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Old 02-08-2020, 03:23   #91
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
. . . it might be a ďforever generatorĒ . . .

"Forever generator" is certainly an oxymoron.


You are straying from your excellent principle of having nothing built in and "marine". Might be worth it in this case -- every decision like this is a compromise.


I like my generator -- it's a Kohler heavy duty 6.5EFOZ. It's a massive 1/3 tonne beast driven by a 1000cc three cylinder Yanmar which runs at constant 1500RPM. It's now knocking on 20 years old and yet has been extremely reliable -- only problems so far have been created by my maintenance or operation errors. It's quiet and even pleasant-sounding, and it's rated for prime power -- truly continuous duty -- so you can run it as much as you want. But a generator like this is a compromise, and there are huge downsides: (a) cost (replacement cost in Europe probably near $20k with installation); (b) weight; (c) bulk; (d) the nightmare of repairing it should it start breaking down. You can't just sling it under your shoulder and take it to service, or toss it and buy another one, like you can with a suitcase gen. Something to think about. It's kind of like your outboards, vs. inboard diesels. Very similar set of pluses and minuses.
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:43   #92
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
"Forever generator" is certainly an oxymoron.


You are straying from your excellent principle of having nothing built in and "marine". Might be worth it in this case -- every decision like this is a compromise.


I like my generator -- it's a Kohler heavy duty 6.5EFOZ. It's a massive 1/3 tonne beast driven by a 1000cc three cylinder Yanmar which runs at constant 1500RPM. It's now knocking on 20 years old and yet has been extremely reliable -- only problems so far have been created by my maintenance or operation errors. It's quiet and even pleasant-sounding, and it's rated for prime power -- truly continuous duty -- so you can run it as much as you want. But a generator like this is a compromise, and there are huge downsides: (a) cost (replacement cost in Europe probably near $20k with installation); (b) weight; (c) bulk; (d) the nightmare of repairing it should it start breaking down. You can't just sling it under your shoulder and take it to service, or toss it and buy another one, like you can with a suitcase gen. Something to think about. It's kind of like your outboards, vs. inboard diesels. Very similar set of pluses and minuses.
Ha ha ha. Very true.

“Forever generator” is a relative term. None of these models are forever, but I’ve got surprising longevity out of a couple of them.

This one:

https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...7313_200467313

And this one:

https://www.norwall.com/products/Cum...2.5HGJBB-1121/


Both were used without worry as often as I wanted to run air conditioning all day long. The Northern tool was more reliable than the Onan. The Onan had a breaker go bad and needs an air filter change constantly.

The Northern tool with Honda engine needed carb cleaning once or twice.

The two most reliable generators I’ve ever had are with me on the monohull right now.

The Northern Lights 8KW which needed an impeller and a heat exchanger cleaning but runs perfectly...

And this one:

https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...0762_200680762

This last Northern Tool generator needed one single carb cleaning. That’s it. It’s run flawlessly as a primary power source for RV air conditioning in Florida for 3 years and I brought it this summer on the monohull to be kinder to the Northern Lights generator. Don’t like running the Northern Lights generator to charge batteries so I ran the little Northern Tool for that all summer.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:06   #93
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
They do make soft start systems and they are quite popular for folks using the 2000w inverter generators. They also make controllers that delay the start of the 2nd unit. Only delays by 30 sec or so to allow the start up load on the first unit to dissipate before kicking on the second unit.

We run our RV and boat air/con with a 2400w Yamaha. Is your current 5.5kw an inverter type? I never found any documentation but was once told there is a surge system with the Yamaha inverter units, so for a second or two it actually puts out more amps to get motors started. With 5.5kw, it should easily handle a 12-15k btu air/con startup. Really if the 1st unit is drawing 1.2-1.5kw (typical for what we've measured), there should still be plenty of juice to get a second unit started.

We measure between 10-12amp while running for the air/con. There are lower amperage RV units but they do cost a little more.
Sorry. Should have responded to this post.

What lower amperage RV units are you using?

I’ve been looking at a pair of 15k btu Colemans.

I do have a true soft start I can put into one of them already.

Any links on the delays? That might be just the solution to getting away with a 5500 generator, although the Onan 5500 does explicitly say it’ll start 2 rv air conditioners.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:40   #94
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

A 5500 W gen will have no problem with two AC’s, unless your trying to heat water or run an electric stove or something.
Soft starts are a good idea, even one will prevent the very unlikely occurrence of two high amp start ups occurring at the same time.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:16   #95
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Out of curiosity, while you're doing generator planning, how many systems that aren't yet on the boat could be electric, but aren't planned to be?

