Demonstration of Generator Support

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  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    We have two of these, you'd think there is no way it can cook on 210 Watt's. It's amazing, but it works great. The hot Plate makes a griddle and is great for eggs and pancakes. I cook Pork Butt's in them all the time. The pot is aluminum and you can use it on the stove to warm up.


    5 quart capacity
    Removable cookwell
    Non-stick interior
    Adjustable temperature control
    Safe for use in the oven, on the stovetop, in the freezer or refrigerator
    Heating base doubles as a light-duty griddle
    Keep Warm setting to keep meals at a food safe temperature for serving
    210 watts, 120 volts, AC only
    UL and cUL listed
    1-year mfr. warranty

    http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/461687-west-bend-oblong-slow-cooker.html?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&gclid=CPemq-rR6LQCFbKiPAodchYAmA
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Cool. It's good to know that other off-grid folks have discovered the convenience and efficiency of some of these electric appliances :D

    My wife's Hamilton Beach slow cooker has heating elements all around the outside of a very heavy ceramic cooking vessel and it draws the 1350 watts for only a short time to get it up to temperature right away. Once that heavy ceramic vessel is hot it only cycles on for about a minute maybe once every half hour or so. I've always been impressed with the efficiency of it because it cooks more like an oven with the whole cooking vessel heated evenly.

    That thing with the built-in griddle on it looks nice too. What is the pot made of? Does it transfer heat to the whole pot of food really good?
    --
    Chris
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Cool. It's good to know that other off-grid folks have discovered the convenience and efficiency of some of these electric appliances :D

    My wife's Hamilton Beach slow cooker has heating elements all around the outside of a very heavy ceramic cooking vessel and it draws the 1350 watts for only a short time to get it up to temperature right away. Once that heavy ceramic vessel is hot it only cycles on for about a minute maybe once every half hour or so. I've always been impressed with the efficiency of it because it cooks more like an oven with the whole cooking vessel heated evenly.

    That thing with the built-in griddle on it looks nice too. What is the pot made of? Does it transfer heat to the whole pot of food really good?
    --
    Chris
    The pot is aluminum and you can use it on the stove to warm up, It's Teflon Lined. The way hot Plate is made the heat is very even. We have a old ceramic Crock Pot and food will sometimes stick in it, not this one. I thought the thing would be another small appliance shoved on a shelf. The Lid is Glass with a SS band. I usually don't get excited about stuff in the Kitchen, but this is easy on my batteries and food is great.

    The first one we got came with a boat we bought. I told my wife not to use it, that it'd draw to many amp's. One day I was wanting to keep some coffee hot and I got it out. I looked at the bottom and saw 210 Watts, I am thinking, no way. I plugged it in and looked at the Battery monitor and it was about right. Of course I caught heck for telling her not to use it and I was...lol

    P.S. I ordered a GFX and a Mate 2 today from OutBack..... We'll see how it goes.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    P.S. I ordered a GFX and a Mate 2 today from OutBack..... We'll see how it goes.

    Then you'll join the small group that is using generator support :cool:

    Frankly, I haven't run into, or heard of, very many people who use it. Lots have the equipment, but why they don't use it is sort of a mystery to me. I'm interested in hearing how that GFX works with it with your setup. One thing that is pretty important in using it is that the inverter must have substantial overload capacity to handle the heavy load until the generator arrives on the scene to help out. Looking at the specs on the GFX, it looks pretty stout for overload capacity.
    --
    Chris
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,121 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Then you'll join the small group that is using generator support :cool:

    Frankly, I haven't run into, or heard of, very many people who use it. Lots have the equipment, but why they don't use it is sort of a mystery to me.
    Chris

    I am not sure that many people are using an autostart-capable generator. Generator support with a manual start generator is more work and is really best when you have heavy loads you can use at controlled times (like a welder.)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    This guy is making remote start kits for the EU2000, and it seems to me that's the right size generator for a GFX:
    http://www.pinellaspowerproducts.com/view/HEU2000isF/

    --
    Chris
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Unfortunately for me the only generator I can Auto Start is a 20 KW and thats the reason I am putting in a Duel Inverter / Generator system. I have been looking at a 3 kw that I can auto start, but I'd like to see how this thing transitions the loads. If it doesn't work like I want it to, I'll make a loaner out of it.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    This guy is making remote start kits for the EU2000, and it seems to me that's the right size generator for a GFX:
    http://www.pinellaspowerproducts.com/view/HEU2000isF/

