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Old 12-17-2004, 09:40 AM   #1
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Question biodiesel for honda 2000 generators?

Since I'd much rather have the generator smell like french fries- could I toss this idea out to the general group? I concede that solar will NOT meet my energy needs. Thank you to all the people who told me many times- I am a bit hard headed! I am now thinking of using 2 honda 2000 generators linked in tandem (I heard they are much easier to handle that way, weight wise than a 4000???) and using biodiesel to run them. The very major advantage being that I could handle the filling of the fuel- except for smelling french fries all the time would be bad for a dieter. In a pinch I could go to Sam's club for gallon containers of the cheapest vege oil they have. (we are not considering money here but rather my being able to handle the fuel, and the smell.). My son is thinking of converting his truck. The Real Goods Co. in CA (www.realgoods.com) has a complete setup and instructions to make 40 gallons at a time in about an hour. He would make it.
Do any of you have comments about this viability?? silver suz
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:58 AM   #2
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I would be interested in knowing how you intend to convert 4 stroke Honda generators to run on Diesel of any kind. While externally diesel and gasoline engine look alike they are light years apart in operation, From fuel delivery to compression and cooling requirements it would be interesting to know how you're going to pull this off. --Pieman
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:58 AM   #3
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They have gasoline engines, not diesel. Not viable at all.

John
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Old 12-17-2004, 10:05 AM   #4
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Biodiesel is for diesels only

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver suz
Since I'd much rather have the generator smell like french fries- could I toss this idea out to the general group? I concede that solar will NOT meet my energy needs. Thank you to all the people who told me many times- I am a bit hard headed! I am now thinking of using 2 honda 2000 generators linked in tandem (I heard they are much easier to handle that way, weight wise than a 4000???) and using biodiesel to run them. The very major advantage being that I could handle the filling of the fuel- except for smelling french fries all the time would be bad for a dieter. In a pinch I could go to Sam's club for gallon containers of the cheapest vege oil they have. (we are not considering money here but rather my being able to handle the fuel, and the smell.). My son is thinking of converting his truck. The Real Goods Co. in CA (www.realgoods.com) has a complete setup and instructions to make 40 gallons at a time in about an hour. He would make it.
Do any of you have comments about this viability?? silver suz
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that vegie oil will only work in diesel engines, and there has to be some grain alcohol in the mix also to start the engines. I'm not aware that Honda makes a 2000 diesel generator. I heard a talk by some High School students locally who are making biodiesel in conjunction with some university students. Their goal is to fuel all the maintenance vehicles in the School District, and if there's some left over, to sell some to the public. I guess it works well, but the cost would be more than traditional diesel fuel, so no savings to the pocketbook!
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Old 12-17-2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by silver suz
(we are not considering money here but rather my being able to handle the fuel, and the smell.). My son is thinking of converting his truck. The Real Goods Co. in CA (www.realgoods.com) has a complete setup and instructions to make 40 gallons at a time in about an hour. He would make it.
Do any of you have comments about this viability?? silver suz
Before you commit to using this system, stand close to a generator burning biodiesel and see if you can tolerate the smell.

There are diesel generators available, but they are not light weight hondas. Yanmar makes a fine 4kw unit, but you cannot lift it.