I wonder if converting some of them to electric would maybe save weight somewhere, making the generator weight more practical? For hot water, it probably wouldn't help, as you'd need a tank type heater, so that adds weight. But going to an electric stove could reduce the amount of propane you need to carry and save a few pounds there.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:49   #96
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Sorry. Should have responded to this post.

What lower amperage RV units are you using?

Iíve been looking at a pair of 15k btu Colemans.

I do have a true soft start I can put into one of them already.

Any links on the delays? That might be just the solution to getting away with a 5500 generator, although the Onan 5500 does explicitly say itíll start 2 rv air conditioners.
I'm just using the standard 15k btu units that came with our RVs but I know they have lower amperage units if you need it. We've had both Coleman and Dometic units.

I only have a single air/con unit but friends have bigger 50amp rigs that have built in power control units that shed loads as needed..such as below. Below is an example:

http://www.precisioncircuitsinc.com/...hure-Rev-B.pdf
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:45   #97
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'm just using the standard 15k btu units that came with our RVs but I know they have lower amperage units if you need it. We've had both Coleman and Dometic units.

I only have a single air/con unit but friends have bigger 50amp rigs that have built in power control units that shed loads as needed..such as below. Below is an example:

http://www.precisioncircuitsinc.com/...hure-Rev-B.pdf
This thing is really cool!
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:06   #98
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Ok, I had an idea waking up this morning. It’s a lot like A64’s thoughts on the last page.

It’s a K.I.S.S. idea.

I wrote earlier about the reliability I’ve experienced with various generators. The most reliable one I’ve ever owned (and I’ve own many), was the little Honda GC160 powered Northern tool generators. you cannot kill it, runs an RV air conditioner OR a microwave, OR a 100A battery charger, weighs 80lbs, uses about 2 gallons running an RV air conditioner all day long, is quiet and costs $650.

I am going to install a pair of these. I already have one.

Advantages:

*160lbs total generator weight to run a pair of 15k BTU air conditioners
*EXTREMELY reliable, I haven’t been able to kill one of these
*power scalability, running one generator or two depending on need
*better fuel efficiency
*Fallback redundancy (if one breaks, I still have one)
*$650 to outright replace one
*onboard vacuum activated mechanical fuel pumps to pull fuel up from tanks

The only time I need that much power is to run 2x 15k btu ACs at once. Or maybe the same for electric heat which we already have in the form of those oil filled 1500 watt heaters.

I have a sound baffle device to reflect generator noise directly up to the sky so it doesn’t impact other boats. I also have already successfully floated the current 5500kw model so it’s quiet inside the boat. Easy to float these too.

This seems to be the best choice due to reliability, redundancy, fuel savings, cost, weight and “off the shelf “ replacement ability.

Downside is we have to go outside to start them.

No gasoline heater, no heavy and expensive generator, KISS for now until we decide we made a mistake need to upgrade something.

Thanks for the ideas on the thread and helping me work through them.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:47   #99
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Consider the following:

https://www.norwall.com/products/Cum...erator-P4500i/

It's gasoline, quiet inverter, has electric start w/ remote key fob. We have friends who ditched their Honda 7000 and bought this one. They have a Montana 5th wheel, two 15k btu ac's with soft start kits. They didn't need the soft start kits with the Honda, but installed them with this on. It's needed if both AC's cycle at the same time. They can't run both AC's, water heater, microwave, battery ALL at the same time, but with a little power management, they do just fine. They liked the Honda 7000, but just didn't need the extra power. They sold it for more than the Cummins-Onan cost.

If you can get by running just ONE 15k btu AC along with other accessories, consider the Predator 3500 inverter genny from Harbor Freight. GREAT review on Consumer Reports, only downside they mentioned is the hard plastic wheels, which are easily replaced. We have friends who use these a LOT with their RV's and absolutely LOVE them, and less than 40% of the price of the Honda 3000.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm advocate for the Honda's. I currently have two left over from our travel trailer days, but if I were to do it again today, I'd buy either the Predator 3500, or two Predator 2000's. If you are worried about longevity in a salt water environment, buy the extended two year warranty, then swap it out for a new one every two years (you will have to purchase a new extended warranty, but cheap at that price!)

Hope this helps!
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Old Today, 07:05   #100
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

I have a Generac 3000i and it is freakishly quiet. Amazing as compared to its predecessor. It likely isn't enough for 2 aircon units, however.
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