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Paddy

Seriously joms, if you expect to need a backup generator only 1 to 3 times a year then it's hardly worth spending 50k+ on one unless cost is not really a critical factor (which it seems to be based on your operating cost comments). We have one but it is mostly because brown outs occur in our area as often as the boss of Maselco blinks and we have an electric pump on our well. You might want to consider a smaller, very quiet Honda unit that will keep the ref cool, provide some lights and a fan and allow you to recharge your cell phone. 

 

Our unit is a chinese made, diesel 6.5kVA one and it is as noisy as a heavy metal band in next door's garage. We don't run it continuously for that reason. In the 18 months or so we have had it, we have consumed approximately 50litres of diesel at an approximate cost of PHP2,500. Obviously, it doesn't get started for every brownout, isn't run longer than necessary and these days we will wait at least 20-30 minutes before even considering starting it. So far, it has needed a new fuel line (it vibrates like a magnitude 20 earthquake) and it currently needs a fuse (the type of which does not seem readily available in the stores near us). It's a good job we have a second well with a manual pump.

 

The unit powers the whole house but...it does not like the start up loads of the electric pump or the small water heater in the cr, but it does seem ok with a 1HP aircon unit (and that's while it is concurrently handling the ref, lights, wifi router, ceiling fans, hot/cold water fountain thingy, laptops, cell phones and the tv).

 

The last example you quoted, the fuel capacity was 28 litres and that would provide 10 hours continuous use at full load. If you plan to run something like that continuously, you run the risk of running out of gas in the middle of the night (unless you are very disciplined at turning things off and checking the thing after every use.)

 

One of the reasons electricity from our generator is more expensive than from the electric company is because the unit is not very efficient at creating electricity. The amount of heat, noise and vibration it puts out must mean that a significant amount of the fuel burned is not being used to make power.

 

Lastly, if you go with the sound proofed Elemax diesel and you are not going to leave it outside, make absolutely sure it has an air supply. We have had some rather amusing (in retrospect) incidents involving copious amounts of dense black smoke with our definitely NOT sound proofed diesel. It needs a LOT of air. 

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thebob

The obvious answer is the solar array and the battery bank. The generator will just sit idle for most of the time. The solar system will slowly pay for itself by providing power that you don't need to buy from the grid. I think that even if you just buy a battery bank and charge it from the mains it will be cleaner, quieter and need less maintenance than a generator.

 

If you buy a small solar system for the investment you want to make on your generator and put away the monthly savings you could upgrade your solar setup every year or so and save more money.

 

The money invested in a generator is just going to depreciate, a solar system will be a revenue stream. The generator will need fuel, oil filters, new belts and other service items that also need to be included in the cost even if the generator isn't run. Fuel doesn't keep well, takes up space, is messy, smelly, containers aren't cheap and you need to transport the fuel. All of which add to the cost.

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Is there also a generator wherein if you only use 50% of its capacity, the fuel consumption would go down?

 

Most modern gensets have variable speed alternators , as load increases the governor on the engine opens up and engine speeds up for more hp .

 

Air cooled diesel will be noisy and expensive or if soundproofed , more expensive .

 

My little genset here is an 850 watt 2 stroke pull start , I have used it to run a 42" LED/LCD tv , lights , fan and computer and it purrs quite happily , will run for hours on 2 litres ( tank holds 5 I think ) 

 

Last year I bought a used Sinano genset , Robin engine , 3,500 watts so I can run refrigerators and freezers as well , it is also pull start but a woman could start it , I paid AUD 350 ( about 14,000 PHP )  and of course haven't had a blackout since .

 

As Paul said , for the amount of time you're likely to need it , a petrol / gasoline unit will do the job , it need'nt cost an arm and a leg . Your choice .

 

Footnote , even my little 850 watt unit has a variable speed alternator / governor , plug in a 100 watt light and it stays on idle speed , plug in a 4" grinder and turn it on and it speeds up and starts doing some work.

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. You might want to consider a smaller, very quiet Honda unit that will keep the ref cool, provide some lights and a fan and allow you to recharge your cell phone. 

 

Actually running cost is a concern. However, the cost to purchase a generator is not an issue anymore since I already have an approved budget of around 60k to buy a generator. Orginally I wanted a generator that can handle a 2HP aircon (masters bedroom) plus lights/fan/TV/big ref/small ref/etc. Due to the cost ive seen on running such a big generator, I then decided to let go of the 2HP aircon and get myself a smaller one. (which is what you actually suggested), hence I am now looking for a 2000w generator to power our 2x ref (22cu and 12 cu) as well as lights, electric fan, Big TV, computer/modem/router, etc.