    --
    Chris
    Wow, that is neat, bring on another $800........ Maybe Honda will want it, I doubt it. I have a patent on a item for a Mazda and they blew me off since they didn't think of it, mean while I sold 6,000 of them with word of mouth sales.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,877 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Or... if you have a 3000i use the $329 kit http://www.pinellaspowerproducts.com/view/HEUREMOTEKIT3/ ..I think the $500 difference would buy you a 3000i over the 2000i if you need a bit more power.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Am I missing something here, but doesnt the Outback Range cover generator support admirably.
    If has auto genstart for voltage settings 24 hr 2 hr and 2 minutes
    Must Run Time Settings,weekday and week end
    Auto Exercise settings
    State of battery charge settings with a Flex Net DC installed.
    Plus Load Start.Stop

    Ive set up several OB units to come on at set high loads and shut down when the load drops.time adjustable.
    Plus you can programme the mate for Max AC Gen in amps, that will then back off the charging of the batteries if the AC load approaches this setting.
    Maybe not everything the good old SW will do ( I used to have one) but just about covers most off gridders requests, plus you can still get spare parts for Outbacks . The SOC facility with the FNDC is a neat function as it allows you to top up just to the right amount before going into absorb and wasting fuel !!!
    Seems to me that the VFX FX is not lacking much in off grid gen support.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    Seems to me that the VFX FX is not lacking much in off grid gen support.

    All an Outback FX can do is pass-thru generator support. Therefore for any loads that exceed inverter capacity, it requires an over-sized generator to run the load because the two can't work together to power it.

    True generator support is the ability to use a generator that's too small for the load, with an inverter that's also too small for the load, and be able to power the load using combined inverter and generator power. It basically allows you to use a generator that's sized correctly for battery charging to get best fuel consumption per amp-hour into the batteries, and not be required to size the generator to run the biggest loads.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    "Generator support" is a function that enables the inverter to add power to the generator's output when necessary. It sees the gen as it would grid power, syncs to it, and feeds in current as needed. If not needed then the inverter draws from the gen to recharge the batteries. It is a bi-direction connection between the inverter and generator on the AC IN side; the gen can feed the inverter and loads or the gen and inverter can feed loads.

    This is not the same as the standard off-grid autogen-start function which only allows the gen to take on loads and supply power for recharging batteries. This is a uni-directional connection on the AC IN side; either the gen feeds the inverter and loads or it doesn't.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    OK I understand this, and yes I can see its plus points but it also has its down sides, A smaller generator like a EU2000 cannot charge a battery at the full capacity of a SW5048,probably not even 50% of the Sw charging ability. even a less powered VFX3048 charger at full charge will take 10 amps AC 2400 watts " 240v , so when it comes to charging it will take longer with the smaller generator.

    A generator matched to the clients needs running around 70 75% capacity with little loads on days when the renewables have not delivered. Also allows a little excess for running suitable AC loads to take up the slack.

    I run my generator less than 100 hours in 2012. Its a 4.5 kw 1500 rpm diesel, full auto start with manufaturer built in safety system shut downs, I can charge my battery at full spec of the VFX 45 amps 2400 watts and be running around 400 watts of loads TV, Sat Box lights and such and have the option (luxury) to run the washing machine or put the aircon on to bring it up to around 80%-90% load.
    Yes like Vic I use LPG for cooking water heating, The 1500 rpm genny uses about 1,5 pints of red diesel an hour, more economical than an EU2000 on full tilt.... So yes I can seen using a small genny and load assist having added value it doent mean it will be more economical than a well balanced alternative.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    The advantage is when most of your loads are small so you do not need large capacity inverter and/or generator but there's one or two loads used on occasion which can be supported by the inverter and generator acting in concert.

    No two off-grid situations are the same. Having options means more people can find a combination that works for them.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    nigtomdaw wrote: »

    I run my generator less than 100 hours in 2012. Its a 4.5 kw 1500 rpm diesel, full auto start with manufaturer built in safety system shut downs, I can charge my battery at full spec of the VFX 45 amps 2400 watts and be running around 400 watts of loads TV, Sat Box lights and such and have the option (luxury) to run the washing machine or put the aircon on to bring it up to around 80%-90% load.
    Yes like Vic I use LPG for cooking water heating, The 1500 rpm genny uses about 1,5 pints of red diesel an hour, more economical than an EU2000 on full tilt.... So yes I can seen using a small genny and load assist having added value it doent mean it will be more economical than a well balanced alternative.
    Wow, thats the kind of generator I need, do you mind telling us who makes it ?? It would be nice to have one here, all the ones I seem to find in that size have a 10 hp engine.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,873 admin
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    Wow, thats the kind of generator I need, do you mind telling us who makes it ?? It would be nice to have one here, all the ones I seem to find in that size have a 10 hp engine.

    The one thing missing from Nigel's Signature. ;)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    OK I understand this, and yes I can see its plus points but it also has its down sides, A smaller generator like a EU2000 cannot charge a battery at the full capacity of a SW5048,probably not even 50% of the Sw charging ability.

