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Old 11-10-2014, 15:19   #16
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

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Though your generator may be silent, it still emits diesel fumes. Thinking of the boat anchored downwind from you is the neighborly thing to do.
I've never had a complaint about either sound or gasses from my genset. If I did, I would of course shut down or move. The genset runs very cleanly and without any smoke (unlike the main engine, alas), and the volume of exhaust gas is small. I guess the wind would have to catch it just so for anyone to be able to smell it.

What I HAVE had complaints about is the sound of my Eberspacher (Espar) heater, once or twice. I always shut it down if someone complains.
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Old 11-10-2014, 16:45   #17
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

Both!


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Old 11-10-2014, 17:02   #18
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

We run our gennie for an hour in the morning and an hour at night when on the pick.
Runs into a 60amp battery charger that tops the banks right up for the kids to watch a movie before bed without draining the batteries.
ProNautics battery charger... fantastic thing they are!
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:25   #19
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

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But this isn't really about all that -- I'm interested to know how people use their gensets and whether anyone has gone through a similar evolution.

Yep, we've "evolved."

First large boat, we only used the genset occasionally... because I didn't know any better. Approx every other time we intended to use it, it wouldn't start... and in retrospect, I think I can identify that it was losing prime (for whatever reason) during periods of non-use.

Now, we run the generator when underway IF we need to run the ACs to keep cabin temps down. (Lots of glass, even with window coverings it can get too hot for the pets...) And in those cases, we keep the water heater on, as well, and switch the fridges to run on AC for the duration.

AND we run the genset approx. 2 hours every morning and evening, during cooking (electric galley) and to charge the battery banks at the same time.

We have the same generator you do (60 cycle version), and still only have 750-800 or so hours on it, so far...

-Chris
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Old 14-10-2014, 12:56   #20
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

Hi, on diesel generators its best to run at 75% load .I have spent 18 yrs working on generators for military use and we would run them 24hrs 7days a week. Anything less then that and you risk blow by on the rings causing oil to get into the cylinder.
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Old 14-10-2014, 13:13   #21
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

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Hi, on diesel generators its best to run at 75% load .I have spent 18 yrs working on generators for military use and we would run them 24hrs 7days a week. Anything less then that and you risk blow by on the rings causing oil to get into the cylinder.
Sounds like good info.. I think you are saying don't run with only a light bulb just to exercise it? You are probably speaking of GM units?
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Old 14-10-2014, 13:35   #22
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

the units I worked on were Deutz Yanmar and Perkins. I love them diesels. Oil changes every 500 hrs. Fuel filters /water separators every 100 hrs. depending on fuel quality and they would purr like kittens all day long . Keep them loaded and no smoke
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Old 14-10-2014, 14:21   #23
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

The big 60KW military gensets had load banks on them, essentially just big heaters to load them down, if run for long periods at low load, they would do what is called "stacking" or "slobbering".
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Old 14-10-2014, 14:38   #24
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

I have a 7KW generator that runs on a 3cyl Kubota. At the dock I only run it for a half hour a week, but while cruising I usually run it for 3 or 4 hours per day. We've been cruising about 8 months out of the year for the last 13 years, but this year we've been at the dock for about six months in a row. 'soon to change!
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Old 14-10-2014, 14:38   #25
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

yes you are correct but on small gennies 10kw and below there are no load banks built into them so loading is crucial.
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Old 15-10-2014, 18:58   #26
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

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Originally Posted by rob67 View Post
yes you are correct but on small gennies 10kw and below there are no load banks built into them so loading is crucial.
Hi All - 2 questions please - tell me how you know what load you are putting on the generator?
Does the generator charge the batteries like the engine alternator or does it only send current to the battery charger which must then of course be on which charges the batteries. If your battery charger is off do the batteries get any charge directly from the generator?
I find my yacht's 110hp Yanmar motor seems to charge the batteries quicker than running the generator.
Thanks in advance.
Chris
6,5kw Onan Generator
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Old 15-10-2014, 19:19   #27
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

