Hi…I’m moving up North where I’m told there’s a lot of outages… so I purchased a firman duel fuel generator… but I also wish to purchase a Blueitti solar generator package… What do you guys recommend to connect both of these to my house? I would like to have the option of using one or the other… Thanks
Hello! I have some understanding of this, so I’ll give what I hope will be a beginning. Basically, there are two methods of connecting a generator (solar, or fuel-based) to a home that I know of.
The first is via a lock-out mechanism for the main breaker. With that method there are two ways to feed power to the breaker panel, namely the main breaker to the utility entrance, and an alternate breaker that has a plug mounted on the exterior of the house for a generator connection. The lockout mechanism is basically a metal bracket that allows only the main or alternate breaker to be “on” at one time. During a power outage you turn the main breaker off, slide the lockout over, and turn the generator (alternate) breaker on. Then start your generator, let it warm up a bit, then plug it into the exterior plug. Do note that it may be necessary to turn circuit breakers off to prevent overloading the generator, depending on it’s capacity.
The other method is to use a transfer switch. My house came with a manual transfer switch from Reliance Controls and can switch 6 circuits (search for reliance controls transfer switch and you’ll find examples). There are options with higher circuit counts as well.
The first option allows any and all circuits in the home to be switched to a generator, the 2nd allows only pre-selected (at time of installation) circuits to be switched.
You also asked about being able to use either a standard generator or a solar generator to be used, and that is what I am planning to do also when my AC300 plus batteries arrive. I want to be able to connect a generator to the exterior plug to either run the backup circuits OR to charge my solar generator if I have that connected. Right now my exterior generator plug is directly wired to my 6-circuit manual transfer switch. I will be changing the exterior plug connection by running the wire to an electrical box, and adding a short section of stranded flexible cable (~ 2 feet) with the appropriate socket on the end. I will add a plug into the housing of the transfer switch (you can buy them this way, but mine has a cover where the plug would go). This way I can take the wired plug and plug it into the transfer switch. BUT, I can also take a cable from the solar generator, which I would have inside the house, and plug that into the transfer switch instead. This will allow me to use either device to power the house circuits. Even better, I can have another cable connected to the exterior generator connection that I wired with the flexible cable, that has a plug that provides a 120 volt outlet from the fuel generator, and use that to charge my solar generator. That way if I’m using too much power for solar to sufficiently recharge with, or if the weather is too bad for good solar charging, I can add the fuel generator’s power for charging. Either way I would only have to run the generator for short periods of time for charging, and can use the solar generator to power my circuits continously.
Hopefully this is helpful, feel free to ask questions and I’ll answer if I’m able.
Thank you very much that was extremely helpful… you mentioned your getting an A300 it’s also what I’m want to get when I can have it delivered to Canada… which package are you getting and how are you connecting it to your transfer switch… I was originally thinking of a Generlink but the electrician I talk to said it had to be a 240 plug… so I thought I needed to use that Po30a… and get that package… any thoughts would be appreciated…Thanks
I’m getting the AC300 + 2 B300’s + 3 PV200’s bundle, and I can’t wait for it to arrive! This will be my first sogen, and first solar setup.
To connect it to the transfer switch I’m using a “TT-30P Male to L14-30R Female” adapter to use the RV plug on the AC300 and has a L14-30R on the other end. Since I could only find a short adapter cord like this I then use another 10 foot extension cord that has the L14-30 type plugs.
It is useful to note (and I didn’t earlier) that this cannot provide 240 volt connections to anything in the house. The AC300 only has 120 volt output so that is the limiting factor. For me that doesn’t matter because my transfer switch only makes use of 120 volt circuits, and that’s all I will need in a power outage.
I suppose I should add the “ingredients” for allowing either the fuel generator or solar generator to be connected as well.
First, since my transfer switch is currently hardwired to the outdoor generator plug, I am adding a L14-30 socket so that I can plug things into it instead.
The pictures below show the transfer switch similar to mine, and the socket I will add where the square plastic cover is now.
Then for the inside generator connection, I will be adding a ~2 foot extension cord and the plug in the picture below. That will allow me to plug the fuel generator into the socket on the transfer switch. If I am using the solgen to power the house, then I can plug the splitter cord (other picture) into the fuel generator plug, and then plug the charge cord from the AC300 into either one of the sockets from the splitter and charge the solgen from the fuel generator.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions…very helpful… All the best… God Bless.
Thanks for sharing all this from your experiences @hnymann !! This will be quite useful to add to the good ol knowledge bank!
Glad to be helpful to a group that I have learned from myself!