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borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Inverter Generator Question
Original Message   Dec 9, 2012 11:20 am

I want to install an hour meter on my inverter generator. I see that there are a number of AC hour meters readily available and that's likely the way I'll go. The machine has a 12 volt, 8 amp DC outlet on it for charging batteries. The problem is that the manual for generator states that you cannot use AC and the 12v DC charging system at the same time which means, if I put an AC hour meter on it, it may not be counting hours when the generator is putting out DC power.

I know there are different timers available that can be operated by using the spark plug lead. Don't want to use one of those because they never seem to last very long. Most have an internal battery that cannot be changed. Accordingly, I'd prefer to wire an AC analog hour meter directly to the AC outlet wiring.

My question is, does anyone know if there is power interruption to the AC outlets when the DC power is being used? I'm assuming that there likely will be a power interruption due to the inverter probably not being able to produce AC and DC simultaneously. However, my knowledge of inverter generators is virtually non-existent. Hence my need to ask.
Replies: 6 - 15 of 15Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 270

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #6   Dec 11, 2012 8:52 am
As MML14 said Hobbs makes hour meters and I know for a fact that Hobbs hour meters are used on most if not  all military generators.  
robertcoats


Joined: Dec 12, 2011
Points: 35

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #7   Dec 11, 2012 9:02 am
The higher DC voltage when the engine is turning faster is probably normal.

While my experience is limited to Honda generators, I know other brands with DC charging often behave the same way, and nearly all are unregulated charging circuits. So it really depends on how well the hour meter tolerates these different voltages. Might be better to run it off the AC circuit, which is more regulated and steady.

-Robert@Honda
Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #8   Dec 11, 2012 10:02 am
robertcoats wrote:
The higher DC voltage when the engine is turning faster is probably normal.

While my experience is limited to Honda generators, I know other brands with DC charging often behave the same way, and nearly all are unregulated charging circuits. So it really depends on how well the hour meter tolerates these different voltages. Might be better to run it off the AC circuit, which is more regulated and steady.

-Robert@Honda
Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.

The DC hour meters can handle quite a wide range of voltage variances.  Some of the Redington units showed that they handle anthing between 10 to 80 volts.  That should be a wide enough spread to handle the purpose I need it for.  I kept the multimeter on the generator for an hour or more and other than when changing load on the machine, the voltage stayed quite consistent. 
friiy


Location: Las Vegas, The Desert
Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Points: 600

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #9   Dec 11, 2012 11:04 am
Hey if you look at the Hobbs Meter,  be sure you price one for equipment use,   they are a very popular aircraft hour meter manufacturer... (All hour meters oin aircraft are referred to as "Hobbs" meters)... and the price jumps for Aircraft parts..

They are a good meter, and they make Analog meters...

Friiy

borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #10   Dec 11, 2012 12:13 pm
friiy wrote:
Hey if you look at the Hobbs Meter,  be sure you price one for equipment use,   they are a very popular aircraft hour meter manufacturer... (All hour meters oin aircraft are referred to as "Hobbs" meters)... and the price jumps for Aircraft parts..

They are a good meter, and they make Analog meters...

Friiy


There's no way in HELL that I'm paing $150.00 plus for a Hobbs hour meter (loca Grainger price).  That's half the price I paid for the generator.  No going to happen.  I can buy a Redington for $35.00.
hirschallan


If it aint broke don't fix it !!


Location: Northern Hills of NY
Joined: Aug 25, 2005
Points: 312

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #11   Dec 11, 2012 1:32 pm
borat wrote:
There's no way in HELL that I'm paing $150.00 plus for a Hobbs hour meter (loca Grainger price).  That's half the price I paid for the generator.  No going to happen.  I can buy a Redington for $35.00.


Borat, do an ebay search with the words "Hobbs hour meter" and you will see plenty in your price range.

borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #12   Dec 11, 2012 2:33 pm
Thanks for the tip.  However, that's ebay USA.  Not Canada. 

I'd have to get it shipped to the border, drive there, pick it up and clear customs etc. then drive home (hour and a half round trip)  vs. buying another brand on this side of the border for the same amount.   Less BS to deal with.  I've got a nephew who's got a freebe for me and will arrange to pick me up a couple more for other applications.  He lives in a large center where there's lots of places that sell them at reasonable prices.  Better than being held hostage in this one horse town.  
hirschallan


If it aint broke don't fix it !!


