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Old 09-11-2017, 19:45   #151
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
My proposed use case in the genesis of the DC gennies aspect here, was little or no inverter usage, only where really necessary, maybe a small microwave. Which isn't really relevant, but.

As to my setup's rpm solution:

Size the smallest motor that will spin the Eco-Tech max output at low rpm.

Size the pulleys for that, within the context of not causing the Eco-tech any harm from high rpms at load for engine maintenance.

Given runtimes average one hour per session, total 5 hours per week, 95% at normal low rpm,

then motor will run fully loaded for 15min once a week, rather than doing 3min per session, since getting up to high temps is required.

Is longer time required?
Thatīs right. No, inverter mambo jumbo on the generating side, only on the consumer side where I have high quality and stable energy from the LFP bank.
On the generating side I want only raw and brutal amps to charge the LFPs and from the gen with as low run time as posible.
Would be great if the time it takes to heat up the water heater with the main engine is enough.
If I could use the main engine I would also eliminate the problem of carbon built up due to low RPMs during use of charging because when I navigate then the engine runs on higher RPMs
Remains only one question.... how high can I gear the alternator on low RPMs of the main engine without causing damage to the alternator while navigating with higher RPMs ?
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Old 09-11-2017, 21:18   #152
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

The alt specs will give a high range.

Guideline I've always seen and heard is no more than 80-90% of max output for any extended period.

But the point I brought up before

that the alt can spin with field current off, no load,

since my case, dedicated gennie engine, was no good for burning carbon

But your propulsion is loading up the high rpm, so with field current shut off at high rpm, I bet you can spin closer to the max rated rpm all day.

If the high vs low rpm difference is too small.

Some people also have a mechanical disconnect at the pulley tensioner.
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Old 09-11-2017, 23:15   #153
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

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OK, a bit off topic again, but seeing it is being mentioned.

All true about the usual way UPSs are utilized.

Now picture a UPS with a giant battery, not just big enough for a few minutes until you can shut your household PC down, or start up your back up generator online.

So whatever your normal AC loads you want to run, whether it be Air conditioners (this is obviously a big set up), iPad charges, induction cook tops or whatever. if you have big enough Invertors and battery capacity you can run all these devices.

Realistically this is going to be a Lithium bank, with big invertors etc

Obviously the batteries will need re charging at some point. This where our shore power or AC or DC generator come in. In this case if we use a multi voltage charger, like say Sterling AC batt chargers. PS I'm in no way affiliated.

The advantage of doing it this way are-
1. Good Invertors are nice 'clean' power, voltage and frequency stable not like most shore power or generators, and
2. The battery bank will absorb and smooth many transient loads and surges.

Taking the concept a little further of 'Internationalizing' a global cruising boat electrical system. The US 110V standards will specify larger wires than 240V European. Obviously 110V appliances need more Amps and therefore larger wires for a similar powered appliance. Worthwhile considering for those of us doing elec sys refits.

Back to generators, the usual answer is to size it to your load. So an idling DC generator, to keep it quiet. Most Generator shops will tell us to get a smaller generator that works harder closer to it's designed operating load range. Of course it will be noisy because it working harder than the bigger idling one. Hmm, again not the desired result. Ideally we need to match the diesels load and RPMs and the Generator capacity as closely as we can to our requirements.

I wouldn't get too caught up on things not being ideal. Operate the way you want to. We dont want be a slave to our machines, they are expendable for our purpose. Many, not just cruisers, but indeed the majority of the population abuse their machines every which way and get away with it for the most part quite fine, in their blissful ignorance. The trouble for us that we know too much for our own good. Its a burden. Just me being a bit too pedantic pointing out the ideal, sorry. It's not a perfect world we live in.

I just like to learn from you guys on here.

I would just run your generator slowly and quietly.

As another little aside, the old Lister CS single cylinder 9 hp big tall green Diesels with 2 heavy spoke wheel flywheels. These Diesels ran for ever, some literally non stop for decades. They ran at around 700 RPM. This is the concept you need. Practically however space and weight wise this is not a viable option, but seeing the question was asked.

Keep the good ideas and dialogue coming.


[/QUOTE] a bit off topic again, but seeing it is being mentioned.

