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3kw generator


Karl
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I have read posts on here before about generators and get a bit baffled with it all like wattage and amps and stuff but wondered can someone please just give me a direct simple answer to my question please !

I have a Victron 3kw inverter and two solar panels that keep my batteries topped up when disconnected from mains electric. Batterys are all 110v. Five leisure,one starter and one bow thruster. I am looking to buy a Generator such as a Honda to keep batteries up rather than start engine when out on the Cut. Mainly for keeping the 240v stuff going when we are out. I have enough power for a few days and find starting the engine for an hour or so a day helps. Do I need a 3kw generator to match the 3kw invertor as I want to plug it straight into the electric hook up i use for mains power ? Or will a smaller generator do the same thing ? Also what about an earth point. Someone said put a spike in the ground. I would have thought modern generators are earthed or am i getting it wrong ? thanks.

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No you don't need a 3Kw generator.

 

What battery charger do you have ?

Just get a big enough generator to power the battery charger and it'll work fine.

 

Most folk find that a 2Kw generator is more than enough (2Kw is 'maximum' and will probably have a 1600W continuous rating)

Honda 2.0 I are probably the most popular (and expensive), followed by the slightly cheaper Kipor 2.0.

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3 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

Just run the engine - (should be) much quieter than a petrol genny and you won't wreck it - assuming that it's a'proper' boat engine ...

 

I would argue that point.

 

A typical suitcase 2kw Honda / Kipor generator will be much quieter than the 'diesel lump' in the back of your boat - maybe you are thinking of 'site' / Frame generators.

 

The only downside of a generator is the buying / use / storage of petrol.

Dangerous stuff.

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46 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

Just run the engine - (should be) much quieter than a petrol genny and you won't wreck it - assuming that it's a'proper' boat engine ...

 

That depends very much on the engine, the installation and the type of petrol generator.

 

My Honda 30EUi is quieter than my Isuzu 55.

42 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

The only downside of a generator is the buying / use / storage of petrol.

Dangerous stuff.

 

Yes, plus  the carbon monoxide risk.

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1 hour ago, Karl said:

Also what about an earth point. Someone said put a spike in the ground. I would have thought modern generators are earthed or am i getting it wrong ? thanks.

 

Most small suitcase petrol generators have what's called a floating earth which is really designed to be used in conjunction with a single mains appliance. Once you start running an entire mains ring with a consumer unit, breakers and multiple outlets some people would rather modify the earthing arrangement because with the generator's floating earth the boat's breakers may not work if there's a fault. I suggest you search earthing + generator in the archives to get more info. 

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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

 

 

Yes, plus  the carbon monoxide risk.

 

Fair point, well made,  but I was assuming (very dangerous!!) that generator users would actually follow the guidelines and ONLY run the generator on the bank-side and downwind of the boat.

 

These are the core points that should never be forgotten.

  • Never install a portable generator permanently or make unauthorised modifications that are not supported by the manufacturer, or proprietary component supplier.
  • Never run generators on the boat, or on the bank near to doors, vents, windows and hatches. If you can smell exhaust fumes in the boat, it could mean the cabin is also filling with deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Never refuel any generator anywhere aboard the boat; take it to the bank and ensure you are a safe distance from other boats and potential sources of ignition.

https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe/generator-safety/

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The only one I'd add to that list is: Never store the generator (or fuel containers) in an engine space or other area of the boat where fumes from petrol leaks will not vent overboard.

 

One would assume that this is pretty obvious, but I've seen narrow boats with petrol generators stored in engine spaces on several occasions and they hadn't been run dry. When you consider the fuel pipes and connections inside the generator it's basically the same as storing a plastic jerry can full of petrol in the engine space.

Edited by blackrose
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5 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Fair point, well made,  but I was assuming (very dangerous!!) that generator users would actually follow the guidelines and ONLY run the generator on the bank-side and downwind of the boat.

 

These are the core points that should never be forgotten.

  • Never install a portable generator permanently or make unauthorised modifications that are not supported by the manufacturer, or proprietary component supplier.
  • Never run generators on the boat, or on the bank near to doors, vents, windows and hatches. If you can smell exhaust fumes in the boat, it could mean the cabin is also filling with deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Never refuel any generator anywhere aboard the boat; take it to the bank and ensure you are a safe distance from other boats and potential sources of ignition.

https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe/generator-safety/

We moored behind a boat at Adlington a few years ago behind a boat running his generator just inside his rear doors. When he decided to fill the tank whilst it was running we felt it was time to leave.

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7 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I would argue that point.

 

A typical suitcase 2kw Honda / Kipor generator will be much quieter than the 'diesel lump' in the back of your boat - maybe you are thinking of 'site' / Frame generators.

 

The only downside of a generator is the buying / use / storage of petrol.

Dangerous stuff.

