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Woodburners and generators

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by My Oslo heats my home, Sep 4, 2012.

?

Just out of curiosity, how many woodburners also have generators?

Poll closed Sep 18, 2012.
  1. Yes

    78.7%
  2. No

    21.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    How many woodburners also have a generator(s)

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The wood burning stove won't keep the freezer cold or the lights on so I use an interlock to backfeed the panel from my 3500 watt 220 volt genset. It runs 12 hours on just over 4 gallons but I always shut the genset off at night before bed.
  3. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Are you asking about co-generators?... i.e. a wood stove that also produces electricity? It's something I'm highly interested in, but there are no commercial solutions I'm aware of. If you want to experiment, you can buy some thermoelectric generator chips which use the Seebeck Effect to create a voltage across a temperature gradient. You can buy TECs here: http://www.customthermoelectric.com/powergen.html. You would need to wire them in a combination of series and parallel strings and attach them to a charge controller in order to charge a battery. It's possible you could create tens or even hundreds (if you've got the cash up front for that many TECs) of watts continuously as long as your stove is producing heat. If you have a sufficient battery bank and use electricity efficiently, that can indeed hold you over during a power loss.
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I do not have a generator. I will within the next few years, but not at this point. Also, I went with three free standing stoves specifically as inserts are hindered more from power outages.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Only four.
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm pretty sure that when the OP uses the term "woodburner" he's talking about people, not appliances. Rick
  7. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    I thought so too, Rick, but the first reply used it the other way. In any event, a co-generating wood stove would solve lots of problems.

    My own setup is that I'm off-the-grid.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    yeah, I was thinking along the lines of sustainability. Having no power and no heat. was curious how many folks that burned also had a generator or another way to survive when the crap hit the fan. Ive been wanting a generator for years but it's one of those purchases my wife doesn't see the same way I do.
  9. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

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    I own a small Crafstman 750Watt gas generator. I've used it for the past 25+ years. I guess that little Kawasaki motor was built right.
    Quiet too. It's just enough to run lights, tv, and the fridge.
    My Oslo heats my home likes this.
  10. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    I highly recommend a small camp-sized propane generator. They cost just a few hundred bucks and put out about 1200-1500 Watts. They're also immune to spills, start right up in the dead of winter, don't get gummed up if not used in awhile, burn very clean, and are very reliable. They're also convenient if you already have propane for cooking, etc. This is the one I've got: http://www.buy.com/prod/2000-watt-propane-generator/219322954.html. There are also some bigger ones of the same type that put out up to 4000 watts.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Not to side track this thread, but welcome to the forum Thomas.

    As for generator, yes we have one but it has nothing to do with burning wood. We can heat the house with no fan at all so if power goes out, we would run the generator for water pump and refrigeration.
    fox9988 and Thomas Anderson like this.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Really now, a genset can be a 300$ so it's totally worth buying for convenience and to avoid wasting the freezer/fridge. We use an antenna for our TV so we get full television entertainment when the power is out.

    The independent minded wood burners that are frequent on this site also appreciate gardens for food and large accumulations of supplies like meat in the freezer. Losing that freezer can mean the loss of a significant amount of effort.
    Shadow&Flame, jharkin, Jags and 3 others like this.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Right on Highbeam.
  14. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I think along the lines of your response HB but It's not as easy for a proactive person to persuade a reactive person until crap does come around. We also stock the freezer for 6 mos periods and would hate to see that perish.
  15. Thomas Anderson

    Thomas Anderson Member

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    Alternatively, if you don't want to deal with the fuel and maintenance of a generator, you could connect up a charge controller, battery bank, and inverter either to the whole house or specific loads such as your freezer. I.e. an uninterruptible power supply (but one you can build much more inexpensively than those commercial solutions).

    People stage fire drills in order to prepare for fires. Why not stage a power loss drill in order to prepare for a power loss? That might be persuasive.
  16. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    We have had our share of power outages with adverse situations, shes been through it with me. I'm going to have to be a little more naggy about this, ususally when the subject does come up it goes away as fast as it started.
  17. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    We have two wood burning stoves - one for the house, one for the shop. And two generators - one 16.5 kw to power our all-electric house, and a 25 year old Craftsman 4kw, because you never know, the battery in the big one may not be charged. Yes, those Kawasaki motors were some of the finest small engines ever made.

