Generators

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14861
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Post by Elderberry » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:25 pm

I actually knew about the altitude thing, and the surge (the extra needed for startup). But we specifically bought an a/c that only said it needed 450 Watts. When we tested it using both electric from the house and the generator, it never pulled more than 600 Watts at startup (if memory serves) and then ran at about 400 watts continuous.

I didn't know that trick about the UPS. It so happens I have two--one huge one that is over 800 lbs with all the batteries and a smaller one. We recently moved all of our servers to a data center and I no longer needed a 12 hour battery backup situation. I wouldn't want to haul that big thing to the playa though, and I'll have to check the capacity of the small one--maybe give it an all day test on the generator and see what happens. It would be awesome if I could actually use that little generator. It's easy to pack and except for letting us down with the A/C would buy another one if it ever breaks down.

I was actually thinking of hooking up the batteries to some sort of solar array for power on the playa. But that's a whole lot more homework than I have time for right now.

JK
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

User avatar
wedeliver
Posts: 1871
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:10 am
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Tionesta, CA
Contact:

Post by wedeliver » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:45 am

jkisha wrote:.....I didn't know that trick about the UPS. It so happens I have two--one huge one that is over 800 lbs with all the batteries and a smaller one. We recently moved all of our servers to a data center and I no longer needed a 12 hour battery backup situation. I wouldn't want to haul that big thing to the playa though, .,.,..
JK
Sounds like that battery pack could run light strings when the genny is off.

I dare you Jk, think about how creative you can be with that equipment.

fuck the math and have some fun.
I'm a topless shirtcocking yahoo hippie

www.eaglesnestrvpark.com

User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
Posts: 5325
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:32 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: ESD
Location: my computer

Post by mdmf007 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:13 am

jkisha wrote:
I didn't know that trick about the UPS. It so happens I have two--one huge one that is over 800 lbs with all the batteries and a smaller one.

JK
HOLLY SHIT and 800 pound batery pack is a submarine battery!!! You shouldnt need a generator at all if that bastard is charged when you bring it out!!

Yeah electricity is funky stuff. Posed ratings have never been gospel.

mabu
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:19 am

Post by mabu » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:04 am

StarShineScars wrote:
Captain Goddammit wrote:There is a Chinese knock-off, the Kipor. It's similar and supposedly pretty quiet. In my experience with different small-engine things, the Chinese cheapies tend to be lower quality, not as long lasting, and IMPOSSIBLE to get parts for. But there are people on here who have bought the Kipor and liked it. Maybe it's worth a look. It is a lot cheaper up front.
I did notice that one in my searches and something called a Magna. But you're right the knock-off brands many times are well... cheaper. Most of the reviews for them were not so great.
Does anyone have a good resource for making generators quiet? Like how to attach mufflers or build baffle boxes? If you enclose a generator out on the playa, is there a possibility you could cause it to overheat?

User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14861
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Post by Elderberry » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:41 pm

mdmf007 wrote:
jkisha wrote:
I didn't know that trick about the UPS. It so happens I have two--one huge one that is over 800 lbs with all the batteries and a smaller one.

JK
HOLLY SHIT and 800 pound batery pack is a submarine battery!!! You shouldnt need a generator at all if that bastard is charged when you bring it out!!

Yeah electricity is funky stuff. Posed ratings have never been gospel.
LOL I didn't know that. It's actually an array of three 'packs' each with four batteries in each pack; which is then connected to the main UPS. It was originally delivered on palettes. When we moved it we had to take all the batteries out and move them one at a time.

I think they are also what I hear referred to here as 'deep charge' batteries? Maybe not, the entire thing came from APC and is several years old now. I was thinking of at least bringing some of the batteries--like maybe one pack of four batteries. Still thinking about that.

JK
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

User avatar
SnowBlind
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:27 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Post by SnowBlind » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:29 pm

mabu wrote:If you enclose a generator out on the playa, is there a possibility you could cause it to overheat?
I can most definitely overheat. I recall a story from someone who build a baffle box and it got so hot that the on/off switch on the generator melted. They ended up having to run it out of gas to turn it off.

User avatar
oneeyeddick
Posts: 5592
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Location: Probably in your pants

Post by oneeyeddick » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:37 pm

You can place a fan in your box with the gennie and you won't have any overheating problems,
the question is, where would you plug it in at ?
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
Posts: 5325
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:32 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: ESD
Location: my computer

Post by mdmf007 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:18 pm

I have seen soundoxes tall enough that they dont need a top. Tall enough and it deflects the sound upwards.

User avatar
penguin
Posts: 548
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Kidsville
Location: Southwestern High Desert
Contact:

Post by penguin » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:19 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:You can place a fan in your box with the gennie and you won't have any overheating problems,
the question is, where would you plug it in at ?
Umm, is that a trick question?

