Choosing a good generator

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Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    softdown wrote: »
    I'm not sure that B & S gensets of the 70's were necessarily "cheap engines." Those "3300 watt" gensets cost about $450 in 70's currency. They seem to weigh twice as much. Sturdy, simple, and long lasting is how I see them.

    I have a fairly new Onan Homesite 3500 with very little use. A little bit of snow melted and some drops landed on it while it sat idly. Has not worked since. A few drops of water would not phase the old B & S engines.



    Complexity often equates to fragility. I'm not sure that true off gridders are well served with fragile electronics. Service guys seem to find ways to basically keep almost half of the stuff they are hired to repair.

    Jut for fun, describe how this genny "doesn't work". Does th e engine not run, or does the gen end not produce power, or something else? Just curious, as I would never suspect, " a few drops of snow melt" to kill a genny!

    Tony
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    BB, I always look at Costco reviews. I generally expect a review, or two, from a products competition. The reviews on Yamaha engine based genset are pretty acceptable (very good and a couple bad ones). Costco has a stunning returns program. They usually even smile as they refund your money. Though I will point out that the more money you spend, the better Costco treats you. Their employees as a lil bit elitist in that regard. Costco is a great company. They like their employees and their customers and it shows. Like Amazon, they just want to be a great business while making enough to stay in business. Already the #2 retailer in the country.

    [url]http://www.costco.com/Smarter-Tools-2000-watt-Parallel-Capable-Inverter-Generator-with-Yamaha®-Engine.product.100121916.html[/url]
    BB. wrote: »
    Before you purchase that 2000 genset from Costco--See if you can find some reviews.

    The last one that Cost sold in that class was from "Honeywell" (i.e., somebody paid Honeywell to use their name). The genset did not seem to run very long before there were more and more problems (and a mechanical replacement or so).

    The Honda eu2000i is not cheap (somewhere around $1,000 delivered) these days... But they are relatively reliable for a small genset (2-6,000 hours of run time--500 hours can be typical for the "cheap" genset before something breaks).

    Why many people end up with two gensets...

    One small/quiet/usually more fuel efficient for day to day operations (battery recharging during bad weather, run a few AC items if the inverter/battery bank fails, etc.). A second (typically larger), noisy, perhaps easier to fix for 2nd backup power source and running larger shop/power tools when needed.

    Becoming more of an issue as time goes on... Old stuff that was easy to repair and (for me) many times needed more fiddling to keep running. The newest stuff which is quiet and usually very reliable, but when it breaks is virtually impossible for tinkering type repairs and may not even worth repairing (replacing an inverter module, non-rebuildable engines, etc.).

    Add that states like California are requiring significant redesigns/new gensets/off grid gasoline and diesel motors to comply with new smog control laws. And more regulations/permits/hurdles for (or against) backup gensets in many cities. Add reforumlated fuels (with lots of alcohol and/or other "Fuels", low sulfur diesel) that can play havock with small/older engines.... Make your picks, take your chances. :cry:

    -Bill
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Tony, it has not the foggiest interest in starting. A bit of a problem for a genset I think. Used to start like a champ. Worked well when it didn't decide to put out only 55 volts. Pretty quiet due to large muffler. It was one of my favorite gensets. I like to have several because most gensets constantly fail under very heavy use.
    icarus wrote: »
    Jut for fun, describe how this genny "doesn't work". Does th e engine not run, or does the gen end not produce power, or something else? Just curious, as I would never suspect, " a few drops of snow melt" to kill a genny!

    Tony
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Glad to see Sears fighting but that isn't the same genset. Different brand and no mention of a Yamaha engine. Yamaha may not be Honda but they are pretty well reputed.
    westbranch wrote: »
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Spend way too much time and money at Costco already. Yes, they are very good with returns.

    Their gensets have been a mixed of good and bad. The Honeywell Inverter-Generator was bad.

    Give the new one a try and let us know how it works for you.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    softdown wrote: »
    Tony, it has not the foggiest interest in starting. A bit of a problem for a genset I think. Used to start like a champ. Worked well when it didn't decide to put out only 55 volts. Pretty quiet due to large muffler. It was one of my favorite gensets. I like to have several because most gensets constantly fail under very heavy use.

    Sounds like a puzzle to me. Too bad you aren't close, it might be a challenge to try to solve. The genny voltge issue sounds like a control issue, the engine an ignition issue?

    T
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    BB. wrote: »
    Spend way too much time and money at Costco already. Yes, they are very good with returns.

