Ralph Day said:
Re: Choosing a good generator
First a question. Why would you need more than you can get from a 2kw inv genset? That's what I'd go for if my 10kw diesel died completely on me.
Natural gas...you can't store it, if supply is interrupted you're somthing out of luck. As you said, Gasoline it is.
What about a larger inv genset, Honda goes up to 5kw for your shop loads and charging.
Tip to anyone in a really cold climate (avoid larger Honda EU series Gensets)I currently own two Gens, a 3 year old Yamaha EF7200DE (has always been reliable, always starts even at -45, only con is its loud and my washing machine doesnt like i)My other is a 4month old Honda EU7000is, great on gas, smooth and quiet, easy to service, but USELESS when below -20*C, 10 times in 2 months Ive had to go out at 8am and drag the Yamaha out of storage because the Honda either wouldnt start (hear the starter relay click but thats it), or would pop starter fuses because of too much resistance to turn over engine. The Honda is also out of the wind in a lean to I built for it with a battery tender on it. The Yamaha sits in an open tarp garage in the dirt.If anyone wants a 4 month old Honda still with Warranty and a lifting ring, plus a pre wired auto start plug for Magnum AGS, let me know (only 138hrs) Oil changed back on when manual says using Honda oil. Im buying another Yamaha.
Choosing "a" good generator might not be optimum. Choosing the right generators (plural) might be best for those of us in the darker parts of the world with winters. Big genset for bulk charging (on L2) , little one for finish charging (on L1).
We just found a great open box deal ($195) on a little Ryobi 700 Watt Propane Inverter. I always thought Ryobi gear was toy-like but this little charmer is quiet, seems well engineered, wweights 25 lbs, has a useful manual, is easy to start and runs 60 hrs on a barbeque tank. Runs our entire house of LED lights, phone chargers, laptops and LG Inverter fridge just fine (much steadier wave form than my non-invertor Kubota 4500 and Honda 650). The Ryobi has no where near the power tool motor starting capacity of the nominally smaller Honda 650 though (The old Honda 650's are really underrated, the 650 even starts our cement mixer with just a little grunt!).
Next step is try my 1000 watt autotransformer to see if the Ryobi will saturate it and make 120/240 VAC so it can be used for finish charging via an inverter charger (dialed down to matching charge rate limit).
Offgrid in cloudy PNW
MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install ....
> So as long as the batteries get a good charge, absorb, float at least once a weekish they should be better off than keeping them 100% all the time?
Basically, although based on various references and some opinion, if they have load (ie not storage) it would be more ideal (but less practical) to charge to 100% if they drop to 85% SOC or go 3-4 days, whichever comes first.
I am available for custom hardware/firmware development
Back to the highly-hyphenated original topic of "choosing-a-good-generator":
Seems to me that if Lithium batteries are used, the required generator can be a good deal smaller.
For FLA batteries, consideration of required minimum charge rates to stir electrolyte, to recover quickly from low S.O.C. to avoid sulphation often means that quite a large generator can be required.
For LiFePO4 batteries, the strategy becomes more about making up ones PV energy deficit in whatever time frame suits ones usage needs. This means that a small, quiet efficient invertor generator that runs more often can be a useful consideration for those of us in the cloudy Pacific Northwest.
My understanding is the stirring of electrolyte in FLA happens mainly in the latter part of absorb, when there is some heating and bubbling/gassing. Current at this stage is pretty minimal, and I generally don't use a generator at all above ~90% SOC. In my climate, I can generally get to 100% with solar often enough to minimize stratification.
It seems to me the ability of lithium to take higher charging current vs FLA means a bigger generator may make more sense for lithium. That allows shorter run times at optimal loading.
Shorter run times mean that the generator will last longer. It may also cost more. Efficiency is typically slightly better with bigger (when both are run at optimal load).
Perhaps bottom line is that with Lithium one has more options re generator size and is not neccessrily shackled to largest and noisiest!
I also live in S Florida a bit. My cold Colorado location is easy living for 9 months/year. S. Florida is easy living for 3 months/year. Plus ethics and intelligence are higher in northern climates.It is what it is.
