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How do generators prevent overloading?


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08-01-17, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)  
How do generators prevent overloading?

I had a Homelite 4400 with 8HP Briggs. When I put too much of a load on, it would bog down to nothing. I notice the Harbor Freight Chicago Electric Predator generators have the same engine from 5500 - 7000 watts, and the hp is definitely overkill for a 5500 watt. How do they limit output to 5500 watts?

 
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08-01-17, 09:35 PM   #2 (permalink)  
The generator is prevented from serious and prolonged overload by the overcurrent protection device. The engine rarely has any mechanical overload protection other than simply ceasing to run if severely overloaded.

 
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08-02-17, 02:37 AM   #3 (permalink)  
So something like a slow-blow breaker, and when it trips the engine basically freewheels for awhile? or does it drop a leg if just one leg gets overloaded? Does it reset automatically?

Thanks!

 
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08-02-17, 06:00 AM   #4 (permalink)  
First, inexpensive generators ratings have to be taken with a big dose of salt. Very roughly it takes about 2 engine horsepower to generate 1'000 watts of electricity. The rating on the cheap generator may the maximum it can briefly output before the overload trips, or they may simply be stretching the truth.

Many generators have a circuit breaker. When used over it's limit the breaker trips and disconnects the generator from the load. I have only seen both legs drop when the breaker trips. Most 120 volt generators have a breaker that looks like a little button while 240 volt models have a breaker that looks more like a double pole breaker you'd have in your home. When tripped the engine continues to run and the governor senses the drop in load and reduces the throttle to hold the engine to it's running rpm.

 
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08-02-17, 08:17 PM   #5 (permalink)  
@Pilot Dane Many generators have a circuit breaker. When used over it's limit the breaker trips and disconnects the generator from the load. I have only seen both legs drop when the breaker trips...When tripped the engine continues to run and the governor senses the drop in load and reduces the throttle to hold the engine to it's running rpm.
Background: I had a 1960's Homelite 8HP Briggs, 4K running, 4.4K surge. It ran pretty good. Then I saw a deal on a Predator/Chicago Electric/Harbor Freight 5.5K on a Craig's List moving sale that hadn't been run in 5 years, 5-year-old gas, cords, and a Rubbermaid shed. The oil was like new and it turned over very smoothly, so I ran it using a rag. I put loads on it that buried my Homelite and there wasn't hardly a change in sound. I've always held it is 2hp per K also for mechanicals or they are lying.

My attraction was the RATO 420cc 13hp which, which is a clone of the GX390. I would guess it to more than advertised. The engine it is cloned after, GX390, has 389cc and 11.7 HP @ 3,600 rpm. The Honda clone is 420cc, bigger bore, stroke, better breathing head. Just the math with no adjustments for better breathing head works out to (420/389)*11.7 = 12.63. Parts are cheap and available everywhere, and many interchange. Kart racers have a class for them and RTVs swap out their Hondas with them. If the Honda will hold up and has the power, the RATO will. They are sure a lot quieter than my 8hp Briggs & Stratton was.

My end game is Tri-Fuel which you can buy carburetors for $40-$50. According to people who use them, they work flawlessly and far better than high cost generic kits. So good, people are adapting them to other engines. Considering a 20% hit from natural gas, (dyno tests show 18% for water cooled engines and ~20% for air cooled), it still should still be able to make 5.5K. However, the 5.5K that I have has no native GFCI and I know where there is a 7K which does and uses the same engine. I know it can't make 7K on natural gas. For the 5.5K, it would run out of K. For a 7K it will run out of hp, which is why I wondered how generators prevent overloading. Putting GFCI on the 5.5K 120v receptacles would not be that easy and the 7K also comes with a wheel kit.

 
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08-03-17, 06:33 AM   #6 (permalink)  
I used to race a couple classes of kart both side valve and overhead valve engines. I have no good experience with Chinese clone engines though I have seen some that ran well. Unfortunately I have seen some that did not run well because of poorly manufactured parts so I can't categorically agree that RATO will be a good engine simply because it's a Honda clone. When racing everyone I knew with a clone engine tossed many of the Chinese parts and replaced them with ones more suitable for racing duty so even though they may be running a Chinese engine case the con rod, crank, cam and carburetor... were usually not Chinese.

