1. #1
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    Default Station Generator Question

    I have a question regarding station generators. We are wanting to replace a gasoline powered, undersized generator that was installed in our headquarters station when it was constructed in 1977. The generator to be replaced was placed in a storage room inside the building (dangerous) and only powers a few lights (undersized). We can't power our backup radio system or even get the doors up with this generator. Honestly, we quit even trying to use it several years ago because of the fumes leaking back into the building and noise. I know this is a medium priority for AFG, but it is what we need. Does anyone know if there is a maximum size for this type of generator? We would like to power our entire headquarters station as it would be the only city owned building with a generator, but don't want to appear greedy. We had two electrical contractors take a look and they both recommended either a 100 or 125 kW generator (both are under the $100,000 per station cap set forth by AFG). Is this allowable? Any help would be appreciated.

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    Not to burst your bubble but it has been preached time and time again....... If isn't a HIGH PRIORITY item don't write for it.

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    125k? Sounds like an awful lot. We are getting a 60k and that is allowing for future expansion. Have you reviewed your energy usage report from the local electric utility? You should be able to get one for the last 2 years (at least) of electric use and base the generator size on that.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    A 25k will power your lights, doors, radios, refrigerator, water pump (if you have a well), and heat (circulation pump or blower, not electric heat units themselves). There are a lot of these available through surplus programs for under $10,000. We run our hall on a 15k, and don't have any problems. We don't have the walk in coolers or that stuff on them, but we also have a 10k portable that we can hook up for that if necessary.

    With the amount of and cost of surplus units though, I would get one of those and find something else to apply for.

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    If memory serves me correctly there are also Homeland Security grants for generators. Agree with the others- those are HUGE gen sets, unless if you are powering a multi-story building with hundreds of occupants and a massive load, you don't need all that. I would get an electrical engineer to do a load analysis to see what you need for the entire building, and then do a cost-benefit comparison of what you need for the entire building. Sure lighting up the whole building is nice but do you really NEED it.....You just NEED to be able to run the HVAC, some lights, power the radios and some other ancillary devices and cook. If you are on a budget you need to whack some line items.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    As most have already indicated, Station Generators are the lowest priority of facility modification projects -- as they should be. PPE is constantly used, vehicles always go out the door, power goes out infrequently.

    If you are still set on applying for a medium priority project (assuming your station is 24/7), previous versions of the AFG program guidance are pretty clear on the size and usage of a backup generator.

    When requesting funding for emergency power generators, it is the AFG Program’s expectation that departments will request generators sufficient to provide power for only those functions that are operationally imperative (i.e. , bay doors, communications equipment, emergency lighting, heat, etc.) and no more (i.e., banquet facilities).
    As most have pointed out, there are many other sources to fund or find what you are looking for.

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    Go ahead and apply for it::: doing so will leave that much more funding in the pool for everyone else..
    In other words very slim chance of even getting by the computer scoring matrix.


    Now putting on my generator service & installer tech hat, What are your load needs for the building?
    How many sq feet? Single or 3 phase? What voltage/ Daily kw usage?
    HVAC system type and fuel?
    Deep south or north?[ AC or not}
    Average occupancy 24/7?
    We can start with these answers & go from there.

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    Your local Forestry are huge givers of Generators. Might be something to check into. Good luck, Jeff
    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMT6126 View Post
    Your local Forestry are huge givers of Generators. Might be something to check into. Good luck, Jeff
    You beat me to it. Some of the generators available from forestry departments are coming back from overseas new or like new condition. We had a slug of 100K ones come through, and they run like a dream.

    And free.

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    And, if I might suggest to you, if you get a military generator, go find your local NG unit and ask for their power generation specialist. Hire a vet! Let him come and maintenance it once an month and keep it in good running order. An hour a month is nothing and those generators die from non-use.
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    Default 100k?

    That seems really oversized. Our generator backs up our entire station as well as the attached police station. This includes lights, doors, computers, a/c, plymovent system, compressors....absolutely everything on both sides of the building. And I believe that's a 75k. The 2nd piece I wanted to suggest is, if you have the ability, go with natural gas. We got 3 days into a blizzard last year and had to make a call to have the diesel tank refilled. Not something you want to worry about while handling emergency situations. Besides that, our deputy brought up a good point on the subject. When was the last time we lost natural gas? I hadn't thought of it and I couldn't recall a time that we had lost NG. Very reliable in that aspect. Hope this helps a little.

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    won't find any military surplus nat gas units.
    We have a 35 kw ONAN 3 phase to power our station and the schoolhouse building next door.
    We run it on propane and have a 1000 gallon tank which also supplies heating fuel for the station.

    Cost when we installed it 10 yrs ago was 18k + electrical work 5 k

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    Sams Club had a 17kW including automatic switch for $3500 in the store last time I went, and it was really hard not to have it follow me out the door because the companies at the home shows want $7-8k. Dad is retired electrician who did 300kW-1000kW+ installs for AT&T over most of the western hemisphere. 16 trips to Guam got me and the Mrs our honeymoon on points. Anyway, I have an installer and at that price I can pick up the whole house on NG.

    And like Kurt said find a Guard unit. My old unit was an HHC unit that had the R&S platoon so we had gensets of all sizes there. Even if they aren't local you're assigned by MOS so we had MPs coming from all over the state for drill since it was the only one.

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    Brian: be careful of that 17 kw unit at Sams club. The units made for the big box stores are not always the best quality. It probably has a beige housing on it and in the trade is referred to as generap. not known for longevity and very expensive to buy parts for.
    Do your homework before buying. A 17 kw unit might be hard pressed to start your central air unit down there in the oven you call home on top of running your other loads.

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