    Their gensets have been a mixed of good and bad. The Honeywell Inverter-Generator was bad.

    Give the new one a try and let us know how it works for you.

    -Bill

    Costco has carried a number of questionable generators. Some of these generators had brand names that used to be an assurance of quality. The issue is not necessarily Costco. The issue is that many household items, like generators, are more cheaply made every year. The modern business model is to grab a reputable brand name, hire a marketing wizard for advertising and packaging, then assign manufacturing to the lowest bid in China/Vietnam/etc. In other words, Promise the world and deliver crap. Many people won't have the warranty and sales receipt to allow for a return. When returns are made, I suspect the store often bites the bullet rather than the "manufacturer". The true manufacturer being the lowest bid somewhere in the heart of a Communist country.

    In fairness, the Chinese are fully capable of building quality products. They are often building to the specs of the importer who simply chose the lowest bid and hoped for the best. Enormous pressure is being exerted on manufacturers who still take pride in their products. Some have held on, many have capitulated to the modern business model: Spend the money on marketing and deliver cheap crap that looks fantastic.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    icarus wrote: »
    Sounds like a puzzle to me. Too bad you aren't close, it might be a challenge to try to solve. The genny voltge issue sounds like a control issue, the engine an ignition issue?

    T

    Starting problems are usually either spark or fuel related. My suspicion here is that the snow melt picked up a little roof dirt/dust and made the On/Off switch ineffective. Too bad it is pretty hard to access....I think. Have not tried yet.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    softdown wrote: »
    Glad to see Sears fighting but that isn't the same genset. Different brand and no mention of a Yamaha engine. Yamaha may not be Honda but they are pretty well reputed.

    Yamaha generators are garbage. Get a Honda.
    If you insist on getting a Yamaha then you might as well consider whats on clearance at Costco, northern tool or harbor freight as a prospect too.

    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.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    oil pan 4 wrote: »
    Yamaha generators are garbage. Get a Honda.
    If you insist on getting a Yamaha then you might as well consider whats on clearance at Costco, northern tool or harbor freight as a prospect too.

    Can't say that I have been here long. But this is the least credible post that I have read to date.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Ease up folks...

    We invite people to give their experiences and opinions. And "brand name" companies that try to trade on past history (Honeywell, or off brand gensets that have "Honda or Yamaha Powered" plastered all over the case--But not built by Honeywell/Honda/Yamaha certainly "pollutes" the pond and brand names).

    Add the issues of making a high volume, cheap, reliable, but virtually unrepairable device--We have gotten pretty used to that.

    Do you want a computer the size of desk, costs 10x more, with through hole parts, easier to debug and repair--Or a laptop/tablet computer with surface mount components, cheaply made (and lower power usage), that costs ~$150-$400 new, and is pretty much tossed away if anything goes bad (many devices are a pain to even replace batteries when they go bad).

    I designed computers and systems for office/telecom... Most people would not want to pay the prices we would get for everything "hot swappable", N+1 redundancy for their personal gear. Even the large companies rethink paying big bucks vs the "throwaway" systems.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Interesting story, my neighbor was recently bragging about how he had bought a "Honeywell...top of the line." Last time we spoke? He said "I have to rebuild my generator tomorrow." Had not seen too much use either.
    BB. wrote: »
    Spend way too much time and money at Costco already. Yes, they are very good with returns.

    Their gensets have been a mixed of good and bad. The Honeywell Inverter-Generator was bad.

    Give the new one a try and let us know how it works for you.

    -Bill
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    softdown wrote: »
    Can't say that I have been here long. But this is the least credible post that I have read to date.

    You seem to have an affinity for cheap garbage prone to break down so you should love this.
    Be my guest and waste your money on a yahama. Then when it breaks 6 months later and you cant just buy the actual part you need and you have to buy the next higher assembly which would be the entire engine to replace one part, remember I told you so.

    I don't know what happened with yahama generators. They make great bikes, ATVs, UTVs, snow machines and everything else but then totally screwed the pooch on single cylinder air cooled engines attached to generators.

    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.

  • ToManyTreesToManyTrees Registered Users Posts: 24
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    For the last fifteen years I have exclusively used Honda generators. In 2004 I bought a new eu2000i. About five years ago, a friend gave me another used eu2k (back-up) for cabin rent, said that it had around 3000 hrs on it. Summer before last, the (back-up) quit, (running Skilsaw) 3500hrs. ??? Broke the cord trying to start it, I gave up. This fall the 2004 quit, (running Microwave) & broke the cord trying to start it too. 8733hrs. from log book… Put my EU3000is in service.

