Choosing a good generator

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  • just startingjust starting Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭
    Thanks Vic

    1500 w PV- xantrex 60-150 mppt -894 ah agm- Rd2824 magnum MSW inverter- 250 E panel-  chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - fl Samsung wf5200 washer Ryobi 2200 watt gen-80 w panel with morningstar sunguard 4.5- 2 gc2- for water pump 5.5 GPM 60 psi - 24v 5.5 gmp 60psi water pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher with the heayer disconnected and 168 degree water.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Here is a PDF from Honda on jetting (and uses the eu2000i as the example):

    http://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com/pe/pdf/pubs/pci54675.pdf

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,811 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Bill for the Honda jetting Link,  very useful.   Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • just startingjust starting Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭
    Thanks bill I'll lose about 530 watts due to elevation

    1500 w PV- xantrex 60-150 mppt -894 ah agm- Rd2824 magnum MSW inverter- 250 E panel-  chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - fl Samsung wf5200 washer Ryobi 2200 watt gen-80 w panel with morningstar sunguard 4.5- 2 gc2- for water pump 5.5 GPM 60 psi - 24v 5.5 gmp 60psi water pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher with the heayer disconnected and 168 degree water.
  • SusidoSusido Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭
    I have a pair of Honda EU2000i generators (paralleled), one about 9 years old and the other 8. US sourced because (at the time at least) Canadian models were not capable of being paralleled. So identical generators except the older one has a few more hours on it. Always maintained them the same and used synthetic oil in both. I've never drained the gas (do add stabilizer for the winter) and I think only 1 spark plug change over the years. Fortunately no ethanol gas available here. 

    But starting about 5 years ago, the older one developed a nasty oil leak (no idea from where) and now burns oil as well. It still works well as long as I add oil every few days. I found I can slow down the oil leak some by using conventional diesel oil (15W-40) so that's what I've been doing for a couple of years now. The other generator still gets 5W-30 synthetic and is just fine. So while I'm very pleased with how these generators have worked, that oil leak has done some interesting things to the shop floor. I've wondered if it's feasible to have the leaking generator engine rebuilt but now that it also burns oil, I'm thinking it's too late for that. 
    Seasonally off-grid ... 468 Ahrs @ 48V (8 Rolls S-605 6v FLA batteries),  24 x 130watt panels, 6 x 260watt panels, 2 x Midnite Classic 150, Whizbang Jr., Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger, 2 x Honda eu2000i generators paralleled.


  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2016 #457
    If it's just leaking from the case, tear it down and find it. If it's burning oil and leaking thats different. The dollars and cents of it, it's probably makes more sense to buy a new one. There is a procedure to de-carbonize  the cylinder in the service manual. A short block is $450 + labor. For $900 here you can get a new one with 3 year warranty. At 8-9 years it seems to me a new one is a better deal.

    I have one that burns a little oil, it had a short block under warranty, but it still burned a little. Best I can tell is not to run it all day on ECO throttle, let it run some each day with the ECO off for 30 minutes or so a day.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    There is a procedure to de-carbonize  the cylinder in the service manual.
    Yes, according to the manual it must be done every 300 hours.  Details here.  In the post it says "attachment not found", but the attachments are there at the bottom of the first post.

    I haven't cleaned the combustion chamber on mine ever, and I have unknown 1000's of hours on it (10 years old).

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • kaipo_boykaipo_boy Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭

    Holy smoke!  This forum should be called The Honda eu2000 forum :)

    I have a basket case eu2000i from some rental operation on the mainland (I'm in Hawaii) that was advertised as 'broken not running'. Got it for cheap, but it was waaaaaaaaaaay worse than advertised and the guy finally refunded me on the auction. He didn't want it back. So saying, the thing if trashed, piston and/or conrod was fractured, I don't remember other than being PO'd at the internal condition; but if anyone wants some obscure parts, give me a holler and if it still has one of those, I'll send it to ya for the cost of the shipping. Be advised it is in VERY bad condition and high hours. But whaddaya expect for free?  Merry Christmas!

