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mikiewest


Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Standby diesel generator for home
Original Message   Nov 28, 2012 3:24 pm
Does anyone know if the aurora diesel gens are reliable?I am referring to their standby line not the portable gens.they have diesel engines and alternators made in China.Their prices are relatively low compared to pramac ,Isuzu etc.Should that be a red flag for lower quality parts?Or are the name brands just overbilt and better suited for someone whoNeeds to use a diesel gen more than once a year?
This message was modified Nov 28, 2012 by mikiewest
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borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Standby diesel generator for home
Reply #1   Nov 28, 2012 5:57 pm
Have you checked out Central Maine Diesel:  http://www.generatorsales.com/

They have a good selection of generators. 

You can rest assured that the Chinese sets will not be in the same class as a Kubota, Isuzu etc.  I have a Kubota 6KW unit that I bought in 1983.  It has over 6000 hours on it, which is minor for a  good quality diesel.  I had a problem with the AC alternator back in 1998 which cost me $1000.00 to have repaired.  The engine has been bulletproof.  I've changed one fan belt, did one valve adjustment about five years ago and oil changes every 150-200 with conventional oil.  Other than that, no issues in almost 30 years. 

I'm sure a Chinese unit (Kipor is one of the better brands) will give you reasonable service, particularly if you buy something that runs at 1800 rpm.  That makes all the difference in the world.  At 1800 rpm, it's running a half the speed of most units.  Higher speeds means higher temperatures if air cooled, higher fuel consumption and obviously more wear. 

Personally, I'd buy a used Japanese unit with low hours in preference to a new Chinese product.   
mikiewest


Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Re: Standby diesel generator for home
Reply #2   Nov 28, 2012 9:38 pm
you can get the gen with a perkins or laidong engine.Supposedly the laidong engine has been around for a long time and has a good history of reliability .Also they use stamford alternators.
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Standby diesel generator for home
Reply #3   Nov 29, 2012 10:31 am
mikiewest wrote:
you can get the gen with a perkins or laidong engine.Supposedly the laidong engine has been around for a long time and has a good history of reliability .Also they use stamford alternators.

Would that be a liquid cooled Laidong engine? 

I know that Chinese engines have been improving over the years.  Whether they're in par with Kubota, Yanmar or Isuzu, I don't know. 

I know that $5K for a 9.8KW Kubota is very good price.  I paid that for my unit at camp 30 years ago!  As a matter of fact, I have a contingency fund in US dollars set aside to buy another Kubota probably from Central Maine, if my present machine ever expires. 

Personally, if I were living in your part of the continent that has such severe weather and power outages, I'd be looking at the best quality I could afford.  A lightly used, well maintained Kubota, Isuzu or Yanmar powered generator would be my preference if the price will be close to a new comparable Chinese unit. 

If you're comfortable buying a Chinese powered unit, go for it and let us know how it goes.
mikiewest


Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Re: Standby diesel generator for home
Reply #4   Nov 29, 2012 8:53 pm
yes it is liquid cooled .These gens also come with perkins engines which are suppose to be great engines.How do you have your gen hooked up?Do you use a manual transfer switch or automatic transfer switch?I have read that an air cooled portable gen should be operated at 80% of its rated power.Is that true for diesel gens?
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Standby diesel generator for home
Reply #5   Nov 29, 2012 9:29 pm
mikiewest wrote:
yes it is liquid cooled .These gens also come with perkins engines which are suppose to be great engines.How do you have your gen hooked up?Do you use a manual transfer switch or automatic transfer switch?I have read that an air cooled portable gen should be operated at 80% of its rated power.Is that true for diesel gens?

The diesel power plant specifications indicate maximum sustainable load.  Diesels are made to take high loading for long periods.  In addition, diesel engines used in power plants are capable of running at 3000 or more rpms under heavy loads.  When you take that into consideration that the power plant is running at 1800 rpm, the engine itself is not particularly being taxed by running at near maximum load.  I'd suspect that with a diesel powered unit, the generator/alternator would be where max sustained loading might be an issue due to heat.  

Personally, I seldom run my generator over 50% rated load.  Don't forget, mine is only powering a camp with very little high load demand unless running a water pump or large power tools.  At approx. 2500 to 3000 watts average loading, my unit burns approx. one litre of diesel fuel per hour.  

We're way off grid out there so, I don't need a transfer switch.  I just run the line from the generator into a large circuit breaker in the garage where the generator is.  Down at the camp I have a regular electrical panel with fuses, not breakers.  Out in the bush, it's easier to find a fuse than it is a breaker. 
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