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Old 29-08-2013, 04:03   #1
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Updated Kohler Generators

Kohler have revised their generator line:

http://www.kohlerpower.com/marine/de...odnum=21540202


So they now offer a further derated heavy duty small genset, which is more like the magnificent Northern Lights unit, which is the gold standard for this type of genset.

The 5EFKOD has the same engine as my 6.5EFOZ, so a three-cylinder 1028cc Yanmar diesel, but is further derated to produce 8.4 horsepower at 1500rpm.

Great to see that it is still totally mechanical with a simple mechanical governor.

This type of generator is larger, heavier, and more expensive than light-duty one- and two-cylinder generators, but oh, what a difference. Heavy duty generators are rated as prime power sources -- so are designed to be run continuously, 24/7, rather than occasionally as backup power. Is this overkill for us? Perhaps, but a genset is one of those things which you really, really want to "just work". The simpler, the more robust, the more understressed, the better. This is not an application where you want a light-duty engine being operated near its redline or maximum power, if you can possibly avoid it (some sailors can't, due to size, weight, or budget considerations, of course).

I'm really pleased to see Kohler moving further in this direction. I have been very pleased with my previous-generator 6.5EFOZ, which I depend on heavily since I am rarely anywhere near shore power. It has never given me a lick of trouble other than that caused by my own stupidity. It is almost completely silent, and what little sound it produces is a low-frequency, relaxed hum. This new one will be even better, in fact it might even be worth considering over the excellent Northern Lights unit -- the new Kohler produces 5kW out of a 1028cc engine, compared to 4.5kW out of 760cc, so it's even lower stressed. It's not particular cheap at about $8500 with the sound enclosure in the US.

This is all at 230v/50 herz. If you switch them over to 110/60, then you get more power, but at 1800RPM instead of 1500RPM.
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Old 29-08-2013, 06:33   #2
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Re: Updated Kohler Generators

I agree that these types are better in almost every way over the higher rev ones, but the weight difference is astounding - in this case 490lbs vs. 230lbs for the NextGen 5.5kw.

If we could afford the weight penalty, we would have a NL or Kohler.

Mark
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Old 29-08-2013, 07:19   #3
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Re: Updated Kohler Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I agree that these types are better in almost every way over the higher rev ones, but the weight difference is astounding - in this case 490lbs vs. 230lbs for the NextGen 5.5kw.

If we could afford the weight penalty, we would have a NL or Kohler.

Mark
It's a tough call on a catamaran.

The lightest heavy-duty generator is the Northern Lights 5kW, here: http://www.northern-lights.com/PDFs/...fs/M673LD2.pdf

There you can get away with about 400 pounds, maybe a little more palatable. That is an absolutely gorgeous generator, maybe the best there is.

I do like that NextGen unit, which is probably the one I would choose if I had to have a high-speed generator. I like that it has the two-cylinder Kubota, rather than that nasty one-lunger rototiller motor used by Panda and others, and I like that it's derated at least to 2800 RPM, rather than running at redline (recipe for disaster). Nice unit.
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