    aloha from Hawaii,

    walt

  • kaipo_boykaipo_boy Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭
    Oh, by the by, I bought a couple of lil green Ryobi 2200 inverters about a year back (with the parallel kit, which is still in the box unused, have never needed 4kw). They have been so-so; they are definitely not as quiet as an eu2000i, but also at half the price (at the time) I figured I can put up with a little bit of noise and I'll feel much better about the price I paid.  I use them every weekend to power my popcorn popper (long story). Starts are almost never one-pull starts, they seem to average 4-5 pulls but DON'T HAVE A MANUAL FUEL PETCOCK, which I think was a big mistake.... or rather, the fuel petcock is integrated into the on/off sliding plastic easily-breakable switch, which you cannot turn off to run dry as turning it also grounds the high tension lead so kills the engine before it uses the fuel in the carb.  But we have ethanol here which is horrible to everything that has internal combustion.  I have noticed a new breed of fuel injected small generators coming out.... Yamaha has them, yes? Anyone care to comment on how these newfangled ones run? I'm curious.  Obviously they have no choke, so that's a biggie... but I dunno if I would dump the Ryobis just to get fuel injection.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 613 ✭✭✭✭

    4 pole is typically used on diesels because diesel engine torque typically peaks around 1600 to 1800 RPM.

    2 pole is typically used on gas motors because they start to make good power around 3600 RPM and that is usually where their torque peaks. At 1800 RPM most gas motors are barely making any power, so the motors need to be overly large or on a pulley system.

    Most generators are direct drive.

    If you were just to stick a 4 pole generator in a machine built for 2 pole, got the speed correct (talking about a direct drive here) then the power it puts out will likely be more than cut in half.

    I am thinking with the kolher generator in the link that spins at 2,200 its has a pulley and belt system and it uses a 4 pole generator, but has an option for a heavier duty 4 pole generator. It may have a 2 pole generator and the 4 pole option uses a different size belt and pulley.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 537 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2016 #462
    After many hours, years ago I had an eu2000 rebuilt (burning oil).

    Started burning oil again not long after. Haven't had much success rebuilding them.

    Went ahead and bought another one.  Great reliable little units!
    Ranch Off Grid System: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, Rastra House Construction, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2016 #463
    Just reading some of the above, as far as belt driven gensets, Kubota, belts are  a real pain, hard to keep speed for Hz, and the belts are  $$ esp Kubota, proprietary item, $80 a set. I did work out a local belt that worked with some adjustments but it would only last a short while, so $ was not much different.
  • SusidoSusido Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭
    There seems to be an ever-growing number of Honda 2000W inverter generator clones on the market with parallel capability. Can anyone hazard a guess if I could use one of these -http://www.amazon.com/Pulsar-PG2000iS-Portable-Gas-Powered-Generator/dp/B00YFT914I - in parallel with an existing Honda 2000ei using an existing Honda parallel kit?



    Seasonally off-grid ... 468 Ahrs @ 48V (8 Rolls S-605 6v FLA batteries),  24 x 130watt panels, 6 x 260watt panels, 2 x Midnite Classic 150, Whizbang Jr., Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger, 2 x Honda eu2000i generators paralleled.


  • eastopiaeastopia Registered Users Posts: 2
    Hi I have a off grid set up on my house and have purchased a beaver diesel 6kva generator modified sine wave to run the house and charge the battery's through the inverter on those no sun winter days but the inverter won't accept the power from the generator and I have to run the house of the beaver generator separate, then get my Honda eu2000which is to small to run the house and charge the battery's but the inverter will accept that so I use it to charge the battery's do I need to get a new larger pure sine wave generator or is there something I can purchase to fix the diesel modified sine wave? Any help would be appreciated
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Does you inverter have Hz display  input? are you getting over/under speed warnings?  I found diesels more of  a pain to kepp the Hz right. I guess you know you can alter the Hz  by adjusting the speed nut on the throttle linkage. What inverter do you have?  I have never had an inverter that would accept gen power if the speed was right, even the  old MSW ones
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Get an Iota "inexpensive" charger?

    http://www.solar-electric.com/batteries-meters-accessories/bach2.html

    You can try placing a 100 Watt filament lamp (or a smaller electric space heater) on the genset output--Sometimes that is enough to stabilize the voltage and frequency.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • eastopiaeastopia Registered Users Posts: 2
    The generator and inverter have lcd displays and is putting out 50hz give or take 3hz the inverter is a eBay brand MPK pv18-5k color red, but seems to work well except like the generator because the HZ looks fine the only difference I could see was the eu2000 is pure sine wave and thought it might be a fussy inverter and need a pure sine wave generator, I contacted the seller and they said any generator should work tho. thanks silicone I will try fine adjusting the throttle, thanks bb I will try the small heater as well
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Never heard of a mod sine wave generator.  By default generators/alternators produce a sine wave.  Even my low tech ST head is mostly a sine wave and my inverter qualifies it fine. And only a 5 hz spread no load-full load, it's all in the governor quality, not the fuel type.

