1. #1
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    Default Emergeny Generator

    One of the depts I write for is in need of an emergency generator. As we have been going through a needs analysis, the question of mounting the generator on a trailer has surfaced. The main use of the generator is for back up power for the fire station which also is used as a public storm shelter, but could be used to power other infrasturcture in the event of a mass incident. The trailer would not be a licensable trailer so it won't fall under a vehicle classification, however I have two questions...

    If you request a generator on a trailer, does that move the request from the station modification to equipment, and is there a benefit in doing so?

    Second, for those who have recieved generators in years past, did you apply for a single or three phase generator? In this depts case, single phase would provide emergency power but three phase would supply 100% capability to the station in the event of a major power outage.

    The need has become very evident over the past several months....1st, a tornado went through part of the town in September and there was not enough auxillary power to do all that needed to be done. The second incident was last weekend when a power outage took out all the electricity in the city, and the temp was 25 below zero. No heat in the station, no way to power communications ect...

    Just looking for a little input, this is one piece of equipment I have never written for before.

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    Arrow some help

    I work for Cummins Power Generation aka (Onan). I could get you any information that would help you if you need it. Let me know if you want anything from me.

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    I'd definitely go 3 phase, my dad's been installing the big suckers for AT&T for years. If you are competitive on merit, which it sounds like you have a real good case there, then the cost won't necessarily matter. So might as well get the one that's going to provide a complete solution, not just fill in. Just guessing you'd need something on the 75kW side to have some juice left over.

    They won't go for the trailer part, as far as paying for it that is. The idea of a standby generator that they'll fund is that it's standing by in a fixed spot. Doesn't mean you can't stick it on one yourself, but odds are they'll want it more permanently mounted at the station. Mainly so it doesn't get moved somewhere else outside of the scope of the project, like City Hall or the Police Station, as has been tried once or twice.

    - Brian

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    Default Key Words...

    ...in Brian's message--"complete solution". We hear it a lot from the Tres Gurus And OneBugler. More importantly, we hear it from DHS and the Program Guidance.

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    Well here is my quandry. Really, to do the "complete solution" I would think that a mobile generator would be more multi-versital. Some of the aux. powers I've seem are already mounted with wheels. Anyway you know of to get around this?

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    Not following you there. The complete solution for a backup generator for a station (not mobile) can't be mobile can it? The purpose of that section of the grant is only to provide backup power for the station and if it's attached to city hall or something maybe you can sell them on one big enough to handle everything. Otherwise, the generator has to sit there until needed.

    Now if you want just a mobile generator, that's a different section under FFing equipment. But the Building Modification section's generators are meant to be stationary until the station relocates.

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    Default 3 Phase

    I agree, if you have 3 phase equipment then get the 3 phase generator. If you only have single phase service, then don't waste your money on the 3 phase set up.

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    Well even if you don't have it now, if you might need it when the station expands or if you plan on putting in a breathing air compressor then the 3 phase will come in handy. Always better to get a little bit more since it will be needed at some point within the units service life.

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    A very good point, you are the man!!!!

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    Shhh. Don't tell my wife, she'll give me more to do.

    And I'm already swimming in grant apps plus working the FT job. But if all goes well, grants & funding will be the FT job next year. Especially since I don't work at a meat packing plant in Nebraska.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Well even if you don't have it now, if you might need it when the station expands or if you plan on putting in a breathing air compressor then the 3 phase will come in handy. Always better to get a little bit more since it will be needed at some point within the units service life.
    Absolutely correct. But don't forget to get your electrical contractor (who actually does 3ph work) in to give you a quote on the installed price of electrical panels/disconnects/transfer switch/autostart. You can spend as much there as for the genset.
    Last edited by neiowa; 02-23-2006 at 10:21 PM.

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    Default What State and is other other sources

    Hi my community - Saratoga NY just finished a major power outage due to a winter wind storm (t-shirts are available at www.qsfd.com/store) We were without power for 60 hours and in some parts of the community up to 90 hours. There is no municipal water source so the wells were not working and of course there was a deep freeze that followed the storm so there were major concerns - our call rate for the year tripled in 60 hours (from 7 for the year to 21) and we had power lines down calls, pump outs, CO and structure fires. The bottom lines is an prolonged outage is a bad thing with lots of increase calls and tired firefighters. A generator is critical.

    I think in NY state there will be an incentive program for generators after this problem and the big ice storm a few years ago. The need for a generator is critical - we are looking at as a municipality at adding more locations - and the number batting around is $20 K.

    Now I do not know your community but I am wondering if a state grant or a rural development grant might be able to cover this cost. The generator is critical to your ablitity to provide these services - just been there with an outage - just wondering if there might be a better source and a better chance at receiving money.

    Sean

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    Default alternative sources of power

    just one other thought - not sure what your situation is but you might want to consider alternative sources of power. I know in NH, where the cost of energy was very high when I lived there - the supermarkets set up cogeneration power using natural gas. NY has all sorts of economic benefits for alternative energy. Today we were talking about this municipal generator and talked about the potential of using biomass from all of the communities cows. I guess what I am trying to suggest is look outside the box at your potential solution to look for a funding source and maybe use AFG for something else.

    SK

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Not following you there. The complete solution for a backup generator for a station (not mobile) can't be mobile can it? The purpose of that section of the grant is only to provide backup power for the station and if it's attached to city hall or something maybe you can sell them on one big enough to handle everything. Otherwise, the generator has to sit there until needed.