Thinking you can solve the starting problems by using something like 0W/10 synthetic. I'm serious.
I'd try Mobil 1 0W-40.
Doesn't matter if the engine doesn't start.
I would move😜
just recently learned a lot about generators and generator manufacturers
I was looking for an inverter generator that was an electric start about 6000 watts running with 120/240 volt plug....no one makes it
you can find a 3000 watt electric start, but it only has 120 volt plug...or you can find a 6000 watt but doesnt have electric start
the reason I want electric start is so I can hook it up to my AGS module on my XW system
the reason I need an inverter generator is because of the crappy wave signal most generators put out is killing my inverter and electronics...the XW uses some of the generator power to power the home while the rest is used to charge the batteries ( you can hear the crappy wave form you motor ran appliances, like a box fan )....already replaced the power board once, brand new they cost over a $1000
honda wants over $4000 for a 7000 watt inverter generator that is electric start...way too much IMO
lets go into why regular generators arent good for inverter systems. All generators consider fuel consumption at half load....this is because they are most efficient at half load and usually produce the right voltage and frequency at half load
going over half load usually reduces the voltage and frequency...even the ones with an AVR...below half load you have over voltage and higher frequency
in all cases the wave form is crappy....not a true sine wave, it appears more jagged on an oscilloscope, but it also not a complete modified square wave
the bigger generators over 4000 watts , most of the time use a capacitor for voltage regulation....which makes an even crappier wave sign that the AVR regulated ones...(NOTE: an AVR is not a capacitor, it has a capacitor in it....a lot of people are calling these capacitors interchangeably)
honda does now offer an IAVR which uses an electric speed governor to regulate the engine speed to control the frequency and the AVR is a lot better at regulating voltage...still doesnt put out a nice smooth sine wave
most of the home standby generators are too big ( too many watts) for off grid living unless you have a really big home ( which also means you have lots and lots of money and the post has nothing to do with you because you can afford a $4000 7000 watt honda generator with an inverter) even these types dont put out the best wave form but are better than most portable generators
recently while looking on the web...I found this, and while it doesnt have electric start....for the price I couldnt pass it up
so now I am going to try and engineer an electric starter to this, because I cant see if there is a spot to even bolt up a starter...and all the pictures I looked at dont show the spot where one would be bolted up usually
this also has an unusual motor at 301cc....not a honda clone at all, this is a champion genuine...they even put a oil drain hose on it...( a problem with most portable generators is that chaning the oil is a half day process by yourself...even then it goes all over the place)
while I was on the phone with champion asking if there was a spot to bolt up a starter, the guy did tell me to keep a lookout in the future for the same model with electric start.....we talked for over 30 minutes ...mostly me explaing that most of us off grid guys have been looking for this size generator, all with inverter 120/240 electric start, for some time and that if champion builds it, they will sell
when I get this thing and engineer an electric start, I will post some pictres in a new thread ...just in case someone else wants to do the same thing
I got 102 results when querying Amazon for electric start generator 7500. The inverter is the difficult feature in that range - curious about that.
Looks like the eZV7500 is inverter and electric start at about 1/2 the price of Honda (still expensive). EFI (plus the right oil) should make it much easier to start when cold.
Almost all small generators are most efficient above 1/2 load:
I will tell you this...I will never buy from amazon againb ...until they clean house of the scammers
they stole $340 from me and refused to refund that money.....theres more to the story, but I wont go into on this thread
the EFI is where I would have problems with the AGS.....would take me a minute to figure out how to turn power on to it without leaving the key on
Maybe try online sites for Costco and Sams Club? Have you looked at our hosts selection? You might ask them.
Dave Angelini said:
You may not be able to imagine running on solar in Florida during hurricane weather but it is not that hard and I have quite a few there.It is not like the sun goes away for a week or more. They usually are done with their damage fairly fast.The one thing that is far above the power is a home that is built to be survivable. If the home can't take the storm surge and wind it really does not matter how the power is made. As for the loads, most of the ones you mention have versions that use 1/10the power or soft start for offgrid or the offgrid mentality.A pretty weird hurricane forming that far north. First ever I am told.