Location: Northern Hills of NY
Joined: Aug 25, 2005
Points: 312

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #13   Dec 11, 2012 2:45 pm
borat wrote:
Thanks for the tip.  However, that's ebay USA.  Not Canada. 

I'd have to get it shipped to the border, drive there, pick it up and clear customs etc. then drive home (hour and a half round trip)  vs. buying another brand on this side of the border for the same amount.   Less BS to deal with.  I've got a nephew who's got a freebe for me and will arrange to pick me up a couple more for other applications.  He lives in a large center where there's lots of places that sell them at reasonable prices.  Better than being held hostage in this one horse town.  


http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-other-hobbs-hour-meters-some-different-styles-W0QQAdIdZ213049252

borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Inverter Generator exhaust extension temperature test
Reply #14   Dec 15, 2012 3:28 pm
I ran some tests with and without the exhaust extension on the 2000 watt Chinese built generator today.  

Ambient temperature was approx. 35 deg. F, overcast, damp moderate breeze.  Generator was put at the opening of the garage door with no obstructions near it to affect readings. 

Using a Kill-a-watt meter and an infrared thermometer, I tested the generator with no extension running at medium load (1150 watts) to a heavier load (1700 watts).  Temperatures in the area around the opening in the muffler were around 425 deg. F at medium load and closer to 500 deg. F at heavier load. 

I attached the exhaust extension which consisted of one 6" piece of 1" dia. copper pipe and another piece 12" long and two 45 degree couplers at each end of the 6" piece coming off of the muffler. 

Temperatures at moderate loads increased to around 450 degrees (approx. 25 deg. increase) while full load temperatures went up to as high as 530 degrees (approx. 30 deg. increase).  Accordingly, from initial readings, the exhaust extension does contribute to higher exhaust system temperatures.  If the temperatures do not become exessively high, this might not be a bad thing.  Increasing exhaust gas temperatures actually helps expedite exhaust gasses thus increasing efficiency of the combustion process.  At least that's what I've read in articles written about motorcycle engines.  If anyone knows anything to the contrary, I'd like to hear it.

After doing the tests, I drained the oil which had approximate 6 to 7 hours on it.  The original oil that came with the machine was no-name Chinese 10W30.  When drained, it was brownish black.  I drained the hot oil into a funnel lined with a filter I made from white paper towel similar to a coffee filter.  Other than discolouring the filter, there was virtually no observable engine debris.  This is one of the cleanest new engines I've owned.  I'm not surprised though.  A couple years ago, I bought a standard type Champion (Chinese) generator with a Honda 196cc clone engine.  It was remarkably clean as well.  That tells me that the Chinese appear to be making serious progress in construction and quality control building their small engines.   I filled the engine with a 50-50 blend of Shell Rotella T 15W40 and 10W30.  I'll run that for the next 50 hours or so before switching over to the 5W50 Castrol synthetic.

Another pleasant surprise was the fuel consumption.  On exactly one litre of gasoline, the engine was run for approx. 45 minutes at 1150 watts (57.5% load) and another 20 minutes at approx. 1700 watts (85% load).  That's 65 minutes at approx. 2/3rds load.  Considering that I'll be using on average less than 500 watts for hours of light load applications, I'm looking forward to very reasonable fuel consumption.  I'm guessing in the vicinity of 2 hrs. per litre give or take a few ounces.

Overall, I'm fairly impressed with this inexpensive little generator.
mkd55


Location: wisconsin
Joined: Dec 16, 2005
Points: 153

Re: Inverter Generator Question
Reply #15   Dec 16, 2012 6:14 am
we tried to run an extension with a quieter muffler on our 4 hp coleman generator and it didn't run very well and started consuming oil.we put it back to original exhaust and parked the trailer with the generator 100 ft from the tent and ran a long extension cord with a remote kill switch.been like that for over 15 yrs working fine.here's a picture of the tent taken from the trailer where the generator is located.we use the tent 2 weeks a year for turkey and deer hunting that we have 110 volt lights in as well as a tv with remote control.                                IMG_0547_zpsbb077db5.jpg                                                                                                                                                            
This message was modified Dec 16, 2012 by mkd55
Replies: 6 - 15 of 15Next page of topicsPreviousAllView as Outline
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