    Tuesday I finally decided to tear them down. I must say that I hate that Case… this was the 7th time the cord on the 2004 has been replaced. Both units had spark, but little compression. Removed head/valve cover & rocker arms. Applied compressed air (spark plug hole) Both units have Burnt exhaust valves/seats. At this point I consider them spare parts for my next eu2000i. The cam is out of spec. on the 2004 and the timing belt is about to go.

    I run Mobil1 syn.. Elevation 3000ft. No carbon on piston or exh. valve stem. Exhaust valve & spark plug are light Tan. My thinking here is that the engines are running lean. The carburetor main jet should be a little bigger, time get out the jet drills. Another factor might be the cam lobe wear. As it wears down less valve lift opening, higher flame velocity. Your Thoughts please.

    I see people stating they have 14,000 … 19,000hrs. on these EU2000i’s. I didn’t make that, but I am still very happy with the life span of these little units, good generators.


    2004 Honda EU2000i, 8733hrs.

    honda2_zpsfcd19d92.jpg

    TMT / Paul
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Alcohol in gasoline may also make the engine run lean. In times past, Union 76 stations were supposed to be the only ones that did not use alcohol in their gasoline.

    I have also read that should use premium for stored gasoline (keeps better than regular)--May be another old wives tail (or old mechanics tail;)).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    oil pan 4 wrote: »
    You seem to have an affinity for cheap garbage prone to break down so you should love this.
    Be my guest and waste your money on a yahama. Then when it breaks 6 months later and you cant just buy the actual part you need and you have to buy the next higher assembly which would be the entire engine to replace one part, remember I told you so.

    I don't know what happened with yahama generators. They make great bikes, ATVs, UTVs, snow machines and everything else but then totally screwed the pooch on single cylinder air cooled engines attached to generators.

    Well....I see that you chose wisely by your recent post: "Just don't get a single cylinder gasoline powered screamer like I have.
    The fuel consumption is more or less catastrophic. Sucking down the entire contents of its 8.5 gallon fuel tank in 11 hours at..."

    I have a Kubota, Subaru-Robin, Onan, and several others. They all have pros and cons. Off grid gensets tend to break down quite often. That is why some manufacturers no longer warranty off grid gensets.

    Calm down guy. Maybe you need some flouride in your water?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Let's keep it on topic... Keep the flaming down.

    -Bill "moderator" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    BB. wrote: »
    Alcohol in gasoline may also make the engine run lean. In times past, Union 76 stations were supposed to be the only ones that did not use alcohol in their gasoline.

    I have also read that should use premium for stored gasoline (keeps better than regular)--May be another old wives tail (or old mechanics tail;)).

    -Bill

    Sometimes I have to choke my engine while running. I suspect excessive ethanol. We have a poster that said he could run pure ethanol/alcohol from his still if he choked the engine. He posted like a real genset expert.

    A lot of people buy premium for the gensets using the logic you mentioned. A possible shortcoming is that premium usually sits in the station storage tanks longer before being sold. I think they both tend to have about 10% ethanol. But we all know that batches vary every single time.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Alcohol needs a larger jet to run properly. Needs something like 2x the fuel flow.

    And a higher compression engine for better fuel economy (and possibly other changes).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Stoichiometric air fuel ratio for straight gasoline is 14.7 to 1.
    Stoich for ethanol is around 9 to 1.
    Stoich for methanol is like 6.5 to 1.

    So yeah you need almost double the fuel mass to run straight grain alcohol.

    For methanol fuel you can run 18:1 compression, no problem.
    For ethanol you can run 13 or 14:1 easy.

    Lucky for me I have a gas station down the road a mile or 3 that only sells ethanol free RUG.
    All the farmers and non DOT state owned gas powered vehicles fuel up there, so they sell a lot of product.

    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.

  • AuricTechAuricTech Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    BB. wrote: »
    Alcohol needs a larger jet to run properly. Needs something like 2x the fuel flow.

    And a higher compression engine for better fuel economy (and possibly other changes).

    -Bill

    IIRC, gaskets, hoses and the like also need to be ethanol-tolerant (which would explain why vehicle manufacturers have objected to EPA proposals to allow [and possibly mandate] the sale of E-20 fuel).
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    And butanol is too rare to use.
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    oil pan 4 wrote: »
    ...
    Be my guest and waste your money on a yahama. Then when it breaks 6 months later and you cant just buy the actual part you need and you have to buy the next higher assembly which would be the entire engine to replace one part, remember I told you so.

