Generator Connection Hub?

Marc12345August 31, 2011

Nothing like a dark house to get you thinking about generator hookups! I'm looking for a better solution to extension cords and would like to bring some 220 into the house.

Does anyone have a Connection Hub? Any feedback regarding them? Pros/Cons compared to other methods? They say you can take it with you when you move - anyone know how this works? Does the electric company need to remove it? Is this a common setup for other utility companies if I move out of state?

This solution is intriguing since my panel is kind of in a somewhat tight and funky location so adding a separate panel might have challenges, as well as there would need to be a decent cable length to connect the generator to my panel.

Anybody got anything to say about it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Connection Hubs

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wayne440

Guess they are OK if your power company allows one, you can get by with 12kw and have $1100+ to spend.

I think the price is a bit high, considering that a 200A manual transfer switch can be purchased for well under $500, and a 200A 3R ASCO 185 automatic switch costs about $1200.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 7:40PM
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Ron Natalie

Wayne is right, that's way pricey. Remember what ever transfer switch you do have, if it's going to feed the whole house like that, you're going to need to go shed load (flip breakers for example) *BEFORE* firing up the generator.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:58AM
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weedmeister

Note that Dominion is the power company in Virginia. The price includes installation by them.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 4:46PM
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apg4

The connection hub is slightly overpriced, but Dominion Power also sell a run-of-the-mill B&S 10kw genset for a mere $3,600. That's *way* overpriced....

I've been looking to do the same thing, as I have an 8.5kw tri-fuel generator with a Honda engine; it runs on petrol, propane or natural gas and I have a quick connect on the gas line near the electric meter. It ran for 24 hours without refueling after Irene.

So I've been looking for a 200 amp DPDT transfer switch in a meter base. (I really don't have room next to the relatively-new panel box inside for a sub-panel.) I've found the Ronk 7205A-MSH, but it's $750+. The easiest/quickest solution is a GenLink automatic transfer switch unit that plugs in between the meter and the base, but it's $850 plus the cordset...and I want a manual switch.

Even a 200 amp switch by itself is close to $500. Has anyone found anything less expensive?

Cheers

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 11:20PM
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Marc12345

weedmeister's correct, the price should be all inclusive - installation, switch, and 10ft cable, which for me should be more than enough. I haven't called yet to see if there's any "gotcha's" since the power company has better things to be doing right now... They've been doing a great job.

So I guess as far as being overpriced, the cost of odds and ends, cables, extra wiring, labor, getting power disconnected.... Anyone with experience have thoughts? Still cheaper to do a 200A transfer switch after all other costs factored in?

Similar to apg4, a meter/outside based solution is probably best for me. The area where my panel is located is tight and I see a lot of project creep doing a subpanel. I know I'll have to calculate and restrict breakers at the main panel to avoid overloading the generator and I'm fine and comfortable with that. I prefer that over having to preselect circuits.

Any experiences with the "take it with you when you move" aspect of this? This has some interest since I don't intend to be at this home forever - we will be outgrowing this home at some point. I'm also not sure how common this setup is in other localities in the case that my work takes me outside the Dominion service area.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:01AM
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brickeyee

One of the problems with these setups is that they leave YOU to perform load management at the main panel.

While the genset should protect itself from overload, it is still not a good idea to push them to overload.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 9:09AM
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wayne440

My experience during an ice storm several years ago leads me to agree with "brickeyee"- for that reason I usually recommend two choices for residential generators. (1) a fully automatic system (with load shedding if needed) (2) a portable set with several heavy duty extension cords.

There are a bunch of people out there who have no idea how much load their generator will really pull, and no idea of the demand certain devices present. I got really tired of trying to explain to John Doe why his "heavy duty" 7kw generator would not run a clothes dryer, washing machine and electric water heater all at once.

Perhaps the best one was a fellow who called and said his generator engine would start fine, but kept dying. He couldn't understand why an 11hp Briggs and Stratton wouldn't run his 20kw furnace- as it turns out no amount of looking sadly at the generator and saying "but it puts out 240 volts" will change Ohm's law.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:16AM
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apg4

As for the "take it with you" aspect, the GenLink is the way to go (I'll find the link after a bit.) It's literally 'plug-n-play' in that it plugs into the meter base and the meter plugs into it. The cordset hangs out the bottom.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:23AM
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brickeyee

"It's literally 'plug-n-play' in that it plugs into the meter base and the meter plugs into it. The cordset hangs out the bottom."

And the odds are it is going to stop working almost instantly unless it is a REALLY large generator.

You will be powering up your ENTIRE main panel.

EVERYTHING.

If the generator is not large enough, everything is going to come to a very fast halt.

If things go well it will simply trip the generators output off.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:37PM
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weedmeister

I think this is it.

Here is a link that might be useful: GenerLink

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:45PM
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apg4

Yup...that's it. While it is an automatic transfer, it's not gonna energize the whole panel until you plug in and fire up the generator. Be smart about this: either turn everything off or switch off the breakers for circuits that aren't critical. Air conditioning isn't one of 'em....

Now whether or not Dominion Power or any other utility will permit this is another issue. The GenerLink unit is typically leased from the PoCo...for a profit.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 2:13PM
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wayne440

"...switch off the breakers for circuits that aren't critical. Air conditioning isn't one of 'em..."

As far as I'm concerned HVAC is a critical load, it is 101F here today. With time, everything in my house has gradually become a "critical" load. I'm up to about 35kw now.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:04PM
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apg4

35kw?!? Damn....the electric company must send you Christmas cards every year! :) But we're talking emergency, stand-by power here....

I appraised a 22,000 sq. ft. waterfront home a while back and it had a 75kw diesel generator with a 3,000 gallon tank - something more befitting a small hospital.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 4:09PM
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saltcedar

wayne440 count yourself lucky! We on day 76 of 100 to 112 this summer.
But you're right AC is NOT optional!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Jbiv

Hey apg4, I hate to dig up an old thread but keep seeing your post in my research of the Dominion Connection Hub, soo I want to clear up a few things you overlooked:

"Dominion Power also sell a run-of-the-mill B&S 10kw genset for a mere $3,600. That's *way* overpriced...."

It actually is not a standard B&S genset. It is their cream of the crop unit with a V-twin engine that will far outlast any normal OHV thumper engine, pressure oil system, spin-on oil filter, auto-idle, and some other stuff. You will be hard pressed to find this unit for under 2200.00. Also, the price that Dominion has also includes delivery, interconnection device (connection hub), full install of EVERYTHING, battery charger, battery, and all the cords and other parts needed to get you started.

The Connection Hub, to me, is not a bad value. Considering what a pro will charge to install other types of transfer switches and interconnection devices so that the genset can be plugged in outside with no wires running through your doors or windows. Hope this helps clear up some misinformation.

Here is a link that might be useful: not quite

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 4:44PM
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