GenerLink™ is a meter collar device that makes connecting a portable generator safe. It eliminates the use of extension cords and other connections that can be hazardous to members and utility personnel. GenerLink detects when a generator is operating and automatically disconnects from the utility grid, eliminating dangerous backfeed. It provides a quick and easy connection of a portable generator. GenerLink is easily installed behind a member’s electric meter and requires no rewiring of the member’s electric system. The GenerLink unit is installed by a cooperative meter technician.
GenerLink vs. Transfer Switch
Transfer switches and sub panels require rewiring of the household electrical system and limit the number of circuits that can be powered by the portable generator. GenerLink is installed outside your home at the electric meter in less than 30 minutes by the cooperative’s meter technician.
With GenerLink, you have the flexibility of selecting the appliances you want to run from your home’s breaker panel, up to the capacity of your generator. Since GenerLink uses your existing breaker panel, you can operate any 120-volt appliance and most 240-volt appliances. Your well pump, water heater, sump pump, electric range and clothes dryer are just some of the appliances that you can operate with GenerLink.
GenerLink Prevents Backfeed
Backfeed is a condition where electricity is being generated from a source outside the utility power grid and is feeding/traveling back into the power lines. Backfeeding onto the electric lines is a dangerous situation to line personnel because a line they considered as “dead” may, in fact, be energized by a backfeed from a generator. The result can be fatal. GenerLink prevents this dangerous situation from occurring.
GenerLink Provides Home Owners with Flexability
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.
A 20- or 30-amp GenerLink with a 20 foot power cord is available. Please contact the cooperative for current pricing. Installation is FREE. An interest-free financing option is available to qualified members. 50-amp GenerLink and longer cords are available as a special order.
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 than the running watts it needs to operate for extended periods. Your generator must have the capacity to start a motor and keep it running. Refer to the appliance use chart.
Sample generator sizing calculation: to use a refrigerator/freezer, you need 2,250 watts ( 750 W x 3 starting factor ) to start it and 750W to keep it running.
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 maximum rating of 30 amps. A 50-amp cord is available as a 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 GenerLok power cord is fitted with a male plug compatible with one of the following receptacles:
View March 2010 Country Living magazine article on generators and the GenerLink program.