Please help, Very confused

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  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: auto start generator
    VanDeusen wrote: »
    can you point me in the right direction....


    I am looking for something like a generac but not a high dollar one.


    I need a generator that will monitor my system and automatically start when lets say my battery system falls to 11.9 and shut off when its fully charged, then monitor the batteries until it needs to start again BUT it of course also has to be compatible with the solar 12v system that I have. Prefer it to run on propane as well.

    Do they make such a thing? I think anywhere between a 400 and 2500 watt generator will do. ALSO, it would be easier if it just hooked right up to the batteries and does its own thing where I just need to monitor the oil level as it would be hooked up to a propane system.


    They do make many such things. Generator autostart systems are common, and you can find many by Googling for "generator autostart". They are very common on high-end RVs.

    The problem with what you've described is that it requires a generator with electric start, and there are very few (if any) electric start generators that are less than 3kw.

    Even then, the smaller electric start gens, such as the Honda eu3000i series don't have any hookup for a remote start switch, so you would have to open up the generator and create your own solution.

    To get a generator that is pre-wired for remote start, you'd almost certainly have to go with a larger gen.

    The autostart (a seperate system) monitors battery and fires up / shuts down the gen as needed. The better RV types also allow you to program *when* the gen is allowed to run. I.e., some campgrounds only allow generator use from 8-10am and 4-8pm. Which could be handy for a solar system, as you could set it to come on in the early morning and bulk up the battery, then shut down and let the solar finish the charging.
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: auto start generator
    dwh wrote: »
    They do make many such things. Generator autostart systems are common, and you can find many by Googling for "generator autostart". They are very common on high-end RVs.

    The problem with what you've described is that it requires a generator with electric start, and there are very few (if any) electric start generators that are less than 3kw.

    Even then, the smaller electric start gens, such as the Honda eu3000i series don't have any hookup for a remote start switch, so you would have to open up the generator and create your own solution.

    To get a generator that is pre-wired for remote start, you'd almost certainly have to go with a larger gen.

    The autostart (a seperate system) monitors battery and fires up / shuts down the gen as needed. The better RV types also allow you to program *when* the gen is allowed to run. I.e., some campgrounds only allow generator use from 8-10am and 4-8pm.

    unlike popular belief.. size DOESNT mater (just a joke) 3k is fine as well Just need one that does it all without having to buy a generator AND a remote.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    Then all you need to do is refine your definition of "not a high dollar one" and see what will fit your budget. When you search around Google, keep an eye on which generators come with autostart and whether they monitor batteries, or (as a lot of home backup systems do) if they monitor the grid.

    It won't do you much good to buy a gen that will start when the grid power goes down but won't monitor a battery bank.
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    dwh wrote: »
    Then all you need to do is refine your definition of "not a high dollar one" and see what will fit your budget. When you search around Google, keep an eye on which generators come with autostart and whether they monitor batteries, or (as a lot of home backup systems do) if they monitor the grid.

    It won't do you much good to buy a gen that will start when the grid power goes down but won't monitor a battery bank.

    right, which is why I am asking here for some help on which ones are good for my needs. I took a look at google and got lost with everything that has nothing to do with the question at hand. I did see one that said it was a autostart for around 600 and that is OK pricewise.

    I just dont want to add MORE to my useless collection in the basement. When it comes to this I am open for all suggustions to make sure I get the right one this time.

    I do have a 2500 watt generator that I NEVER use because when its on it messes with the controller which then requires a restart to correct. I keep it just so that if I ever take a trip I have a generator but for solar..... Its useless.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    You still haven't defined a price range.

    To whip up something on the cheap I'd probably go with a used RV generator, there are plenty of used ones around and a bunch of RV generators are already setup to run on propane, but of course, any that run on gasoline can be converted to propane (and the manufacturer probably has a kit for that).

    Then just add an autostart kit.

    About the smallest electric start you'll find would something like the Onan 2.8kw:

    http://www.generatorjoe.net/product.asp?0=248&1=256&3=146

    Here is an autostart, but it doesn't come with a battery monitor. It does have a connection so that if your inverter has a generator start connection, you can connect it to this unit. The inverter monitors the battery and signals for the generator to start, then this unit starts the generator:

    http://www.partsfortechs.com/asapcart/es52-auto-start-engine-control-module-for-generators-engines-p-410.html


    Xantrex makes a control unit that has all the features:

    http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/136/p/1/pt/8/product.asp


    [ For what it's worth, in this day and age you really need to practice with Google until you can use it without becoming overwhelmed by TMI (too much information). ]
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    VanDeusen wrote: »

    A) Neither one has a connection for a remote start - these are what I meant when I said you'd have to open it up and rig your own.

    B) Neither one runs on propane - and since these are both probably Chinese (maybe even from the same factory) there probably is no propane conversion kit for them.

    C) Neither of these is actually an "RV" generator. They are just cheapo gens that come with a "RV Plug" receptacle instead of the normal twist-lock receptacle that you'd find on a "construction" generator.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    The Champion Portable Power Generator & Gentron GG3500RV are air cooled, short term gensets, with a 1 year warranty. The Onan, while air cooled too, has a 3 year warranty. Although, from what I gather, Onan's been shirking their warranty claims.
    For $600, I'd try the Champion - and see how it does. (and it has wheels)
    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 ,

  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    mike90045 wrote: »
    The Champion Portable Power Generator & Gentron GG3500RV are air cooled, short term gensets, with a 1 year warranty. The Onan, while air cooled too, has a 3 year warranty. Although, from what I gather, Onan's been shirking their warranty claims.
    For $600, I'd try the Champion - and see how it does. (and it has wheels)

    thanx for the help
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