Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Power backup for the winter

Anyone living in a rural area of southern oregon knows that we will spend some amount of time "in the dark" each winter. Power outages are a fact of life here.  So there are certain "preparations" we much make to prevent harm during those outages.  Its not just "keeping the lights on" but also preserving frozen product, keeping babies warm, keeping water flowing, etc.  The stuff of life.

We have had a small diesel generator for a few years, and used it multiple times to great success. It is small though, about 5 KW only. This means always choosing which  breakers or appliances to drive, and often switching things out as needs change.  So this year, we decided to be better protected with a larger generator, one capable of driving ALL of the critical systems on the farm / house.

After lots of research, we settled on a PTO generator.  This is a generator that utilized the tractor engine as the power source, connecting to the PTO of the tractor just as any implement would. Going this route makes the generator easily portable but more importantly... all we have to pay for is the electrical generator itself, since the tractor provides the power and we already own that!

This allowed us to go much larger on the generator than we could afford as a single unit. We were able to budget in a brand new, top quality generator capable of producing 15KW continuous.  That's in the 50 to 60 amp range at 240 volts! Enough to provide all the power we need for extended outages.

The brand chosen is Winco. They are made in america, high quality, great reviews, and reasonably priced.

We have the generator plug wired in, and tested it yesterday... worked beautiful! We were able to run everything, even the AC units, oven, pool pump,  milking room and dryer simultaneously. Very impressive!

For a small farm, this is a great option if you can spare the tractor while the generator is running.

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