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Generators In this forum we will try to answer any of your questions about the different model generators that can be found on Blue Bird coach's.

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2008
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Default Using Your 'Birds Generator For Emergency Power / Install a Buddy receptacle?

Hurricane season is upon us and some of us you have already experienced loss of electrical service at your homes during severe storms and tornadoes, so I thought that this would be a good time to bring up the topic of adding a connection to your homes electrical service so that you could use the generator on your 'Bird for emergency power.

Ever since I went through HURRICANE HUGO here in South Carolina back in September 1989, I have had a way to use an auxiliary generator, for my bus, shop and rental property.

http://facstaff.gpc.edu/~pgore/stude...n/hugocsat.gif

Since the generator on my old bus didn't work properly, I first purchased a 8000 watt Lincoln Ranger 8 Welder / Generator and had it mounted on a small trailer, so that it could be also transported to friends and relatives homes for their use if I wasn't already using it here.

http://www.pbase.com/image/98008157

Now I use the generator on my 'Bird to do the same job, keeping the old generator for backup, or for use by relatives and friends. On my 'Bird I have installed a BUDDY PLUG for this use.

http://www.pbase.com/iamflagman/image/41069743

I have installed in my shop a STANDBY GENERATOR BREAKER PANEL, that allows me to safely switch the power source from shore power to generator power, so that it will not feed back power into the shore power when it is restored.

http://www.pbase.com/iamflagman/image/50203372

There a many styles and brands of these types of panels on the market, here are some links to some of them;

General Electric Generator Interlock Kit

Cutler Hammer

Harbor Freight

If you are using something different, tell us what you use as it is always a good idea to be prepared ahead of time.
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I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2008
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Hi John,

I'd like to put a 30A buddy plug on the coach. How would you recommend doing this with a 240V genny? I have a double breaker in the genny compartment already. Could I just tee off of that box using just one of the legs for 30A @ 110Volts?
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfedeli View Post
Hi John,

I'd like to put a 30A buddy plug on the coach. How would you recommend doing this with a 240V genny? I have a double breaker in the genny compartment already. Could I just tee off of that box using just one of the legs for 30A @ 110Volts?
Shane,

I personally didn't do the panel or circuit breaker box wiring on any of these, but I had an electrician friend of mine do that, but all of the other work was done by me, he told me what to get and I buried the wires and mounted the panel and outlets, I also didn't weld up the trailer just designed it the way I wanted it, it was originally a wrecked john boat trailer that I got for free.

We used the circuit breaker box in the generator compartment for the 50AMP BUDDY PLUG on the 'Bird, mainly because of ease of wiring and not having to run a new wire up through the coach and to the breaker box in the rear bath closet, so the wiring you suggest sounds right to me, as that would be similar to using one side of the circuit breaker panel on the inside of your 'Bird correct?

Here is a good item on the forum to read up about wiring RV Electric Service, Connections and Basic Information
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1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
REMEMBER 9/11
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2009
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Exclamation Anybody using their Generator for Emergency Power?

In light of the lingering results of the resent batch of bad winter weather that has left many areas of the country without electricity, I was wondering if any of you have had to resort to using the generator on your 'Bird to supply emergency power for you and your family, or friends?

This thread already has some excellent tips to follow for those of you that may be thinking about adding this feature, for future use, I did this few years ago and have found it a very valuable asset to have when I needed it the most.

This also reminds me that I need to exercise both the Perkins Generator on my 'Bird and my Kohler/Lincoln welder/generator, so that they will both be ready just in case I need them.
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JOHN FINN
FORUM MODERATOR-ADMINISTRATOR
1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
REMEMBER 9/11
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2009
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Default Genset for emergency power

I have a question that I haven't been able to find an answer to here.

Does anyone know about bonding of neutrals and grounds in sub panels between the genset and the house panel ?

It is my understanding that only the house main panel should have the neutral and ground bonded together, which makes me wonder if there is an issue with the genset on the bus having the neutral and ground bonded (which I believe is the case).

Any electricians (or wannabe electricians) out there ?
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2009
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Dan,
It is my understanding that the neutral and ground should be bonded at the source, and not in two places. That said, when the transfer switch is in shore position the ground and neutral are bonded at the campground source (not the pedistal, at the main campground breaker panel).

When the transfer switch in in the gen position, there should be a system that bonds neutral and ground at the generator. This could be a relay or simply take advantage of the fact that the generator neutral is isolated when the transfer switch is in the shore position, so the bond would not be presented to the RV breaker panel.

