Group Think! Duration of SHTF!

This is a discussion on Group Think! Duration of SHTF! within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I expect the average SHTF scenario to last 2 weeks or less, at least before outside help begins to arrive. However, I'm planning to eventually ...

View Poll Results: What is the Duration of the SHTF Scenario You Plan For?

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  • Less Than a Week

    14 15.91%
  • One to Three Weeks

    39 44.32%
  • A Month or Two

    14 15.91%
  • More than Two Months

    14 15.91%
  • Whoops! I Forgot to Plan!

    7 7.95%
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Thread: Group Think! Duration of SHTF!

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    I expect the average SHTF scenario to last 2 weeks or less, at least before outside help begins to arrive.

    However, I'm planning to eventually be prepared for everything from a flat tire to TEOTWAWKI.

    I'd say that right now I could handle 30 days easily, either in place or evac.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmike
    Tangle,
    Talking LP, the 13.5 @ full load uses only 1.09 gal/hr, 3/4 load 0.79 gal/hr, and 1/2 load, just 0.62 gal/hr.
    mm,

    Clearly you have put some thought into this and if it's any consolation, I see the need for "more" in your situation.

    The consmption figures you quote above, seem way, way out of line. I've done a lot of internet "shopping" and I haven't found anything that comes close to that low of consumption. One of the units I looked at had a Honda engine.

    Any chance you read the wrong line or something. I'm not trying to be nosy, but if you buy a unit that winds up consuming twice as much fuel as expected.....

    And if you confirm your numbers, I'd like to know the brand; I'd probably get a 7-8kW from them.

    Quote Originally Posted by madmike
    Got kind of a "trick" installation in mind, once done, it will be a "stealth operation" of sorts! I'll post some pics in this section of the Forums, when complete.

    Hey, THANKS for the feed-back!

    mm
    I'd like to hear more about that; I've got some ideas about how to deal with the "run-only-on-demand" problem.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    Spent a lot of time going to a number of web sites. The fuel consumption rates look pretty close to the numbers I gave when looking at trifuel generators in the 13 kw models. Might be they are all quoting the same source, though.

    I'll be taking a closer looks at my generator install idea. Most say not to run these in an enclosed space, but I'm looking at a housing that is well ventilated and allows the engine exhaust to be ported directly outside. It isn't intended to have people in it, other than to maintain the generator. Just a place to keep the unit dry and out of sight.

    I wasn't looking at an automated system, myself. A proper transfer switch, yes. But not one that would fire-up and run automatically. That is one expensive feature that I really don't need.

    If you like, look at that WEB SITE and look up the "tripple fuel" generators and see what you think about those 13 kw units. I'd like to have your impression on them. (If you have the time.)

    mm
    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmike
    Spent a lot of time going to a number of web sites. The fuel consumption rates look pretty close to the numbers I gave when looking at trifuel generators in the 13 kw models. Might be they are all quoting the same source, though.

    I'll be taking a closer looks at my generator install idea. Most say not to run these in an enclosed space, but I'm looking at a housing that is well ventilated and allows the engine exhaust to be ported directly outside. It isn't intended to have people in it, other than to maintain the generator. Just a place to keep the unit dry and out of sight.

    I wasn't looking at an automated system, myself. A proper transfer switch, yes. But not one that would fire-up and run automatically. That is one expensive feature that I really don't need.

    If you like, look at that WEB SITE and look up the "tripple fuel" generators and see what you think about those 13 kw units. I'd like to have your impression on them. (If you have the time.)

    mm
    Mike,
    I'm on "dial-up" until Monday so things are a bit slow. I did some preliminary looks and the two triple fuel 13kW units I saw at the website you referenced are actually 8kW and 11kW continuous. That's a big discrepency but the 11kW is uses a Honda GX-620 engine; it must be really efficient.

    I'll look at the spec's and do some more number crunching Monday. I'm as interested in this as you are. In my case I can get by with less because I'm really only interested in keeping two fridges and a freezer alive. But, it's not that much trouble to look at the "13kW" and 8kWs at the same time.

    I hear what your saying on the transfer switch. What I'm struggling with is does the generator run 24/7 to keep everything alive? Or, do we have to do some kind of manually initiated scheduled runs to catch everything up?

  6. #35
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Right now I'm prepared for about two weeks. I need to make some hardtack in a large batch; it will double or triple the food supply and provide quite a bit of energy, especially if I add some berries and such. Of course that would necessitate getting a vacuum sealer, but hey, I want one anyway. I do pick up a couple, 10 more cans of food whenever I go shopping.

