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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset


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  #21  
Old 07-12-2019, 11:04:26 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

The problem with the home built Honda v-twin generator is that the ones I have seen don't seem to have a generator governor. More like a lawn mower governor which seems to have a lot more droop. So you don't get even close to acceptable speed maintain from zero load to full load.
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2019, 09:58:42 AM
Rich Mc Rich Mc is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

Perfect for your gas wells

https://www.arrowengine.com/en/engin...generator-sets
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  #23  
Old 07-13-2019, 04:10:34 PM
giannid giannid is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

It doesn't sound like a big vtwin Honda is going to work well with the mechanical governor. The Winco with the honda looks good but isn't going to enough power for my application. As much as I'd like to avoid it, I may be stuck with one of these complicated, computer controlled, made to break frequently and expensive to fix generators. LOL. Seems like it's about the only option unless someone chimes in. I also don't want to spend 20k on a backup generator either.

Found some new Honeywell 7063 which is the same as a Generac 6729 20 KW unit. I know these aren't the best units but they're price right under $3k. Anyone know anything about these units? It's pretty similar to the one I have, just bigger. Doesn't seem like I'm going to get much better anyways. I've had problems with the one I have. Just doesn't seem like there's a lot of modern or simple gen sets out there.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Honeywell-7...53.m1438.l2649
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2019, 04:48:12 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

That is very strange. That unit with transfer switch normal internet price is $4800. Generac selling it direct on ebay for that price. I bet their dealers are thrilled about that.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2019, 04:49:35 PM
giannid giannid is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

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Originally Posted by Birken Vogt View Post
That is very strange. That unit with transfer switch normal internet price is $4800. Generac selling it direct on ebay for that price. I bet their dealers are thrilled about that.
I think they're blowing them out the door as most places are showing them discontinued. Are they worth the shit?
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  #26  
Old 07-13-2019, 05:25:25 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

Just a couple of thoughts...

A mechanical governor and ~3% speed regulation is perfectly acceptable.

If the Honda has a mechanical governor, and NOT an air vane governor, it's sensitivity should be able to be adjusted to the point of hunting and thus fine for generator service. Hard to believe they would put different governors on different engines. Would think they would use the same governor and adjust them to suit the task at hand?

You may need less power than you think. This is nearly always the case.

Keith
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  #27  
Old 07-13-2019, 05:52:37 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

I mention the governor on the v-twin Honda because I have experienced it. More than once. Would not even come close to proper speed regulation across the load range. I even took the spring on the governor arm and moved it far beyond the sensitivity adjustment range into a hole drilled for some other purpose. It helped a very little but not enough to be useful.

Maybe there are other governors out there but this has been my experience. It is hard to make something right and easy to make it wrong. So many out there churning out junk and nobody cares. And I have to make it work somehow.
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  #28  
Old 07-13-2019, 10:43:35 PM
giannid giannid is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

So will the Honda v twin or other v twin maintain 3% with their standard mechanical governor? What happens if it goes outside that 3% mark? Is it frying electrical equipment or other major things?

I guess I'm trying to figure out how important it's going to be to go with something with an electronic governor that is a lot more susceptible to failure versus a mechanical one which is going to be more reliable in the long run especially for a backup generator. I do understand most electrical equipment these days is rather sensitive. I'm willing to give a little bit for reliability. I also don't plan to use the generator off grid for thousands of hours per year.
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  #29  
Old 07-13-2019, 11:12:34 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

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...I do understand most electrical equipment these days is rather sensitive...
My opinion is that the often heard concern over sensitive electrical equipment is generally much ado about nothing. My experience has been that as long as the voltage is relatively steady and between about 110/220 to 127/254 most electrical equipment will work just fine. The same goes for frequency, as long as it isn't wandering all over the range, anything between about 57-63 is usable, but of course not ideal.

If you look hard enough, or are unlucky, you can find devices that seem to require very tight frequency regulation - the most common are cheap UPS devices, some clocks, and a few brands of HVAC equipment.

That said, modern electronic governors are reasonably reliable. If you get a set that has one, consider buying a spare controller, pickup and actuator- then quit worrying about it. The parts which you have readily available spares for will never fail.
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  #30  
Old 07-13-2019, 11:23:17 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

I don't know how well they can regulate speed. I know the ones I tried to get to work were grossly bad like if you set it to 67 Hz no load you would get 54 Hz full load, with no remedy. But the overall package was the main problem.

I work on generators for a living and electronic governors are one of the more reliable systems. Maybe three stepper motor failures I can think of. (Generac has a hunting issue on theirs that they never fix but that is just Generac being themselves.) No governor drivers failed that I can ever remember. And I don't know sample size: hundreds? thousands? Too many to count.