I donīt think so


[/QUOTE] All true about the usual way UPSs are utilized.
Now picture a UPS with a giant battery, not just big enough for a few minutes until you can shut your household PC down, or start up your back up generator online.
So whatever your normal AC loads you want to run, whether it be Air conditioners (this is obviously a big set up), iPad charges, induction cook tops or whatever. if you have big enough Invertors and battery capacity you can run all these devices.


[/QUOTE] Realistically this is going to be a Lithium bank, with big invertors etc

Yes thatīs right. I think You captured the concept.

Itīs designing the whole energy system around the UPS and not around the gen. No inverter mambo jambo on the generating side only on the consumer side where I have AC and DC demand anyhow. Then the gen is only a component and one of the energy generating choices I have in the system. As a component for battery charging the gen only needs to produce raw and brutal power amps for rapid charging of the LFP in the shortest time posible. That has a lot of advantages over running the AC gen everytime I use a high demand AC consumer. Most boats allready have an inverter. So why not using a bigger inverter instead of a bigger gen ?
With a big LFP bank we can choose the moment for charging for convenience.
UPS tech is proven in all kinds of applications. So why not use it. Itīs cheap.
For many small boats it would be very practical to use what they call a solar generator.... but fact is. This is actually a UPS with extended runtime!!!!
You can buy a complete pack with small LFP for 500-1500$.
With a big inverter we eliminate all the soft start components for high consumers that otherwise also require a bigger gen with more capacity.
Less components = less maintanance and problems with trouble shooting= less $$$


[/QUOTE] Obviously the batteries will need recharging at some point. This is where our shore power or AC or DC generator come in.

Letīs keep it simple. All internal forms of charging are DC less shore power. The UPS will detect if needed


[/QUOTE]The advantage of doing it this way are-

1. Good Invertors are nice 'clean' power, voltage and frequency stable not like most shore power or generators

2. The battery bank will absorb and smooth many transient loads and surges.

MMM YES PLEASE.... ALL OF THEM


[/QUOTE] Taking the concept a little further of 'Internationalizing' a global cruising boat electrical system.....

Thatīs right. Letīs add on a multi voltage charger and we are international. No more adapting the boat to shore power and lousy installations in third world marinas etc.
Now we can even buy a boat where ever and keep the existing electrical system including all the appliances and what not ?


[/QUOTE] Most Generator shops will tell us .............

Yes unfortunatly, they do, but I try to keep an open mind.
I need a practical system and not just a generator.
I believe most boats could get away with a true high output alternator like the ECO-TECH on the main engine. The key is finding the sweet spot of the alternator running full load on low RPM without causing damage while cruising at higher RPM.
Ideal would be producing enough charge during the time it needs to get the water heater to temperatur. But I believe, even that can be done much more efficient with solar.


[/QUOTE] ColdEH Marine
Next built..... driving two Eco-Tech alternators at 6000 RPM

I asume he has experience with the sweet spot of this particular alternator. But what I could not find is the info 6000 RPM at what RPM of the engine ? In case of driving with the main engine this would be a variable. Maybe that is why he wants to use 2 alternators. Even so that is still a lot everything then a classic generator and a lot cheaper.


[/QUOTE] I wouldn't get too caught up on things not being ideal.

Well, actually the tech and components exist. I think itīs just a question of the right mix


[/QUOTE] I would just run your generator slowly and quietly.

Hahah, at this stage we do. We are generating the ideal generator very quietly and slow. Letīs wait and see the final conclusions.


[/QUOTE] As another little aside, the old Lister CS single cylinder 9 hp big tall green Diesels with 2 heavy spoke wheel flywheels........

Haha, the good old classic from the ancient times. Thatīs when You needed a new boat for the engine and not like today....a new engine for the boat. There are still a lotīs of happy Listers around. They use them for agriculture in Asia and India for all kinds of applications



Keep the good ideas and dialogue coming.[/QUOTE]

Ohh Yes, I think there are a lot of things that have to be analized before we can answer....WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??
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Old 09-11-2017, 23:30   #154
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

As far as running the generator slowly to keep the noise down. I would just do this. It wont cause much trouble too quickly. This is a long term effect. Then when noise is less of an issue, at your convenience just schedule in a regular 'blow the cob webs out' run'. Say when you are motoring or something (whatever suits). Save up all your high power demand tasks to do at the same time- charge batts, heat water, make water or whatever. Just doing this you will be way a head of the vast majority people that are blissfully unaware of how to treat their machines nicely.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:13   #155
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

The work to be done won't be varying much.

