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Old 26-04-2006, 23:25   #1
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kipor generators

Anybody have any experience with these generators (search ebay). They are chinese made spinoffs of the hondas, small, quiet and inexpensive. I am looking at buying a 2000w model to charge batteries instead of using my diesel. I have 4-6v golf cart batteries + starter battery and link 2000 inverter / charging system. Would this generator be big enough? It can do about 13 amps @ 120V so my guess is it would take quite a while to replace even 50% charge.

Kevin
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Old 27-04-2006, 01:43   #2
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Kevin, there have been several threads about the Kipor on the SSCA BB (currently down but normally 'up' at http://ssca.org/sscabb/index.php ) and it seems that, while many of us have found the Kipor available from a variety of vendors, none of us admit to having bought one yet! (Consensus seems to be that it *looks* identical to the Honda series but that doesn't mean it is so, mechanically or electrically. If the Chinese are proficient at anything these days, it's making products that appear identical. The reality however can be some distance from the impression).

You don't mention your battery charger's capacity but I can't see how the 2000 would fail to support it...and I would think charging would be relatively quick. To revisit the specifics using my system (similar to yours, I assume) to illustrate:

-- our battery charger is rated at 50 amps; our Link 2000R will want to initiate a battery charge at the bulk charging rate, so it will begin by putting 50 amps into the bank. 50 amps @ 12V is roughly 600 watts, while 600 watts being provided at 120V is 5 amps of AC. Add in a bit of efficiency loss and you're still pulling only 50% from the 2000 watt generator. (OTOH this looks like it might be on the hairy edge of what the 1000 can provide).
-- you won't be charging a dead bank, but rather likely charging a bank that's been depleted only 50% or less of its total capacity (otherwise you'll be sharply reducing the total charging cycles you can get from the batteries, IOW their life span); at the same time, to get the most charging value from your system, you won't want to charge the bank above 80-85% capacity as that's when the Link will shift to the Acceptance stage and you'll get incrementally less charge being sent to the bank for about the same gasoline consumption/noise/time. For our 4 x 6V Trojan house bank, that ~30% of capacity that we'd want to replace = 420 amp/hrs X 30% = 126 amp hrs. A bulk rate charge @ 50 amps DC would replace that in 2+ hours. If your charger has a higher capacity, it would be quicker.

I sure hope you take the plunge, buy the generator, and then offer the rest of us 'bystanders' a report. Your DC system is quite typical these days; you'd make the ideal "testbed". <g>

Jack
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Old 27-04-2006, 08:42   #3
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Made in China

Some of my tractor buddies are having disastrous results with some made in China products. My floor jack works fine and so do the tools, but I think I would advise caution with the generator. I looked at them as well, and bought a 1000 watt Honda which is really really good.
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Old 27-04-2006, 14:47   #4
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Just because it is made in China does not means it IS "cheap". But you can be assured that if it IS cheap, it has been made to be that way. Cheap products are cheap because corners have been cut. You will find that ratings are NOT "real". You will find that parts are of light construction. And in electrical generation, cheap often means that essential regulation and safety designs are not present. If all you are doing is charging a battery, then this is the way to go. When it wears out, which won';t be long down the track, it is still economical enough to buy another, maybe even three or four before you start loosing out pocket wise. In reality, a Chinese diesel geny is NZ$5K here. A good geny like Onan or Northern lights is more like NZ$20K. Big difference.
If it is sensitive electrical/electronic equipment you are trying to power however, then the cheapy may not be the best way to go. When I was in Audio, is was essential we had genset over 21KVA, not becuae we always need the power, but because this was the smallest we could use to get safe regulation for the digital equipment we used.
On my boat, I have a cheap 5KVA chinese diesel genset. It will run the microwave, fridges and freezers and battery charger. But it will not run the stereo. The digital stuff hates it. But the genset was free and so I ain't complaingin yet. But when it wears out, I will replace with something better. My 230V supply on the boat comes from a 3KW inverter. It will run the Stereo and lighting and fridges and freezers, but it won't run the microwave. Go figure. It is also made in Taiwan or somewhere and was real cheap and between the geny and inverter, we make it all work and do. But if I had the money, I would have quality both.
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Old 27-04-2006, 18:47   #5
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More generator