A third system, the inverter, also needs to follow the rule. My xantrex automaticaly bonds neutral and ground when it is running on the batteries, but disconnects the bond (relay) when ac current is detected at the input indicating generator or shore power.

So there are places for conflicts to happen, like if the breaker that supplies AC to the Xantrex is shut off, the xantrex will bond neutral and ground even if the shore power or generator are active.

So I have as many questions as answers. It would be great to get a final, complete expert explanation of the whole package. I am sure someone has one, or can find one.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2009
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Default Using Your 'Birds Generator For Emergency Power

When using an alternate source to feed the house, such as the generator from the bird, many factors have to be taken into consideration.

SAFETY - not for you but for the electrician or lineman working to restore the downed lines. UNLESS you have permission from the hydro company, there is NO WAY that you should tie the two together. Generally a transfer switch is used, similar to the transfer switch in the bird, either you are on shore power or generator power, but NEVER both.

BONDING - Gardener has summed it up pretty good. Anything that belongs to the house section should have the neutral and ground bonded.
Anything inside the coach, with the exception of the generator, the neutral and ground should not be bonded.

Shane:
Did you ever get your buddy plug hooked up. If not, the easiest way is to come right from the main panel from a 30A 120 volt breaker. This way your wiring etc and circuit is protected the way it should be. If you were to hook up a circuit directly to the main 60 amp box, then you would not have any protection other than the 60 amp breaker.
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2009
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Gardner is correct. There should be just one neutral bonding point. Because of this, it presents a problem in that most generators are neutral/ground bonded and when used to power up a house that has its' own neutral bonding the generator bonding needs to be -unbonded-.

Very good info site below. The neutral bonding issue is about half way down. I had to read it a few time through to absorb (pea brain) the info.

http://members.rennlist.org/warren/generator.html

I have built several diesel generators for fun over the last few years from 4KW up to 20KW and actually have a seperate "bonded-not bonded" switch on a few of them.

Lastly, having an independent ground rod and cable for portable generators is very important!! Especially if the generator is trailer mounted etc.

(QUOTE BELOW)



There are four possible ground / neutral bond and transfer panel configurations.
  • Neutral bonded at generator, neutral switched at transfer panel. This is a correct configuration. Neutral for backup circuits will be isolated at the transfer panel and bonded within the generator. There will be no ground conductor current. This requires a three pole transfer switch.
  • Neutral floating at generator, neutral not switched at transfer panel. This is a correct configuration. Neutral for the entire system is bonded at the main service panel. There will be no ground conductor current. Only live lines are switched with a two pole transfer switch.
  • Neutral bonded at generator, neutral not switched at transfer panel. This seems to be the most common connection technique based on my research. Unfortunately it is not correct. Neutral will be connected to ground at the main panel and at the generator. Neutral current flow will flow along the ground conductor and through the generator chassis. This creates a potential shock hazard as the chassis becomes part of the current carrying circuit. The easiest way to fix the problem is to use a floating neutral generator or make the required changes to the generator internal wiring.
  • Neutral floating at generator, neutral switched at transfer panel. The neutral conductor has no ground reference. The neutral should be bonded within the generator or the transfer switch rewired to not switch the neutral conductor.
Clear as mud??
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Last edited by Turbokitty; 10-12-2009 at 11:32 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2009
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Default Using Your 'Birds Generator For Emergency Power

Ryan:

When using the bird's power, you do not have to unbond the neutral/ground connection.

Method 2: Generator Neutral Bonded to Frame
(Fig. 1)
The objective in this situation is to avoid installing a parallel circuit, including the neutral conductor and the
bonding path, which would allow a portion of the normal load current to continuously flow through the equipment
bonding path including the exposed non-current carrying metal enclosures.
For this case, to ensure the neutral is connected to the ground electrode at only one point at any given time, the
neutral connections shall be switched at the transfer switch.

The transfer switch is to be of the type where the normal and standby neutral connections are to be switched.

If one does not understand all the principles in this, they should go to the local authorities or hire a trained electrician to perform the work.

Working in a hydro electric station, I know what can happen if an electrician or lineman hangs grounds on a live bus, and the outcome is not good. I have witnessed it, and had to clean up the consequences.

For everyone's sake, please be careful, this is serious stuff.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2009
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I must agree with Bill, Electricity follows the rules without any consideration of the outcome. Unless you truly understand what you are doing it is best to leave it to a competent professional. The key word here is 'competent'.
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