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Thread: Generators

  1. #1
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Generators

    I'm in the market for a generator.

    Power demands will be fairly light:

    a couple of computers
    a couple of fans
    half a dozen lights

    It's only for the power cuts which we get now and again but which always seem to happen at the worse possible times.

    Any suggestions on models/prices available? Roughly how long do they run for, i.e. how much gas per hour?
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  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Work out your consumption exactly
    You might be better off with some batteries and an inverter.

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    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    I've thought about this too. The power goes out here every time it sprinkles. But it usually only stays off about an hour -- the time required to go out to the shed, drag a generator out, fill it with gasoline, hook up the extension cords and plug the vital stuff in. I can do without my computer but desperately need a fan and would like to keep power to my fridge in case of an extended outage.

    I'll watch this thread with interest. I'm going to Udon Thani Thursday and will pop into Gobal House and Home Pro to see if they have 'em.

  4. #4
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Probably a maximum of 1KW/H I reckon. Some of our blackouts can last 4 or 5 hours (longest was 12), so I dont think batteries is a viable solution.

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    used the little Honda 1 kw portable sets for years - on my boat and around various site offices,
    never had any problem whatsoever .
    Mine used to run for about 2/3 hours on a tankful which I think was 1 gallon

    Can leave it wired up with a changeover switch /isolater and a light bulb wired in on the Mains side of the changeover/isolater so that you can see when the mains comes back on .

    Can linkup an auxhillary gas tank by getting an outboard motor tank with the delivery feeding through the genset filler cap this lets you top up the fuel without stopping the set (and is a lot safer than filling the tank of a hot set in the dark !!!)
    Last edited by Happyman; 08-04-2008 at 11:30 PM.

  6. #6
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Honda makes good ones. Available in Thailand.

    Honda Generators - Honda's Portable Electric Power Generator Line

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happyman
    used the little Honda 1 kw portable sets for years
    Beat me to it.

  8. #8
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Those are the sort of thing I'm looking for. Any idea of local price?

  9. #9
    Cacoethes scribendi
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    You could try looking here and good luck.

    http://www.eguide.co.th/productservi...land,Asia.html

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    Member More Volts Igor's Avatar
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    You really need to add up all your power usage (of the stuff you want to run), multiply by 1.5 or so and then get the next bigger unit, particularly as you are expecting to run the fridge/freezer which will take a high start current.

    Check out gensets at your local farm shop, we got a little Sakari 4kVA (local manufacture I believe) about 3 years ago, don't remember the price though, runs lights, fridge, fans, telly and a couple of PCs it also has electric start so the missus can get it going whilst I remain guarding the beer from the dog.

    Whatever you get, don't get the bright idea of using a cable with a plug at both ends to connect it into your house. This is dangerous for the obvious reason (live prongs) and the less obvious possibility of back-feeding into the supply with it's attendant danger to the linemen attempting to restore your power plus you'll be supplying juice to the neighbours .

    Either install a proper transfer switch or go for the simpler route of running a traily lead from the genset and plugging in all the stuff you need to run. We're in the process of converting our manual transfer to an automatic one with auto start of the genset, lazy sod that I am
    Last edited by More Volts Igor; 09-04-2008 at 11:25 AM.

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    Hell I got one that I want to sell,, half price too, 5KW, electric start, have built the switch with isolaror so it is safe to run the house with the gen with a power outage, [got 2 switches and only one can be on at a time] without killing some somchai up a pole. has only ran a few short times, mostly just to warm it up and power is rarely off anymore.

    The framework under it is on wheels so it is easy to move around too.
    Last edited by blackgang; 09-04-2008 at 12:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by More Volts Igor View Post
    You really need to add up all your power usage (of the stuff you want to run), multiply by 1.5 or so and then get the next bigger unit, particularly as you are expecting to run the fridge/freezer which will take a high start current.

    Check out gensets at your local farm shop, we got a little Sakari 4kVA (local manufacture I believe) about 3 years ago, don't remember the price though, runs lights, fridge, fans, telly and a couple of PCs it also has electric start so the missus can get it going whilst I remain guarding the beer from the dog.

    Whatever you get, don't get the bright idea of using a cable with a plug at both ends to connect it into your house. This is dangerous for the obvious reason (live prongs) and the less obvious possibility of back-feeding into the supply with it's attendant danger to the linemen attempting to restore your power plus you'll be supplying juice to the neighbours .

    Either install a proper transfer switch or go for the simpler route of running a traily lead from the genset and plugging in all the stuff you need to run. We're in the process of converting our manual transfer to an automatic one with auto start of the genset, lazy sod that I am
    Igor has some bloody good advice & should not be ignored.

    Also, what he says about "back-feeding" into the supply, is about an incredibly dangerous situation, which most people do not understand. Generally speaking, supplying a domestic residence, which is connected to the main power grid, with internal generated power is only done by electricians. This should not be a DIY project unless you are a qualified electrician.

