Generac 4582 "Ultra-Source" Generator

One of the problems I'm unfortunately plagued with is power interruptions due to storms, or just "coincidence". I've had a Coleman 4500W portable generator for years however it's no longer big enough to power the server farm as it's about 10 amps short, and I'd also like to power key items in the house - fridge, furnace, a couple of lamps, sump pumps, etc.

Enter the Generac 4852 "Ultra-Source", a massive 15KW / 22KW peak portable generator. By the way, "portable" seems to mean it has wheels, which it does, but it's hardly portable at 472 lbs.

It arrived on a pallet under a large cardboard box:

Here is a picture of the the generator, and with the nose of the car in view you can see it's quite massive:

I'm not sure if Generac buys and relabels Honda engines for their generators, or if they build their own but the layout of the engine is very similar to to Honda's commercial-grade two cylinder "V" engines. It also has an oil cooler and a pressurized oiling system, a very nice feature for something that's intended to run, and run, and run.

Starting it up was easy, simply pull the choke out, push start, and push the choke in as it catches and you have power through a variety of outlets on the other end. A 50A 240V as the main output as well as a pair of 120V 30A twistlocks, and of course the usual GFCI duplexes. I'll only be using the 50A 240V port because I intend to hard-wire this to my server farm's transfer switch.

A lot of 'comments' on various websites which sell this product often complain about instability in voltage/frequency as well as noise - both didn't really seem to be a problem to me because things are very stable, far better than my much smaller Coleman generator, and the noise output isn't any louder than the Coleman either. What is different, noise-wise, is the exhaust tone is much, much deeper, and that's because of the car-type muffler that's installed. It makes sense for Generac to use a muffler of this type because the engine is 997cc's - just a few cc short of a liter. That's pretty big.

Portability - I would have to have to hump this around a job site. While the pneumatic tires are somewhat large and fairly wide as far as generator tires go, this thing is very heavy and any debris on the ground (small sticks, gravel, etc) causes it to get hung up fairly easily. One thing I noticed is the wheels and foot are very close together, and that does make it far easier to balance while you're dragging it around. My Coleman, even though it weighs far less, feels heavier because the wheels are at one end and the handles are at the other, so by lifting the handles I'm support 1/2 the generator weight. With the Generac's wheel position, I'm only lifting about 25-30% of the weight. That's great for one's back, however it "teeters" forward and back a little bit making it difficult to push. Pulling is much easier.

More on the hardwiring project on THIS page.