    Actually, the battery in the big one WAS dead last time I needed it! I jump started it from the lawn tractor. I run my generators a couple hours once every quarter to keep the corrosion from building up on the armature.
  18. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    We have had one since 2003, when we had a little blackout for a few days in August. It's a 10k portable, and will run the central a/c if nothing else is on. It will handle more than that, but not through the 220 feeding into the interlock. It has a 20 amp breaker. I can run a couple of extension cords for lights, fridge, etc to the other outlets on the generator. The only downside is that it is a gas sucking monster, especially under that kind of load. I always try to find out how widespread the outage is, and how long it might be down. Gas can be an issue. I also have a 4.5k that sips fuel. I have considered swapping it for a propane unit like Thomas suggested. I'd be able to run it off the 250 gal tank, as well. I have also thought about selling them both and getting a standby. A friend sells them on the side and can get me a pretty impressive price.
  19. Blue Vomit

    Blue Vomit Minister of Fire

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    My neighbor has a generator. When the power goes out, he becomes Ned Flanders and I become Homer Simpson. DOH!
  20. blwncrewchief

    blwncrewchief Burning Hunk

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    I was going to refrain from replying but since you did I am down to 4. I sold off 4 in the last year or so.
  21. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    Picking up our MEP-002 on a M116A2 trailer this weekend. Also have 4 other generators, and take care of 5 or 6 industrial gensets gas, propane, Natgas, and diesel.

    Yeah, I like generators.

    My concern here is our severe winter storms, we are located in the main lake effect snow belt for a ski resort. 4 or 5 feet in 8 hours isn't uncommon, and I would like to be able to keep the deep freezers, well pump, septic pump, electric stove, fridge, dishwasher, fans, chicken lights in the barn, and some lights on all at the same time >> (maybe I need the MEP 005....). Fuel is supplied by a 275 gallon fuel oil tank, and a 110 gal farm tank.

    I also have 6 t105's, a charge controller, inverter, panels and some other cool stuff for monitoring power coming in from the sun (doesn't do much for the winter storm, though).
  22. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    I have 2, both inverter generators. With an insert I get no heat without the blower moving... the refrigerators warm up, and the sump pump is worthless without it. a few days without power gets old really fast.... even if you have a generator, but its worse if you dont have one. Because then you are without power, a refrigerator with $600 worth of rotting food, and a flooded basement. I can also run my whole house fan with my generator!

    It pays for its self fast. and buying your self one will guarantee trouble free utility service for a few years.
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Our house was plumbed and wired for a generator by the PO, but as in their words, "the power never really went out, so we never got around to installing one." A buried 500 lb. propane tank, gas lines, and electric are all installed, but I could see myself easily getting way too carried away in selecting a generator.

    We have significant accumulations in our freezer. My wife spends a decade putting stuff in, and it never comes out. When we moved last year, I found items in the bottom of the basement freezer chest that I clearly remember my wife placing there when we bought the thing 8 years prior. I dug up and tossed cookies (pun intended) baked and frozen by my wife's grandmother, who passed away more years ago than any cookie should be kept. ;sick

    For you "the end is coming!" folks with gasoline powered generators, what's your plan when the gas stations can't pump? Can't imagine those little toys can run indefinitely, with the gasoline you have stored in your garage.
  24. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    My father has a late 80's Coleman Powermate 1750 with a Kawasaki motor. It still runs great to this day.

    I have a couple Honda EU2000i's with extended run marine tanks. Since the warranty on second unit will expire at the end of the year I am going to convert them to tri-fuel so I can use propane in them.

  25. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I have a Generac 8k and a Woodstock DV gas model. Both work as long as the natural gas flows. I have water issues, so I have to have a Generac to run the sump pumps. It's nice to know there's heat whether I'm around or not for the pipes.

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