Biodiesel, after it is burned, contains a lot of particulate soot, more than what is in straight diesel fuel. Biodiesel does burn with lower amounts of NOx.
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Old 12-17-2004, 03:13 PM   #6
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Silver Suz----I happened to be looking back through some old posts and found that in june you posted a similar question about running diesel or similar fuels in gasoline engines. This is not ment to make light of your ideas but frankly they won't work. Perhaps you don't understand the difference in the two. Asumeing that here is a brief discription of the two. In a 4 stroke gasoline engine fuel and air are compressed in a cylinder and at the proper time ignited with a spark in the combustion chamber. The fuel -air mixture burns, expands and forces the piston down changing liquid energy into mechanical. If you put diesel fuel in this engine it WILL NOT RUN as the fuel will not vaporize and will not ignite.----A diesel engine while similar uses a heavier fuel that needs more heat than a spark plug produces to ignite it. Diesel engines are ignited by heat of compression. The higher you compress air the hotter it gets .Diesel engines have compression ratios in excess of 16-1 where as gasoline engines range from 8 or 10 to 1. When a diesel engine in on compression only air is compressed in the cylinder instead of air and fuel as the gasoline engine. When the piston reaches near top dead center the air that's compressed is heated by compression to the point that if fuel were present it would burn. At this point fuel is injected into the super heated compressed air and the burning process and mechanical forces are the same as the gasoline engine. This a very simplified explaination of course as there are other systems in diesel engines to get them started etc. So---Simply changing fuels in a gasoline engine will not work for a number of reasons. 1--the fuel simply won't ignite in a gasoline engine-- 2 a diesel requires a high presure injection system for forcing fuel into a chamber that in under several thousand lbs of pressure. 3--You could not crank an engine with a rope starter if it had the compression of a diesel. ---4 If you did get it started some way by mixing gasoline or some other fuel with the diesel it would burn the engine up as diesel fuel has a higher BTU content than gasoline and a gas engine doesn't have a cooling system that can handle the extra heat produced . I personally saw this happen in a car the mistakenly pumped a half tank of diesel fuel into a half tank of gas . It melted the pistons and turned the cylinder walls black and melted the solder out of the radiator. Perhaps this will help in your search for alterative fuels. Pieman
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:41 PM   #7
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Your discussion of gasoline / diesel systems made sense to this non-mechanical reader. I, for one, understand better after reading this 101 on basics of fuel systems. However, I could swear that somewhere someplace I read about Honda having a diesel generator. Is that so and is it just too cumbersome for our RV use, or did I dream that?
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:02 PM   #8
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I had a 4000 Honda mounted on the tongue of my AS Caravel that was converted to run off the propane tanks. I had two tanks on the front and had a rack constructed to fit on the rear that held two more large tanks. This was a 1967 AS so there was no problem with a weak rear frame. The generator would run about 12 3/4 hours on one of the tanks. The generator never had to be cleaned and ran well on that fuel. The only problem I ever had was the noise and vibration. Actually it wasn't as bad as you might expect; however, I would leave the generator in my pickup bed if I were doing this again. I showed dogs professionally and was often stuck at show grounds with no hook-ups. This was a perfect set up.
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:05 PM   #9
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Max--- You may be right about Honda having a diesel as I know Yamaha does. The Yamaha is like you may suspect a large gen. IT's a 6500 watt twin cylinder,liquid cooled diesel powered unit. It weighs a meager 526 lbs. Not something you would be throwing in the bed oaf your pickup. It should be noted that this IS a diesel engine not a gasoline engine running on or converted to diesel. Am not sure what the application is for these but would guess they are for industrial or emergency .
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:57 PM   #10
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There are plenty of diesel and LP fueled RV generators out there from companies like Onan, Kohler and Generac. These tend to be pretty large generators as they are found on board class A diesel pushers. One of these units could be permanently mounted in the tow vehicle but would require significant space and load carrying capacity.

With the new popularity in diesel powered class C's and B's I think you will start to see some smaller (lighter) diesel gensets coming down the line.

I have to say that I am completely fascinated at the entire concept of biodiesel. I love the concept and have looked into it myself for my in town commuting (I drive about four miles a day to and from the office). But unless you can haul a lot of fuel around with you it certainly does not seem to be something that is well suited for long distance Class A RV travel or cold weather climates.
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Old 12-18-2004, 10:23 AM   #11
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You ARE right. I know nothing about engines. And I asked the wrong questions of my husband who would know. No I don't intend to convert a GAS engine ,but to use diesel engines from the start. I guess I read a few too many articles on people using boidesiel exclusively for cars trucks, motorcycles...so I made the next logical (???) jump to diesel generators. That's why I have you all to keep me on the straight and narrow. Obviously, I need to do more research. I wish I could go to the Real Goods store near the wine country in CA. They have all sorts of workshops and run their cars and trucks on biodiesel. Does anyone live near them? Has anyone visited them or took their workshops? I'm hoping to get to their next annual event in august, or the next year? or the one after that?? . suz
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Old 12-18-2004, 11:29 AM   #12
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Bio-diesel sounds great except you will get very tried of filtering and farting around with the used oils really fast. It is messy. Convert your Honda gen sets to propane. You wont have the gasoline fumes and it is a lot less hassle.
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Old 12-18-2004, 11:39 AM   #13
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Bio-diesel sounds great except you will get very tried of filtering and farting around with the used oils really fast. It is messy. Convert your Honda gen sets to propane. You wont have the gasoline fumes and it is a lot less hassle.
You also need to think about what it will cost once the local MacDonalds manager figures out that he can sell his used fry fat, rather than just give it away.
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Old 12-18-2004, 11:43 AM   #14
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That is a very good point. They may even make you buy fries with the oil.
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