If you want simple, reliable, full mechanical then get a diesel.
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  #31  
Old 07-14-2019, 01:22:21 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

That is a smoking hot deal on the 20kw. I think you can purchase or get a 7 or 10 year warranty after you get that set. I figured it must be an old model or a factory refurb but from what I can see it's 100% brand new and the most up to date model.
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  #32  
Old 07-14-2019, 08:44:23 AM
giannid giannid is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

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That is a smoking hot deal on the 20kw. I think you can purchase or get a 7 or 10 year warranty after you get that set. I figured it must be an old model or a factory refurb but from what I can see it's 100% brand new and the most up to date model.
Are you a dealer for these units? I know they don't get a lot of love on the forum. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the Generac I have either as it's given me some problems with little use. Is this a relatively good unit? Maybe I can purchase the unit as it's so reasonably priced and by the spare parts that are prone to failure and keep as spares. What parts do you recommend for the unit?
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  #33  
Old 07-14-2019, 10:26:08 AM
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

One question for consideration.

Since this is new construction, are you having conventional lighting installed, or are you going to put in a lighting module with electronic control of all the lights? I ask, because if the latter, I have ran into a few startups through the years that had electronic lighting, and the noise/harmonics of those systems plays hell with the generator voltage regulation. Last one I ran across was on a 60KW genset, so size was not the issue. Lighting system would cause so much havoc with the AVR that the power was actually browning all the way out back and forth--looked like something from a haunted house. Had to put a PMG kit (permanent magnet generator isolated power supply for the AVR) to alleviate that problem.

If not electronic lighting, I would like something such as an old Onan 20ES, with the Ford 4 cyl engine, and either a Detector or Sentinal controls. Replace timing belt and alternator tail bearing for good measure, clean it up, and repaint the interior in Onan green, and the outside enclosure in a light beige. (original Onan residential colors).
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  #34  
Old 07-14-2019, 10:29:01 AM
giannid giannid is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

This house is going to be conventional lighting. The Onan unit's are solid, I just don't know if I want to mess with something that old. Mechanical wise, I'm very good. The electrical components is what worries me with the old Onan units.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:33:08 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

There is nothing wrong with one of the old Onans or Kohlers. They will probably need a bit of tinkering to work from time to time. Nothing wrong with a lot of the old Generac sets, as long as you stay away from the weird engines they sometimes strayed off to.

I am a tech, not a dealer.

Honestly, the new ones are pretty reliable, IF installed correctly. I see a lot of them done very wrong, can't blame the brand if you don't read the book.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:36:09 AM
AlexV AlexV is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

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Originally Posted by pegasuspinto View Post
There is nothing wrong with one of the old Onans or Kohlers. They will probably need a bit of tinkering to work from time to time. Nothing wrong with a lot of the old Generac sets, as long as you stay away from the weird engines they sometimes strayed off to.

I am a tech, not a dealer.

Honestly, the new ones are pretty reliable, IF installed correctly. I see a lot of them done very wrong, can't blame the brand if you don't read the book.
I like the Kohler products for that reason. For a while they were using the General Motors engines in the RCL liquid cooled generators. The new 24, 30 and 38"s are using the Toyota 4Y engine. Toyota been using them in their forklifts since the 1970s. Very reliable

Last edited by AlexV; 07-17-2019 at 10:39:52 AM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:05:13 PM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

Run don't walk from generac. Mines a giant pile of s that puts out 58 hz all the time and sags so much my inverter kicks on(magnum). I honestly don't know how they stay in business.
Champion sells a standby unit. 2800 for a 12.5 kw unit. 10 year warranty. Lifetime tech support and I know for a fact parts will be available and well documented. I own a portable champion, they have good tech support. I'm in the same boat but I'm looking for the longest lasting. I have free NG so I will be using mine a lot.
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  #38  
Old 07-17-2019, 12:06:39 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

The older ones ran at 58 hz on purpose. Don't ask me why, must of had some reason tho. They supposedly have an updated control board that will make it run at 60. I'm assuming you have one of the R control panels with the 6 LED fault lamps in a row.

If yours sags, it's probably not getting enough gas. I've load banked enough of them to know, they don't generally loose RPM unless overloaded or underfueld. If the installer would -read the damn book- AND knows anything about how to size a gas system, there is no issue. But a lotta installers treat it like a water heater, and starve it for fuel. Anyone do a pressure check? There is a tap on the gas regulator behind the battery.
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  #39  
Old 07-17-2019, 01:56:42 PM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation on a simple whole house natural gas genset

Didn't think about that. I will check on the unit but its only a few feet from the main gas line on the property. 25 psi from the well to the regulator and maybe 10 ft of 1/2 gas line. It could also be an issue from the gas itself, well gas is hotter than city gas so it may be running rich.
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