I have done work with the Honda V-twin engines. The GX630, 660 and 690 all have the same displacement yet are rated at different power outputs so displacement isn't everything. The intake, exhaust and especially carburetion can have a huge impact on the power output.

 
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08-03-17, 10:16 AM   #7 (permalink)  
I don't have any experience with them, Kart racing or otherwise, just from reading. You know way more about this than me. LOL!

Where I live, in the suburbs, I need a generator about 4 hours every 6-8 weeks, and once a year for about 12 hours. The two to three day outages only happen about every 3 years, and 1 week outages only happen about every 10. I parts widely available plus Honda parts interchangeability. I can go tri-fuel for less than $50. I scoped out the old Onans lots of times. They had lots of hours and the minor repair parts they needed cost more than a new generator. I read about people using the HF generators on their concession vehicles and getting 1700 to 2200 hours from of them, and lots of people happy with them when they were out for extended periods during hurricanes, and the miffed owner of a new Generac who learned his new generator uses the same engine and generator head as the HF 7K.

Thanks!
PS: When the lady I bought the generator was apologizing to me about how she didn't even start it for the past 5 years, I told her I would never let that happen. Actually, it would be impossible for that to happen where I live and to exercise a generator would be ridiculous. 2/3rds of the houses have generators, and one a whole-house unit with auto start, and the ones without generators pay for the gas of the ones that have them and run cords to from them to run their bare necessities and buy their gas. LOL!

 
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08-03-17, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)  
I'm not sure where you got your information about going tri-fuel for $50 but I question it. To use gaseous fuel you need what is called a "zero-pressure governor", often shortened to zero governor. This is a regulator that feeds gaseous fuel according to the airflow through the engine. Prices start at about $50 just for the zero governor.

In addition you need a method to feed the gaseous fuel to the engine and this can be a "motor snorkel" (patented by US Carburetion), an accessory venturi or a modified carburetor. Modifying the carburetor with an accessory "spud-in" is a proven method but it takes some careful measurement and precise drilling and tapping to retain the use of gasoline as an alternate fuel. The third method is to eliminate the use of gasoline by drilling the main jet of the carburetor and installing a simple spud for the gaseous fuel. This last method, also tried and true, destroys the carburetor for ever using gasoline, not a problem in my opinion.

I have a Yamaha inverter generator that I converted to gaseous fuel only. As I recall, the conversion kit including the zero governor, carburetor spud, load block adjustment, some fittings, hardware and hose was about $140. I spent probably another $100 on fittings and hoses not included to make what I consider to be a very nice conversion. After the initial conversion I tested it on propane but later with only an adjustment to the load block switched to natural gas which is now my primary fuel. If I ever desire to use the generator away from my house I can switch back to propane in about a minute.

From what I have found, people that do tri-fuel conversions almost never go back to gasoline so why even bother keeping it as an option?

 
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08-03-17, 02:33 PM   #9 (permalink)  
I'm not sure where you got your information about going tri-fuel for $50 but I question it.
It's not information, it's a carburetor. I have the original Tonco instead of the clone because of the better diaphragm setup.

