Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Gas Generator Comparison

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    How good a mechanic are you? Honda has a deservedly great reputation for precision quality machinery. But the Chinese clone equipment sold at Walmart and Costco not to mention any number of other big box stores do work. If you start with the assumption they are throw away machinery it will not disappont you. I have a Yanmar china clone. Even the Yanmar dealer tells me I can buy Yanmar parts and use for repair.

    So is it important to have the brand name or will anything functional do?

    At 1/4 or 1/3 the cost I could end up throwing away three generators before I equalled the cost of one original brand name. I think I am a good enough mechanic I could keep a china clone going for several years. If money is not a problem , sure I would buy the reputable brand nsme but if money is tight I would go cheap and rely on my skills.


    I need to buy a gas generator and it seems the king of the road is the Honda EU2000i but at around a thousand dollars…or the similar Yamaha. My question is: all the rest are nearly half the price but the reviews rip most all apart…is there any reliable and quiet generators on the market that cost alot less that can give Honda a run for the money?? Somebody suggested the Honeywells but then I found quite a few reviews that gave it 3 stars where the Honda gets 5 stars across the board. I’m not tech-savvy and need dependability. Several YouTube videos show the Honda running window air conditioners also!! Like 6500-8000 BTU’s tho I understand BTU has nothing to do with start up power. Help!!


    I’m wanting to get a generator soon myself. It would be nice to have one that could idle up and down based on demand. But my question is, how easy is it to modify it to run on propane.. For example from RV propane tanks or the gas grill propane tank. And how much time can you get from propane tank vs the tank on the generator. I assume a lot more time. A propane tank for a gas grill holds how many gallons of propane?

    Anyway me and friend have a project where we are making the FEMA wood gasifier. I want to run my generator on that too.


    There are two waya to reduce fuel burn with a generator. One of them is the Honda version where the speed varies with load. This is often called VST for variable speed technology. The other approach is to configure the system so the engine is fully loaded so it runs at optimum BSFC point as indicated by engine manufacturers curves.

    You can see that the BSFC curve rises as engine speed slows down. What this tells you is that maximum fuel efficiency occurs when the engine runs faster at a point that typically falls on the peak of the torgue curve. In most small engines such as is used for gensets this is around 2400 RPM especially if the engine maxes out at 3000 RPM. Some manufacturers chose to run an AC genset at 3600 RPM by shortening the stroke. It means they develop the required torque /HP to deliver the rated watts output at 3600 RPM instead of 1800 RPM. It makes for a smaller, lighter engine but. . . . The downside is reduced service life between rebuild interval due to higher wear factor.

    If you are going to run an AC output generator select a charger that can absorb 80% of the max output. Dedicate the genset to charging the battery at maximum rate. The alternative is A DC generator which can more easily be adapted to VST. Balmar introduced the VST concept some 15 years ago. Since then it has been copied by several manufacturers including Honda.

    There are several propane conversion companies marketing adaptor kits. Tell them which engine model you have and they will give you the exact metered kit for it. They offer both dual fuel or straight non reversible conversion kits. I can’t look it up while doing this message or it gets dumped. Just google “propane conversion kits” to find them.

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