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Old 24th May 2011, 19:53   #421
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

how many hours do the diesel generator engines typically last before a full overhaul is needed?

OT - how does that compare with car engines?

I know an Indica guy, whose engine was rebuild after almost 4L km, at a speed of 80kmph that comes to about 5000hrs, in practice it might have been as much as 7000hrs, given that the average speeds are far less. Also he probably had regular service and one or two major repairs before the full rebuild.
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Old 25th May 2011, 03:07   #422
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I'm not even considering the "local" crap - it has no reliability whatsoever.

Neighbours are, well, neighbours. Some do not even pay for the community watchmen - who will pay for fuel and other expenses?
We bought a local generator (handle start) in the early 90s, apart from the odd engine oil change it has never had a problem and still works great.

We also have a set that uses a 407 engine, again apart from oil and filter changes it works well.
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Old 17th July 2011, 13:49   #423
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

Power cuts are getting longer and more frequent.

I can easily live with the currently-scheduled 1-hr load-shedding at 10.00am. It's my time for tea and newspapers by the window anyway

However, yesterday, when the power came on at 11.00am, it went off again 15 minutes later, and remained off for the afternoon. My wife is seriously talking generator. Not only that, but she is not thinking fan-plus-a-light bulb, she is thinking power-the-house-including-one-ac-machine.

If we were to do this...

I recall a recent post here saying to stay away from kerosene generators, on the basis of running cost, maintainance and longevity. So I should not consider those big red Honda machines? So it means a diesel gen set, right? Either way, I guess this is a one-lakh-plus investment, and there is still the question of how much it costs to run.

Talking about a whole house, but it is not big (1,000 sq ft). We have two fridges though. We have three AC, but could easily ration ourselves to use one only during power cut. We never use more than two at a time anyway.
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Old 17th July 2011, 18:34   #424
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

... a few hours later.

Went to the Chennai Engineering/etc exhibition today (always enjoy imagining bringing a lathe and a milling machine home!) and saw Kohler. Usually Mahindra/Powerol exhibit at these dos, but, today only Kohler.

Smallest model available is 1.5 Lakh. I think it was 5Kva, but I have this thing with numbers, we'll have to check. The package is very neat; smaller than I remember seeing before. Not that much bigger than a washing machine in its side.

Wife is actually serious about this
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Old 17th July 2011, 18:48   #425
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

Generators are the better option these days with power failures too common and as they last longer these days, though a kWh may be at above Rs 6 or 7. Invertors would die down if the no-power periods are lengthier. I am using an inverter for the last 4/5 years and are helpful for periods lesser than 4 to 6 hours with rationing and no AC and Fridge.The power failures would be frequent, usually during summer months when you need both of these. Generators would be the in thing now a days, though a costly proposition.
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Old 17th July 2011, 19:14   #426
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
... a few hours later.

Went to the Chennai Engineering/etc exhibition today (always enjoy imagining bringing a lathe and a milling machine home!) and saw Kohler. Usually Mahindra/Powerol exhibit at these dos, but, today only Kohler.

Smallest model available is 1.5 Lakh. I think it was 5Kva, but I have this thing with numbers, we'll have to check. The package is very neat; smaller than I remember seeing before. Not that much bigger than a washing machine in its side.

Wife is actually serious about this

Did they tell how many hours it would go before service/overhaul/etc.?

I know people who bought 20kVA set for their home two years ago - it was a kirloskar. Don't know the price but I guess it was about 5L
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Old 17th July 2011, 22:08   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
... a few hours later.

Went to the Chennai Engineering/etc exhibition today (always enjoy imagining bringing a lathe and a milling machine home!) and saw Kohler. Usually Mahindra/Powerol exhibit at these dos, but, today only Kohler.

Smallest model available is 1.5 Lakh. I think it was 5Kva, but I have this thing with numbers, we'll have to check. The package is very neat; smaller than I remember seeing before. Not that much bigger than a washing machine in its side.

Wife is actually serious about this
Check the fuel. If it is petrol or kerosene stay away. Most of the less expensive generators are high speed machines and wear out pretty fast, and they guzzle fuel. The best bet if you have your own house and space is a diesel generator set with sound deadening enclosure. The expenses are

- around 4-5L capital cost
- fuel consumption of around Rs.10/unit for full load and around Rs.20/unit at quarter load. Details vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but are available easily.
- 500-1000 hours between maintenance (oil change etc)
- 5000 hours between major maintenance

To get an idea of load variation, in our house we have a normal load of 1KVA but a peak load of 9KVA (with 2xrefrigerators,3xAC, 1 WM, 1 MW and 1.5KVA UPS for computers apart from lights and other electronic items). At present we manage with a 800VA inverter for fans/lights, but if the load shedding becomes a problem, then a generator is the most optimum solution, especially modern ones which cost more to buy, but are frugal on fuel, especially at partial loads. (this is where an inverter AC will pay for itself as it presents practically no starting load overheads and runs continuously with lower consumption)
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Old 18th July 2011, 01:15   #428
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

