A friend of mine used to sell remote power systems. He had everything from air powered generators to solar to battery backups and a diesel generator. He had his whole setup with all of them and he could switch from one to the other for demonstrations. I'm not sure if he ever did get it going big or not.
Umm.. sorry that's not a lot of help.
Usually the back up generator that you install, has a sensor in it to detect a load being turned on, and it will automaticly start up the generator untill the load is no longer needed and shut down. I'm not sure what kind of information your looking for. but i have installed 125kW backup generators for casino's in my area!
Many of us have experience doing these. I have done simple manual transfer units for 4500 watt portables up to 15kw and 20kw for residences. Many of which are on the side of the mountains around here (Catskills, in NY). Also 40-60kw 3 phase for commercial, restaurants and stuff.
Like unreg said, the bigger ones are fully self contained and automatic.
You need a fuel source with enough capacity to run what ever length of time you think is possible. Hurricane Floyd(??) in fall 1999 the power was out in some remote areas for 6-8 days.
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