As above, the key will be finding the right pulley ratio balance, a range to allow safe running heavily loaded at the high rpm, as well as also allowing the usual running to be as low rpm as possible.

I don't see it being too much a challenge, designs based on propulsion engines, usually have to deal with a pretty high range.

The unusual bit is the Eco-Tech's being wound to produce unusually high output at the low end, which of course is very helpful to the cause.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:00   #156
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

I contacted Eco-Tech and told them about this on going conversation. They are the experts on there technology , hopefully they will chime in.

Regards John.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:19   #157
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Very capable DC generators (alternators rectified to DC):

https://www.zena.net/htdocs/alternators/mar_alt.shtml

I've used one of their 150 amp models for 10 years now and it is still going strong. Made in the USA. They are helpful, knowledgeable, and are very service/customer oriented. They have models from 150 to 250 amps, and if you need more you can run multiples. 3 year warantee and a design life of 40,000 hours.

I don't have any business relationship with them, just like to promote a company this good.

By the way, when using them as welders they work great. Pulsed DC output. I've welded with mine a lot and the welding quality is excellent.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:27   #158
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Look great, but of course darn pricey.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:40   #159
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Darn pricey is an understatement .
I can get 200 amp alternator for ambulances and cop cars for under $100 each.
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Old 10-11-2017, 14:18   #160
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Following Pauls link to "Zena",
here is a link to one of their pages concerning this very topic:

https://www.zena.net/htdocs/alternat...a_Genset.shtml

Pretty much says that a DC genset is the way to go.

Also their SR200.12, 200 amp alt is only priced at $675.00.
Which I think is very reasonable.

https://www.zena.net/cgi-bin/cart.cg...ry=Alternators
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Old 10-11-2017, 14:56   #161
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Hi All,

Hmm low speed generator eh.

What about these- https://www.amazon.com/Permanent-Win.../dp/B011A4G8VO . At $400 a lot of low speed (PMG) generator for your $s.

These are usually used for small scale wind or hydro generators. Some people do use them with gas or diesel motors.

Might be a viable option for a ‘Stealth’ slow, quiet running generator?

Added bonus with these is that no brushes to wear. These are very efficient as they do not waste any current in the Field windings to excite them. This also means the regular Balmar 614s etc wont regulate these. A wind generator type voltage regulator is used.

In fact so low speed that their max rated RPM is 1800, as apposed to 8,000 for the average large frame Alternators, like the Ecotechs.

It’s not ideal but I would probably try this with one of ColdEh John’s direct drive Lovejoy couplings. There is a lot to be said for simplicity. You could run at your preferred quiet 1200 RPM making good power.

Perhaps try not to rev the motor above 1800. Of course most stated max RPMs are usually not the failure limit so maybe they are ok to max eng RPMs. At $400 not a terribly expensive risk. Of course don’t mention the warranty.

This would be akin to the guys that ‘overprop’ their boats to get good fuel economy. It does work. The reality is also that the engine labors, and will never make max rated power if required. Hard on the engine bearings but most of these guys get away this, until one day they don’t. Most likely years down the track. The overhaul shop guys can tell what kind of life an engine has had.

The Ecotechs come highly recommended so I’m sure they are good Alternators. I am considering them myself. However being a numbers spreadsheet sorta guy. I would say that they are not an insignificant price at 4-5 times the price of the above units.

I am also not a fan of propriatry parts, like the Ecotech regulators. This kind goes against myself reliant cruiser thinking. If we need one in the future we have to get it from them which isn’t usually, easy, convenient or cheap.

Anyway up to you guys, just putting some potential options out there for your consideration.
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Old 10-11-2017, 17:25   #162
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

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Originally Posted by Q Xopa View Post
Hi All,

Hmm low speed generator eh.

