The WhisperGen
Not cheap, and not pretty

Here’s another idea for disconnecting from the mains electricity grid – not cheap to buy, but cheap to run on a pint of diesel per hour. It’s the WhisperGen off-grid heat and DC power generator sold by Volpower NZ Ltd, Auckland, distributor of Volvo Penta marine and industrial engines. The company shot to notice last year when, after a five-year product trial, it won a $300 million contract to supply British electricity and gas giant Powergen with 80,000 domestic AC units over the next four years. These will be installed in British homes as replacements for conventional hot-water boilers, running on natural gas to generate AC power and hot water. But natural gas is running out and rising in price.


Powering the camping fridge-size generator in the WhisperGen is a small Stirling engine, the original invented in 1816 by Rev Robert Stirling (search the internet for how it works) and only now commercialised on a mass scale by these clever folk in NZ. Off-grid users are a key market for Whisper Tech; so are commercial and recreational vehicles, the oil and gas industry and pleasure boats. Models available are a commonly sold 12V diesel fired unit, 24V diesel fired and a 24V kerosene-fired unit available on request. The diesel should be automotive grade and consumption is 0.75L/hour at maximum output. Electricity output 19kWh of power per 24 hours; heat output 5.5kW (19,000Btu/hour) via sealed liquid circulation. Noise level is 55dBA at 1m – “very quiet”, says Volpower. In operation, the WhisperGen charges a battery bank whose output is stepped up via an inverter for powering 230V household appliances. You also get space heating (convection) and hot water, which means scope for under-floor heating. And it’s environment-friendly because of the burner design and continuous combustion, and 90% conversion of the fuel’s energy to electricity or heat. Factory warranty is 2000 running hours or 24 months from purchase date. Price in New Zealand dollars is $20,700+sales tax, including the installation kit for a basic unit. Installation takes three days; labour cost is extra. www.whispergen.com Tel. 09 274 4305

12 Responses

  1. I have a whisper gen which is 20 years old but never used. I decided to put it to use but when it was put together it was found that the mother board needed programming. Can anybody help as l live in the uk

    1. I have the same problem, I had a whispergen on my boat 13 years ago and it lost its program and could not find help to fix it. I did take it off the boat and has been sitting in my garage for years. Did you find any help on programing it? In the USA

  2. I have a off-grid, elect & hot water heated floor building. Interested in where to purchase in the US. I would run it on LP gas if I could. Anyone have a company name?? Thanks, Mel

  3. Dear Sir
    I read with deep interest on you whispergen product
    I would like to know more about the domestic whispergen for home use

  4. Totally agree. And try to get a distributorship in the USA of Canada! Impossible so far. Whisper Tech owned by Volpower who is owned by Guess who…SHELL!

  5. well we dont get an y of this stuff becuase who do you think controls the policies and the laws ?, large oil companies !, these exact engines will also run off of just straight solar power heat from the sun they are that efficient. so the oil companies dont want you to know that, because with these will open new doors and out goes the oil, which should have been gone 20 yrs ago, europe uses all this kind of stuff we are 20 yrs behind in most technology here.

  6. We have an abundance of natural gas reserves in the USA ; SO WHY ARE WE NOT GETTING THIS TECHNOLOGY HERE? THIS SEEMS TO ME TO BE A REAL “NO BRAINER”!!!

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