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Old 06-25-2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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Extended run on generator

If you had to run your generator for say 10x the capacity of it's fuel tank on a regular basis would you:
1. Run a diesel genset with a aux tank
2. Run a LP genset with aux bottles

I am also wondering what the cost / efficiency comparison between the two.

Thanks...
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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I chose the Honda EU2001 pair. I run them on gasoline, with the extended run fuel tank available on from several places on the web.

But, the same function could be accomplished with propane, as you mentioned.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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The Hondas requires oil changes every 100 hrs and more significant service every 300 hrs... small diesel units may well extend this somewhat, but truly continuous use is outside the design parameters of all small units.

If you do go down the diesel route, remember that running diesels very lightly loaded for long periods of time is not recommended; the engines last longer w/ load.

How much power do you need and how does it vary?

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Old 06-25-2011, 10:04 AM   #4
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Diesel standby generators don't run much longer between service intervals than gas generators. A liquid cooled generator is usually going to have a longer life span than an air cooled. We have two 15-17kw 3 phase diesel generators that we use at work. Oil changes are supposed to be done every 200 hours of operation with heavier service every 500. We typically run ours 50-60 hours a week. Oil changes are once a month, heavy service every 6 months. We went to calendar service rather than hour service for convenience.

A diesel generator is going to be heavier than an equivalent gas/LP generator. Supposedly an LP generator burns cleaner and will not require as frequent oil changes.

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Old 06-25-2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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For information sake, my onboard Onan Microquiet 4000 stipulates the following maintenance schedule:

* Check oil level every 8 hours
* Change oil every 150 hours or once per year
* Change spark plug, fuel filter & check valve lash every 500 hours
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkspeed View Post
If you had to run your generator for say 10x the capacity of it's fuel tank on a regular basis would you:
1. Run a diesel genset with a aux tank
2. Run a LP genset with aux bottles

I am also wondering what the cost / efficiency comparison between the two.

Thanks...
How much power is needed?

Our Honda 2000i has the LPG conversion, 10x the small pancake tank I use would be around 220hrs, 9days 24/7. I just couldn't imagine under what camping situation I would need to do that. Or, like has been noted, whether the smaller gensets would be up to the task.

If power is needed for medical reasons you may need to research other options.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
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One point in addition to the good posts above.

As owner of small diesel generator, don't discount the exhaust odor if you're running the generator close to your trailer. These small diesel engines are notoriously stinky, worse than larger vehicle engines. I suspect combustion in the small cylinders has something to do with it. In some perverse way I actually like the smell of diesel exhaust and two stroke exhaust at least briefly. But these small diesel engines exceed my limit.

Also agree on the diesel under light load. If you're planning on running light loads much of the time, the gas inverter generators are spot on. Propane has the cleanest exhaust.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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Robert,
How much was the LP conversion kit for the Honda EU2000i? Do you require less LP as opposed to regular gas? In other words, does one gallon of LP burn longer than a gallon of regular gasoline? I'm curious what other opinions there are on the LP conversion kit for the Honda's.
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:11 PM   #9
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Robert,
How much was the LP conversion kit for the Honda EU2000i? Do you require less LP as opposed to regular gas? In other words, does one gallon of LP burn longer than a gallon of regular gasoline? I'm curious what other opinions there are on the LP conversion kit for the Honda's.
Mike,

Quite a bit of info here...
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ded-46854.html

Change over any Honda engine to run on propane or natural gas.
More threads available..just type in "propane conversion" in the search bar.

I've had no problems with ours since doing the conversion. Runs cooler, cleaner, and still has the ability to run on petrol when necessary.
It won't run "longer" on the same amount of LPG, lower BTU output, but the smaller pancake tank is easier to handle, no leaks, smell or mess. Very little exhaust smell.

Bob
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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Do not know what size gen you are looking for? One company that sells the propane conversion kits also sells a brand new Yamaha 2500 with the propane conversion done by them and with full warranty. about 1700 bucks. It will run on propane, natural gas, and gasoline. quiet and cleanburning also. one of those and a big propane tank should fit the bill.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:31 PM   #11
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Darkspeed,

As others have touched upon, long runs pose a separate set of problems. "Prime" power, that is, electrical generation intended to provide a continuous power supply for 8 hours a day or more on an ongoing basis, requires different equipment and a different approach than standby and campsite equipment can offer.

Generators intended for prime power have air cleaners, cooling systems, oil sumps and filters, and fuel capacities that support longer run times, and most of them operate at lower shaft speeds to lengthen the service interval. It is not uncommon for the service intervals to reach 500 hours on these machines.

Fuel source is a secondary question and should mainly be driven by availability and ease of handling in your situation. The main problem with propane is that it is awkward to store, distribute, and transport without specialized equipment, so unless you're willing to invest in and haul a collection of propane bottles you may be better off with diesel. You can buy a diesel generator on a trailer with an integral 100 gallon fuel tank and take it anywhere, and refill it using plastic 5 gallon jugs that are cheap and readily available. You can't transport 100 gallons of propane without running into regulatory compliance problems, and if you had a 100 gallon tank you couldn't refuel it yourself - you'd have to arrange a visit from the propane truck. With planning and enough plumbing you can overcome that with a bunch of 20#-40# bottles but it's not as straightforward.
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