What about these- https://www.amazon.com/Permanent-Win.../dp/B011A4G8VO . At $400 a lot of low speed (PMG) generator for your $s.

These are usually used for small scale wind or hydro generators. Some people do use them with gas or diesel motors.

Might be a viable option for a ‘Stealth’ slow, quiet running generator?

Added bonus with these is that no brushes to wear. These are very efficient as they do not waste any current in the Field windings to excite them. This also means the regular Balmar 614s etc wont regulate these. A wind generator type voltage regulator is used.

In fact so low speed that their max rated RPM is 1800, as apposed to 8,000 for the average large frame Alternators, like the Ecotechs.

It’s not ideal but I would probably try this with one of ColdEh John’s direct drive Lovejoy couplings. There is a lot to be said for simplicity. You could run at your preferred quiet 1200 RPM making good power.

Perhaps try not to rev the motor above 1800. Of course most stated max RPMs are usually not the failure limit so maybe they are ok to max eng RPMs. At $400 not a terribly expensive risk. Of course don’t mention the warranty.

This would be akin to the guys that ‘overprop’ their boats to get good fuel economy. It does work. The reality is also that the engine labors, and will never make max rated power if required. Hard on the engine bearings but most of these guys get away this, until one day they don’t. Most likely years down the track. The overhaul shop guys can tell what kind of life an engine has had.

The Ecotechs come highly recommended so I’m sure they are good Alternators. I am considering them myself. However being a numbers spreadsheet sorta guy. I would say that they are not an insignificant price at 4-5 times the price of the above units.

I am also not a fan of propriatry parts, like the Ecotech regulators. This kind goes against myself reliant cruiser thinking. If we need one in the future we have to get it from them which isn’t usually, easy, convenient or cheap.

Anyway up to you guys, just putting some potential options out there for your consideration.
just under $700 when I clicked the link.
Also just 100 amps would rather mount a 120 amp one wire alternator. ( they are available for $100 on eBay)
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:00   #163
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Ooops my bad, didn’t check that link
This one says $409.95 with shiping- https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...&condition=all
or this one direct from the manufacturer- Freedom II PMGâ„Ē Permanent Magnet Generator - Missouri Wind and Solar
On his sight, above, it rates them at 2.8kW which would be 230A at 12V, if my math is correct. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.
I like the way he has developed these over the years. Basically starting with a basic Delco style alternator. Then progressing to-
• add more copper in his Stators,
• use super neo magnets rotors No wasted Field current needed. (BTW these magnets are Not kids toys and are so strong the can crush your fingers).
• PMA so no brushes.
• Made his own thick finned, heat sink style, housing,
• This model is actually 2 alternators end on end
These things are wound for very low speed operation, perhaps too low for our purposes?
I’m open to any other suggestions. Have you got a link for the ones you are suggesting?
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:58   #164
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Here is one but a simple eBay Google comes up with many for from 100- 200 USD.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200AMP-HIGH-...-/252388935449
This one develops the 200 amps with the engine rpm around 1200 rpm single Vee belt.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:47   #165
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Re: WHAT IS A GOOD GENERATOR ??

Yes those numbers look like that is good Amps value for your $s.

Perhaps some others might have better answers for us about some of the questions I would ask about that, and indeed all, Alternators-

• Small case Alternator, realistically how many Amps could you normally want to suck outta them, particularly sustained. I hear 100 ish is generally accepted to be their limit, or maybe a little more, before they start to melt?
• 200A x 12v is 2.4kW. Not allowing for inefficiencies that’s around 3.2 HP. That sounds to me perhaps a little ambitious from a single V belt?
• Internal regulator, which don’t have much scope for customizing charging profiles.
• Internal rectifier and regulator that is adding to and in around the hot end of the operation?
• I’m not sure how quick you would have to spin it to get that output. You might run into limits on pulley sizes to gear it up to that extent running an engine at 1200 RPM. Usually there is only so much space around your crank pulley to increase it’s size. Then if you try to get your speed increase from going smaller on the Alt pulley you can limit the grip and torque transmission capability.

I might be wrong about all, or some of this. All of this may for a cost be overcome.

There is a lot to be said for commonly available, mass produced part. Easy to source, cheap to buy and easy to get fixed.
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