In addition you need a method to feed the gaseous fuel to the engine and this can be a "motor snorkel" (patented by US Carburetion), an accessory venturi or a modified carburetor. Modifying the carburetor with an accessory "spud-in" is a proven method but it takes some careful measurement and precise drilling and tapping to retain the use of gasoline as an alternate fuel. The third method is to eliminate the use of gasoline by drilling the main jet of the carburetor and installing a simple spud for the gaseous fuel.
No thanks. I like mine way better. It looks and fits just like the regular Honda carburetor with a diaphragm on the side. No spacers, cutting the frame, air cleaner issues, or adjustment bolts, that I have no confidence in metering properly over the throttle position range. It does gasoline, LP, and NG. You turn the red knob one way for LP and the other way for NG. It also routes the float bowl drain out front for easy access. TONCO makes 4 models to cover the range of the 5.5-16hp Hondas and clones. I bought the biggest one for the 420, $49 in-hand. (If I remember correctly, they all cost the same) While the big one like I have, the 190F, is only supposed to do up to 16hp, there are guys that put them on 10KWs and they say they work perfectly for them. TONCO copy cats sell theirs for as little as $32 in-hand, but they have stamped parts instead of cast. You never know how long it takes to get them either. The TONCO I got in 2 days. People seem happy with both. When I was researching a lot of things, I decided that if the engine wasn't a Honda or a clone, I wasn't interested. Parts are cheaper and easier to find than the Briggs I had, it comes with a big muffler, and with 50% more power, it made 1/3rd the noise and of course the OHV burns nowhere near the gas my flat head did. LOL! I noticed the generators and mufflers are the same on almost all of them making me believe a lot of them are made in the same factory, in fact there is a guy from RATO that talks about that.

Of course unlike what US Carburetion says, you are going to take a hit on horsepower, so it helps to be overpowered. 13hp engine on gasoline won't have that much power on NG. I go by dyno tests. Ford Super Duty's with have a factory installed CNG option. The engine is the same engine. The company selling the option has employees at the factory to install the system. With a water cooled electronically controlled engine the dyno shows a loss of 18%. With an air-cooled engines like this, it is 19-20%. (I would have thought the difference would be greater.) If you use LPG, you will do ~5% better or a whisker more, so you won't lose as much. So if I stay with my 5.5K or go with the 7K, it makes no difference on the KW because they use the same engine, which means it will pull only 5200 to 5500 watts. That's the reason I asked how the generator power limiting works because my only experience was with the Homelite & Briggs where the way it worked is the engine would almost stall or would stall. LOL! (I was scoping out a good deal on a Predator 7K with GFCI) So if it works on power output, it would probably stall. I was secretly hoping that cycles/rpm etc. were involved as well as load to keep the engine from stalling like my Homelite. A whole lot of guys agree with you that they would never go back to gasoline.

Thanks!
PS: Even though they show the 188F for the GX390 and 13hp, I emailed them and they said go with the 190F for the 13hp 420CC clones, so they must be pulling more fuel and air than is suggested by the 13hp rating. I also asked about the automatic choke. I was thinking that would be nice for remote start. They responded and said if your generator has a manual choke, please order the manual choke. After some research I figured out why. The automatic choke really only works good to help idle. Mechanicals don't idle, they go straight to 3600. For those that idle for small partial power, they have the automatic chokes. Guys who decided to go with the automatic on generators says the choke takes far to long to get out of the way. One guy sent his back and they exchanged it. He said it turned out he didn't even need a choke. It spins over, starts instantly, and it's on it's way. Of course that was on NG, not gasoline.


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08-03-17, 03:02 PM   #10 (permalink)  
You cannot compare a generator running on a constant load with an automobile (or truck) running a varying load.

I have no trouble getting a full 2800 watts (rated power) from my Yamaha on natural gas. I could probably get more but 2800 watts was all I had to load up the unit while I was testing.

Do you have a link for these TONCO carburetors that have built-in flow control for gaseous fuels?

Here are a couple of pictures of my generator while I was doing the conversion. I didn't have to cut anything and when all the shrouding is replaced the only thing to show it is a gaseous fuel unit is the fuel hose connection near the wheel.

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08-03-17, 03:22 PM   #11 (permalink)  
You cannot compare a generator running on a constant load with an automobile (or truck) running a varying load.
Of course the truck is running flat out when its tested as are the air cooled small engine tests which were generator engines.

I have no trouble getting a full 2800 watts (rated power) from my Yamaha on natural gas. I could probably get more but 2800 watts was all I had to load up the unit while I was testing.
I would guess the Yamaha's are pretty good from what I read, and the engine is probably has the reserve power to the amount of KW it's putting out.

