05 July, 2008

Alternate Power Scheme Ready For Rollout

After months of work and some worry, I think we're finally ready to actually put the generator under load. We got the generator rehabbed with a new battery (for the electric start), the cable from the generator to the power panel has been completed and is hooked up, and finally, we have functional diagrams of 1) the upstairs power panel, which controls everything electrical for the upstairs, and 2) the downstairs main transfer panel, which controls everything downstairs and outside and handles the feed from Belize Electric, Ltd. (BEL), or from the generator, depending on how the transfer switch is thrown.

I mentioned the electric start, a nice feature to be sure, but while the battery was inoperative, the generator, for as big as it is, was very easy to start. One or two pulls was usually enough to get it to come to life.

Here's the generator in its cage, showing the cable connecting it to the power panels, which are actually located in the utility or laundry room.
Generator Just Rarin' To Go
Just figuring out what each breaker did was a major effort. We had great help from Doug and Twyla. Without them, I think Dianna and I would still be trying to figure out the wiring. Of course, like many houses I've seen everywhere, the power panels had no descriptions saying what a particular breaker controlled. We do now.
The Generator Locked In Its Cage
The diagram below is a compilation of those descriptions and the process to switch from BEL to generator power. It's really fairly simple. It just needs to occur in a certain way to make sure the load is balanced for the generator when it comes on line and conversely, when shutting down the generator to go back on BEL current, to make sure the generator is shut off before switching back.
Our House Generator Transfer Diagram

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