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Old 24-02-2013, 14:51   #1
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LPG Generator

Would very much like to fit a genny on my boat BUT... The cost of doing this "properly" as in water cooled Panda diesel genny is huge. Getting on towards £7000 doing the work myself.
Looking at other options I thought of a small "suitcase" style genny but do not want to carry large ammts of petrol.
Then I saw that some sets are easily converted to LPG... Therfore I could set up a 2KVA honda generator running off LPG for less than £1400.
Is this a good compromise or a bodge?
I guess we will be in marinas 1 night in 3 but may anchor off for a week or so at a time + very ocasional crossings but not enough to worry about.
Thoughts appreciated!
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Old 24-02-2013, 14:58   #2
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Re: LPG Generator

Engines use a LOT of LPG. The space required to store enough for equal run time will be greater than gasoline.
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Old 24-02-2013, 15:22   #3
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Re: LPG Generator

sww914 is right. I too considered running my Honda E2000 on LPG until I figured out how much gas I'd have to carry. In the U.S. a twenty pound propane tank holds roughly 4.75 gallons of fuel and is relatively expensive. You might consider getting the adapter kit for the generator that lets you run it from a jerry can of gasoline. You can either build your own or buy one premade for around $100 (U.S.)

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Old 25-02-2013, 00:32   #4
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Re: LPG Generator

Thanks. I see what your saying. I just hate gasoline on a boat... Hmmm.
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Old 25-02-2013, 00:45   #5
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Re: LPG Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thames 4 Blood View Post
Thanks. I see what your saying. I just hate gasoline on a boat... Hmmm.
A 5 gl jerry can up on deck would last a long time for a gen and a small outboard. You could create a mount on the transom.
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Old 25-02-2013, 00:52   #6
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Re: LPG Generator

It would be a pain in the butt frequently carrying your LPG tanks for a refill. Much easier with diesel. You'll thank youself in the long run.
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Old 25-02-2013, 01:03   #7
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Re: LPG Generator

I have an old saying... Buy cheap - Buy twice. Thats why I am concerned about going at this half cocked...
I guess gasoline mounted on the pushpit somewhere would be tollerable...
Thanks for the advice. Filling LPG bottles every stop would be a complete shag!
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Old 25-02-2013, 12:32   #8
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Re: LPG Generator

If you've got the room and money a diesel in the engine room is the way to go.

If you don't have the room or money I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss a propane powered suit case generator.

It really doesn't take much more propane to run a generator than gasoline. A 4.75 gallon propane tank is about the size of a 5 gallon gasoline can. If you convert a gasoline generator to propane with the typical kit, you will get less power from it.
For example if you convert a Honda 2000 to propane the continous output will drop from 1600 watts to maybe 1400 watts but it will run about the same length of time as it would on the same amount of gasoline.

A propane powered engine tends to require less maintainence than a gasoline engine.
Little to no carbon buildup in the valves and no deposits in the carborator.

Gasoline is just messy to handle

For me the biggest reason to go propane is safety. Propane engines produce a lot less carbon monoxide. They can still kill you but it takes them a lot longer. I also believe it's harder to spill propane and have it end up in your bilge than gasoline.

All that said, my Honda runs on gasoline and I've been very happy. I'm switching to a propane outboard so now I'm thinking about switching the generator as well.
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Old 25-02-2013, 13:38   #9
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Re: LPG Generator

Thanks for the input. I can fit a diesel generator in the stern locker but its the expense that frightens me... Especially as this year is our first long tem cruise and I am not sure how much we need one. My plan is that if we find we are being restricted by battery capacity I could buy a little Honda genny for a season or two and then go diesel at a later date.
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