    My problem is meds. A couple people in my household (what will be my household Aug 5) are on, heck, what do you call them, schedule III(?) meds. The stuff that's heavily controlled, barbituates and such. I'm not having any success getting more than three months at a time. It's almost like the doctors don't care. I don't think they're limited by law.

    I'm open to suggestions on the medication deal, but not to the extent that it would hijack the thread.

    Thanks,

    Josh <><

  7. #36
    Member Array jamz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoshi
    All seriousness aside: Actually the only plausible disaster for us here to plan for is Bird-flu pandemic. Two Docs I know talked at a breakfast I went to, and our town has no plan. The States plan is to cut us off - they can't afford to reach us if its as bad as some say - (I guess Nat Guard Check point on highway or something).

    The local hospitals plan is to lock down, Docs and family only. That would truly be every man for himself. I don't have any idea how long it could last.
    Yoshi, you have data on this? Got a source for a fellow Maniac? :)

  8. #37
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, can't forget the trade goods: Big ol' can of tobacco and jars and cans of coffee.

    Josh <><

  9. #38
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    Tangle,

    Yes, you do have to watch there ratings. Most seem to refer to the surge rating, rather than the continual max rating. Wouldn't want to have one that would have to run at it's maximum continual rating, that's why I'm looking at larger generators, with the thought of running them well under their "max" capability.

    I think these "trifuel" or "triple fuel" generators run at a fixed rpm. Some, like the one with the Honda GX 620 engine does have an "auto idle" that kicks in when there's no load being placed on it.

    So yes, they do need to run 24/7, unless you'll have times when you can or want to do with no electricity. But if you need to keep some things running 24/7, like a refrigerator, the generator will have to run continually.

    I also think that the demand upon the generator (amp draw) definitely plays into the fuel consumption. The generator must run at a constant rpm to produce a stable voltage. More amps being drawn means the engine must work harder to keep the electric generator turning at the required rpm. Look at the fuel consumption charts and you'll see why I say that.

    If you aren't powering but a few small items, the fuel consumption will be much less than if you are powering everything in the house.

    I'll be looking at just what circuits in my power panel I'll be able to switch off. I don't need lights in every room, so the breakers for those rooms will be switched OFF.

    What ever isn't needed, will be turned off, some items turned on, only when actually in use. My well is a 240v, 1 hp motor. I may limit its use. If we can deal with the heat, the heat pump (our AC,) might be able to stay off a good deal of the time, as once the house is at a particular temp, it tends to stay that way for quite a while. This is because the insulation is quite good.

    Cooking is no biggie, as the stove/oven is gas.

    I'll post about my "stealth" generator house, in just a bit.

    mm
    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

  10. #39
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    Here's that "stealth" generator house idea. I doubt you'll have the item I'll be working with, and I'd have to say I'd NOT buy one of these, just for this purpose, either.

    I have a rather expensive "mistake" sitting in my back yard. It's a cone-bottom plastic tank that I bought several years ago and later decided I didn't want to use it, after all.

    The tank is shown below, I added some dimensions. It is a very heavy plastic and quite UV resistant. I added some bolt-on kits, so that 4 in PVC pipes could be connected to bring water into the tank, at a tangential entry. It was to be part of a filter system.

    Here is a diagram of the tank. My modifications will be in the next post.

    mm
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    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

  11. #40
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    Turn this thing upside down, and you have a house. I want to put it on a concrete pad and bolt it down. I can then cut and frame a door in front.

    Those bolt-on side entry ports will house a small exhaust fan, each. One will be ducted to take air from the floor. The tank as a flat area on what is now the top, a weather-proof vent will be mounted there, to let air in, with those exhaust fans moving air out.

    The generator can be moved in thru the new door and once inside, the wheel kit REMOVED and the frame bolted to the floor. 400 pounds of generator with no wheels would be very difficult to wrestle out of this structure, making it somewhat difficult to steal.

    The generator will be positioned so it's exhaust pipe can be ducted thru the side of the house. With that, and the exhaust fans running, I think temps and air quality in the house would be OK. No one will be spending any time in this house, except for what every repairs or maintenance is required.

    The outside of this house will be covered with chicken wire. It will not take a planting of a vine, like Confederate Jasmine to completely conceal the blue plastic house. Remember, this is Florida.

    The line from the Propane tank can be laid into the concrete pad, along with the power lines.

    The pad will be placed about 30 feet from my house, on the same side that the existing propane tank is located, as well as my electric service. Also on that side, there is a 6 ft privacy fence between me and the neighbor's yard.

