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Emergency generator

Discussion in 'Bali Expat Forum' started by davita, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    I'm new to living in Bali and wonder if I need an emergency genset in my villa.
    So far not suffered any power failure but I read it can happen and, because the Java reservoirs that supply most of Bali's hydro-power are receding, there may be power outages soon.
    Any advice on the requirement and what genset is considered suitable. My villa has 5.5KW supplied by the Pulsa payment system and I think the genset would only be needed for 1 A/C and lights/fans/frig......as we have gas for cooking.

    I see Ace has some China made Krisbow genset but are they reliable?

    I did a lot of boating in Pacific Northwest and the boater's choice is a portable 4 stroke Honda 2KW...of course that was at 120VAC and 60hertz...anyone know if similar 240VAC Hondas are available in Bali?

    Thanks in advance for any advice or comment.
     
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Member

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    I have the Krisbow and needed it because my villa did not have power for some months. It´s reliable, but loud. Having to use it all the time will give you headaches :)

    There was a thread once about Gensets and shops that sell other models, use the search function.
     
  3. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andrew...I had an idea the Krisbow could be loud. Do you have a gas or diesel model and what is its KW output compared to your villa requirement and is it OK in sizing.
    I have a secluded area behind the pool pump room so could maybe hide the noise etc.

    I've searched but so far only found info on some permanent installed gensets for constant use...my need is for a temporary emergency condition.
     
  4. Andrew

    Andrew Member

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    The Krisbow has a diesel engine, and as with all diesel engines they are loud if not water cooled. The output is about 4.500Watts, which was enough to power fridge, 2 aircons, lights, ground water pump. In some conditions, e.g. the electric water heater and the pool pump kicked in, the fuse of the Genset blows. So you should switch off the heavy consumers that you don´t need, either by fuse box or at the device.

    You also need a way to connect the genset to your power installation. Normally that is done by a switch which is inserted after the counter from PLN and before the main fuse box. With the switch you can use either PLN or Genset. I did that myself, but if you don´t have any or small knowledge about electricity, find a _good_ local guy and let him do the cabeling. It gets a bit more complicated if you have a 3 phase PLN connection and a 1 phase genset. The switches are sold for example at ACE Hardware, the brand is "Führer", which for me as a German was a bit strange :) Most Germans were glad when the Führer was gone, now I need him to bring back the light to my house. Yuck.

    If you want to put the genset near the pump room, it shouldn´t be too far away from the main fuse box, otherwise you have tons of cable lying around.

    Never ever just plug in the genset into a normal power outlet! You will get some nice fireworks once the main power supply is back.
     
  5. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    Andrew....thank you for the very good info and advice.
    I have some electrical training but will use the electrician who installed the power to our new villa to install.
    I'm thinking more of a gas engine as they are quieter and I 'hope' the usage would be rare so don't need the reliability and constant use of a diesel genset.
    The 'Furher' brand I'm not so sure...has memories from me as well as I lived in an air-raid shelter in Scotland until 1943. However, I trust German/Japanese-made over Chinese....that's why I asked about the Honda. I had a similar switching device on my boat so that both could not be connected simultaneously...it was called an 'interruptor' switch.

    I think I only have 1 phase PLN as there are only 2 wires coming to the main C/B box..does that make sense?
     
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Member

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    Yep, if you have only two wires, it´s 1 x phase and 1 x neutral. Make sure that the system is properly grounded, use a good electrician who knows what he´s doing.

    The Honda EU series is very good and quiet, there´s a version that runs on gas too (costs about 500 EUR more than the petrol version, not sure if that´s worth it).
     
  7. ronb

    ronb Active Member

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    Very little of Bali's power comes from hydro - it is mostly coal and oil fired power stations. So this bit of what you have read is off the mark.

    Mostly Bali's power supply is OK, and when there are shortages (like due to power station maintenance), you get outages of a few hours. Mostly people go with the flow, but it's up to you - can you bear to miss the last 30 min of some TV show?
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew Member

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    Hi Ron,

    I think it also depends on where you live. My last house was a little bit remote, and after a thunderstorm with lightning, one of the circuit breakers at a distribution pole cut off the power. Took half a day for PLN to show up. Last year after the strong winds fallen trees also cut some wires, which took very long to repair.

    I don´t have a TV, but some stuff in the freezer .... :)

    In remote areas I would buy a genset, not sure if I live in a densly populated area. I would hate all the neighbours coming over because I´m the only one having cold beer ;-)
     
  9. sakumabali

    sakumabali Member

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    Well Andrew ;-) I have two fridges and both decided to bust in the same time, unbelievable!!! I don't mind to have a cold beer from your gen-set fridge.....
     