The Chinese petrol powered 2000 to 2400 watt generator locally is about $500-, the Honda 1000 watt cost me $1000-.
The Chinese unit runs at 3600 revs, the Honda runs at reduced revs and you can hardly hear it.
If the made in China unit quits after one month, and repairs and parts are difficult to find, I guess you could buy another one, and if it lasted 6 months ( assuming they are getting better ) etc.etc. Whereas if my Honda gives me good service for 20 years ? I have made my decision and spent the extra $$$. If you want to take a chance and you like 3600 revs 15 feet away, why not.
When I sold aluminum boats I would always ask how many the person wanted to buy in their lifetime. If you get a good one you only need one, even if you are twenty. If you get a cheap one your could buy 3 or 4 and they will never perform as good as the better boat.
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Old 27-04-2006, 19:30   #6
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BC Mike makes a good point.

The Honda generator, like the Onan Quiet generators, run only as fast as needed to generate sufficient power. That is because they use a dc "rail" to control. The dc rail then provides the power to a dc to ac inverter (like at 300V or so). To you, this means the best fuel economy as well as the best sound and vibration level.
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Old 28-04-2006, 17:55   #7
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The generator you are referring to has been around for a long time, but in Europe; not over here. I have read several forum posts on people who have bought it and are happy with it. Also some of the Honda parts are useable on it. I plan to get one; there is free shipping in Canada (a rarity) and the 2000 watt puppy is more than half the cost of a Honda 2000 watt jobbie. They are suppose to run quiet as well.
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Old 28-04-2006, 23:18   #8
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Thanks for all the responses.

RSN48, are you buying from a Canadian supplier or off of ebay? Did you give any consideration to the 1000w puppy? That is my preference buy I'm not sure how well it would work with the current demands I have.

Cheers,
Kevin
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Old 29-04-2006, 06:14   #9
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I picked up a new honda 2000 for $895 online about 4 months ago with free shipping, so the prices very,
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Old 30-04-2006, 19:30   #10
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I purposely left off the price as prices are higher in Canada for most things, so to give you the Canadian price won't impress you, but here goes. The unit in Canada can be had for $780 (as long as you pay "cash" - so registered cheque - so they don't have to put up with the credit card discount). Now in Canada the Honda 2000 is around $2000 dollars so to pay less than half is appealing. Yes I would be dealing through a Canadian distributor. It should be noted there are two models of the 2000 watt unit, and I phoned the distributor and the main difference is the sound, one is definitely louder than the other.

The 1000 watt will work just fine. But realize that a 1000 watts isn't a 1000 watts and 2000 isn't 2000 watts either, these are the "surge" they can take for a short while. So you will be charging very slowly whatever you want to charge with the 1000 watt unit. I've looked at all the alternatives, and the biggest bang for the buck is a generator over solar power - which will only work full on only some of the time - with low watt production. Wind power is great as long as you have wind, and vibration and fan noise can be an issue. To get a 1000 watts our of solar power would cost a lot. Combining both wind and solar starts to get expensive.
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Old 30-04-2006, 21:37   #11
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rsn, your numbers are $CAN, right?
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:50   #12
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I understand that there are two versions of the Kipor generator - normally differentiated in UK by their colour. The difference is that one provides a basic power suitable for tools etc, whereas the other provides a more stable supply, as required by electronics.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:37   #13
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1000 watts

My 1000 watt Honda operates the battery charger as if it were plugged into the dock. It will run a sander, drill, 550 watt oil filled heater and a small microwave. You can not hear it at a distance of about 30 feet, depending on other sounds around you. It will run the angle grinder but will quit if you put to much weight on the grinder. The 1000 watt unit has the ability to work in tamden with another 1000 watt unit.
Nigel Calder has written an article in a recent Ocean Navigator about this subject.
I love my Honda.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:01   #14
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The price is Canadian that I quoted so you should be able to get it for less in the States.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:51   #15
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BC Mike,
If you were to buy again, would you upgrade to a 2000w generator? Jack alludes to the fact that 1000W may be pushing it to run the charger (my setup is similar to his). I guess what I am wondering is whether the link 2000 charger requires a minimum current for each charging cycle or would it simply use what was available?

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