    I don't know what happened with yahama generators. They make great bikes, ATVs, UTVs, snow machines and everything else but then totally screwed the pooch on single cylinder air cooled engines attached to generators.


    Not meaning to stir the pot here BUT!!! My Yamaha has been going strong for years. With well over 3,000 hrs on it I'll I've done is change the oil regular. It still starts like it was brand new. It is the most reliable piece of engineering I have ever owned.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    Alaska Man wrote: »
    Not meaning to stir the pot here BUT!!! My Yamaha has been going strong for years. With well over 3,000 hrs on it I'll I've done is change the oil regular. It still starts like it was brand new. It is the most reliable piece of engineering I have ever owned.

    I agree. I've owned my Yamaha generator for 9 years. Because of my webpage on the topic of this product, I've talked to thousands of people over the years. The only common issue is dirty fuel clogging the very tiny jets in the carburetor. I've posted videos on how to clean or replace them. FWIW, Honda has the same issue with their small generators. If it sips fuel, the jets are small, and prone to clogging. I've since added an aftermarket fuel filter, which has taken care of those issues. I have thousands of hours on mine too. Wasn't an inexpensive purchase, and I'd buy another if this one disappeared.

    I've bought a number of spare parts for mine. I get them from here (NO AFFILIATION!): http://www.boats.net/

    My last order:

    Order Details Ordered Shipped Ext. Price
    1HX-1423E-34-00 JET, MAIN(#86.3) (Yamaha Motor) $4.51
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $4.51
    620-14142-35-A0 JET, PILOT (# 35) (Yamaha Motor) $3.95
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    2 2 $7.90
    7CN-E1181-01-00 GASKET, CYLINDER HEA (Yamaha Motor) $8.22
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $8.22
    7CN-E1193-00-00 GASKET, HEAD COVER 1 (Yamaha Motor) $6.29
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $6.29
    7CN-E3567-01-00 GASKET (Yamaha Motor) $1.26
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    2 2 $2.52
    7CN-E4451-00-00 ELEMENT, AIR CLEANER (Yamaha Motor) $7.04
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $7.04
    7EG-14159-00-00 CLIP (Yamaha Motor) $4.07
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $4.07
    7G0-14227-00-00 GASKET (Yamaha Motor) $3.46
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $3.46
    7LG-14150-11-00 NEEDLE ASSY (Yamaha Motor) $17.57
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    1 1 $17.57
    7NJ-14211-00-00 SCREW,PILOT ADJ (Yamaha Motor) $3.64
    Shipped Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    2 2 $7.28
    90445-13800-00 HOSE (L106) (Yamaha Motor) $1.74
    Available Tuesday, January 06, 2015
    2 0 $3.48

    ANY authorized Yamaha dealer will be glad to sell you parts as well. There's over a dozen such places near me. Take a look at all the diagrams of parts available for my generator:
    https://www.yamahapartsandaccessories.com/shop/parts-catalog/parts/generators?ls=Power-Products&dealernumber=#/Yamaha/EF2400IS/CRANKCASE

    You can take any of those P/Ns, and search at the first link for pricing and availability.

    The only generators I've heard that parts are not available, are those Chinese knock-offs that mimic the Honda series... But no such issues with my Yamaha!
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    9 years old you are likely safe. The problem ones I had that were shaking them selves apart were built between 2008 and 2010 as far as I can tell.
    So if you have a Yamaha that does not vibrate so hard it breaks it own fuel tank off in the first 50 hours you should be ok.

    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.

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    Wow. 42 pages of opinions!

    I have the Honda EU1000i and love it. Not saying that the Yamaha equivalent is bad, but the Yamaha dealer (a family friend) suggested I get the Honda as they had two Yamahas fail.

    "Our" lighthouse had a 5kw 2 cylinder Lister diesel as a second standby generator. This was a 1200 rpm unit and I really wanted to hear it run. Couldn't convince the lighthouse keeper to start it and since then, it was removed from the station (after siezing from neglect) never to be seen again. I'm guessing that it would have been quieter than the 5kw single cylinder (1800rpm) Listers that we ran years before.

    And we had fairly good luck running the exhaust into a 45 gallon drum full of rocks for a muffler (mentioned earlier in this long thread).