    Now my new Robin/Subaru/Hatz generator has a barely 3kw head and lousy Power Factor.  It too, gets qualified by the inverter, but if I load it very much, the electronic pump controller goes into protection mode.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    Never heard of a mod sine wave generator. 
    There was a document on the internet (referred to here) that I once read, but don't have a copy of.  If I recall correctly, they had a section on MSW generators.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    I once had a Subaru 5500watt diesel generator.  It worked with the inverter only after making a throttle adjusting setup.  The original Hz running was about 64hz unloaded, all over the place loaded.  The workaround entailed drilling a hole in the bottom plate of the frame and installing a long bolt with a couple of nuts on it which touched the throttle/engine cutoff lever.  With the unit running (wearing headphones, diesel one cylinders are noisy!) you could adjust the throttle lever throw with the new bolt to acheive a slower engine speed as seen on a Kill a watt meter.  Worked fine.  Traded it for some landscaping work.

    Present emergency generator unit is Yamaha 2800i.  Works well for RV and home emergency charging/backup if the utility is down and the 10kw Nissan diesel is down (never so far).

    Ralph
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    Never heard of a mod sine wave generator.  By default generators/alternators produce a sine wave.  Even my low tech ST head is mostly a sine wave and my inverter qualifies it fine. And only a 5 hz spread no load-full load, it's all in the governor quality, not the fuel type.

    Now my new Robin/Subaru/Hatz generator has a barely 3kw head and lousy Power Factor.  It too, gets qualified by the inverter, but if I load it very much, the electronic pump controller goes into protection mode.

    Mike if you were refering to my post, I was talking about MSW inverters, like wise I have not heard of MSW gennys, just ones with various degrees of clean wave form, getting out of my knowledge area, I am limited to 33 years of usage to draw from,  the how and why is often a mystry to me. :)
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    The lighting & grip website has been revamped, but I found the generator page.  It's basically talking about cheap inverter generators having square and mod sine output, and that even PSW inverter and conventional generators, seeing strangely reactive loads instead of "old style" restive loads, are unable to provide sine waves and the loading distorts the waveform (much as I have experienced with my new small robin/subaru/hatz genset)  it's very interesting and should be required reading.
    http://www.screenlightandgrip.com/html/emailnewsletter_generators.html#anchorSquare Wave Generators

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    The lighting & grip website has been revamped, but I found the generator page.
    Good work Mike!  I spent 30 minutes at the site looking for it... the link I referred to is broken.   By the way, Mike, I posted that link on another forum a few years ago in a thread you participated in.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,249 ✭✭✭✭
    They seem to have added a LOT of stuff to it, and it's worth keeping around
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • inMichiganinMichigan Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭
    My dream (fantasy?) generator would be a quiet DC unit putting out 2 to 3 kw at 65 to 120 VDC, diesel, remote electric start.  I would route that power through an additional Outback FlexMAX 60 so that the programming to charge my lithium bank is the same logic & programming (and lessons learned) as when I use the sun.   The reason for taking DC is that when my Radians are fed by the generator, the generator has to take on the full load of the house, this drives the AC generator to be as large as the typical peak, instead of sized to the average.  

    I believe the yatch/marine venue is where I would find this.   I have not come across a single unit that combines the low KW with the high voltage.   Most marine seem to be in the 48 VDC range.   My bank currently runs in the 56 to 59 VDC range.

    Anybody know of a model that fits my 'dream'?

    inMichigan
    42 SP-335's (14.1kw) ->   4 FLEXmax 80's /  100 AH CALB /  FLEXnet DC  /  MATE3  -> 2 Radian GS8048A and watched over by Vantage Pro 2+ PWS
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,811 ✭✭✭✭

    inMI..,

    Using a DC generator can make sense.  One disadvantage of using a DC genset,  is that it really must be located near the batteries.

