Every house is different. A professional needs to evaluate your needs and determine the loads you intend to power. If you want to run your entire home we need to get amperage readings with the end-rush of your air-conditioning and heating loads, your hot water heaters and any motor loads such as water pumps or sewage grinder stations. The amperage readings will be multiplied by the voltage and the KW is determined. There are many different load calculators available on the web. These are good for estimating but ultimately before we will sell a unit it will be professionally sized.
A whole house generator is a major investment in your home. The cost to install a complete unit will cost approximately $5.00 a square foot. There are quite a few steps to this project. The cost of the generator and transfer switch, are only part of the process. If natural gas isn’t an option, the installation of the fuel source is a major part. Purchasing, burying and filling a 350-1000 gallon propane fuel tank is required. The electrical re-wiring of your power meter and main breaker panel will have to be done when the Automatic Transfer switch is installed. The location of the generator must be prepared and elevated. In most cases a concrete slab will be installed. The location is a very important factor – the distance between the generator and the house panel or transfer switch will add expense for time and materials incurred by our electrician.
The transfer switch allows safe switching from the utility power to emergency generator power while isolating the two sources from each other. The switch may be a manual switch, an automatic switch, or a combination of manual and automatic.
We will explain the operation of transfer switches on another page.
Smaller units like the 12KW have a footprint of 30” x 50”. They still require 3 foot of working space all the way around them. Larger 30KW units will have slabs that are 5’ x 8’ with the same 3’ of working space. Some units are elevated and we have the capability to construct the platform.
This will depend on the size of the generator. Almost all units we sell have weatherproof enclosures and come with residential mufflers. The larger 30kw, 1800 rpm units will produce 74 dB at 7 meters. The 22kw, 1800 rpm unit will produce 73 dB at 7 meters. The smaller 12kw, 3600 rpm units will produce approximately 71 dB at 7 meters.
On the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound (near total silence) is 0 dB. A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB. Here are some common sounds and their decibel ratings:
- Near total silence – 0 dB
- A whisper – 15 dB
- Normal conversation – 60 dB
- A lawnmower – 90 dB
- A car horn – 110 dB
- A rock concert or a jet engine – 120 dB
- A gunshot or firecracker – 140 dB
Fuel consumption also depends on the size of the engine and the load on the unit. A 30kw, 1800 rpm with a GM Vortex engine will use approximately 4.6 gallons per hour at 75% load. For example, a 30kw generator normally requires a 500 gallon tank. This setup would give the homeowner at least 5 days of generator power. The 22kw with the Gm Vortex engine will use approximately 3.2 gallons per hour at 75% load. The smaller 12kw Honda 3600rpm engine will use approximately 2.2 gallons per hour at 100% load.
All ways ask for a copy of the Application and engineering data sheet for your pre-ordered unit. The information on fuel consumption, sound level and size of your unit along with information on the components are stated in it.
We have some units as far as 100 yards from the Transfer switch or house. The farther the unit is from the house the more expensive the install. The longer the run, the larger the wire size and the trenching cost. The benefit of distance is in the aesthetics and the sound level. Most homeowners keep the distance within 20 to 30 foot. This reduces the cost of installation.
Most generator system installs are set up with automatic transfer switches. These switches have the ability to test run the generator every week, every two weeks or some have the ability to test the system on three week intervals. It is very important that the unit is run regularly. Home owners are trained on the generator operation and the signs and alarms to watch for. Bay Motor Winding is only a phone call away. In most cases we can talk the home owner through trouble shooting or schedule a service trip if needed.
The simplest explanation is comparing a large lawn mower engine to a car engine. The car engine will have a (water cooled) radiator and a larger block. The lawn mower is air cooled and turns at twice the speed to produce its horsepower. If a generator is to be used everyday or depended on for life support, the 1800 rpm unit would be the only purchase. Bay Motor Winding does not sell any generators over 20kw that are not 1800 rpm. We have determined from our many years of repairing generator units, those units larger than 20kw, running 3600rpm are not reliable or dependable.
Installation time depends on many different factors. The delivery of the supply from the manufacturer is one factor. Factories are keeping inventory down to minimize overhead. Bay Motor Winding will occasionally have units in stock of several different KW. The time of year is another factor. Many customers are not concerned about the need for a generator until Hurricane season is here. Back logs are common during hurricane season. Please contact us during off season for inventory reduction prices and quickest install schedule. A good rule of thumb for complete installation and startup is approximately three to six weeks.