    I also remember seeing an old green Lister at my uncle's remote hotel. It ran about 400rpm requiring considerable pulley stepup to get the generator up to 1800 rpm. I remember that it exuded oil from every pore.

    (Mentioned earlier in another post) The Canadian lighthouses originally ran everything on kerosene (no electricity of any form) but adopted single cylinder 5kw Listers around 1959. These were cycled every 6 hours. In the mid 1970's, the 5kw sets were replaced with 8.5kw 3 cylinder Listers equipped with 35 gallon oil sumps. These were installed in groups of three. The first engine would be started and run until it died; this taking a year or more. The second unit would then autostart and take over until IT died. As you might expect, this setup required multiple 2000 gallon fuel tanks, transfer pumps and so on.

    Since then, the lightkeepers have mostly been retired off, residences closed up and whats left run from solar/battery systems. Presently, "our" lightstation runs a small 5 watt LED lamp from a single solar panel and one 12 volt deep cycle battery of about 100Ah.

    Interesting for me to read about propane powered generators.

    NOBODY would ever run that fuel on an island!
    Island cottage solar system with 1400 watts of panels, Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 26th year.
  • DenmanDenman Solar Expert Posts: 42 ✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    My 4 year old Generac 8 KW went wacko on me this morning. (This should have been expected I now see). So while I was waiting for the temps outside to come up a bit I read this lovely, lengthy forum to start getting some ideas on a replacement gen set. I'm seeing that folks like the Hondas for a smaller unit and the more robust machines when they get larger models.

    I'm wondering something I have yet to see addressed as regards generator sizing for off grid: If a regular rule of thumb here is to have a solar array that will produce an output that is 10% of a battery bank, why is that not the guide for a generator? It makes sense to not spend more than necessary to get a quality product, and to size such that you don't throw away money burning fuel that produces no noticeable effect. (as in battery charging as the required amperage goes down and the generator is spinning at a fixed speed).

    I'm liking this idea of a smaller unit and a larger unit. I'm a potter and having something that would fire my electric kiln (6 hours run time at 11KW cycling quickly on and off) would be pretty darned handy. I can always fire in a wood kiln (brick) but it's a bit harder to control temperature quality that way. SO it sounds like a smaller Honda is a good idea and, when I want to get crazy, a nice big slob of a unit that'll run my kiln while I vacuum the house and run a dishwasher. (while rubbing my head and patting my stomach).

    I got the Generac going again today. I think it was a loose ground causing my "undervoltage" alarm. It's nice to have it running since I'm on a schedule with my rolls surette batteries with the charging to try to bring them back from 2 years of slightly under charging.

    Wowed by this huge thread. Y'all ain't quitters are ya?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,023 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?
    I'm wondering something I have yet to see addressed as regards generator sizing for off grid: If a regular rule of thumb here is to have a solar array that will produce an output that is 10% of a battery bank, why is that not the guide for a generator?
    You want to run a generator at about 80% of full continuous load, to get the best fuel efficiency from it. So you must consider the optimal charge rate for your batteries, and any loads you want to run at the same time (furnace or air conditioner comes to mind, along with the beer cooler and microwave)
    Solar charging batteries, you only expect to have 20% or so, drain by the time you have sun to recharge with. With a generator, you may want to limit the time you and your neighbors have to listen to it, and you may be 2 days into a storm and the batteries are pretty low and need to charge faster, so you can go buy more fuel !
    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 ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,163 admin
    Re: 48 Vdc or 120/240Vac?

    With a genset, as Mike just said, you are usually charging a battery from near 50% back to 80%+ -- So, a flooded cell lead acid battery could probably take 20-25% rate of charge if needed. However, when over ~13% rate of charge, you need to monitor the battery bank temperature. It is possible to overheat a battery and damage/ruin it if it gets too hot.

    Most residential gensets cannot really manage more than about 80% rated output for hours on end--They overheat the generator/electrical section of the generator--And possibly the motor too. For fuel efficiency, if you go below 50%, the fuel economy (kWH per gallon) starts to crash.

    The neat thing about the inverter generators (like the Honda eu2000i), is that they have fairly decent economy even down to 25% or so rate of charge--Very handy if you have a battery bank that you are trying to take to 90%+ rate of charge--Or if you have a larger battery bank and you are trying to equalize with a genset (usually around 2.5 to 5% rate of charge).

    10% is OK for a match of genset to battery bank (and battery charger) match... But 20% can be OK too--Especially if you want to run some other loads while the genset is already running.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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