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Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles


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  #1  
Old 04-13-2018, 10:35:37 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

Every now and then a question pops up asking how to compare generator running hours to automobile miles. There are always answers, but I just found Onan's answer in an old Onan manual from the online website (see picture below). I never seen this information before in an Onan manual and thought some out here would like to know. Also, in the future when someone does a search on this site for answers about this subject, hopefully this thread will pop up.

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Old 04-13-2018, 11:01:29 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator running hours to automobile miles

That's very interesting! Was there any indication as to the year that this was published?

I wonder how they arrived at 41 mph. Seems a reasonable enough average.

This reminds me of something I heard a long time ago. An engine's life is a function of how much fuel you put through it. In this case that would take load into consideration. It would be interesting to have a fuel meter in addition to the hour meter.

Funny about refrigerators. A refrigerator uses only about as much power as is required to light one room. Certainly it would be inefficient to run the plant just for a refrigerator alone. But having it run while other loads are being served would make so little difference that it would be difficult to measure lol.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:19:44 AM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

That information was still being taught in the factory school in 1981. I think the last time it was published was in the late 70s to early 80s. We called it the 41 to 1 rule.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:39:25 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is online now
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Default Re: Comparing Generator running hours to automobile miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
That's very interesting! Was there any indication as to the year that this was published?

I wonder how they arrived at 41 mph. Seems a reasonable enough average.

This reminds me of something I heard a long time ago. An engine's life is a function of how much fuel you put through it. In this case that would take load into consideration. It would be interesting to have a fuel meter in addition to the hour meter.

Funny about refrigerators. A refrigerator uses only about as much power as is required to light one room. Certainly it would be inefficient to run the plant just for a refrigerator alone. But having it run while other loads are being served would make so little difference that it would be difficult to measure lol.
I don't know the year of the manual, but here is a link to it. It has to be 1960's or earlier if I was to place a bet. Anyway it was very interesting to see it in print and from Onan. By the way, the page I attached in my previous post can be found in the manual after the table of contents.

http://onan.xmsi.net/936-0001%20Onan...0(10-1963).pdf

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:47:41 AM
consolenut consolenut is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

I normally based it on 1 hour is 60miles. I also think about that in terms of fuel.consumption. a gallon and hour is 60mpg. Not bad considering my truck burns almost 7 gallons an hour at 70mph. Quite fuel effecient the green machine.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:11:26 AM
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

I was told 1000 hours on a diesel genset that is loaded properly is about 40,000 highway miles on a large diesel truck. Equates about the same as the posting.

I've had 12V-71 engines apart with 6K hours on their clock, and the same engines in trucks apart w/250K and the wear to parts is just about the same internally. With the exception of the governor sections, both engines are the same so I'd tend to agree Onan's chart is relatively accurate.

Given the age however I'm thinking it may be referencing gasoline powered sets?
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:29:13 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

I have heard of this relationship many many years ago. It was 40 miles per hour. Since a J-Line Onan is good for 10,000 hours that equates to about 400,000 auto miles. My Camry is over half way there at 273,000 miles.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:00:40 AM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

I feel pretty good then, the conclusion I had come to independently was 35 miles to the hour.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:09:27 AM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

That is reasonable, my Dodge truck has averaged 32 MPH since new. A properly sized generator probably has a bit more average engine loading than a pickup truck.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:52:26 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Comparing Generator Running Hours to Automobile Miles

At an old mower shop I worked at, my boss had a sheet printed out on small engine maintenance. he gave it to everyone that bought a machine from him. It said 'Running a small engine at 3600 RPM for one hour is like running a car 100 miles at 80 MPH. To keep it running, you have to tale care of it. Regular oil changes, clean filters and fresh gas will prolong engine failure. Programmed Obsolescence will do that no matter what you do. Things are not made to last like they used to. You will get 3 years out of your machine, as long as you do not abuse it. If you do not maintain it, it will fail sooner, and also void your warranty.'. He didn't say how long your machine would last after the 3 years was up. RIP John Mennnger
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"PROGRAMMED OBSOLESCENSE, THE BETTER THEY MAKE IT, THE MORE I HAVE TO FIX IT!"
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