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Hi All -
New to the forum, looking for thoughts on a small generator primarily to run a full-size fridge for a period of time, with power outages infrequent and mainly due to hurricane (say, 1 to 2 weeks of outage) or thunderstorm (several hours up to a day.)

I live on the gulf coast, so hurricanes and summer thunderstorms are the primary concern.
I'm in a big city, so repair to the electric grid should proceed quickly.
I have natural gas, and plan to add a conversion unit for continuous fuel.
I'm looking at the Honda EU2200i, but I'm open to other suggestions.

What about startup surge?
One question I can't find good answers for is the startup surge on the fridge. From the owner's manual, the fridge moter is rated for 10A, and extension cords are recommended at 20A. I understand that when the motor starts there is a higher power draw, maybe 2x-3x. Do I need to worry about the temporary higher power draw, or does the generator automatically compensate for that? If I'm paranoid about protecting the fridge, is there any type of battery or capacitor device I should plug between the generator and the fridge to buffer the heavier draw at start-up?

Clean inverter power?
I would also expect that during a power outage I would take the generator off the fridge periodically to charge small electronics (phone, laptop, etc.), so the inverter power needs to be clean enough for this. Seems like the Honda I've listed above meets the requirements.

Into the future!
I could see expanding my coverage needs in the future (window units, fans, etc.) but I'm planning to start small with the most critical item. Any thoughts on buying a larger generator up front, to save myself the hassle of upgrading in the future?

Anything else?
Is there anything else I should consider? Any other resources I should read?
Many thanks in advance.
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I run our fridge, furnace, lights, TV, etc, with our used EU2000i. I think you're on the right track. I love mine. Clean output, very quiet, reliable, and great on gas (important if you're running them for a while, and/or gas is hard to find).

The 2200 shouldn't have a problem with the fridge, I would think. Our fridge is nothing big/fancy, but it's also 15 years old, newer ones may draw less power. The microwave at full power will trip the generator.

Normal fans shouldn't be a big deal. Likewise charging stuff.

If by "window units" you mean window AC units, those become a different story. One of those tops is all you'll get, and you might want to unplug the fridge while using it.

You can definitely go bigger, but what do you expect to run?

I did add a second used EU2000i, in parallel, for double the capacity. During a 3 day outage, having just the one was reaching the limit a few times. This gives me extra capacity if I need it, when I need it (less noise and fuel consumption the rest of the time), and also some redundancy, if one had a problem.

Both of my used ones together were the price of a single new one. And they typically hold their value very well, so I could sell them and probably even make a few bucks.

But a new 3000 Honda inverter would be cheaper than a pair of new 2200s.
 

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An EU2200 would be perfect for powering critical loads. I love mine, Noticeably more capable then the venerable eu2000. If you want to go with a small inverter gen buy a Honda and don't look back, especially if you plan to run it on natural gas. All of the other small inverter options have much smaller engines and cannot compare.

You can always parallel 2 others them if you need the extra capacity, and as @RedOctobyr said, redundancy is nice.
 

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A EU2200 would work fine for a full sized fridge. I have an older EU2000 and it ran for a week, with fillups of course, 3 full sized fridges...Adding a 4th would trip it... This was my dad using it.. He wouldn't give me back that little generator, so I ended up buying a WEN to replace it with... I have no idea if the WEN can hold up like the Honda, but I don't plan on using it with such consistent high loads or that length of time. I've got larger generators for that.
 

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Hello

I had the exact same question a few months before.

Here is my quick answer to you.

I purchased the Goal Zero Yeti 1500x portable solar generator for my fridge it can easily run my fridge for up to 30 hours and more. The best thing is I can also take this solar generator for camping.

In your case, I would recommend going for Goal Zero Yeti 6000X it can easily power your fridge for up to 120 hours or more.

This guide helped me a lot when I was purchasing. I strongly recommend reading this guide once.

Read The Guide Here
 

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I would go with the Honda EU2200i, it should be fine. Converted for natural gas, it will provide a bit less power but should still do the job. Yes, Honda generators are generally more expensive than other similar generators, but when the power goes out, I wanted the best portable I could buy. I have the EU7000is.
 

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In your case, I would recommend going for Goal Zero Yeti 6000X it can easily power your fridge for up to 120 hours or more.
I find the idea of "electric generators" and "solar generators" quite humorous.

All you are doing is paring a battery with an inverter.

The question is - what charges the battery?

If your input charging power is less than the consumed power (kwh, or wh, what ever units you want to use - power over time) then you are going to run your battery dead.

If your input charging power is more than the consumed power you will have adequate power.