    With regard to generator sizing, I have prepared an example of generator sizing (for single phase 220 volts) as follows;

    Continuous Load calculation.
    4 x 60 Watt incandescent lights - - - - - - - - - - 240W divided by 220 = 1 Amp.
    1 x 300 Watt fridge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 300W divided by (220 x 0.8) = 1.7 Amps.
    1 x 300 Watt freezer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 300W divided by (220 x 0.8) = 1.7 Amps.
    1 x 300 Watt TV - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 300W divided by 220 = 1.4 Amps.
    1 x 100W "printer" fax/phone - - - - - - - - - - - - 100 divided by 220 = 0.5 Amps.

    Total continuous Watts as listed - 1240 Watts.
    Total continuous current as calculated - approx 6.3 Amps.

    Surge Load calculation.
    The only items that will have a surge current are the fridge, freezer & TV.

    1 x 300 Watt fridge - - - - - - - - - 1.7 Amps x 4 = 6.8 Amps.
    Fridge surge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6.8 Amps - 1.7 Amps = 5.1 Amps.

    1 x 300 Watt freezer - - - - - - - - 1.7 Amps x 4 = 6.8 Amps.
    Freezer surge - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6.8 Amps - 1.7 Amps = 5.1 Amps.

    1 x 300 Watt TV - - - - - - - - - - - TV surge is approx 1 Amp or less.

    Total surge current - 10.3 Amps.

    Your generator will need to supply a continuous current of 6.3 Amps.
    Your generator will need to supply a total surge current of 6.3 Amps + 10.3 Amps = 16.6 Amps.
    Converting these figures to "Apparent Power" (VA);
    16.6 Amps x 220v = 3 652VA surge.
    6.3 Amps x 220v = 1 386VA continuous.

    Since you will not find a generator with these exact "continuous" & "surge" ratings, you must buy a generator that can accommodate the surge rating. ie you will need a generator with a surge rating of no less than 3700VA for the above situation.

    Also, most "portable" generators have a duty cycle, whereby it can only operate at full load for a maximum period of time. If this operation time is exceeded, the life of the generator can be dramatically reduced. Generally, reduced loads mean a longer operating life.

    Unless your "portable" generator has inverter technology, it may produce a waveform that can be detrimental to certain equipment.

    In your situation, "standby" generators are used because they are designed to operate continuously & they also provide a "clean" output waveform (without the use of electronics).

    An "inverter battery" arrangement is a good idea, particularly if your supply is "regular" about the times at which it fails & for "how long" it fails. The only thing about this arrangement is that it cannot be designed by just anybody. If you wish to get your moneys worth, be prepared to spend the correct amount of money. As with generators, "pay peanuts, get monkeys".


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    Last edited by mikehunt; 10-04-2008 at 08:04 PM.
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  13. #13
    Mea-Culpa
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    I have a 125KWA generator that I need to sell, it's to small now

  14. #14
    The Pikey Hunter
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    ^^ Thanks. Very informative. Have a green.

    I'd definitely be getting an electrician in if I decide to go the switch over/isolator route to hook it into the house mains supply. Finding one who knows what he's doing may be tricky....

    Looks like I'll probably be doing a deal with Blackgang on his spare unit.

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    No sweat Gerbil, I have it done already and I will show you and give you what I have and it is no big deal.
    I didn't have wood working tools so what I made aint fancy but it works..
    As long as you can get to the main connection panel, I have it so you can not switch the gen to the panel until the panel is switched off from the line and only one switch can be on at any time..

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    I'm more of an extention cord guy to the fridge, a fan and a lightbulb -- don't need the whole house.

    Thanks for all the great information. (Went to Udon this weekend and forgot to check prices.)

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    But if set up right it is just a matter of starting the gen and throwing a switch and it is easier than dragging out a Cord and untangling it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happyman
    Can linkup an auxhillary gas tank by getting an outboard motor tank with the delivery feeding through the genset filler cap this lets you top up the fuel without stopping the set (and is a lot safer than filling the tank of a hot set in the dark !!!)
    This is partly true we did something very similar on our racing rig to provide constant fuel feed without dangerous filling next to a hot exhaust pipe, for when we had night work or night races.. The problem with this idea is that the fumes are the most explosive part, even more so than actual fluid so leaving the cap open is really not advisable..The exhaust gets white hot..

    What we did to avoid this is just add the male side of a marine quick disconnect to the fuel line on the generator by cutting it and adding a small brass 'T' in-line with a brass valve to control fuel direction and a tail of fuel line. Once the fuel in the tank ran out we just hooked up the boat tank with the female end of the fuel line just like changing tanks in a boat and switched the valve over to the boat tank and pumped it up like in an outboard. No leakage, completely safe and no need to open anything, re-fill anything around hot exhaust, and the tank size gives you much more run-time say through the night if necessary, and you can have a couple of them with the additional length of lead you can add you can also move the tank away from the generator all together, to a safe distance but not too far..

    Most marine stores here carry all of these pieces that I've seen..
    Silent but deadly.....

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