With the increase of home offices, electronic equipment and reliance on electricity, many homeowners have purchased a portable generator for use in their home during power outages. However, they may lack a safe and economical way to connect thier generator.
For those members using generators or wanting to purchase a generator, Beltrami Electric Cooperative now offers Generlink™, a meter collar device installed on your electric meter that allows you to easily connect a small generator to your home during power outages. With Generlink™ you simply plug in the generator and use your household main circuit panel to select the circuits and appliances you want to operate based on the generator capacity. The GenerLink™ is available in two different sizes, 30 or 40 amp models. The size of your generator will dictate the size of the GenerLink™ you will require.
GenerLink™ provides a safe means for connecting a portable generator to your home, and it automatically disconnects your home from Beltrami Electric Cooperatives power grid when the generator is connected and producing power. It prevents backfeed, which is a condition where electricity is being generated from a source outside the utility power grid and is feeding/traveling bck into the power lines. Backfeeding onto the electric lines is a dangerous situation to line personnel because a line they consider as "dead" may, in fact, be energized by backfeed from a generator. The result can be fatal. GenerLink prevents this dangerous situation from occurring.
GenerLink™ is simple to use and easily installed. A Beltrami Electric Cooperative technician can connect it in less than 30 minutes. Once connected, you just plug your generator into GenerLink™.
With GenerLink™, you can operate virtually any electric load/appliance in your home up to your generator's capacity - just not all at the same time.
Appliances wired through your home's breaker panel, such as a furnace, hot water heater and many lights cannot run using extension cords. GenerLink™ provides the flexibility to run these loads from your portable generator. Your well pump, water heater, sump pump, and refrigerator are just some of the appliances you can operate with GenerLink™.
A 30- or 40-amp GenerLInk with a 20-ft power cord is available. Please contact Beltrami Electric Cooperative for current pricing.
Generator size does matter
To determine what loads you can support with a portable generator, you must consider the "running watt" and the "starting watt" requirements of the loads you want to operate.
For example, when your furnace motor first starts up, it will require approximately three times more starting watts for a brief 1- to 2-second period then the running watts it needs to operate for extended periods. Your generator must have the capacity to start a motor and keep it running.
Sample generator sizing calculation: to use a refrigerator/freezer you need 2,250 watts (750 W x 3 starting factor) to start it and 750 W to keep it running. Refer to the Appliance Usage Guide (requires PDF viewer) for wattage information.
Will any generator work with GenerLink™?
GenerLink™ is connected to the generator's 120/240-volt AC receptacle using a GenerLok™ power cord with the appropriate generator connection. The GenerLok™ cord has a minimum rating of 30 amps. A 50-amp cord is available as special order.
Generators have different types of receptacles depending on the type of generator. If your generator does not have a 120/240-volt AC receptacle, it is not suitable for use with GenerLink™.
The GenerLink™ power cord is fitted with a male plug compatible with one of the following receptacles: