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Old 15-01-2010, 11:25   #1
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New Generator Panel -- Valuable Options?

We will soon be installing a new NextGen generator on our Hunter 356. We plan to custom design a panel for it, with on-off, preheat, hour guage. What other instruments/guages would be useful? Amp meter?

Any feedback/experience would be appreciated.
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Old 15-01-2010, 12:11   #2
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Engine temp and oil pressure. My Westerbeke remote panel has pre-heat, start and stop switches, temp, oil pressure, alternator voltage, and engine hours. Your AC panel should sport a frequency meter in addition to AC voltage.
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Old 24-01-2010, 08:13   #3
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We installed a NextGen 1000+ hrs ago with the suppied panel (no gauges) with no problems except the water pump impeller went bad once. Onboard temperature and pressure switches are there to protect the unit, chances are you'll never be watching the panel when something goes wrong. Amps are monitored on the boats inverter/electrical panel along with everything else. Most important is a good wet muffler, the exhaust is very loud, we clamp a short 1 1/2" hose on the thru hull that extends a few inches under water when at anchor quieting the beast a lot. Great little generator, easy to troubleshoot!
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Old 24-01-2010, 08:38   #4
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My 3.5KW NextGen is now 6.5 years old. Not a lot of hours on it, but I like it very much. Ran it just yesterday as I do periodically throughout the year.

I used the standard NextGen panel which I installed in a wider panel with an AC ammeter and an AC voltmeter on each side. I used Blue Sea Systems analog models....much easier to read than digital, especially from across the cabin.

I've found these two meters to be very useful, especially the ammeter. It allows you to watch the amperage carefully while you switch loads in and out of the circuit.

Bill
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Old 24-01-2010, 12:04   #5
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While not on the instrument panel, per se, I would suggest installing an exhaust elbow temperature monitor as being fairly critical. Set at 150F and installed on the elbow in a position downstream of where the water is injected, it will indicate a loss of cooling water flow (failed impeller, jelly fish sucked into the sea water intake, fouled sea strainer, etc.) before overheating your genset and depending on the high temperature shut down to save the engine.

CruzPro makes a unit with an 85 db alarm that is not overly expensive: CruzPro ETM20 engine and exhaust temperature monitor and alarm with solid state sensor
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Old 24-01-2010, 12:09   #6
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While not on the instrument panel, per se, I would suggest installing an exhaust elbow temperature monitor as being fairly critical. Set at 150F and installed on the elbow in a position downstream of where the water is injected, it will indicate a loss of cooling water flow (failed impeller, jelly fish sucked into the sea water intake, fouled sea strainer, etc.) before overheating your genset and depending on the high temperature shut down to save the engine.

CruzPro makes a unit with an 85 db alarm that is not overly expensive: CruzPro ETM20 engine and exhaust temperature monitor and alarm with solid state sensor
generators have this feature. It's required.

Three safety shut downs,
oil pressure
coolant temp
exhaust temp

theres no reason for adding gauges at a remote panel other than calming an owner or looking cool.
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Old 24-01-2010, 12:31   #7
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Quote:
generators have this feature. It's required
You are correct: ABYC P-1.7.1.4 requires "An indicator shall be provided at all helm positions to indicate loss of exhaust system cooling water supply." The Next Generation website shows water temperature shutdown and oil pressure shutdown. That is all.

In my original post (#5) I was showing the way to meet this requirement, that also makes some really good practical sense. I certainly was not suggesting adding what I consider an important piece of equipment monitoring equipment to look "cool". Besides, if you follow the link in my original post, the CruzPro box is decidedly "uncool", IMHO.
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Old 24-01-2010, 13:16   #8
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You are correct: ABYC P-1.7.1.4 requires "An indicator shall be provided at all helm positions to indicate loss of exhaust system cooling water supply." The Next Generation website shows water temperature shutdown and oil pressure shutdown. That is all.

In my original post (#5) I was showing the way to meet this requirement, that also makes some really good practical sense. I certainly was not suggesting adding what I consider an important piece of equipment monitoring equipment to look "cool". Besides, if you follow the link in my original post, the CruzPro box is decidedly "uncool", IMHO.
so you want to add a piece of equipment that's already on the unit.
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Old 24-01-2010, 14:23   #9
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ABYC Standard P-I is a recommended practice for wet exhaust systems. Not every generator, heck not many are installed with exhaust temperature monitors. The coolant temperature switch does serve the purpose however. It is set at 225 degrees F, so the engine won't be damaged if does its job. While you’re at it better but a switch to monitor the cooling air to the sound proof enclosure, that very important too!

The fact is the poster is installing the 3.5KW generator on a Hunter 356, not a big trawler or power boat with lots of dedicated load. On a sailboat like mine we only run the NextGen when the clouds kept the solar cells from keeping up with fridge’s 5 amp load or running the 15 amp watermaker on short notice. Not for A/C and hot water etc. Its also very quiet on sailboat and sailors train themselves to notice and investigate every weird noise and smell, kind of human sensors if you will. It is rare we need to run our generator and when we do we pay close attention to it.

I am an automation engineer by trade and I would love to have every instrument, switch, and sensor……. but I can’t so I make do by being very carful. As I said our NextGen has given us over a 1000 hrs of her life and only ask for a pump impeller and some oil in return. And yes we looked at the raw water discharge and saw no water coming out, the over temp switch didn’t have to save us.
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Old 24-01-2010, 15:07   #10
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so you want to add a piece of equipment that's already on the unit.
Read my posts for content and you will see that the Next Generation genset does not have the exhaust elbow temperature sensor.

akmike
The OP asked for recommendations. I gave him one.
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Old 24-01-2010, 16:23   #11
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And very good one Charlie. Sorry, I thought this was a discussion site, not just a place to pitch products. A friend of mine in Alaska sweares by the Borel raw water alarm. Wet Exhaust Temperature Alarm by Borel Manufacturing Inc.
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Old 24-01-2010, 16:42   #12
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And very good one Charlie. Sorry, I thought this was a discussion site, not just a place to pitch products. A friend of mine in Alaska sweares by the Borel raw water alarm. Wet Exhaust Temperature Alarm by Borel Manufacturing Inc.

wow...
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