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Old 08-09-2009, 14:25   #1
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Diesel Run-Frequency

I have a Nanni 15 hp 12v generator with 800 hours (driving a couple of large alternators) on my boat. I have recently added a solar panel array that is producing all the amps I need.
At the moment I would rather keep the generator in reserve and able to be used, rather than selling it or winterizing it.
The question is how much do I need to run it to avoid significant deterioration. I would rather keep the run time and duration to a minimum to reduce the heat, noise and hassle of the generator, but I don't wont it to suffer unduly from lack of use.
I was thinking of 30 mins about every 3 weeks with an oil and filter change once a year, but I would welcome any alternative suggestions. Is this enough? Could I get away with less? Would a longer run time (say an hour) be better?

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Old 08-09-2009, 15:16   #2
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Run hard and often or lay up.


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Old 09-09-2009, 14:13   #3
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Exercise the generator, up to it's operating temperature, under as near to a full load as you can manage, about once every month. Don't panic if you're occasionally a few weeks late. A 3 week schedule would also be fine.
Gord May
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Old 10-09-2009, 00:00   #4
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While I'm a firm believer in 'use it or lose it', I think modern internal combustion engines can withstand a tremendous amount of abuse before failing. When the starboard fuel tank on Rutea started leaking, I drained the remaining fuel out of it and just ran on the port tank - for three years. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn't use my Westerbeke 7KW genset without re-plumbing it to the port tank (the genset only had a pick-up on the starboard tank). When we finally got around to replacing the fuel tanks, I started the genset as I normally would and it ran fine. In fact, we took off to Mexico and ran it almost daily without any problems.

I am not recommending that equipment be ignored but I do feel that many people tend to 'baby' equipment more than is necessary. I have worked in the heavy equipment industry and in more than a few instances have seen equipment sit idle for years and then returned to service without any harmful effects. Modern lubricants do an amazing job at protecting internal engine parts.

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