  10. Andrew

    Andrew Member

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    Marc, I´ll be back in October, then you can come over to Sanur. I´ll even buy beer :)
     
  11. sakumabali

    sakumabali Member

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    Alright then sounds good :) cheers!
     
  12. Markit

    Markit Well-Known Member

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    Frankly after the power outages last year everyone geared up with a very expensive gensets which have now been sitting idle ever since.

    If I was you I'd advertise to take someone's off their hands - make sure it's a diesel as the petrol ones are not geared for constant use but only as a stopgap measure and most say must be turned off after 2/3 hours usage for 1 hour or somesuch.

    On the same front, the Chinese have gotten into solar panel production in a big way and knocked the stuffing out of the stupid prices that were being asked - so much so that the US and Europe are contemplating some silly protectionist taxing on them.

    This could mean a short term massive drop in the prices, but whether that makes its way through to us in Bali is another question.

    That would be the way to go for a long term solution to any energy issues here in the tropics.
     
  13. balibule

    balibule Active Member

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    Solar Power Indonesia | Sustainable Energy System | Renewable Solution
     
  14. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    Emercency generator

    Interesting that my question turns into a discussion of solar power but, is that practical?
    I understand that solar panels only generate 12VDC and need a battery bank for storage then an inverter/transformer to connect to the villa before it can be useful....I don't have that much space.....unless I cover the pool!
    Others say the intermittent power supply last year will not be repeated...let's hope so.....or please, give me the # to get the cold beer!

    My query was based on an article in the Bali Daily last week which indicated that most of Bali PLN power came from hydro-plants in Java and transmitted by submarine cables to Gillimanuk. There was additional info that a diesel generation plant was contemplated but locals complained about the possible noise..... so that project is on hold. Also...hi-towers with wires crossing the straits are on the drawing board...how's that progressing?
     
  15. Markit

    Markit Well-Known Member

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    Just like on a Yacht - the diesel motor generates 12V dc which then goes to deep cycle batteries then through an converter to AC and then into your fridge where the Bintangs are waiting, the Tequila bubbling and the limes chatting amongst themselves. You would put it on your roof not the pool I think? It's still an expensive one-off solution and probably not economic yet here in Bali but prices are dropping so soon maybe. We sure have the sun for it.
     
  16. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    Well markit that isn't how the genset worked on my yacht or any others that I know of.
    My 8KW diesel genset produced 120/240 VAC and the speed of the engine controlled the Hertz, just like the ones from Ace hardware...the only difference is boat gensets are generally water cooled where-as house units are generally air cooled. A battery charger converts this AC to 12/24VDC to re-charge the start battery.
    Smaller gensets like the Honda are inverter rigged but only produce about 1-3 kW
    A frig on a boat is generally 12VDC but uses an internal switch to VAC when available.

    I do like your idea of chatting limes for the vodka and bubbling tequila though, but my frig is currently quite full of boxes of Hatten's finest puteh and merah wines. They really, really need to be chilled to be drinkable.
     
  17. Markit

    Markit Well-Known Member

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    Sorry my bad, said yacht meant barge. Canal barge to be exact, chug, chug, chug.
     
  18. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    Oohh! I understand...you meant the main engine alternator which works the way you explained. Then there would be an Inverter to change 12VDC to VAC from the large battery bank...I also had one of those which I used at night as it is silent, then, if not running the main engines at anchor, I'd fire up the genset in the morning to recharge the batteries and provide VAC for the electric cooker and coffee pot.
     
  19. Markit

    Markit Well-Known Member

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    Bit off topic but did you have that as a secondary system on your yacht? I've heard of that too for those doing long time cruising and wanting to stay in place for weeks or months.
     
  20. davita

    davita Well-Known Member

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    You're right Markit...I do all my boating during Summer in the PNW between Washington State and Southern Alaska but principally in the coves and ravines of British Columbia in Canada.
    We could be anchored in a shallow cove for up to a week with nothing but wild life and forests and waterfalls to witness. The genset is needed to keep the deep freezer working so the salmon and crabs we catch can be preserved, the steaks for the BBQ are still fresh and the bubbly is chilled...this isn't camping!!!
    It also re-charges the batteries so that, in the evening, we shut down the noisy genset and the Inverter (powered from the battery bank) kicks in to provide that power.

    I suppose a similar sysytem is used in remote areas for housing. In my villa I think a small quiet Honda might suffice as an emergency back-up assuming power outage is spasmodic.
     
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