    For a bigger inverter you would need a bigger generator. I feel that the generator should be sized to the charger or the battery bank, whichever is smaller. And that the generator should be running at full rated capacity, not 75% with "reserve" left over for loads. If you have an inverter with generator support you don't need that "reserve" for loads.

    What this does long term is save a lot of fuel by running a smaller generator at full rated capacity vs running a larger one at partial capacity. If you over size your generator past what the inverter charger needs there will be times when you are charging the bank with it and the "reserve" that you have in your generator for the extra loads will not be needed. You are wasting fuel by running a generator at less than peak efficiency.

    Now let's say that you have an intermittent 6 kW load that you need to power. With the FX-series inverter you can't power that load unless you have a 6 kW generator. With the SW-series inverter you can power that 6 kW load with a 2 kW generator.

    With generator support and the above mentioned 6 kW load, as long as you size your generator to either supply full charging amps from the inverter or C/10, which ever is smaller, you can get by with the smaller generator and keep it at full rated load during all times except the absorb charge stage.

    Without generator support and the above mentioned 6 kW load, you have no choice but to buy and run a 6 kW generator that's only going to do the job of a 4 kW generator better than 95% of the time.

    We put on roughly 450 hours of generator time in 2012. However, our system powers not only the house, but also my machine shop with lathe, vertical Bridgeport mill, CNC Plaz table, crankshaft grinder, and all the other normal shop tools like grinders, drill presses, welders, air compressor, etc.. So we can typically use upwards of 30 kWh/day and the generator supplies roughly 1.6 MW worth of peak load power during a year's time to run all that high-load equipment in my shop, plus our full-electric home.

    Today, as an example, we had plenty of RE power without running the generator at all for the house. But it still ran about 4 hours because I threw a 4 x 8 sheet of 3/16" steel on the plaz table and cut a bunch of parts out of it. With all the lights in the shop and the plaz going, plus the air compressor to supply air to the plaz, plus the loads in the house, it exceeds what the inverter can deliver continuous so it starts the generator to help out.
    --
    Chris
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    Wow, thats the kind of generator I need, do you mind telling us who makes it ?? It would be nice to have one here, all the ones I seem to find in that size have a 10 hp engine.

    While I was shopping for a new gen, I only found a few engines smaller than 6kW running at 1500rpm: Perkins, Kubota, Yanmar and Lister-Petter. Expect to pay upwards of $7000 for new units, that's a hell of a lot of gasoline Honda's ;)
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    1500 rpm would be a 50 Hz European unit. US versions with the same four pole generator and engine will run at 1,800.
    --
    Chris
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Stephen, you just need to know where to look. PS being an installer and the exodus of Ex Pats back to UK from Spain Helps:p
    Bill ... Its been awhile since I was here last, Ill update my Sig :blush:

    Well my generator does exist its a
    Gesan (Spanish Assembler) 4.5 kw 5kVA 1500 Rpm Diesel Genset with a Deutz Engine and a Gensan Auto Start Unit Aircooled.
    It has 2300 hours on the clock I bought it with 2200 hours last year.
    It came with a 125 Gallon Fuel Tank with 50 gallon of Diesel included.
    Since Ive owned it Ive replaced the external fuel pump, packed up after 20 hours
    Also replaced the brushes in the starter motor, due to fuel leak contamination turned them to jelly.
    New Starter $500 bucks, ouch....... New brushes $45:roll:

    The really good news was it was $900 all in including the diesel and tank

    !Attachment not found.Attachment not found.Attachment not found.Attachment not found.Attachment not found.

    Pictures taken fresh today not from my imagination
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    1500 rpm would be a 50 Hz European unit. US versions with the same four pole generator and engine will run at 1,800.
    --
    Chris
    Thats true, @ 1500 rpm it becomes a de-rated 5 KW. I want that Fuel consumption, that's amazing.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,873 admin
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    Hi Nigel. Yes, we have missed you here. Hope all is well with you and the family.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    the generator should be running at full rated capacity, not 75% with "reserve" left over for loads.

    My general instinct is that for longest lifespan things should not be routinely pushed to their limits. Like any general rule it has exceptions. Presumably you feel that your Honda generator is an exception. Or perhaps you feel (as many do about batteries) that it is more economical ($ per kwh) to work them harder and replace them more often.

    --vtMaps
    BB. wrote: »
    The neat thing that Chris is doing is running his generator at something like 80% or so of its rated output near 100% of its run time.
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    Thats true, @ 1500 rpm it becomes a de-rated 5 KW. I want that Fuel consumption, that's amazing.

