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Old 28-02-2012, 05:57   #1
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120volt Panda Generator Problems

As a new member and just starting my sailing dream, I hope somebody out there can help solve an inherrited generator problem. Some smart designer at Panda decided the best way to cool my Fischer Panda 120 volt generator [P6000ND..60HZ..2001 year], was using sea water. The Kubota motor still has a long life ahead of it . Sea water has worked through the generator casing via the inserts/epoxy/seal up against the flywheel and then blown the stator winding. My options are to rebuild with a limit on it's life for about A$3200. Replace with new AC alternator A$5000. Replace the Panda with an Onan or like for as yet unknown price. To stay with the Panda, I have to instal a fresh water conversion kit [heat exchanger] at a cost of about A$3200. All up, buying through the dealer system, an as new rebuild with freshwater coolant will cost A$8200.+. I need a 6 kva generator for offshore and to keep the crew happy.
Do I avoid Panda and try to match something like an Onan to the Kubota?
Anybody got an alternative reliable suggestion?
Is their a source of Panda second hand parts, to reduce the repair costs?
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Old 28-02-2012, 06:07   #2
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross StrayKitty View Post
As a new member and just starting my sailing dream, I hope somebody out there can help solve an inherrited generator problem. Some smart designer at Panda decided the best way to cool my Fischer Panda 120 volt generator [P6000ND..60HZ..2001 year], was using sea water. The Kubota motor still has a long life ahead of it . Sea water has worked through the generator casing via the inserts/epoxy/seal up against the flywheel and then blown the stator winding. My options are to rebuild with a limit on it's life for about A$3200. Replace with new AC alternator A$5000. Replace the Panda with an Onan or like for as yet unknown price. To stay with the Panda, I have to instal a fresh water conversion kit [heat exchanger] at a cost of about A$3200. All up, buying through the dealer system, an as new rebuild with freshwater coolant will cost A$8200.+. I need a 6 kva generator for offshore and to keep the crew happy.
Do I avoid Panda and try to match something like an Onan to the Kubota?
Anybody got an alternative reliable suggestion?
Is their a source of Panda second hand parts, to reduce the repair costs?
You're not alone, countless people had to take the Fisher Panda punishment and loose $$$. There is no other way than remove it from your boat, including all exhaust parts and dump it. Many even have to pay for removal... if you try to trade it in, dealers start running away from you and put your name on secret black lists

After that is behind you, buy a solid genset. I have the Northern Lights 6 kW genset which is the top IMO. Try to get that one and settle for a bit down the list of budget, availability, space limitations etc. require.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 28-02-2012, 06:08   #3
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

might want to try these guys,a 6 kv unit would be around £350

Mecc Alte S.p.A.
Mecc Alte Alternators Pty Ltd


Generators & Generating Sets - Dry Creek, SA

10 Duncan Rd, Dry Creek SA 5094, Australia



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Old 28-02-2012, 06:18   #4
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

If you can, avoid the high reving gensets like Panda and Mastervolt. I've had two Pandas that were nothing but trouble. I replaced one with a Northern Lights - it was about 6 times the size of the Panda (I had just enough room). It has worked for 5 years without a problem.
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Old 28-02-2012, 06:50   #5
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ross StrayKitty.

You might check out
http://www.sailwhisper.com/logs/news_20080225.php
And
http://www.sailingtalks.com/forums/s...panda-problems
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Old 28-02-2012, 07:31   #6
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

I second the removal of the generator. The money you spend now to get this thing working again is just the beginning. It will fail again, it will cost many thousands again, it will be down for extended periods again. If you need a generator, get a Northern lights, Westerbeke, Norpro, etc.....Now for the downside of changing to another brand, The fisher panda is a 3600 rpm generator, meaning it is higher power density. Any replacement for it that's worth having is going to be 1800 rpm, translating to larger and heavier. From personal experience though I have noted that most proper installs of the slower larger generators are just as quiet as the panda generator.
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Old 28-02-2012, 08:02   #7
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

FP are fine UNTIL - and then they are JUNK

do you need A/C would a DC set meet your needs?
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Old 28-02-2012, 08:28   #8
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

Ross, everyone has pretty much summed it up. Enjoy your cruising and do yourself a favor. Get rid of the FP. If space is the reason it's on board, look at the Next Gen units. Chuck
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Old 28-02-2012, 10:16   #9
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

Highland Fling has a good idea. Do you currently have an inverter that can handle all your AC needs? Do you use AGM or other batteries that tolerate a 1.0C rate of charge? (flooded leads should only be charged at 0.1C). If so, or you are going to upgrade your house bank of batteries, then Highland Fling has a very good and modern solution to your electrical requirements, and that is a diesel DC dedicated charger. Much more fuel efficient, lighter by a lot, and your run times are at full load, so few and far between.

Propulsion Marine 4 KW Diesel Generator | Propulsion Marine

Where else are you going to get 4.2Kw in a 170 lb package. If you have a 12 volt house bank, that is 280 amps at 14.8 VDC. Won't take long to top off the batteries. 24 volt system would be 140 amps at 29.6 VDC. My next boat I'm going to a 48 volt house bank.