    It can be a very bad idea to try to use an MPPT CC,  like the FM-60 with its power source from a power supply (like a genset),  that can deliver a large amount of current,  during Fault conditions.

    The FM CCs have a maximum input current Limit  --   stated as the total Isc on the input source cannot exceed 80% of the maximum output current rating of the CC.  For the FM-60  this Isc Limit is 48 ADC.

    If you feel that you MUST do this,  try to keep the input voltage to the CC fairly close to Vbat.   MPPT CCs do need some headroom for the input voltage,  but with a genset,  this headroom may not need to be that mush above maximum battery voltage ...   and so on.

    Have used a DC power supply,  feeding an MX-60,  but the input voltage was not much above the 48 volt battery bank.

    Just opinions,  Good Luck,   Vic


    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • inMichiganinMichigan Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭
    Thanks Vic, always looking for feedback.  

    I was thinking to use the wind/hydro mode as a way to raise the DC input voltage and minimize the current.   The CC would go beside my others.  The FM manual said it could step down, and needs some head space.  It can not step up.  If the generator's voltage was on the low end of my proposed range, you're right, I'd want to put it closer to the CC.  Being a dream, $ is not a constraint, so, FM-80 would upsize the current ability.  

    Since I'm trying to minimize the size of the generator (so it runs at it's most efficient load), I assumed I would stay away from too much current, I was actually worried about the other end.  Assuming the bank is near low voltage cutoff, it can readily absorb all current available from the CC which in turn will load down the generator unti it stalls.  This can be solved by setting the maximum charging limit.  In the FM's, I know there is such a parameter because when I was first bring my lithiums on-line, I used it to throttle the current way down until I was ready to fly.  (being grid tie hybrid, the batteries see very little in/out so long as the grid is up)

    Another solution, slightly more manual in operating (ok for me, not so for family), would be to use a small, quiet efficient Honda Eu to generate 110 VAC to power a battery charger as a way to add energy into the bank without the generator needing to be sized to carry the whole AC load.  I could give that try with my current generator & charger.  

    Will I do this, not anytime soon,plenty of other projects on the list.  My current "old" generator runs fine, it's limitation is the need to manually slide the choke to get it to start. Therefore, I don't have any 'auto gen' mode.   Currently, we don't lose power often enough to be a problem.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to type up your thoughts.  The forum seems rather quiet these days, perhaps because it's summer, not because people have lost interest in solar.

    inMichigan
    42 SP-335's (14.1kw) ->   4 FLEXmax 80's /  100 AH CALB /  FLEXnet DC  /  MATE3  -> 2 Radian GS8048A and watched over by Vantage Pro 2+ PWS
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 629 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016 #479
    Another solution, slightly more manual in operating (ok for me, not so for family), would be to use a small, quiet efficient Honda Eu to generate 110 VAC to power a battery charger as a way to add energy into the bank without the generator needing to be sized to carry the whole AC load.  I could give that try with my current generator & charger.  
    This is exactly what I do and for the same reason. We have a Honda EU2000i and that feeds a iota DLS-54-13.  We also have another "dumb" 6 amp 48v charger as well.  The Honda can power the iota and dump the 13 amps at 48v in to the bank with the Honda just slightly above it's slow idle and most of the time this is more than the house is using so it charges the bank this way.  I can then add that additional 48v 6 amp charger as well and the Honda is still not running at max speed but noticeably louder.

    Being in Wisconsin I added a 3/4 flange and exhaust pipe to the Honda, which feeds through our attached insulated garage wall inside a 1 1/4" pipe.  The advantage is can run the genset in any weather and it's easy for me to start and monitor and the added bonus of getting the waste heat to warm up the garage a bit in winter.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    As always--The standard warning about Carbon Monoxide (CO) in enclosed spaces... A leaking exhaust pipe/breaker tube/etc.) can quickly release lethal CO levels into an enclosed space.

    Also--Fuel leaks/fuel hoses&pumps/stored fuel in attached garages/generator sheds are a danger too.

    Be careful. Use Smoke/CO/Explosive Gas detector where needed.

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Brock said:
    Being in Wisconsin I added a 3/4 flange and exhaust pipe to the Honda, which feeds through our attached insulated garage wall inside a 1 1/4" pipe.
    Sounds dangerous.  Sort of like this setup:
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/13813/heating-bathroom-with-a-portable-generator




    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
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