Power Equipment Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am a newbie to generators and this forum. Sorry for the long post. My Dad and I purchased an EU 2000 generator to power our oil burner which we measured at 500 Watts using a kill-a-watt meter.

We thought that a having the generator be approx 4 times the load of the boiler would be sufficient for the surge current when the boiler turns on.

We were half right, as the boiler starts up fairly normally when the ECONO mode is off, but when the ECON mode is on, the relay for the ignigtor toggles on and off many times before the burner fires up.

We can see the voltage dropping when it kicks on (we do have a fairly long extension cord, we will try a shorter one). We figure the boiler kicks on, you get a surge current which simulatneously causes the the generator to run faster AND drops the voltage enough to turn the relay off, the voltage jumps up and the relay kicks in again, this continues for several cycles (6 to 8 maybe ?) at which point the boiler turns on.

There are two concerns related to this, one is that we will damage the boiler by doing this long term, and the second is that conditions will change slightly such that instead of the boiler eventually firing up, the relay will clickon and off indefinitely.

We would prefer to keep it in econo mode to save on gas, as low gas consumption was a primarly reason for selecting a small generator.
 
Is there any way to keep econo mode on but increase surge capability ?
 
Some ideas that might not have merit, but I will ask for feedback on them anyway:
 
1- We were going to run pretty much at quarter load with just the boiler. If we have some sort of constant 500W load, then perhaps when the boiler kicks on the generator will be going fast enough to meet the surge current needs. Of course we will waste gas this way but its probaley better to run at half load with econo on, then quarter load with econo off. Of course the idea probably wont work anyway because even if the generator is running faster, it will have greater overall current requirements because of the constant 500W load.
 
2- The EU 2000 has the ability to charge a 12V battery. What if we were to connect a battery to the genrator and leave it there. would the battery provide extra surge current when the boiler kicks in, and then get recharged during system steady state ? I am guessing that there would be diodes or something else that would allow current to only flow from the generator into the battery, and not the other way around, but it doesnt hurt to ask.

3- I know there is a way to hook up two EU2000 in parallel for more capacity. We dont want to do this as it will use twice the amount of gas., but is there a way to do something with a battery with this ? In the best case scenario, the battery is only used when extra surge current is required, and then after the battery starts to discharge it can be connected to the 12V port to charge it.

4- Connect the EU 2000 to a battery, and then the battery to a stand alone inverter. The hope here is that the battery/inverter combination can withstand the surge current needs, and then the generator could charge the battery when needed.
 
5- Get a small generator that doesnt use an inverter as I have read that inverters can limit the ability to handle large surge currents. We prefered a generator with an inverter so we could connect to "sensitive" electronics, but I guess everything is a tradeoff.

6- Purchase a large Uninterruptable power supply, and have the generator power it. The hope here is that the UPS could handle the surge current. I hve no idea if this makes any sense.

7- Get a larger genertor, that unforunatly is heavier, makes more noise, and uses more gas. Question about this, would a larger generator that had an ECON mode still have the same issue ?
 
Thanks in advance,

Randy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Hi, I'll try these in order:

1. Take the generator off of econo mode and get rid of the extension cord. If you can't, use a "heavy duty" version cord, say 12 gauge. The surge current of a motor starting can be quite high.
2. It can charge a battery, that's it. But, Yamaha makes one that can do this. Check out the EF3000iSEB.
3. No on the battery "boost."
4. A stand alone inverter/battery would greatly increase your losses and the generator can't handle the load on the 12 volt side. 500 watts at 12 volts would be 42 amps, and that's at 100% efficiency. Never mind the starting current draw. I think it's only rated at an 8 amp draw.
5. Not required but this is an option. If your current generator can handle the load on econo mode then why replace it though? NOTE: there are many non-inverter generators that are quite capable of providing "clean power." Most of the hype over "sensitive electronics" is over rated as well. Most switching power supplies, like in your computer, can operate over a wide range of voltages/frequencies.
6. UPS's are not designed for "surge" loads. You'd also need a very big one to pick up the motor surge requirements.
7. This might be an option.

When your boiler starts, do you have any pumps that also are starting? If so, temporarily, try manually starting the pumps AFTER the boiler is up and running. The startup load, with the pumps, might be the issue here.

Hope it helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Randy I would try a shorter wire and a heaver one first. I'm a firm believer with these small backup generators the shorter the wire the better. My favorite wire is a 5 ft one I use when I put my generator right next to my inlet box on the side of my house. If I have to move the generator out of the weather I have longer cords I can use. The way I look at is once the power is in my box it still has maybe another 30 40 or 50 ft to go through the house depending what appliance I'm powering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the feedback guys, next time we fire up the generator, we will try a shorter extendsion cord (the extension cords are already the heavy duty ones). Our back up plan is to run with ECON OFF, let it run full tilt for four hours, with the thermostat set high to really warm up the house, then after we use a tankfull, shut off the generator and wait till the house gets cold before firing it up again. Ideally we be more efficient on gas and just leave the thermostat at a reasobale temperature, but this at least gives us a working solution with the generator we have.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top