Do you have a link for these TONCO carburetors that have built-in flow control for gaseous fuels?
I don't know if they allow foreign links here so go to eBay and type "Tonco GX420 manualchoke 190F" and you will find the carb I bought. I didn't remember the price though. It is a buck less than I said.

Here are a couple of pictures of my generator while I was doing the conversion. I didn't have to cut anything and when all the shrouding is replaced the only thing to show it is a gaseous fuel unit is the fuel hose connection near the wheel.
That's a nice generator and a nice, clean, install.

 
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08-03-17, 05:33 PM   #12 (permalink)  
I looked at the Generac XT8000 series. It has the same engine, generator, muffler and mounting bracket as the Predator 7K, but the Predator has a heat shield around it to keep you from getting burned. In balance, the Generac has a nicer frame and comes with a wheel kit. They are nicer in other ways too such as an hour meter with maintenance intervals, a power meter, wheel kit, nicer frame, and bigger tank. RATO is probably like GM. You could buy a Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, or Chevrolet, and there are valid reasons for each, but starting out, the the powertrain and basic chassis items are going to be the same.

What I will do is put the TONCO on the generator and connect it to NG and you can hear from me how well it worked. I decided I'll stick with the generator I have, and add an hour meter to it.


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08-03-17, 08:35 PM   #13 (permalink)  
I went to put on the carburetor so I could report back how everything went. I got the wrong carb. Mine has a choke lever, so I figured it was a manual choke. I studied how auto chokes worked and their electric heaters. That was nothing like mine but I did ask if I should go auto. They said if you have manual, please order a manual. I did. Now I find out it has a vacuum motor type auto and that's how their auto carbs are set up too. I did a return and they said that I just need to use the return label and it would cost me $4.30. I don't see a label but I did order another carb with auto choke. No, you can't take the auto choke off the old carb. There is a pressed in ferrule. I'm ordering late in the week so I don't know if I'll get it this week or not. We'll see.

Duh

 
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08-03-17, 10:59 PM   #14 (permalink)  
I brought up the carb on E-bay. Looks interesting but I can't read the info too closely as I am only hitting on three cylinders right now as I have been up for about 20 hours straight. I'll be quite interested in reading of your results.

 
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08-03-17, 11:34 PM   #15 (permalink)  
From the time I wrote that I found I had the wrong one, they already shipped the new one and sent me a label to return the other one.

There are also clones on Amazon for about $10.00, but they only go up to the 188F, not 190F (420s and 14-16HP). They even use the same part numbers as TONCO. Go to Amazon and type: "HIPA Dual fuel carburetor LPG NG 188F" There are 5 reviews and Q&A there. They call them dual fuel for LP and NG, but they don't count the gasoline for some reason. There is one review on there talking about a deal breaker because he can't get at the float bowl drain screw. Oh Duh! He is trying to get at the original float bowl side screw after they rotated the float bowl so it's impossible to access, but they put one on the bottom of the float bowl with a hose to the bottom of the diaphragm casting like the TONCO that provides a drain screw so it's even easier and far less messy than the stock one. Duh! LOL!

I noticed the gaskets are separate though while the TONCO ships with every gasket known to man and instructions to be careful which ones you have, and to make sure you match them because of orifice holes etc. I don't understand how the switching between LPG and NG goes on the HIPA either. The TONCO you just turn the valve to switch fuels. It appears they only do manual chokes too which won't work for me of course. To me, that means the TONCO is the only one that covers all of the different carbs out there, both manual and automatic choke. The 420 carbs must be slightly different then the 390s and slightly higher capacity because they are rated for 14-16HP, but if you have a 420 they said get the 190F even if it's a 13HP.

Here is another clone built very much like the TONCO, has great pictures from all sides, but here again it doesn't appear that they make the 190F or ones with Auto choke. It has one review. At Amazon type " Fuerdi dual fuel carburetor GX390 188F carburetor".


