Loadshedded? 5 things you need to know before buying a generator - htxt.africa

edited December 2014 in Tech and gadgets

imageLoadshedded? 5 things you need to know before buying a generator - htxt.africa

We have compiled a list of five things that you should consider during the darkness.

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Comments

  • Please also take note of portable generator safety. They should never be run in an enclosed space due to CO poisoning (even a garage with the door open is not sufficient). But they also should never be run in wet weather due to the threat of electrocution or water penetrating the electrical panel and damaging it. There is a solution here, www.gentent.com. The company ships internationally.
  • @Mark Carpenter We did mention this in the article but will add a line to emphasise this. Storing fuel at home is also exceptionally dangerous and must be done with care. Use properly designed jerry cans etc.
  • "A more powerful Ryobi 2 300Watt petrol generator, which will give you about 210 hours of run time, retails for around R3 400. If you mean serious business (and we mean serious) the 161kg Kipor 8 500 Watt petrol monster will set you back around R26 000."
    My question : What happens after the 210 hours?
  • No, a tank of petrol on that generator will not run for 210 hours. Maybe 8-10 hours.
  • @Yusuf Timol @Danine van Schalkwyk Sorry - was being a bit facetious, while I waited for the author to clarify. Good question, and apologies - it's a typo on our behalf. It should, of course, read "minutes" not "hours"... It's a very conservative estimate of how much you'll get - officially it's specced for 4.5hours under 50% load, so we were hoping to manage expectations... and ended up wildly exaggerating them. Oops...
  • All types of generators must be earthed! If not earthed and there is an earth leakage as a result of you touching a live wire, you become the earth shortly before you are ready to go into the earth!
  • @{Case Van Hattem} Indeed - and they should be sold as such. None of these generators should have live wires exposed though, they all have standard plug sockets for power out.
  • Hi I'm looking for a generator and need some advise. I can only afford about R2000 for a generator. But after reading this article I'm not sure anymore, all I need is TV and Dstv and a few lights so I think the 1200w will be OK for my needs. But what makes me unsure again. Is that u mentioned that these generators can spike and damage my electronics. Is there anyway ofor over coming that, like can I buy a surge protectors. Any avie would be appreciated.
  • @{grant} 1200W is more than enough for a TV and DSTV (unless you have a particularly power hungry TV like an old plasma I guess). You should probably be able to run fridges etc from that too. My personal opinion would be to buy the smallest generator you can get away with (calculating carefully what you want to run off of it) and then buy the best one you can afford - rather than getting extra capacity and lower quality, if that makes sense.

    But surge protectors will definitely help - I'd advise anyone to use them on all electronics at the moment generator or not. A lot of damage is being caused by power spikes coming down the line just before loadshedding kicks in and after it ends right now.
  • Does any body know the best way to work out how much fuel is consumed by a 1KVA generator running for an hour ?
  • A few very important facts that were left out:
    All generators have to comply with SANS, the EPA and Fire safety, thus always remember the following before choosing a generator.
    Most small single phase generators, including Honda, Brigg, Ryobi are what are know as VOV generators, ie if you measure the voltage between live and earth, and neutral and earth you will get a reading of +-115V, between live and neutral you will get 230V. These generator MAY NOT be wired to your Distribution board nor in any way make any connection with your house wiring, they may only be used as temporary supplies ie. used with extension leads.
    Only VOO generators may be connected to your DB and then it must be via an Isolation switch, this could be a manual or automated switch.
    Noise is a big problem, remember the average is 50dB anything over this and if a neighbor complains could result in your generator being removed and you facing a big fine from the EPA.
    If your generator is connected to your DB it MUST he hard wired ie not plugs may be used, it must have the correct safety signs and lights on the DB, its exhaust must protrude at least 1M above the gutter also there must be a fire extinguisher. A COC MUST be issued.

    Failure to comply with the laws can have serious repercussions one of them being that your insurance could refuse to pay you out if anything where to happen to your home.
  • @{Jacques} Hi Jacques, thanks for pointing those out. TBH - we weren't looking at generators being wired into DB boards, rather for the portable kind you plug directly into that have flooded the shelves of retailers. As far as I know, any kind of wiring into the DB would require a certified electrician and (therefore) professional advice.

    It's all good point though - and important distinctions to make. It never occured to me someone might try to wire one into a retail generator into their ringmain themselves, but that's an oversight on my part...
  • Don't you think IPS (Instant Power Supply) is better than a generator for home use? I think the best thing about IPS is that, we don't have to maintain the fuel. Which saves some body labor as well as some money. But it varies from user to user. So, what should I keep in my if I wanna buy an IPS? Or why should I buy and IPS?
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