Generators

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Liz14, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Liz14

    Liz14 Read Only Funster

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    I know this subject has been discussed often but can someone explain to me the difference between a Honda generator cosing several hundred pounds and the generator I can buy for less than £100.00.:Eek!:
     
  2. ips

    ips Read Only Funster

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    One costs over 100
    And one costs under a 100 :Rofl1:

    No seriously.... I am no expert however I beleive that apart from the obvious inferior build quality of cheap ones which are almost certainly chinese, I beleive that cheapo ones dont have a voltage stabilizer thingy majig which could damage "some" of your elecrical items due to inconsistent output.

    Small print
    The above could of course be totally wrong :thumb:
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Depends on what you intend to use it for ..

    A cheapo is fine for most power tools, emergency lighting etc

    If for your van look for one with Inverter technology, otherwise you could blow the electronics on your van charger ..
     
  4. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    The Kippor is a cloned Honda from China. I have the yellow peril and it runs everything on my van icluding LCD TV and laptop
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    IPS is right....

    a cheap genny will be of an inferior quality and the voltage wont be stable and fluctuates with engine speed. could be 200v one minute and 270v the next until the engine warms up thoroughly.
    plug in something sensitive like a laptop and chances are you'll be looking for a new laptop.

    honda's and kipors use invertor technology meaning the genny produces 12v and the circuitry converts this 12v to a very stable 230v...hence the big difference in price.

    very expensive honda's are superior in build quality than kipors (never thought i'd say that :Doh:) but they both work the same way....stable invertor technology.
     
  6. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Around £100 and below, what you will get is a cheap open-frame generator of the type used by builders on a site (only they tend to use better versions).
    These produce electricity by running at a constant speed (≅3000 rpm) and driving an alternating current (AC) generator. The output voltage tends to fluctuate and they also tend to be quite noisy.

    Most motorhomers (who use a generator) go for a 'suitcase' model. These produce electricity in an entirely different way. They generate direct current (DC) which is fed through a sine-wave inverter to produce 230V AC at the outlet. This has the effect of producing a very stable output voltage without surges. Their design makes them quieter too.

    The problem with power surges is that they can damage sensitive equipment, perhaps most importantly, the charging unit of the motorhome if you plug the generator into the mains inlet. They are not good news for things like computers either.

    Suitcase generators come in a variety of sizes and makes. Output is measured in KVa and 1 KVa is equivalent to about 900 watts. Most motorhomers will choose a 1 KVa model if they just want to power the onboard charger and perhaps run a few modest items. A 2KVa or 2.6KVa model will be required if you want to run large hairdryers, microwave ovens, household kettles etc.

    The difference between 'suitcase' brands is then down to build quality, reputation, service / spares and how much you are willing to pay. Honda are the most expensive, but generally regarded as the best and they are pretty quiet. They start at over £600 for a 1KVa model. Kipor are very popular and start at around £300 I believe. There are other makes too - have a look at the PlanetGen website - they are trade members of Fun and know a lot more about it than me.

    Finally, returning to the noise issue, there was a £65 Aldi special discussed the other week. From its specification, it would be about 2.5 times louder than a Honda. And of course, it would be prone to power surges.

    Hope this helps and is not overly technical.

    Philip
     
  7. Mikemoss

    Mikemoss Read Only Funster

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    Good post Philip, I'm no expert either but everything you say seems to add up to me. I've had two generators, one older Honda (non inverter) and now a cheapo Kipor 1kw (inverter, sine-wave type - ie yellow). The Kipor is quieter and lighter, the Honda was noticeably better made but noisier. Both have been fine for running TV, hairdryer, lights and charging battery, the Kipor would be better at running my laptop - but I don't mix work and pleasure so have never tried!
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    slow today Peter , that took 35 mins , were you on the loo :Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  9. tick59

    tick59 Funster

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    Coul you not fit an invertor to the ALDI generator then plug your van lead into the 230v on the invertor?:Doh::Doh:
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you could but it wont give you much usable power.
    the 12v output on most Gennie's is around 8amps which ain't much to run an inverter.

    100watts from an inverter will be 8.3amps from the Genny and a lot of that 100watts will be used by 'fitted' equipment...lights, charger, water pump etc.

    inefficiencies in the inverter will also reduce the 100watts to around 90watts usable power.
     
  11. colliezack

    colliezack Funster

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    Maplins I see sell Surge Protectors. A Single Surge Socket at a fiver or the Belkin Surge Cube at £7. I am asking would these products or similar allow the use of a cheap Aldi genny to feed into the motorhome mains without melting the control/charger units???
    Anybody know?? Please.
     
  12. mr bond

    mr bond

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    you only get what you pay for these days:thumb::thumb:
     
  13. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I would contact either PlanetGen or Edge Technology, both expert suppliers, and ask them the same question. (You can find them easily by searching the web.)

    Personally, I would not touch it with a barge-pole. Why risk a motorhome, for which you have paid several thousand pounds, by trying to use a cheap, low-quality generator? I am happy with my Honda.

    Philip
     
  14. tick59

    tick59 Funster

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    I have used my cheap one bought at NETTO for £50 a few times, don't know if it has done any damage but everything seems O.K.:Smile::Smile:
     
  15. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Philip
    Just a quick question..and John (papajohn) or Jim (Scot Jimland) may know this answer

    Peaks and troughs output voltage surges....what would a Belkin Surge suppressor do..inline between the cheap genny and the inlet plug of the motorhome ??. would it improve or solve the problem, or be a waste of time...meaning stop any damaging surges to sensitive equipment.....?????:Doh:

    Mel
     
  16. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Mel,

    See my last post above, which was in answer to the same query.

    Philip
     
  17. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    You must have done that reply while I was typing mine...sorry for the overlap...no it was not for me, but for anybody that may already have one those cheap gennies..

    thanks for the reply
    Mel
     
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    these things are designed for use on your household (national grid) electrics which are in pure sine-wave form...

    a cheap genny will be either a modified sine-wave or square wave so a surge protector may not work. i dont know for sure though.

    the more expensive honda and kipor genny's are usually pure sine-wave


     
  19. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    Apolgies to all for wandering off-piste (that's one word, not two) but I was working my way through this very useful stuff when my eye was caught by "Communication Consultant" Jean Luc. (Obviously well versed in French letters, but moving swiftly on).

    He lists his interests as "watching walking". What a delightful thought! There's a man who's got his life-balance about right...Quelle delicatesse!!

    Hope that doesn't detract from the sine-waves. I'm going to give them to every MH I see in the future.
     
  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    these kind of sign waves ?:Rofl1::Rofl1:

    [​IMG]
     
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