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Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
10,663 Posts

Hi HH! That's an interesting point. We were without power for just about 6 days from the end of October into the 1st week of November. The generator ran 24/7 the entire time BUT consumed somewhere around 70+ gallons of propane doing so. We were heating two buildings with forced air propane furnaces (it was in the low to mid 20s), running the well & sump pumps, power tools and whatever other misc lights, small apps, etc..

I really need to take some time and hook up current monitoring equipment to each of the loads and measure the power each draws. We were fortunate that just as the propane was getting seriously low, the roads got cleared enough that we could get a fill. We have a 1000 gallon tank, but after this event realize that it's not going to go as far as I'd like it to. When planning this, I did not factor in that 80% tank fill is all you actually end up with; that translates into just about 3 full days of no power. Installation of more propane storage is one option, a battery bank and large 220V inverter is another. My current small (1KW5, 120 VAC) inverter set up will not run the 220v well pump. I also have a serious dislike of extension cords running all over, so my preference would be some type of hardwired system. The way I designed the electrical distribution system with multiple panels *may* allow for an inverter switch over set up (but it would require manual load shedding), as I didn't plan for a very extensive DC-AC system. There is no significant sun here in the woods, so a generator would be needed to recharge the battery banks if utility power stayed out.

I really thought we'd be set with the 20KW auto switch over generator; the thought of not being able to be supplied with propane has me concerned now (it's always one more thing). One thing I learned for sure is that it is MUCH less expensive to purchase electricity from the grid than to produce it from any other fuel.

Regards, Jim
Good thought-provoking post!
I like to read about other folk's thought processes and try to apply it to our issues at our cabin...
Question: Did You Mean 70 Gallon of Propane A DAY?
OR 700 Gallons During The Outage?


CAVman in WYoming
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