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08-07-17, 12:31 PM   #16 (permalink)  
The generator is prevented from serious and prolonged overload by the overcurrent protection device. The engine rarely has any mechanical overload protection other than simply ceasing to run if severely overloaded.
Do you have any idea where that typically might be located? I see inside of the control panel there is an AVR. It could use the voltage on each leg, cycles, and field current it is sending to the generator, and do a pretty good job estimating watts. I can't help but wonder if that is what makes the difference between a 5500 and 7000. They use the same 13hp engine, and using 2hp per KW, that works out to 6500 watts.

The RATO Honda clones, such as HF 5500-6500, 7000-8750, and 75% of the generators out there in the 5-7.5K continuous range, all appear to use the same generator head. (Although I can't be certain it is the same inside.) What IS the same is they are all using 25A breakers on the 30A plug. 240v x 25A works out to 6000 watts, which means you can spend more to buy larger, but it won't do you any good if you are only using the 240v receptacle to tie into your panel.

PS: Amazingly, my new Tri-Fuel carburetor from Tonco is out for delivery. They are in New Jersey, and I didn't find out I ordered the wrong one and order the new one until 10PM on Thursday.


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08-07-17, 12:52 PM   #17 (permalink)  
If you have a circuit breaker then that is the overcurrent protection. My Yamaha inverter does not have a circuit breaker but instead an electronic circuit that shuts down the inverter if it goes into overload, probably an inverse time basis delay as well. It is reset by shutting down the engine, essentially shutting off the input power to the inverter. It also has a high temperature shut down.

 
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08-08-17, 10:34 AM   #18 (permalink)  
If you have a circuit breaker then that is the over-current protection.
You are correct it appears. I learned the AVR is the crescent shaped thing inside of my generator head when I went hunting for the neutral bond. While an AVR could limit output, and some do, this is not true for these generators, and the many that are based off these same components. Moreover, they use the same AVR from 5500-8000. What I thought was the AVR in the control panel does several functions such as rectifying, ties to the ignition switch, fuel cut off solenoid, battery charging, etc. Off hand, I don't see anything that limits output other than circuit breakers which begs the question, How can there be much of a difference between the 5500 and 7000? I have found it very difficult to get any information on the generator head itself. Unlike the engine, there seems to be intentional obscurity with the generator head and panel modules with no part numbers or cross reference of anything. If they are different somehow, they sure went out of their way to make them all look the same, and I would think it would cost them more to have different models than the copper would cost. If they are actually the same, the obscurity would make perfect sense. One thing is for sure, none of them can be pumping out more than 6KW through the 120/240 receptacle because they all have 25A breakers, and the standard 13hp engine is only going to produce 6500 watts. If the ones that advertise more couldn't do it, they would get get collared for lying. The only remaining explanation is they aren't all 13hp, even though the generators all say they are. What we do know is the 420s are also available in 14, 15, and 16 hp versions. That could explain the obscurity and higher KW numbers coming from different engines. Even the 8KW Generac 6954 says it is 13hp. People say it has to do with Honda lawsuits. I don't see how that makes any sense, but neither does anything else. All I know is all of these different size generators with the same 13 HP does not compute.

While researching the lawsuits, people tell me is I almost certainly have a Lifan, not a RATO, because it is one of the blue Chicago Electrics. I learned that Lifan was making "clones" with the same tooling they supplied Honda engines with. (Mine isn't old enough to be one of those.) Five companies were sued for 13 million. (Must me a China thing because it would be a lot more in the US) Lifan had patented a new design and put it into production before the lawsuit. Subsequently, most of the traction Honda got against clone makers making them look too much like the Honda, so they had to change shrouds, air cleaners, etc. These manufacturers have certainly done a good job standardizing on a basic design to bring down initial cost and repair parts. Even the castings that look alike.

I put the TONCO Tri-Fuel carburetor on last night and everything bolted up perfectly. I didn't run it because I have a few other things to do on the generator. I'll probably pull the neutral bond or at least move it to the control panel until the new switch arrives. I'd like adjust the cycles to gasoline, see if it changes under NG, and record any required changes if it does.