    You could do something similar with any type of housing for the generator, I'd think. A little chicken wire and an aggressive climbing vine should hide it well.

    mm
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  12. #41
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    mm,

    Something's not right. I compared a Honda GX 340, 11 HP, 6000W gen:

    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/...p?page=HPS6000

    to the Honda Gx-620, 20 HP driven 13kW:

    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/...?page=H11000E5

    The "not right" thing is that according to the specs, the 13kW consumes 1.27 gal/hr at full load and the 6kW, consumes 1.9 gal.hr at full load.

    That indicates that the 13kW can deliver over twice the power and consume less LP per hour too. Both are tri-fuel Honda engines. That can't be. It may be the numbers for the 6kW are for gasoline because it doesn't say, but even considering that the 13kW only consumes gasoline at the rate of 1.39 gal/hr that's still over twice the power for far less fuel per hour. That just can't be.

    I'm gonna look into this some more.

  13. #42
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    This is something I'd definitely look into, maybe try to get an explanation from Honda.

    One thing that might explain this would be that the harder you push the generator itself, the harder the engine must work. If the engines and generators aren't as well matched, it may be that the larger unit has an engine that is better matched to the generator than the smaller one.

    I may be way off base, but tell me if this make sense, and I won't assume that this is the case, but will try to verify it somehow. The smaller unit's engine was sized so that it must work at its absolute maximum capacity in order to drive the generator at it's peak demand. This might have been done simply to let them rate the unit higher.

    The larger unit has an engine that was sized more conservatively, it may have the horsepower to more easily drive the generator at it's max load. Simply, it is a more efficient combination of engine and generator.

    Again, this is not something I know and I will make an effort to find the truth of the matter. But I can see where it could be, they get engines from one source, generator heads from another and come up with different combinations that work. Some combinations being better than others, and more efficient overall.

    ***** I took a break while typing this and emailed the web site with the info you pointed out. Not being the most patient sort, I then found their phone number and called them. The lady who I talked to said, "Well, you got me on that one." She said the guy who could help with that was on the other line, so she's going to direct him to that email and he'll look into it and get back to me.

    I'll let you know what he says.


    mm
    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

  14. #43
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    mm,

    I can believe some efficiency improvements due to "match-up", but over double the power with less fuel consumption too just doesn't sound right.

    I looked up the two engines on the Honda website, but the numbers given don't specify what fuel is referenced. They don't even show fuel consumption for the GX-340.

    I am eager to learn what you find out. I won't be surprised if the "guy that would know" doesn't.

  15. #44
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    Well, I didn't hear back from the generator web site yet, think I'll see if Honda has any thoughts on this.

    Didn't fare much better with the gas company, either! First person I was finally able to talk to said if I wanted to exchange my 125 gal. tank for a 500 gal to run a generator, it would cost 3 to 4 thousand $!

    I said I'd probably have to re-think my whole approach. 2 minutes later, another person from the same company called me. It seems that would be the cost if I were getting a tank just to run a generator.

    But since I already have a tank and several gas appliances and only wanted a larger tank because I was adding a generator, the cost would be a lot more reasonable.

    It seems when you have gas appliances installed, you lease the tank from them. The size of the tank is based upon your projected needs. The first person I talked to thought I was getting a separate tank to run a generator and for that, I would have to buy the tank.

    Anyway, I'll have to get with their salesman to get working figures from. But they did give me the impression that it would not be prohibitively expensive to "up-grade" my leased tank. The biggest part of that should be the initial fill and I think they'll let me spread that out over time, included in my monthly gas bill.

    Whoever they get their info from told them the average generator uses 3 to 4 gallons per hour. I told them I was only looking to supply a minimal amount to keep things running at the house, NOT to start my own electric company. . .

    mm
    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmike
    Well, I didn't hear back from the generator web site yet, think I'll see if Honda has any thoughts on this.
    Sounds good, keep me posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by madmike
    Didn't fare much better with the gas company, either! First person I was finally able to talk to said if I wanted to exchange my 125 gal. tank for a 500 gal to run a generator, it would cost 3 to 4 thousand $!

    I said I'd probably have to re-think my whole approach. 2 minutes later, another person from the same company called me. It seems that would be the cost if I were getting a tank just to run a generator.
    Wow! My gas company said I could buy a 500 gallon tank for $1100. They'd deliver it and set it up for $20. Wonder why your area would be so much more?

    Quote Originally Posted by madmike
    Whoever they get their info from told them the average generator uses 3 to 4 gallons per hour. I told them I was only looking to supply a minimal amount to keep things running at the house, NOT to start my own electric company. . .

    mm
    LOL! It's good to "know" before you start asking, isn't it!

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