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Old 18-10-2005, 12:20   #1
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Genset Info

I'm looking to have an AC generator installed on our new Hunter 38. I would like a few recommendations as far as what make to choose(Panda, etc.) I'm a weekend cruiser of the chesapeake bay and plan on doing some extended trips in the near future. I'm looking to charge the batteries, run the air conditioner, microwave, etc.. Any info would be appreciated. John
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Old 18-10-2005, 13:13   #2
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Glacier Bay's Ossa Powerlite and Panda are good units to consider. If you take advantage of today's technology you would endeavor to install a genset which varies its rpm with your ac loads. Old technology "sticks" you with a fixed rpm and, therefore, a fixed high noise level wear.

It makes no sense to start a genset merely to run a microwave oven, watch a DVD or listen to music or to use good reading lamps (commonly only 120Vac), use a power inverter for that.

If you plan to use a genset to charge batteries then consider ONLY the modern switch-mode chargers or inverter/chargers which extract energy from the whole cycle of the ac wavefom otherwise you will "waste" 50% or more of the genset energy used for charging. Chargers which are acceptable are advertised as PFC (power factor corrected), more technically correctly referred to as meeting harmonic generation standards.
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Old 19-10-2005, 00:18   #3
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We installed the small 4.2 KW (fully fresh water cooled) Panda last year. Works as advertised and very quiet. So far meeting my expectations
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Old 23-10-2005, 05:18   #4
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Genset Info

I understand that Panda had some serious customer service problems a few years ago. They might have that all fixed by now, but I would check it out.

We have a 5.5kw NexGen on our 42 ft. catamaran and couldn't be happier. It is very quiet and efficient. And we live aboard full time, so we use it a bit more regularly than some. But I completely agree with Rick in that we don't use it to run the microwave, for example. That's a job for the inverter.

But for charging the batteries during extended periods of overcast skies (our solar panels keep the batteries happy most all the time), or running the air conditioning, it works very well with just routine maintenance.
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Old 23-10-2005, 11:48   #5
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Re: Genset Info

Quote:
Harriet once whispered in the wind:
I understand that Panda had some serious customer service problems a few years ago. They might have that all fixed by now, but I would check it out.
There was a guy who posted all over the net about how bad his Panda was.

We put ours in last year, it was one of the first of the new series of totally fresh water cooled 4.2 Kw units. Picked because it was highest output for size [very small], full fresh water cooled and really quiet.

It overheated this summer during a 3 week cruise after a total 40 hours on the unit. Called Fisher Panda, they identified the problem over the phone, shipped a replacement fresh water circulation pump overnight and arranged to have a dealer put the new pump on and flush the coolant system at my convenience.

By my standards that's good customer service

Turns out the were a limited number of engine castings done that were not properly flushed from the factory and some 'gunk' left over from manufacturing was causing premature failure on these pumps.

Not saying Panda is the right choice for you, but I would not rule them out for any reason. If you have the room I always prefer low RPM diesel generators such a Northern Lights, Onan etc. [they have longer lifespans] but they are larger and heavier, which I did not have room for.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:50   #6
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panda genset

I have to reply to this one. Just replaced my Panda with a Nexgen.
the Panda refused to run after 320 hrs, many calls to Panda, $2600 in attempted repairs (new head) overheating dirty exhaust and on and on.
The best summary: the Bahamian mechanic (Panda trained) giving up on fixing the &*&*think said:.."mon, you have been here long enough for me to call you a native. And my advice to you is to make an anchor out of that thing" And I did.
I have discovered more than one boat with the same problem with Panda and all of them were in the 300 hr. range.
If you are looking for advise, ask a mechanic. I love watching their expression when you mention the you have a Panda needing repair.
Priceless.
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