 
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08-09-17, 11:45 AM   #19 (permalink)  
I noticed that from a parts standpoint, the HF and Champion seem to be cut from the same tree. I also didn't realize until now that they cloned more than the engine, they also cloned the alternator. Even the brushes are common to the Honda. I hate to eat crow, but I believe I am wrong about the generator heads being the same. Champion has part numbers, and those part numbers indicate that the stator, rotor, and AVR are different between the 5.5KW and 7KW generator. That would make sense because the control panel doesn't have much in the line of smarts to control anything well. So there appears to be no cheap, easy way to get 7KW from a 5.5KW. LOL!

 
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08-11-17, 08:09 AM   #20 (permalink)  
I learned a couple things:
1. I can see why Honda sued Lifan for making their generators look too much like Honda's. (It didn't help that they made them with the same tooling they supplied Honda parts with.) I ran across a Honda on YouTube where the only thing different from my Chicago Electric was the color and decals. Honda's are red, and Chicago Electrics are blue. I mean down to the tank shape, fuel switch, engine mounts, the recoil starter and shroud, air cleaner both inside and out, frame, you name it. It's nuts! I thought mine was too new to be one of the lawsuit generators but it isn't. I can't believe anyone would try to get away with such a thing. The Honda did have a nicer control panel, but that's about it. At least I know now where I can confidently buy a wheel kit that will fit.

2. I installed the new tri-fuel carb that they call bi-fuel. (Gasoline/Propane/NG) What I learned here is that 40' of 1/2" pipe followed by 12' of 3/8" gas grille hose will not get you 13hp/10.4NG or 6.5KW/5.2NG. Oh, it will start and run, and do 120v at 60 cycles...until you put a load on it. After that you have to help it by pushing the primer button, and even then it will do less than 3KW.

 
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09-13-17, 07:36 AM   #21 (permalink)  
IT_Architect said: I went to put on the carburetor so I could report back how everything went...
@FURD I brought up the carb on E-bay. Looks interesting...I'll be quite interested in reading of your results.
Don't get too excited. Here is the lay of the land. The Tonco and their clones have a show-stopping problem that I ran into.

Tonco Natural Gas Requirements:
2.0 Kilopascal = 8.03729 WC
2.6 Kilopascal = 10.4485 WC
North America Natural Gas Standards:
1.87 Kilopascal = 7.5" WC after meter
1.7 Kilopascal = 7" WC at gas appliance
*Meaning it already doesn't work.

Tonco Propane Pressures:
2.8 Kilopascal = 11.2522 WC
3.8 Kilopascal = 15.2709 WC
North America Propane Standards:
2.74 Kilopascal = 11" WC after regulator which would mean about 2.62 Kilopascal = 10.5" WC at the generator.
*Meaning it is below spec to be used for propane also.

The Tonco is not a good choice for North America and other countries that use the same standards for either natural gas OR propane. I looked at the only alternative I know of, US Carburetion. They have an easy-to-use plumbing sizing table that agrees with the ICC IFGC International table for sizing of natural gas pipes, and adds the engine horsepower size as a column that agrees with the volumes that I find elsewhere for engines designed to use gasoline require. They also include their operational pressure ranges.

"The engine regulator included in these types of kits will accept up to 14" of water column maximum (one half of one pound per square inch). This allows the engine regulator to be used for both natural gas (4"-8" wc) and low pressure propane (11"-14" wc). The same regulator can be used for both fuels and that is why this type of engine regulator is used in the Tri-Fuel Kits."

That paragraph has interesting implications. The fact that US Carburetion's kit requires only 4" WC for proper generator operation with natural gas results in 2 1/2" 3" of water column reserve. This enables their kit to work with smaller diameter pipes, which in many situations, will obviate the need to re-plumb the gas piping for the generator. It also can be ethically marketed anywhere in the world.

I like the concept of the Tonco better. The Tonco is mis-engineered at one critical point from being a world-wide product. It appears their diaphragm is simply too small to meter on North American standard low-pressure systems and any other country that uses a similar standard.

