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Old 19-08-2015, 10:24   #46
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

I love the smell of diesel in the morning...

I used to stand watch on a submarine. we also used solar in the form of a nuclear reactor.
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:14   #47
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

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I love the smell of diesel in the morning...

I used to stand watch on a submarine. we also used solar in the form of a nuclear reactor.
....except that was fission, not fusion. And not quiet with no moving parts....
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:28   #48
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

while not completely on topic ... generator use requires proper installation of CO monitors throughout your vessel. This link to the Detroit Free Press chronicles a CO death caused by generator exhaust fumes which occurred this weekend. Such a tragedy ...

BTW, I use a 3500 watt 120V diesel generator for hot water and high amp draw 120V appliances while cruising ... and I'm ordering four XINTEX CO monitors as soon as I complete this post (3 staerooms and salon).

Lake Michigan boater dead after carbon monoxide poisoning
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Old 19-08-2015, 13:25   #49
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

Reason I abandoned the little Honda's was CO. I have one of these as part of my work
Mini SA Single Gas Personal Monitor
and no matter where I put them on deck, I got detectable amounts of CO in the boat.
The exception was in the dinghy, there I got no detectable CO, but putting them there wasn't always an option.
While I'll never say that a CO Monitor isn't a good idea, a properly installed generator should be as safe as the main engine.
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Old 19-08-2015, 14:46   #50
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

MTI (Safe-T-Alert) also offers RV and Marine CO detectors. According to their tech guy, they're exactly the same except for labeling. Supposedly optimized for RV and marine mobile environments.


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Old 19-08-2015, 15:53   #51
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

Diesel generators put out a small fraction of CO as compared to a gasoline/petrol generator.

A CO detector is a good idea anyway because you never know what your neighbor's boat is putting out.
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Old 19-08-2015, 16:10   #52
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

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The only reason we have (and love) our generator is to run the A/C units while on the hook. Coming in from the tropical sun .... ahhhhh. Sleeping in total comfort - priceless.
So Rich - please be considerate of other cruisers - "priceless" - and when deciding where to anchor, position your boat so the genny exhaust is on the opposite side of your boat from the direction of others. Doing otherwise is hogging the anchorage. Thanks in advance.

Dave
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Old 19-08-2015, 17:52   #53
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

What follows is informed (or mis-informed, ) by my own experience.

First we need to know your cruising style and expectations. I assume you sometimes want to spend several days, maybe more that a week at anchor without moving the boat.

First get a realistic estimate or better, actual measurement of your needs, in amp-hours, for one 24 hour day at anchor. You'll need to be able to replace that power, on average, each day.

Also measure, by actual operation, how fast you can recharge your batteries using only the main engine+alternator. Don't believe the numbers provided by the manufacturer of the fancy "intelligent" charge regulators for the engine alternator. I got one of these and found out that unlike the smart AC chargers, the alternator regulator I have does not measure charging current, it only measures battery voltage. I have made many programming attempts to correct this, but it cuts out the maximum available alternator output far earlier than it should. A true smart regulator will interpret both charge current and battery voltage to make decision about when to go from bulk charge to acceptance to float mode. If you are buying new, look for that. Try it out under actual conditions and know how long you would be willing to run that hot smelly engine each day.

Next you can assume on the average you will have about 7 hours of good sunlight for the solar cells at their rated output (at best). I found the published numbers to be about 20% higher than actual, but again, get at least one and try it out to get actual measurements. Getting the 7 hours solar panel time assumes you are on the boat and will go around four or so times each day, adjusting each panel for best sun angle. If you are not on the boat, you may only get 5 hours at rated power output and your beer may stay cold, but will there be enough juice in the batteries to run the microwave when you come aboard for dinner?

Adding up these power sources and comparing to your energy needs will tell you whether you want a diesel genset. With the genset, all power needs are basically taken care of easily. I assume you will have a 100A or larger smart charger running off your AC power. You'll be able to run the microwave or the wife's hair dryer at any time. Make sure it is installed with a large capacity waterlift exhaust system. They are relatively quiet (often nearly undetectable from other boats in the anchorage) and only need to be run an hour or so each day since they run your 120/240V AC charger which is far more intelligent and powerful than your alternator.

I would advise against the use of a deck mounted gas genset which actually *are* smelly and noisy (and the fuel is dangerous) and may make you the least popular vessel in the anchorage.

Finally, more batteries are always better since the more total storage you have, the faster the same number of amp-hours can be replaced into the batteries during charging.
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Old 19-08-2015, 18:03   #54
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

Dave... I doubt if you could tolerate cruising the Philippines...... Noisy and smokey bancas running at all hours.

Someone's gen would be the least if your concerns.

Banca Boats! Traditional Filipino Banca Boat: http://youtu.be/FNIfDCerISI
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:55   #55
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

Keep the genny, have it professionlly serviced.