After further research, I'm not sure you can get one to charge a 12 volt house bank, but this one you can configure for 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144 volt house banks.

http://www.propulsionmarine.com/wp-c...e-Brochure.pdf
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Old 28-02-2012, 10:38   #10
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Re: 120volt panda generator problems.

I had Northern Lights for a while and it was trouble free. Personally I would avoid the FP and the Westerbeke gens.
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Old 28-02-2012, 19:05   #11
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Re: 120volt Panda Generator Problems

Thanks everyone for the honest help. I have limited space to mount the power unit. It is already setup for AC and I worry about all the unknown DC conversion traps. With my limited experience and an aversion to paying all sorts of tradesmen and dealers to skin me, I am hoping to use the Kubota Z482 motor [even though it operates at 3000 rpm] and in hull mounting area to place a replacement. Your advice to dump the Panda, got through to me. It's gone, no more Panda.
atoll has me chasing a leed.
How critical is it to provide extra aeration for a new portable 120 Volt AC style alternator attached to my Kubota motor and will this approach work? The Kubota has its own water cooling system and the whole unit is mounted in hull.
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Old 28-02-2012, 20:24   #12
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Re: 120volt Panda Generator Problems

In contrast with some of the foregoing comments, we have had a Panda Generator aboard our boat since 2002 and have been very pleased with the performance of the unit and with the support we have received from Panda over the years. The units are, relatively speaking, "precision" in the manner of much of German engineering and do require rigerous adhearance to the maintenance regime stipulated by the maker although, as a practicle matter, that is not much more difficult than the maintenance regime of our Perkins 4-108. If one does so, the units are proven to be very reliable as is the Perkins.

Given the foregoing, it might be worth you contacting Panda directly and specifically Jeff Till who can be reached at either jtill@fischerpanda.com or, by phone at his office at 1-954-462-2800 or on his cell phone at 1-954-849-5120. Jeff is a good, honest guy and can direct you to whom you should be speaking at Panda and will help the process along to the extent possible.
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:03   #13
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Re: 120volt Panda Generator Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross StrayKitty View Post
Thanks everyone for the honest help. I have limited space to mount the power unit. It is already setup for AC and I worry about all the unknown DC conversion traps. With my limited experience and an aversion to paying all sorts of tradesmen and dealers to skin me, I am hoping to use the Kubota Z482 motor [even though it operates at 3000 rpm] and in hull mounting area to place a replacement. Your advice to dump the Panda, got through to me. It's gone, no more Panda.
atoll has me chasing a leed.
How critical is it to provide extra aeration for a new portable 120 Volt AC style alternator attached to my Kubota motor and will this approach work? The Kubota has its own water cooling system and the whole unit is mounted in hull.
all the mecc alte genset alternators come with cooling fins built in but would need some air flow from out side the box.

also there are 4 different adaptor plates available to mate with the fly wheel housing supplied by mecce alte.

as far as i know they only have 1600 rpm models and 3200rpm alternator models .

the kubota engine you have is also used for refrigerated container compressors i belive, so if an adaptor plate on the flywheel housing is needed you might look in that direction.

they will also operate up to 3600 rpm

Kubota Diesel Engine Super Mini series - Model Z482

hope this helps
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Old 29-02-2012, 09:42   #14
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Re: 120volt Panda Generator Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
In contrast with some of the foregoing comments, we have had a Panda Generator aboard our boat since 2002 and have been very pleased with the performance of the unit and with the support we have received from Panda over the years. The units are, relatively speaking, "precision" in the manner of much of German engineering and do require rigerous adhearance to the maintenance regime stipulated by the maker although, as a practicle matter, that is not much more difficult than the maintenance regime of our Perkins 4-108. If one does so, the units are proven to be very reliable as is the Perkins.

Given the foregoing, it might be worth you contacting Panda directly and specifically Jeff Till who can be reached at either jtill@fischerpanda.com or, by phone at his office at 1-954-462-2800 or on his cell phone at 1-954-849-5120. Jeff is a good, honest guy and can direct you to whom you should be speaking at Panda and will help the process along to the extent possible.

Dont think the guy who put up the Fischer Panda Sucks web site (not online any more methinks) would agree with you as going onto the WWW with his problems and the failure of FP to address them was the only way to get FP to fix the problems and issues with his FP Gen set
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Old 29-02-2012, 09:44   #15
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Re: 120volt Panda Generator Problems

I guess I have to go against the general consensus also. I have a Panda 12 that produces a constant 10KW. This was however a unit that was marinized from an industrial application. It is fresh water cooled and is used a lot. The only problems I have had which was easily repaired was the raw water pump which was a retrofit. Slamming a make of a product is never a good idea. Not all models of any manufacture's products are the same. This one has a 3 cyl. Kabuta as an engine. If the same approach was used for boat engines all makes would probably be suspect.
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