Tonco did not reply to my comments about selling their carburetor to the North American market when it cannot work there, nor is there any disclaimer that it cannot work there. However, after posting my results on YouTube posts that were promoting the Tonco, and enduring demeaning comments for doing so, I received this from Tonco:
"Hi, we discussed with our technician today and very sorry that we can't settle this problem for the customers in North America. As the discriptions of our products, NG pressure range is 2.0kpa–2.6kpa(0.29psi–0.38psi). If possibel you can have the choke pulled out like you said.
Sorry for bring such inconvenience.
Best regards"
The fact that they market it to North America, and fail to mention it will not work with their natural gas or propane systems, is a lesson in Chinese vs. North American ethics.

Next: Mention this to eBay.


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09-14-17, 01:44 AM   #22 (permalink)  
Thank you for the update.

The pressure problem is not insurmountable as you can get adjustable regulators for propane tanks that have a higher output pressure and for natural gas systems it is also possible to have the utility raise the pressure after the meter as long as additional regulators are used on the various appliances. Still, it IS a shame the company decided to make their product with a pressure input higher than is common in the US.

 
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Posts: 47
MI

10-03-17, 08:58 AM   #23 (permalink)  
@Furd I have no idea how I could have missed your reply notification. Thank you for your reply.
The pressure problem is not insurmountable as you can get adjustable regulators for propane tanks that have a higher output pressure.
That's good to know. NG is the logical way for me to go though.

..for natural gas systems it is also possible to have the utility raise the pressure after the meter as long as additional regulators are used on the various appliances.
In our area, that is available for commercial, but not residential. I looked into booster pumps, but they are very expensive and then I would need a regulator to step it back down for the carb.

Still, it IS a shame the company decided to make their product with a pressure input higher than is common in the US.
The bone I have to pick with them is marketing it to the U.S. with no disclaimer and/or special instructions to make it work in the U.S..

After learning the carburetor isn't going to work, I decided, no big deal. Gasoline is fine. However, the gasoline part is turning into a bigger deal than I had originally anticipated.
1. There is no good way to have fresh gasoline available. First of all, the tank holds 5 1/2 gallons, which would run ~10 hours. That means you would have an average of 1/2 a tank of gas in it when the power comes on, so it doesn't make sense to just run it out. There is no good way to drain the tank because the fuel outlet on the tank is purposely elevated to not suck off the bottom of the tank and that would be very slow anyway. I would have to have something to siphon out the tank that is lower than the generator. Then I would need to run the carburetor out of gas and drain the fuel bowl. Who actually does that? If I didn't, it would run unpredictably when I needed it until all of the bad gas was used up.

2. Next comes the risk of storage of significant amounts of fuel. I would also need to store fuel in something like a Jerry can with a sealed top. I could use it up in lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and snow blowers over time to rotate it. I would have an average of 2 1/2 gallons on hand when I needed it, but that could vary between 0 and 5 gallons.

3. I will be reticent to start the generator and hope power would return soon because of the gyrations I need to go through to refuel and defuel. With natural gas, I would turn on the generator as soon as the power went out. Who wants to spend significant time outside in a storm to try to pour gasoline into a generator without spilling while trying to keep the weather from getting into the tank? Gasoline detracts from usability. Gasoline detracts significantly from usability.

4. The only relatively inexpensive solution would be propane, but I'd need to have at least 2 tanks on hand so I could run one out before replacing it, instead of replacing it before it runs out. If I had a pig in the back yard and heated with propane, it would be a different story. By the time I buy the tanks, regulator, and hookup, I could buy a U.S. Carburetion kit for NG. Natural gas with gasoline as a backup would be the most practical for me, and was the original plan. NG is always ready to go, and I have a limitless, inexpensive supply, without having to travel anywhere to pick it up.

At this point, I'm not sure what I will do. I'm not willing to let it turn into a money pit.

Thanks!


Last edited by IT_Architect; 10-03-17 at 09:47 AM.
 
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