What is your charging power source?

That is what is convenient about fuel burning engine generators. The energy is stored in the fuel and you have instant electricity when you need it - just start the engine and off you go. If you are waiting for the sun to charge and it is cloudy for 4 days - what do you do?

I do really like the idea of alternative energy. One must put thought in to the scenario, though, so as to have adequate power. You never size an alternative energy system based on peak/ideal performance. As to how low of performance you need to plan for - that is entirely environmentally dependent, however it would be wise to have both solar and wind power generation ability. You usually have at least something going on. If it is cloudy the wind may be blowing. When a high pressure system settles in for 3 days and it is calm but bright and sunny you have plenty of solar. And, of course, at night - the sun doesn't shine at all so if you have some breeze you get to harness wind power when you're sleeping sometimes, also.

So if you have a "solar generator" - if you aren't charging off solar you are drawing power strictly out of a battery and the run time is dependent on the battery capacity between what ever charge level you have and the minimal safe SOC (note this is not the label capacity on the battery - you never draw 100% because if you do you will deplete the battery beyond the minimal safe SOC and damage it - even Lithiums, although you have much lower safe SOC than you do with any lead variant).

So I ask again - what is your charging power source?
 

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One EU1000is ran our 21 cu ft Samsung fridge and a few lights and another one ran our small chest freezer and garage door openers. I bought those when our EU7000is had a problem during our 13 day power outage.
 

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I find the idea of "electric generators" and "solar generators" quite humorous.

All you are doing is paring a battery with an inverter.

The question is - what charges the battery?

If your input charging power is less than the consumed power (kwh, or wh, what ever units you want to use - power over time) then you are going to run your battery dead.

If your input charging power is more than the consumed power you will have adequate power.

What is your charging power source?

That is what is convenient about fuel burning engine generators. The energy is stored in the fuel and you have instant electricity when you need it - just start the engine and off you go. If you are waiting for the sun to charge and it is cloudy for 4 days - what do you do?

I do really like the idea of alternative energy. One must put thought in to the scenario, though, so as to have adequate power. You never size an alternative energy system based on peak/ideal performance. As to how low of performance you need to plan for - that is entirely environmentally dependent, however it would be wise to have both solar and wind power generation ability. You usually have at least something going on. If it is cloudy the wind may be blowing. When a high pressure system settles in for 3 days and it is calm but bright and sunny you have plenty of solar. And, of course, at night - the sun doesn't shine at all so if you have some breeze you get to harness wind power when you're sleeping sometimes, also.

So if you have a "solar generator" - if you aren't charging off solar you are drawing power strictly out of a battery and the run time is dependent on the battery capacity between what ever charge level you have and the minimal safe SOC (note this is not the label capacity on the battery - you never draw 100% because if you do you will deplete the battery beyond the minimal safe SOC and damage it - even Lithiums, although you have much lower safe SOC than you do with any lead variant).

So I ask again - what is your charging power source?
I like the idea of a battery backup system, charged with solar, with a regular generator as an alternate way to charge the backup battery. The problem is, if you want to power an entire house, these systems can become extremely expensive...like $30k to $50k. You need a lot of solar panels and a lot of batteries to store enough energy to last days or weeks without utility power.
 

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I like the idea of a battery backup system, charged with solar, with a regular generator as an alternate way to charge the backup battery. The problem is, if you want to power an entire house, these systems can become extremely expensive...like $30k to $50k. You need a lot of solar panels and a lot of batteries to store enough energy to last days or weeks without utility power.
I think it is unwise to dive in to alternative energy, speaking from the frame of reference of off-grid set ups where you don't have the grid to fall back on, without having a conventional generator available. There just isn't any other instant means to have "power" when you need it. If something has to get done or happen that requires electricity (the more electricity required the more difficult it is to obtain) there is no quicker, absolute method than a reliable generator. On the same subject - the frame of reference being off-grid - redundancy is your only insurance against going down completely. If your solar system or wind system takes a lightning strike and blows out both the panels/turbine as well as the inverters - what are you going to do? In that case - if you don't have backups of what gets blown out but you have a generator - you have a means to continue - at least for a short period of time. How hard and expensive is it going to be to get up and running with your alternative energy system? Something to think about...

As for solar panels and the cost of the set ups - you can get good size panels (250w/panel or so) for $50 a panel from auctions. A lot of times large construction projects will have the plan to do "solar power" but for what ever reasons either the project entirely gets halted or the alternative energy install gets the kabosh. A lot of the parts for these systems end up in warehouses. Most of the panels get auctioned off by the pallet. Sometimes they sell them in sets of 10 or 20. Figure 20x 250 watt panels is 5kw of peak solar production for around $1000. That isn't a bad deal. So you want 20kw of peak solar production? $4,000 worth of panels. Of course, that doesn't count wiring and brackets/mounts... Something to consider.
 