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29609
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:11 am

naw, it's just like sitting in the sail boat, blowing on the sail.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 8495
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:29 am

SnowBlind wrote:
mabu wrote:If you enclose a generator out on the playa, is there a possibility you could cause it to overheat?
I can most definitely overheat. I recall a story from someone who build a baffle box and it got so hot that the on/off switch on the generator melted. They ended up having to run it out of gas to turn it off.
So it never occurred to anyone to just pull the plug wire...

Hey, another important generator-on-the-playa issue not being mentioned is filters. The playa will really screw up your air and fuel filters, sometimes bad enough that the thing will barely run, certainly bad enough to shorten the unit's lifespan.
I bring spares, and I change them on the playa, as well as the engine oil.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

User avatar
Kinetik V
Posts: 1653
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:43 am
Burning Since: 2002
Camp Name: Sanctuary West

Post by Kinetik V » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:45 am

Engine oil requirements can vary depending on temp extremes too....make sure your oil is not too thin ....and that it has the right viscosity to take on the heat of operating above 100 degrees. A generator sitting inside a baffle box running the wrong weight of oil in the heat of the day can be a costly screwup.
Kinetic V
~~~~~~
I bring order to chaos. And I bring chaos to those who deserve it, wherever that may be.

User avatar
gyre
Posts: 15457
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Post by gyre » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:50 am

Viscosity can be misleading or meaningless.
You do need to make sure the oil will take the heat.
I would think a good synthetic is justified. (Redline or better)
As long as the oil will take the heat, run the lowest viscosity you can that won't leak out.
And don't forget the cold at night too.

mabu
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:19 am

Post by mabu » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:51 am

gyre wrote:Does humidity affect cooling?
I forget.

Bear in mind that all inverters have less capacity in heat, unless they are overbuilt to start with.
Most won't tell you that though.

When the better ones say continuous, they mean it.
So a 2000 watt $2000 inverter may actually run at rated power.
On the forums, no one thinks the cheapos can, much less last long.
You don't have to have true sine wave for everything, but a minimal industrial grade is called for.
Usually these are built for direct wiring, but not always.

The better ones are far more efficient and at more power levels and the best ones shut down without a draw.
Do you have any recommendations for quality inverters?

User avatar
gyre
Posts: 15457
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Post by gyre » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:21 am

gyre wrote:Some are heat sink cooling instead of fan cooling.
Much more stable.
Many are intended for continuous use.


This lists a few better units.
http://www.solardyne.com/inverters.html
http://www.majorpower.com/xantrex/prosine_charger.html

Sealed inverters usa made
http://www.outbackinverters.com/product1.htm
The Outback ones look good.
I would recommend talking to solar companies and check out the electric and solar forums.
They really trash the garbage ones on there.
Sunelco used to have a great fact page on them.
Some have efficiency only in one range.
The final step up is true sine wave.
You may not need that.

Like anything, the industrial grade models are more stable and durable.
Most have to be wired in.
Compare specs.
If one looks too good for the price, it probably is.

It isn't too hard to eliminate the trash.
You might find a bargain on a used one.
If we can help you interpret some of the info, we will.
But the forums are a great way to research, as there is always someone staying up to date on these.

Some include a built in charger, which you may or may not need.
Monitoring systems are extensive on some.
I was looking at one made by Xantrex (Statpower) a while back.
Bottom end of their industrial line.
Just a black box that was hardwired in and had receptacles and breakers.
Their low end line had nothing to do with the company, just imported chinese stuff.
All the industrial was us made.

There are many compact higher end units now, so it's harder to tell by looking.
I wouldn't spend much on one made in china though.
Personally I'd always buy used industrial before new junk.

There is pretty good pseudo sine wave stuff out, but if you plan extensive electronic use, true sine wave may be worth the cost.
If you go high end, it may not cost that much more anyway.

User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
Posts: 5325
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:32 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: ESD
Location: my computer

Post by mdmf007 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:39 pm

ygmir wrote:naw, it's just like sitting in the sail boat, blowing on the sail.
Or like picking yourself up, ( Only Chuck Norris can do that)

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29609
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:23 pm

mdmf007 wrote:
ygmir wrote:naw, it's just like sitting in the sail boat, blowing on the sail.
Or like picking yourself up, ( Only Chuck Norris can do that)
and Bugs Bunny
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
gyre
Posts: 15457
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Post by gyre » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:00 pm

I built a self-regenerating power supply once, but I had to quit playing with it.
Every week it just kept going faster and faster and faster....

doktorrandom
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:38 am
Location: San Diego
Contact:

Post by doktorrandom » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:48 am