 

Original plan to get a generator which will use aircon will give me a cost of P5,000+/24hours. Now it went down to around P1,800/24hours which is already acceptable for me.

 

thebob - I really have no idea on what solar panels can do as of now. I need to research on this. Thanks

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Most modern gensets have variable speed alternators , as load increases the governor on the engine opens up and engine speeds up for more hp .

 

Air cooled diesel will be noisy and expensive or if soundproofed , more expensive .

 

My little genset here is an 850 watt 2 stroke pull start , I have used it to run a 42" LED/LCD tv , lights , fan and computer and it purrs quite happily , will run for hours on 2 litres ( tank holds 5 I think ) 

 

Last year I bought a used Sinano genset , Robin engine , 3,500 watts so I can run refrigerators and freezers as well , it is also pull start but a woman could start it , I paid AUD 350 ( about 14,000 PHP )  and of course haven't had a blackout since .

 

As Paul said , for the amount of time you're likely to need it , a petrol / gasoline unit will do the job , it need'nt cost an arm and a leg . Your choice .

 

Footnote , even my little 850 watt unit has a variable speed alternator / governor , plug in a 100 watt light and it stays on idle speed , plug in a 4" grinder and turn it on and it speeds up and starts doing some work.

 

Thanks. How would I know if the generators i've been researching then has that variable speed alternator? I take it that if the speed is slower, then the consumption is slower right? I wish they would include that in their spec sheet so that I could actually computer the total cost involved in running the generator at a given load. I'm basing all this on my research through reading in forums and looking at spec sheets. I have no actual experience first hand on generators yet. (our office and friend owns gensets but I don't think that counts since i dont meddle with it LOL)

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easy44

I looked into what Carlo said and damn, even if I'm only going to run this 3x a year (1 to 3 days per blackout), it would cost me around P5,000+ in gasoline per day! I thought it over and i think I will remove my need to power an aircon.

 

In this regard, my nominal watts would run at around 1800watts while my max will hit around 2500watts.

 

If this is the case, I am now looking at the following as my choice of generators:

 

1) Honda EP2500CX (2300nominal / 2500max) = gas cost would be P1940/day

2) Elemax SH3200 (2500nominal / 3200max) = gas cost would be P1870/day

3) ???

 

At this point, I would like to get the best 2000watts/2500max generator that is within my budget (P65,000). Maybe I can look into getting a diesel generator so that I won't need to worry about the carbon build up in the carburator. (and diesel is said to be safer than gas). Push button starter would also be nice so that it would be easy for the girls to start the generator (in case im not around).  What other generators are in the same league with Honda/Elemax?

 

Is there also a generator wherein if you only use 50% of its capacity, the fuel consumption would go down?

 

Thanks

I have a 5 kva Kubota diesel generator.  It was used continuously for 4 months after typhoon Yolanda for 10-12 hours per day.  I spent around 400 pesos per day to fuel the generator during those 4 months.  It has a 10 liter fuel tank which would run the unit up to12 hours without refueling.  Mine is a little smaller than the ones you're considering, but not that much smaller.  I was running one 3/4 hp water pump, 2 refs, 1 freezer, 2 tv's, 3 fans, microwave, toaster oven and misc lights.  Of course these were never all running at the same time so it was usually not fully loaded.  The fuel consumption you are referencing seems unusually high.  I know a gas engine will be more expensive to run than a diesel, but not that much more.

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easy44 - I based my calculations from the spec sheet I got from the internet on the generators ive posted. I don't think im wrong but please check how i did it and tell me if my calculations are wrong.

 

1) Honda EP2500CX spec sheet = http://www.hondaph.com/showcase/ep2500cx

Fuel tank capacity = 15 liters

Continuous operating time = 10.2 hours

 

15/10.2 = 1.47liters/hour

1.47 x 24 hours = 35.28 liters / day

35.28 liters x P55 (cost of fuel) = P1,940 / 24hours

 

2) Elemax SH3200 spec sheet = http://www.elemax.jp/products_ex.html#spec01

Fuel tank capacity = 17 liters

Continuous operating time = 12 hours

 

17/12 = 1.42liters/hour

1.42 x 24 hours = 34.08 liters / day

34.08 liters x P55 (cost of fuel) = P1,874 / 24hours

 

Is my computation wrong? Am I missing something?

