Gasoline vs Diesel generators

stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
Shortly after the CC blew up, my generator failed too :cry: so I'm looking for a new generator and for budget reasons can only afford the 3000rpm models. My solar and battery system are both slightly too big for our consumption and since the new year when we moved in, we've never had to start the generator (well until the bl..dy CC blew!). So the use will really be for the rainy weeks in spring - I'm estimating about 300 hours/year max runtime. And since it's only for these emergency uses, I'd just use it to bring the batts up from 50% to 80%, which is 288Ah =~ 15kWh per run. So something like 3kW continuous for 5 hours.
Diesel costs about 30% less than gasoline here, but then a diesel genset costs more upfront. Also, I've been told that the 3000rpm diesels are not that reliable - not matter the make - and that I'd be better off with a cheaper gasoline unit with lower upfront costs, even though the fuel costs more. I really do prefer diesel, but don't want to get a 3000rpm machine that will give me problems down the road. Opinions welcome :)

P.S. I know a lot of you like the inverter gens, but I'm not considering them because I will always be running the generator at a fixed load during bulk charging only, so no need for throttling to save fuel.

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,398 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators

    Tow questions, first how big a genny, running what size load?

    Second, why did the CC and genny quit at near the same time? If electrical failure,, are they related?

    Personally I would shy away from 3000 rpm diesels. At 300 hours, the fuel price difference is sort of minimal.

    Tony
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators
    icarus wrote: »
    Tow questions, first how big a genny, running what size load?
    My charger can accept 100A max - and I need to charge about 15kWh into the bank, so each run could be anywhere between 6kW load for 2.5 hours, or a 2.5kW load for 6 hours.
    icarus wrote: »
    Second, why did the CC and genny quit at near the same time? If electrical failure,, are they related?

    They are related through time ;) On friday the morningstar blew, so I decided to start up the gen for the first time in 6 months on saturday - starter motor failed - so I shut down the electronic safety system so that I could hand crank it - then didn't switch the safety system back on again. Left it for an hour, and the cooling system failed.... = overheat = oil and coolant all over everything and an almost siezed cylinder. It's a PoS I bought from India and don't want to waste anymore time or money on it.
    icarus wrote: »
    Personally I would shy away from 3000 rpm diesels. At 300 hours, the fuel price difference is sort of minimal.

    Yeah, that's what I've heard too. Just spoke to another generator manufacturer who said they'd only recommend the 3000 diesels for max 2 hours runtime at a stretch.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,398 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators

    See what you may be able to find on the used market? If you could get your hands on a 1500 rpm air cooled Lister would be great.

    Failing that, since you are in Spain, (240 vac/50 Hz I assume) I don't have any real suggestions.

    Tony
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators

    If I was looking for long term solution, I'd head to the waterfront and find a Marine 1500 RPM generator and put a radiator and fan on it. Sometimes you can find a new one that someone removed to up-grade the size of. I have converted a few to ground mounts with a Car Radiator and 12 V fan, a couple brackets, muffler and hoses, your good to go. Over here they are easy to find in the 4-6 KW range. Replacement parts are easy to come by for them. The 230 V , 50 hz will be 1500 RPM, The 240 V 60 hz will be 1800 RPM. Most of the major Manufacturers can be used either way. Check First before you buy. If you have a pond or a free water supply, you don't have to change anything. I'v used one hooked to a swimming pool, free heat in the winter. You could add a heat exchanger and heat your house with the waste heat.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators

    If you go with diesel, make sure your fixed load is above 50% of the genset's rating. If your CC is PF corrected I would take it to 80%.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators

    Thanks all, I've decided to go for the cheaper gasoline gen for the moment, one with a real honda engine - then monitor it's use throughout the year, and if I'm using it too much then decide on either more PV or a 1500rpm diesel unit.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators
    stephendv wrote: »
    Thanks all, I've decided to go for the cheaper gasoline gen for the moment, one with a real honda engine - then monitor it's use throughout the year, and if I'm using it too much then decide on either more PV or a 1500rpm diesel unit.
    Sounds like a plan. Look close on how the output panel is wired so you can get the outputs you need. Having 5000 watts and the biggest power cord limited to 20-30 amp plug and breaker makes it no sense on some of them.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators
    Sounds like a plan. Look close on how the output panel is wired so you can get the outputs you need. Having 5000 watts and the biggest power cord limited to 20-30 amp plug makes it no sense on some of them.

    That's the magic of 230V ;) 5000W is only 20A.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Gasoline vs Diesel generators
    stephendv wrote: »
    That's the magic of 230V ;) 5000W is only 20A.
    I agree, it is. I don't know what you using, 230, 50 hz or 240, 60 hz on two legs. WE started out talking 1800 rpm , and then switched to 1500 RPM. Is you Line one or two legs. There is someone from the Philippines that has some really weird power setup.
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