i meant watts. It draws 200-300 watts while igniting. 50-70 watts afterward. During the igniting process i usually hook my truck up to the system to help wit the draw on the batteries for a few minutes. I also wired a swich up to the igniter so that once i see flame, i can shut the ignitor off to conserve power because i find that it runs the ignitor much longer than is needed to get flame. I can see this on the inverters digital display. The 300 watts to ignite draws hard on the batteries, now i can shut that off once lit and shut my truck off. If the voltag is high, i probly dont neec the truck to boost the igniting process, but havent tested that as i just recently added the stove to the system. Still playing around with it and testing the systems efficiency. I am no expert. Learning as i go. Trying to live as cheap as possible
  3. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    I have no surge protector yet but may purchase one after reading posts here. If my stove craps out, i will post it. But so far so good. Hopefully this long winded few posts will help and anyone with questions, i will do my best and anyone with any advice for me to improve my system id love to hear it
  4. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Im thinking rather than the generator, i mite build an alternator with engine setup because my truck alternator really pumps our the charging amps for my batteries. Mite be more fuel efficient for me to run a good alternator off a small engine than the chargers off the generator
  5. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    My goal with this set up was to obtain cheaper, dryer heat than my trailers' propane furnaces
  6. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    According to my inverters display my pelletstove runs mor efficiently on high. When on low, the votage drops and wattage goes up. Im guessing because the stoves motors draw more current on low because its like constantly trying to start the motors up when on low rather than just keeping them going at a high speed. Kinda li how a car is difficult to push at a low speed but once u get it moving quickly, its easier to keep it going
  7. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    I dont think my stove is getting much for power spikes because it is pretty much the only thing i run off the inverter. When the gen runs out of fuel, the inverter is running off the batteries anyway so it keeps the voltvoltage fairly constant. The only thing the inverter has to deal with is the stoves fan and auger turning on and off. If i microwave or use other large appliances, they are on the generator, not the inverter. The inverter runs the stove and does things like charge my cell phone or cordless drill batteries
  8. DirtyDave

    DirtyDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    western wa
    try to manually start your stove the old fashion way and save your batterytime for an added few mins. the igniter draws more than a match and gel does.
    huckmonkey likes this.
  9. stoaf88

    stoaf88 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Loc:
    RI
    I have a Generac 8kw whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch.

    I dont worry about startup and shutdown because the generator comes on before the transfer switch switches on.

    When power goes out the generator starts after 20 seconds and then 10 seconds later the transfer switch transfers power from generator to house.

    After power is restored the transfer switch switches back to normal power and then generator shuts down after a 1 min cool down cycle.

    I have both my stoves on tripp lite surge protectors just in case.

    I have never had a problem yet.
  10. Scott M

    Scott M New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    Blairstown, NJ
    I live in NJ and thanks to hurricane Sandy I ran my chinese made Powerhorse 7000 from northern tools for 10 days. I put over 100 hours on it and I ran my entire house on it including pellet stove, water pump, refridgerator and 47 inch flat screen TV. I had no problems and everything is still working. Switched off the mains and back fed it through the welder 220 plug in the garage. I did the research and had the same concerns but somtimes there is only one way to find out for sure and that was to fire it up and flip the switch.
  11. DirtyDave

    DirtyDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    western wa
    and to think everything was fine on the chineese sinewave.
  12. huckmonkey

    huckmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Thanks DirtyDave. Yes i have thought of that too. My instruction book does say not to use lighter gel if equipped with electric igniter, but i don't see what the problem could be. I'm not too worried about it as the way I'm doing it with the switch to manually turn it off and using my pickup for the extra power boost works for me, but it mite be smart to keep some lighter gel handy just in case. For me the issue is more the overall power consumption of the stove. But i figured id let every one on here know what I'm running and that it is working. I have also run the stove for a moment a couple times directly off the generator, but after reading posts on here i would probably avoid it now, or do it more carefully. But...the stove is still working fine:) for everyone to know.
  13. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I have the 12KW unit....same thing, never had any problems. Stove runs same as utility power.
  14. bill3rail

    bill3rail Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    435
    Loc:
    LI, NY
    Hurricane Sandy,old used 5kw generator with an extension cord to the stove.
    I started and ran the stove as needed and NO problems at all!

    Bill
  15. Jack Morrissey

    Jack Morrissey Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    275
    Loc:
    Stoughton, Ma
    I
    I am thinking of going this route too, Generac rep coming out next week. A week late but sure it wont be the last time we may need a generator!!
  16. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,735
    Loc:
    Jaffrey, NH
    Homelite/Yamaha generator. Extension cords :(
  17. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    781
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Champion 3500 it does power my stove, although I run my boiler when the lights go out. That allows me to turn off the generator for a longer period of time.
  18. PoolGuyinCT

    PoolGuyinCT Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Plymouth CT

    And not to mention you arrested

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