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i can run up to 4 of the eu2200i gens if i need that much power...
pm me if you need pix and parts lists to make your own!
easy build if you have skills!
 

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i can run up to 4 of the eu2200i gens if i need that much power...
pm me if you need pix and parts lists to make your own!
easy build if you have skills!
Ha. A man of many talents. Or, a man with many tricks up his sleeve?

Back a few years ago I had considered getting a 2nd EU2200i - the one with the 30a connector on it - and paralleling the two. However, that hasn't been realistic. I have other generator options and I have had a plethora of power with the one EU2200i so far for when I do run that little unit.

With the discussions about fuel efficiency etc as of late I think the better route is to size up the entire generator. Have the small EU2200i then something larger if you need more power. This way - if you can get by on the EU2200i for 95% of the loads and what pushes things too hard on the one EU2200i is intermittent you can fire up the bigger one just for that load then shut it back off. If the heavy load is more continuous than intermittent you can swap the EU2200i for the bigger unit and just run it. You have more flexible fuel usage this way. If you have to parallel 2 EU2200i's to get the power you need around the clock you're feeding 2 engines fuel. If you had 1 engine that could provide the larger power needs you would likely burn less fuel than the 2 EU2200i's - within reason - like an EU3000i.
 

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Most everyone above is looking past the two most operative words in the OP's post: Gulf Coast. Mother Nature's hobby here is trying to see how much water she can suspend in the atmosphere. Hence, less oxidizer to produce power. A generator does not make the power here than it does in drier climes. Shortly after your generator starts powering your frig and freezer along the Gulf Coast any excess generator wattage is quickly offered up at that point to run a window unit. To power the cooling in one room, whichever one you choose. So one window unit is all you need to get by. Here is my real life experience with my EU2000 and window units: It WILL power a fridge and lay-down freezer, and a small, 5000Btu window unit, but only just barely. ON GASOLINE. I don't have any experience with natural gas, but I don't think a EU2000 (or EU2200) will successfully survive the window air conditioner inrush using natural gas here on the Gulf Coast while also running a frig and/or freezer. It's barely possible on gasoline. It may do so on NG in less humid areas of the country, but not here. Every molecule of water vapor suspended in the oxidizer displaces additional oxidizer and therefore limits power from the EU2000/2200. Factor in natural gas and running all of that at the same time is an iffy situation here. As suggested above you can rotate the A/C in while the frig/freezers are off, but that just builds frost on your frozen food, made worse by the humidity. 5000Btu window unit CFMs are pitifully low, almost totally inadequate to cool your average size room ALONG THE GULF COAST. Ask me how I found this out. Air flow is not adequate for a medium-size room down here until you get to a 6,000 or 8,000Btu unit. THEN you can cool a room marginally in the daytime, adequately at night. Late at night. Even then you must turn off the frig/freezer for the generator not to die upon A/C inrush at some point during the night. And who wants to run any generator at the upper limits of its rating?

I vote for a second EU2000/2200 rather than a single EU3000, ESPECIALLY considering the natural gas powering them. Net/net more power than a single EU3000 on natural gas, and more utility in having a smaller unit for other purposes like tailgating or glamping. ( I just bought a new EU2200 and have a well-maintained, LOW hour EU2000 for sale if you're interested.) But even if I didn't I'd still contend a second EU2000/2200 is the way to go.

Paul I make a motion that you should take one of your older EU2000 units, convert it to E85 with nitrous, and run it through a supercharger or turbo. While you're at it may as well scrap the exhaust and put a header on it because...it's not going to scream for long. :) We can run two lotteries off the effort: one for how much wattage it will make, the other for how short of time!
 

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lol on the nos!
well fuel injection yea we are working on a system!
we would like to be able to have fuel injection for the NG on the eu2000i and the eu2200i gens.
just a bit of machine shop work.
we are working on the throttle body design.
if the head had a bit more room we could do direct cyl injection.

well maybe a electronic super charger!
that can be done on a small engine!
turbo there is just not enough exhaust flow to turn the compressor wheel at 100 to 120 cc...
not to make it responsive at least...

i want electronic valves!
then you could do better management on fuel....
just a bit out of the price range for most folks..
but it could be done!
"no bucks... no Buck Rodgers!"
grin!
stay safe out there!
 
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