    The only problem with those little diesels is that if anything goes wrong with the fuel system (pump usually) be prepared to spend what the engine costs to fix it. And those little air-cooled diesels are impressively NOT quiet. I got a Hatz 1B here that I fixed and was going to build a DC generator with it. Except the noise is so bad I gave up on it and bought a Honda GX160 for my DC generator project instead. With the Hatz and the Honda running side by side you can't even tell the Honda is running while the Hatz vibrates like a paint shaker and sounds like somebody beating on a sheet a 1/4" steel with a ball peen hammer.
    --
    Chris
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    That's a good find, Nigel. Gesan quoted me about $4000 for a new air cooled lombardini unit. $900 for a Deutz is pretty sweet :)
    If you ever need a 5kW 1500 rpm alternator, I have one spare.

    Our Honda has a grand total of 20 hours on it for the whole year, hope to cut it down even further with more solar in the near future. New year's resolution: don't spend any more money on mechanical things.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    vtmaps wrote: »
    My general instinct is that for longest lifespan things should not be routinely pushed to their limits.

    The nice thing about the Honda is that it has a prime (continuous) power rating of 3.6 kVA, a maximum (1 hour) rating of 4 kVA, and a surge (iAVR 10 second) rating of 5 kVA. It is impossible to hurt that generator at 3.6 kVA output and that is where it is tuned for peak efficiency. When we bought it I did a controlled load test at prime power driving a resistive load and measured the fuel consumption at 13,900 BTU/kWh. That's only about 2-3% less efficient than most diesels and gasoline costs only $3.09/gallon while off-road dyed-red #2 low sulfur diesel fuel is $3.69/gallon.

    We don't get quite that in the real world, because it's impossible to keep it at 100% rated load all the time. But we're really close with the setup we got. Way closer than what we had with dual inverters and a 6 kW generator, being our fuel cost (total out of pocket) is roughly 65% of what it was with the LP generator.

    The point I wanted to make for people who lust after small diesel generators is that they're typically not cheaper to run. Repair costs are excessive on them, upfront cost is high, and the price per BTU of gasoline is usually better as compared to #2 diesel. Great strides have been made in improving the thermal efficiency of spark ignition engines over the last 20 years while the thermal efficiency of diesel technology has not improved very much in the last century. Most modern spark ignition gasoline-fueled automotive engines approach diesel engine thermal efficiency. And it appears to me that Honda raised the bar with the electronically controlled iGX in small engines because it's the first of its kind that communicates with the machine it's driving to optimize efficiency and performance.
    --
    Chris
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    The only problem with those little diesels is that if anything goes wrong with the fuel system (pump usually) be prepared to spend what the engine costs to fix it. And those little air-cooled diesels are impressively NOT quiet. I got a Hatz 1B here that I fixed and was going to build a DC generator with it. Except the noise is so bad I gave up on it and bought a Honda GX160 for my DC generator project instead. With the Hatz and the Honda running side by side you can't even tell the Honda is running while the Hatz vibrates like a paint shaker and sounds like somebody beating on a sheet a 1/4" steel with a ball peen hammer.
    --
    Chris
    I'v been looking , but I can't find one that uses less than 1.1 liter @ 50% load & 1.9 Liter @ 100% load. I have a Yanmar it is pretty noisy.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,873 admin
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support

    BC4,

    At what output wattage?

    Finding any good quality/efficient/low power genset (especially configurable for remote start without spending $500 to $800 for the privileged) is tough.

    An electric start retrofit for $800 on a $1,000 eu2000i or a Honda SM4000SX for $2,300 +s&h...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    BB. wrote: »
    BC4,

    At what output wattage?

    Finding any good quality/efficient/low power genset (especially configurable for remote start without spending $500 to $800 for the privileged) is tough.

    An electric start retrofit for $800 on a $1,000 eu2000i or a Honda SM4000SX for $2,300 +s&h...

    -Bill
    They are rated 4.5 KW @ 1500 RPM & 8.8 hp and 5 KW @ 1800 RPM & 10 hp. The 4.5 kw is a de-rated 5 KW, same generator.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Demonstration of Generator Support
    I'v been looking , but I can't find one that uses less than 1.1 liter @ 50% load & 1.9 Liter @ 100% load. I have a Yanmar it is pretty noisy.

    That's because nothing comes for free in thermodynamics. Most gasoline engines will be up to 30% thermally efficient while a normally aspirated diesel will be about the same. Toyota has built some gasoline engines that are 45% thermally efficient. And turbocharged diesels can be in the 35-40% range.

    But when it comes to fuel consumption diesel fuel contains more energy per gallon than gasoline does. So two engines, one a spark ignition and the other a diesel at the same 30% efficiency will burn different amounts of fuel in gallons/hr - the diesel being less because the fuel is more energy dense. But that does not mean lower operating cost for the diesel because the diesel fuel is typically more expensive.
    --
    Chris
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