Generators for home and property systems are often needed as it is rarely feasible to size such a system for a 100% reliable solar supply. It is rare to have no input, but there will be days when solar input alone cannot cope.
Having solar and battery capacity for 95% of the time is readily feasible but extending that to 98% may triple the cost! That 95%, however, still leaves about 18 days a year where solar will not cope. Having a generator also provides emotional comfort.
Generators for Home and Property Systems
The most-used approach is a back-up petrol or diesel generator, but LP gas versions are also available. You need one big enough to run a few essential items directly – but primarily for battery charging. You use the generator’s 110 or 230 volts to drive a suitably scaled battery charger.
For homes and small properties, the larger Honda/Yamaha petrol-powered inverter generators used in up-market RVs are adequate for occasional use. For use to routinely charge batteries, the smaller diesel-power generators last far longer. Where noise is an issue with generators for home and property systems, Onan (Cummins) has a range of quiet units. These include generators that run on LP gas.
A few properties have a large diesel like the 25 kW Cummins Triton unit (below) scaled for massive (but rare) loads. Often essential for the larger outback properties areas but cheaper to hire a big mobile unit for a day or two for those with convenient city access.
Generators for Home and Property Systems – how to find out more
Full details of suitable petrol, diesel and LP gas generators are in our book Solar Success. This, as well as our other books: Solar That Really Works! (for boats, cabins and RVs), and Caravan & Motorhome Electrics for all aspects of the topic are now available in directly-downloadable digital form from our Bookshop. Print versions are available via all bookshops in Australia and many in New Zealand – and via email (right now) from booktopia.com.au.