And the weight of it when lugging it about. Which my back will currently testify to. 

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5 minutes ago, pearley said:

We moored behind a boat at Adlington a few years ago behind a boat running his generator just inside his rear doors. When he decided to fill the tank whilst it was running we felt it was time to leave.

I’ve seen the skipper of a commercial trip boat do that. While the boat was travelling and full of people. 

  • Horror 1
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1 hour ago, Mike Hurley said:

2 stroke smell is best.

Especially when they burn Castrol R.  It was expensive and engines run exclusively or R need regular stripping (not an issue with race engines) but a teaspoon of R in the petrol tank in addition to your usual mineral oil 2 stroke mix seemed to get the smell without causing any problem. Loverly!  :D

 

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People are trying to live aboard with the power consumption of a house with all mod cons and so they are forced to ruin the peace and quiet of the waterways by running engines and generators , every person will tell you " but I only run it 2 hours a day" but everyone else is also doing that too and at random times which adds up on a busy visitor mooring to all day noise and pollution. I got fed up with trying to Keep up with demand so i have refitted my boat to cut out all unnecessary power consumption, water hand pump in the galley, cool box instead of fridge , 500w of solar, LED lights, and a 5 v USB powered tablet instead of a TV.  I reckon next year we could survive on one 110 amp hour battery, and switch off half the solar panels in the summer. 

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36 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

People are trying to live aboard with the power consumption of a house with all mod cons and so they are forced to ruin the peace and quiet of the waterways by running engines and generators , every person will tell you " but I only run it 2 hours a day" but everyone else is also doing that too and at random times which adds up on a busy visitor mooring to all day noise and pollution. I got fed up with trying to Keep up with demand so i have refitted my boat to cut out all unnecessary power consumption, water hand pump in the galley, cool box instead of fridge , 500w of solar, LED lights, and a 5 v USB powered tablet instead of a TV.  I reckon next year we could survive on one 110 amp hour battery, and switch off half the solar panels in the summer. 

Going by your name you just run your sit compressor then!

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18 hours ago, CompairHolman said:

People are trying to live aboard with the power consumption of a house with all mod cons and so they are forced to ruin the peace and quiet of the waterways by running engines and generators , every person will tell you " but I only run it 2 hours a day" but everyone else is also doing that too and at random times which adds up on a busy visitor mooring to all day noise and pollution. I got fed up with trying to Keep up with demand so i have refitted my boat to cut out all unnecessary power consumption, water hand pump in the galley, cool box instead of fridge , 500w of solar, LED lights, and a 5 v USB powered tablet instead of a TV.  I reckon next year we could survive on one 110 amp hour battery, and switch off half the solar panels in the summer. 

Install more solar and LifeMgPo4 batteries is the answer and keep all the comfy stuff that make a boat a home and nice place to be

  • Happy 1
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I bought a Chinese one from EBay. 2.6kw frame type. It's the same as the Clarke type. 

It's quite new, so doesn't jump about. It's not the quietest but it's just out with a sheet of wood on top to keep it dry when running, so it isn't the quietest. But to be honest, at £170 it's been great. It puts in 40amp, which I think is the max my charge controller thing takes in, so approximately 80 times my 300 watt solar panels are putting in at the moment. I run it for about 2 hours, and it takes my batteries to a point the amps drop as it starts to pulse charge the last 10% of battery capacity.

I have it on a bank, but away from the doors so don't smell fuel or smoke etc. It drops revs and tone when I run the microwave, but I suppose that's normal. 

 

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15 hours ago, Tony Custard said:

I bought a Chinese one from EBay. 2.6kw frame type. It's the same as the Clarke type. 

It's quite new, so doesn't jump about. It's not the quietest but it's just out with a sheet of wood on top to keep it dry when running, so it isn't the quietest. But to be honest, at £170 it's been great. It puts in 40amp, which I think is the max my charge controller thing takes in, so approximately 80 times my 300 watt solar panels are putting in at the moment. I run it for about 2 hours, and it takes my batteries to a point the amps drop as it starts to pulse charge the last 10% of battery capacity.

I have it on a bank, but away from the doors so don't smell fuel or smoke etc. It drops revs and tone when I run the microwave, but I suppose that's normal. 

 

Running an open frame generator anywhere on the canal bank should be banned. Canals are advertised as a place of peace and quiet and you are ruining it for everyone else.

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3 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

Running an open frame generator anywhere on the canal bank should be banned. Canals are advertised as a place of peace and quiet and you are ruining it for everyone else.

Thanks for the advice, but it's private access farm-land, so not on the toe path. And both my neighbour's have generators that have to be run a lot longer. My intention is to make a housing for it, but having only had the boat for a couple of months some jobs overtaken priority. So, maybe find out information before accusing me of ruining people's peace and quiet. 

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