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Old 04-10-2015, 13:24   #56
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

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I think I'm going to have about $1,500 in a 750W Solar install.
Where do you put 750W of solar on a 38' monohull? I would be struggling to find spots for half that on my 42.


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I think I have about $6,000 in my Nexgen 3.5 KW install.
And are you happy with the Nexgen so far? If (when?) I add a generator that's my current first choice.
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Old 04-10-2015, 15:21   #57
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

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Where do you put 750W of solar on a 38' monohull? I would be struggling to find spots for half that on my 42.




And are you happy with the Nexgen so far? If (when?) I add a generator that's my current first choice.

Three 250W panels right on top of the davits, mounted side by side of course.
I may if necessary add two more on top of the Bimini. those would be much more likely to be shaded.

Nexgen has been trouble free, and will provide more power than my boat can handle, it's a 30 amp boat and if I inadvertently pull more than 30 amps, the boat CB trips not the generator CB.

Only issue with the Nexgen is if you have the sound shield, you must have a blower fan to pull air through the shield, the Bilge blower hose NexGen provides is wholly inadequate, it's that cheap vinyl hose every one uses, but if you try to pull hot air through it, it collapses under the vacuum when the hose gets soft and pliable from the heat, and the convoluted ribs that any bilge blower hose has reduces air flow.
I used 3" aircraft scat hose, that holds it's shape and has much less resistance, so more airflow.
I'm sure based on performance I had before I changed hoses, the scat hose is the reason I can pull 30 amps out of it without any problems.
Nexgen supplied everything, they left out the Racor fuel filter in my kit though, I didn't call them about it, just didn't worry about it, but everything else was there, even wire to connect the blower.
I went with the Nexgen because of the size and weight, price wasn't as big an issue, I'm sure a Northern Lights would be smoother and quieter, but they are much heavier and larger, beside I don't need 50 amps, my normal load with both AC's running and my battery charger is about 20 amps, or 2/3 load on the generator.
If you go with a Nexgen, pop for the sound shield and buy four extra engine mounts and double isolate it, the engine is on rubber mounts in the sound shield, but mount the sound shield on another set of motor mounts to further dampen vibration, and make the plate you mount the generator solid as you can, other wise it can become a sort of sounding board and amplify vibrations.


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Old 04-10-2015, 16:01   #58
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

The 3" blower is IMO too small for the NextGen with sound shield with all but a very short run - it should be a 4" blower, and your mod to the smooth harder hose is a good one. I did this too, but also put a 3"-4" hose converter on the output of the blower and used 4" hose. The blower is mounted directly on the sound shield, so the entire run is 4" hose.

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Old 05-10-2015, 08:41   #59
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

It's ok to park your stink pot in a quiet bay with the men of the cloth and run your Genny, just offer them some fresh cocktail ice and they will forgive any perceived inconvenience. When sitting on my aft deck you only hear a mild " chuff chuff " of the wet exhaust when it is running. With 3 8d batteries I am all charged up and 5 cubic foot freezer cooled down in an hour of running.

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Old 05-10-2015, 09:18   #60
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Re: Is generator noise & fuel smell really a problem?

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The 3" blower is IMO too small for the NextGen with sound shield with all but a very short run - it should be a 4" blower, and your mod to the smooth harder hose is a good one. I did this too, but also put a 3"-4" hose converter on the output of the blower and used 4" hose. The blower is mounted directly on the sound shield, so the entire run is 4" hose.

Mark

Funny, when I called them about it, they said the blower can be mounted anywhere I wanted, just not directly to the shield, I wonder why? Maybe weight on the thin wall of the tubing in the shield?
But the shield and access to things to service is beautifully designed, it's not a cobbed up affair at all.

It came with a Jabsco squirrel cage blower and with the Scat hose I've run it in 90+ degree weather at 30 amps for hours with no overheating. Actually engine never overheated, I assume water cooling prevents that, but generator overheats and the generator CB pops before any damage is done,
I believe heat is what makes a CB pop, usually of course the heat comes from the electrical load, but believe ambient heat will add to that heat and pop one too.
Now If I had designed the thing, we would be blowing air through it, not sucking it, as I believe an electric motor will last longer if it is pulling cool air, not hot air, but maybe since the motor is external on a squirrel cage blower it doesn't matter.
Where did you get a 3 to 4" adapter? I need to do that in my engine room, boat is three inch hose, but I'd like to pull more air than a 3" blower will, plus when the blower goes on my generator I'd like to go to 4", you just can't have too much cooling air, can you.


For the generator naysayers, my intent is to not run the thing continuously, just when Solar can't keep up or to make water, plan is to run it in the morning and be done with it by Lunch, and not to run it early in the mornings or afternoons at all.
Nexgen is as far as I can tell an excellent little Gen, but if you want one to run 24/7, maybe a Northern Lights would be a better bet, I wanted to replace a Honda, not a constant running generator.
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