Anyone have experience in hooking up three EU2000 gennies? Seems like three of em in tandem would allow only running one with minimal loads like morning battery charging, and two or three as you approach dinner and other high powered entertainment times. http://durationpower.com/store/index.html Are three quieter on the playa than one open frame type? Research continues.
"Be virtuous and you will be eccentric." -Twain

Doktor Random

User avatar
ibdave
Posts: 3520
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:09 pm
Burning Since: 1998

Post by ibdave » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:17 pm

doktorrandom wrote:Anyone have experience in hooking up three EU2000 gennies? Seems like three of em in tandem would allow only running one with minimal loads like morning battery charging, and two or three as you approach dinner and other high powered entertainment times. http://durationpower.com/store/index.html Are three quieter on the playa than one open frame type? Research continues.

YES......
I was Born OK the 1st Time....

Don't bring defaultia to Burning Man, take Burning Man to defaultia...... graidawg

User avatar
Elorrum
Posts: 5415
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:09 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Baby fell in the Bucket
Location: Reno

Post by Elorrum » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:05 pm

I used to work at a store that sold generators... big loud ones, nothing I wish I'd bought... anyway, a customer asked if he didn't want to use the motor, could he just plug it into an outlet. Still scratching my head trying to figure out what he was thinking.

User avatar
oneeyeddick
Posts: 5592
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Location: Probably in your pants

Post by oneeyeddick » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:42 pm

I do that every year with an extension cord and my neighbors gennie at night.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

Sgt. Chowder
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:05 pm

Post by Sgt. Chowder » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:10 am

Just Breathe
Live to eat, Eat to live

User avatar
oneeyeddick
Posts: 5592
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Location: Probably in your pants

Post by oneeyeddick » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:13 am

Huh ????
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

User avatar
Sail Man
Posts: 4523
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:03 am
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Kidsville: Delicious
Location: 20 Minutes into the Future

Post by Sail Man » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:00 pm

ygmir wrote:naw, it's just like sitting in the sail boat, blowing on the sail.
I find pissing off the stern helps as well

Image
Excuse me Ma'am, your going to feel a small prick.
_______________________________________

Algorithms never survive the first thirty seconds of patient contact

User avatar
griffin
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:11 pm
Location: monterey, ca
Contact:

Post by griffin » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:28 pm

there's a lot of unfortunate crap in this thread, so forgive me for skipping to the end. Hopefully I'm not repeating information.

I bought a Magna generator last year for about half the price of a honda. It's spit out 2000 watts continuous, and peaked at 2400. Cost around $500. Had the same decibel level as a Honda.

The first day of use, the spark plug got gummed up, probably was flooded, and the problem was fixable.

It ran great the rest of the week, and has supplied juice for a few campout parties since with no issues.

I bought it on Amazon, but it looked like the brand was coming to an end. But look around for Magna. They had a sister company, that was slightly higher priced, but still less than Hondas. I'm sorry, but I can't remember what the other brand was called.

Hopefully, this will point you in a direciton.
----------------------------
yesterday was unique
today was the same
----------------------------
www.cypresslounge.com

User avatar
phil
Posts: 2936
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:10 pm
Location: Codgerville

Post by phil » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:23 pm

The only reason to have a generator on the playa is to keep this sucker running:

Image


http://www.popsci.com/gear-amp-gadgets/ ... nest-drill
for more info. I _need_ this drill.

User avatar
Sail Man
Posts: 4523
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:03 am
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Kidsville: Delicious
Location: 20 Minutes into the Future

Post by Sail Man » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:16 pm

Now that I took the RV plunge it is also time to buy me a gennie. I'd love a Honda EU2000, especially from what I've read about them but the price tag :shock: So, what are your opinions on Onan and Generac gennies? I've been looking at them through Northern tools catalog. I'm looking for something round bout 3000 watts. Probably the biggest thing I'd be running with it is the A/C unit in the camper. I don't remember the specs on the a/c unit but its on a 19' camper, so it cant be that huge.
Excuse me Ma'am, your going to feel a small prick.
_______________________________________

Algorithms never survive the first thirty seconds of patient contact

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29609
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:21 pm

remember, it'll take twice the wattage to start the A/C as to run it..........
I've got a 24' trailer, with a roof A/C, and, it takes all my 4Kw to start it.........
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
Sail Man
Posts: 4523
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:03 am
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Kidsville: Delicious
Location: 20 Minutes into the Future

Post by Sail Man » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:52 pm

ok, so at least 4000 watts then. And did a search, according to the manufacturer the ac will be either 13500 or 15000 btu's.
Excuse me Ma'am, your going to feel a small prick.
_______________________________________

Algorithms never survive the first thirty seconds of patient contact

Post Reply

Return to “Power & Electronics”