I have the following loads on my 5KW Northern Lights. HVAC is the largest load and the fan runs continously. It is a water to air heat pump, so the thermostat controls the compressor which operates to satisfy the set point, and the water pump is AC. This is the largest load. I have a number of 110 volt items, a LCD TV, Dish Network box, transformer to convert 110 to 12 volts for KVH tracking satellite antenna, hot water heater, (if engine is not running) microwave lightly used while moving for coffee, thawing soups and chili that were frozen etc., charging of 2 IPads, 2 IPhones, 2 laptop computers, clocks, and inverter/charger. I believe I run at approximately 50% to 60% average load given the diversity factor. Certainly at times, it is much higher, but even with the HWH on and the engine off, I have never overloaded the generator.

My DC battery loads are around 35 amps when the refrigerator/freezer compressor is on and all of my internal lighting, running lights, chartplotter, GPS, sonar are all on. If sailing without the engine, the generator is supplying the power to charge the batteries. When the engine is running when motoring or motor sailing, the alternator charges the batteries and the generator load is reduced by the amount supplied by the alternator. I run my generator 24/7 when off the dock, so I rarely use the inverter and batteries although I have a 420 Amp hour house bank of 2 4D Lifeline AGM batteries.


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Old 15-10-2014, 19:33   #28
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

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All cooking is via electric induction stoves or infrared oven,
Kenomac
Sounds very interesting would you care to enlighten us about the type and brand of these as well as how you use them and what they draw etc.
Thanks
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Old 15-10-2014, 20:38   #29
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

Dockhead -- thanks for starting this thread topic. I always seem to learn something from your threads.

In my case, I have an 8kw 3-cyl. Westerbeke with about 1200 hrs. It only had about 400 hrs. when we bought the boat in 2007. The boat has no solar or other power sources as of yet other than the genset & engine alts. For better or worse, the boat came to us with a refrig/freezer that runs off an engine compressor or 110v, but not off our otherwise large 12v battery bank. As a result, when we are under sail or at anchor, the genset generally gets used twice/day for 2-3 hrs. to run refrig/freezer, charge batts., and sometimes to run the reverse cycle ac/htr. and/or hot water htr. I have debated switching the refrig/freezer to 12v, but the problem is that it would be costly, the 110v is one system that has always worked very well, and not running the refrig. off 12v means that I rarely deplete the batts. below 70-80% before recharging.

My 110v system is divided into two 30A circuits, and I have to limit the load by the start-up amp draw on the appliances I am using on each particular circuit. When running, for e.g., refrig., batt. charger, and one ac unit, I notice that the hertz meter will drop from 60 to maybe 56-57. Is this a reliable way to determine whether there is enough (or maybe too much) draw on the genset?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 15-10-2014, 21:01   #30
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Re: How Do You Use Your Generator?

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Originally Posted by Wild Cherry View Post
Hi All - 2 questions please - tell me how you know what load you are putting on the generator?
Does the generator charge the batteries like the engine alternator or does it only send current to the battery charger which must then of course be on which charges the batteries. If your battery charger is off do the batteries get any charge directly from the generator?
I find my yacht's 110hp Yanmar motor seems to charge the batteries quicker than running the generator.
Thanks in advance.
Chris
6,5kw Onan Generator
As for your question about how to determine the load on your generator, I've always wondered the same thing and just asked in the previous post whether this might be determined (albeit imprecisely) via the Hertz meter.

As for how the batteries get charged, the generator produces 110v (probably 240v on Dockhead's) of AC power which supplies a battery charger which also runs on 110v. This charges the batteries and other AC appliances just like being plugged into shore power. Not sure about others, but my genset also has its own 50A alternator which, via its regulator/rectifier, supplies DC power directly to its own start battery.

As to whether the engine alternator or the battery charger would charge your batteries faster, the simple answer depends on the output of each one. The better question might be which one can do it more efficiently. In my case and I would think for most, the genset will burn much less fuel/hour than a propulsion engine and so is the obvious choice when under sail or at anchor/mooring, especially if there are benefits to running other AC appliances (e.g. refrig, watermaker, a/c, heater, stove/oven) while you are also charging your batteries.

Dan
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