Quote:
a diesel generator set with sound deadening enclosure.
Yes, that is what we are looking at.
Quote:
we have a normal load of 1KVA but a peak load of 9KVA (with 2xrefrigerators,3xAC, 1 WM, 1 MW and 1.5KVA UPS for computers apart from lights and other electronic items)
That peak load is a bit worrying. Our equipment level is about the same, but we only ever have an overlap of 2 ACs (2ton + 1 ton) during my late-night hours when Mrs G is asleep. It's easy not to use the washing machine, not to use more than one AC, not to use the microwave, but I now see that I have to ask what happens if the generator cuts in (assuming auto start, which I'd want) when all of that happens to be running already.

We'll get some salesman input, and then I'll ask here, again, for the real-world feedback on what they tell us.
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Old 18th July 2011, 14:42   #429
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

@Ginathom
Quote:
It's easy not to use the washing machine, not to use more than one AC, not to use the microwave, but I now see that I have to ask what happens if the generator cuts in (assuming auto start, which I'd want) when all of that happens to be running already.
With modern remote controlled ACs it shouldn't be much of an issue as it will give you 3 min time for it to start the compressors + the standard built in delay in your voltage stabilizers - giving you ample time to switch off one of the AC units.

There is one problem though - your neighbors may object to the diesel generator's exhaust fumes if the vent is placed low. My former Austrian boss had a problem with the DG unit and the neighbors when he stayed near Palavakkam. He had to fabricate special 15 ft tall chimney stack. Same problem occurred when my next door neighbor had a BPO office some years earlier.
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Old 18th July 2011, 17:20   #430
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

That is one of the considerations. I do not want to pipe carbon monoxide into anybody's bedroom!

Another problem is physically locating the machine. The guy who built this house had some mental gaps and (quite apart from not leaving the legally required setback) really didn't leave enough physical gaps around the house. It's tough enough getting a washing machine in/out of its location. Anyway, even if it has to go in front of the house, it is 150kg: nobody is going to go off with it in their pocket!
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Old 18th July 2011, 17:26   #431
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
That is one of the considerations. I do not want to pipe carbon monoxide into anybody's bedroom!

Another problem is physically locating the machine. The guy who built this house had some mental gaps and (quite apart from not leaving the legally required setback) really didn't leave enough physical gaps around the house. It's tough enough getting a washing machine in/out of its location. Anyway, even if it has to go in front of the house, it is 150kg: nobody is going to go off with it in their pocket!

In the north people are putting these things outside the house in a caged enclosure - with a chimney arrangement to get rid of the smoke. The thing is hard to steal due to its weight usually and most people who can afford these things have watchmen in any case.

BTW - if you do get a genset please do get a chimney too. It is not so expensive (you'll be spending big bucks for the genset anyway) and gets rid of the smell very well.

also - I am just guessing - it may improve efficiency of you engine by causing negative pressure (rising smoke in the chminey - that is how fireplaces breath too) releiving the backpressure to some extent and reducing pumping losses.
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Old 18th July 2011, 18:59   #432
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

Quote:
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... I am just guessing - it may improve efficiency of you engine by causing negative pressure (rising smoke in the chminey - that is how fireplaces breath too) releiving the backpressure to some extent and reducing pumping losses.
You are. You are inadvertently overlooking the muffler that is already there in the genset unit. Any pressure relieving after that will have no effect on the engine, right?

The chimney is definitely advisable for people who use kerosene to keep fuel costs down.
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Old 18th July 2011, 19:59   #433
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... Any pressure relieving after that will have no effect on the engine, right?
...

If the pressure after muffler is less than 1 bar even then it helps in reducing pumping losses - muffler just creates a pressure drop across itself, so to the extent chimney reduces the pressure after the muffler - to the same extent the chimney will reduce pressure before the muffler.
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Old 18th July 2011, 20:07   #434
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

So you mean to say having a chimney on a car (forget aesthetics for a moment) is going to improve the efficiency of a car engine? Or that the same diesel engine mounted on a truck prime mover (has a chimney) will be more efficient than in a bus? Wonder why no one thought about it till now.

Edit: How much negative drop are we talking about here due to the chimney? Or is this just another theoretical shot in the dark - we would be seriously going OT if so!

Last edited by DerAlte : 18th July 2011 at 20:27.
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Old 18th July 2011, 20:20   #435
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Default Re: Inverter or generator?

This little Kohler KK06 doesn't even have a pipe on the outside, unlike the larger models we see outside offices, often having silencer and pipe/chimney externally.
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