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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 6973
Experience:  Proven Professional 46 years Experience
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I would like to design a food truck or trailer that

Customer Question

I would like to design a food truck or trailer that primarily uses commercial (120v) electric appliances (e.g. waffle irons, sandwich press, food warmers, etc.) in addition to the usual requirements (e.g. lights, a/c, refrigeration, water heat/pump, computer) instead of the usual propane cooktops, burners and fryers. The problem is that commercial electric cooking appliances are rated to draw 1-2kW and I would want to use a bunch of them at once. I estimate that running the business at full steam would require as much as 15kW rated power. Some venues would provide 220v "shore" power plug ins, but I would need to be able to use a generator as well. I would like to use a propane fueled inverter generator but my research indicates that they top out at 7kW. What would I need to do to build this from the ground up?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.

Hi,I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. The first thing would be to install a panel with a power inlet to connect to shore power or generator power. A 15KVA load would be on the 240V power and should also have a 120/240V generator. The size of the inlet should be sized to the expected power source.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok, I understand that I need a panel to connect to shore power and a generator. That is the easy part. However, I am looking for answers about the rest of the question. 1st, I take from your answer that shore power must be 240V (as opposed to 220V). 2nd, what kind of inverter generators are available (if any) that can provide this kind of power? Can any of them run on propane? 3rd, if no such generator exists, what other options do I have?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.

15Kva /240V=62.5 Amps. Depending on the constant load it would not exceed that. You would need a generator sized for that load as a minimum. As far as the fuel source, you should be able to find one online.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok. So a 100 amp box would cover it, as would 240V shore power. So far so good. I still don't quite know what my options would be for a generator, as I know very little about them. Would a stand-by generator work here? Would it need to be a commercial mobile generator? It seems like an inverter generator would be the way to go as my power needs would vary considerably, and I would like to keep noise down, but inverters seem to have more limited capacity. Can they be used in tandem on the same box, assuming shore power is not available? I'm trying to work out a budget, and these things are all over the place.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.
Only one source, one generator unless you has separate panels with separate inlets for more than one generator. Wanting propane will limit what portable gen sets are available. If you have that big a load, it won't be cheap.

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