    Now if you want just a mobile generator, that's a different section under FFing equipment. But the Building Modification section's generators are meant to be stationary until the station relocates.
    Trust me, my narrative will be more clear A 30KW generator will power the entire fire station in the event of an outage. The majority of the station is single phase, but the Air Conditioning and ventilation are run off 3-phase, so I'm recommending a 3-phase unit to fully power the station. A 30KW unit obviously can be mounted on a concrete slab, but Kubota makes one that also can be mounted on a trailer.

    The thougt here was that for flexibility, maybe to buy it mounted to a trailer, even though the trailer may never move. Our service area is covered byin two different electric companies, so you could have a major outage one part of town and not the other. The portablility of a trailer just seems to make more sense in getting a better cost-benefit and also would allow for the generator to be used by other FD's if needed. That's the crux of my question, should they focus on the generator as equipment or station modifications.....which method would get a higher priority?

    Incidently, I have quotes from an electrician on the cost of installation and really the AFG is the best area for us to look for this kind of funding.

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    What is pathetic is that in 2006 we have this 3rd world lack of a reliable electric supply. Anyone remember this being an issue in the 1960s/70s (or perhaps the 50s)?

    A genset to operate the water/fire pump to keep the hydrants pressurized during a power outage is a more valuable use of a genset than one that just keeping the lights at the fire house. Will AFG fund it?

    Anyhow, the case for "why a fire grant" for this equipment is a good one. DOD surplus has many many gensets available to FD thru FEPP. I located for out FD a 200kw Diesel w/18hrs and a 3kw. Last week DOD auctioned off 6x 750 diesel sets (complete selfcontained units in 40ft containers, 500 to 3000hr). No one requested them for transfer so they were auctioned off. Lots of gensets in the 5-60kw range, a large % are trailer mounted.

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    I just went through this process 2 times in te last bit. If you have 3 ohase equip I waould not even consider anything other than 3 phase. 30 KW seems a bit small to me.... Even thought they do not have the need for a larger one now I would consider a bit about future growth. We had 3 phase coming into one of our stations but never used it. The chief 10 years ago Said " we will not need it, do single phase" Now in this day and age, I had to install a 3 phase box. We now have a 3 phase Compressor System, A 3 phase Extractor, A 3 phase hose dryer and a 3 phase work air compressor.

    Case in point is leave some growing room if you will for future growth. I installed a 95 KW Baldor Natural Gas Set up with auto transfer for around 30 k. Runs FD, City Hall, Police Dept, and Public Works..... No need to turn off A/C or what ever, we determined our max load over the last 3 years and added 25% for start up. We also found it was cheaper to go with a bigger genset rather than having to rewire and only power critical items.

    What you are wanting to do is something similar to the military generators they stuck all around during the rash of hurricanes we have had here in bama.

    Things change, towns grow........ i know it did for us,

    Just my 2 cents worth, for whatever its worth.

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    And I wouldn't doubt that when the grid gets back up in the hurricane zones many of those gensets will be wandering into the FEPP system.

    neiowa - back then the power went out but nobody cared. With fireplaces & wood stoves being so prevolent and usually the main source of heat, electric was only for lights. And TV & radio. If it went out, oh well.

    Keeping hydrant & water pressure is the responsibility of the water company. Everywhere I've ever wandered they all have generators hooked to auxiliary pumps at the base of the storage towers to boost pressure in case we get a burner and the whole system needs more pressure so the Johnsons can still flush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    And I wouldn't doubt that when the grid gets back up in the hurricane zones many of those gensets will be wandering into the FEPP system.
    No particular relevance there. DOD has been getting rid of ALL the gasoline gensets for several years and is now getting rid of the 1st generation diesel (for quieter new sets). Those gensets down south will go back where ever they came from. Several hundred gensets listed on FEPP as available at present.

    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    neiowa - back then the power went out but nobody cared. With fireplaces & wood stoves being so prevolent and usually the main source of heat, electric was only for lights. And TV & radio. If it went out, oh well.
    I know Texas is slow but you're talking about 1900 (at least up here in the north). We've got rid of the icebox soon around the time of WWII; TVs, freezers, central heat arrived. All of which req AC.

    When did you guys in Texas get that indoor privy thing anyhow?


    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Keeping hydrant & water pressure is the responsibility of the water company. Everywhere I've ever wandered they all have generators hooked to auxiliary pumps at the base of the storage towers to boost pressure in case we get a burner and the whole system needs more pressure so the Johnsons can still flush.
    Water company what is that? FD here owns the bulk water supply here. Citizens have their own water company (private wells). 100% homeland secure.

    Larger towns (those with a water tower) may have a genset but 1st task is typically down at the sewer lift station. The lift station has to keep going 24/7 or you're going to be down there with your BRT pumping nasty stuff out of the wet well. When the power is out the water tower will be ok for at least a couple days of full use (UNLESS there is a fire). Water Co is going to buy a genset for the odd might have a fire? I say fire grant.

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    I'd say HUD or another grant program. Enough dough is leaking out of AFG we don't need any more.

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    Not really applicable here. Our water pressure is supplied by city wells and several water towers. Purpose of this gen is to open garage doors, operate station infrastructure, keep things charged, keep lines from freezing, keep the apparatus bay ventilated ect.... Also to keep old people from freezing or stroking in extreme weather related outages as the station is a storm shelter.

    Easy argument on fire/hazord safety when you start talking about manually opening doors, losing communications, freezing water without one. Right up the ol' AFG intent IMO.

    The trailer thing is just my way of increasing the cost-benefit.

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