 

Thanks

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Mikala

I just bought a Honda EU3000iS a few minutes ago (in Hilo, Hawaii). At the same time I purchased a remote (wireless) start for it. I'm basically lazy...  :wheel:   Cost was $2,300. Much cheaper than my $14,000 13.3 kW Caterpillar genset!

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I just bought a Honda EU3000iS a few minutes ago (in Hilo, Hawaii). At the same time I purchased a remote (wireless) start for it. I'm basically lazy...  :wheel:   Cost was $2,300. Much cheaper than my $14,000 13.3 kW Caterpillar genset!

 

Thats the same as the EU30is right? Nice expensive unit which runs very quiet. (as per specs) If i recall correctly, that thing costs around P100k+ here in the Philippines. It has a 13 liter capacity tank and runs for 7.1 hours. Incase anyone is interested, the total cost to operate the EU30is for a whole day (24hrs) would be P2,417.

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easy44
easy44 - I based my calculations from the spec sheet I got from the internet on the generators ive posted. I don't think im wrong but please check how i did it and tell me if my calculations are wrong.

 

I guess the difference is that I did not see the need to run my generator 24 hours a day.  Do you really have to run yours all night?  10+ hours a day kept my ice and my frozen foods, frozen, my refs cold, my lights on and appliances available, as long as I needed them.  I would run it for 5-6 hours in the morning and 5-6 hours in the evening.  that was enough.  I wasn't seriously concerned about anything else during the day and evening hours.  I mean, you're only talking about 3 days a year.  Get the cheapest gas generator that will do the job.  After 10 years you still will not have broken it in.

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I guess the difference is that I did not see the need to run my generator 24 hours a day.  Do you really have to run yours all night?  10+ hours a day kept my ice and my frozen foods, frozen, my refs cold, my lights on and appliances available, as long as I needed them.  I would run it for 5-6 hours in the morning and 5-6 hours in the evening.  that was enough.  I wasn't seriously concerned about anything else during the day and evening hours.  I mean, you're only talking about 3 days a year.  Get the cheapest gas generator that will do the job.  After 10 years you still will not have broken it in.

 

I only computed it for 24 hours so that I can have a reference point when comparing the generator's efficiency. Definitely I won't run it for 24 hours because there will be times that I need to have it cool down (so that I can refuel again) and such but the number of hours that I will use it on a daily basis during blackout would still be high. I take it that once my friends/relatives know that I have a genset, they would all come over to my place during blackout.  :wink:  They will use my internet, charge their phones/ipad/laptops, watch TV and do all sorts of things. The ref would surely need to remain cool from the constant closing/opening of the door as my visitors will be getting cold drinks frequently. (softdrinks/juice/beer)

 

It's not actually 3 days a year but 3x a year because from previous experience, we get blackouts during strong typhoon (which happens around 3x a year). Blackouts last from 1day to 4days. Well the last blackout we had was during the Glenda typhoon and it lasted for 4 days. 

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easy44

I only computed it for 24 hours so that I can have a reference point when comparing the generator's efficiency. Definitely I won't run it for 24 hours because there will be times that I need to have it cool down (so that I can refuel again) and such but the number of hours that I will use it on a daily basis during blackout would still be high. I take it that once my friends/relatives know that I have a genset, they would all come over to my place during blackout.  :wink:  They will use my internet, charge their phones/ipad/laptops, watch TV and do all sorts of things. The ref would surely need to remain cool from the constant closing/opening of the door as my visitors will be getting cold drinks frequently. (softdrinks/juice/beer)

 

It's not actually 3 days a year but 3x a year because from previous experience, we get blackouts during strong typhoon (which happens around 3x a year). Blackouts last from 1day to 4days. Well the last blackout we had was during the Glenda typhoon and it lasted for 4 days.

 

Ok, I get ya! Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending) I don't have any friends living nearby and the relatives are all scared of me so they don't hang around much. Lol

 

In any case your use will still be minimal and as long as the gen is not running fully loaded all the time, an inexpensive gas unit should be ok. As you already have mentioned, keep it serviced and exercised regularly so it's ready to go when you need it. Most failures I know about come from guys who forget to keep the oil topped up ( let it run dry).

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