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Old 10-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #1
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High RPM Diesel Gensets

Gentlemen

I would like to know your opinions on high RPM gensets ( Fisher Panda for example)
Are they long lasting equipment? Are they reliable?
Let it all out, don't hold it back.

Thanks

Portuguese
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #2
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On my previous boat I had a 3600 rpm Kholer genset, I believe it had a 1 cyl Farymann engine. It performed and ran fine although I didn't put a lot of hours on it about 400 if I remember correctly. I find it vibrated much more than my current 1800 rpm Onan 9kw, 3 cyl Kubota engine, and the high rpms made it sound like it was about to "blow up".
When I bought it to put in the Camano 31 I owned then I looked at the Panda, at that time it had lots of negative reviews on the internet boating sites I used. Maybe different now.
Good luck
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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Gentlemen

I would like to know your opinions on high RPM gensets ( Fisher Panda for example)
Are they long lasting equipment? Are they reliable?
Let it all out, don't hold it back.

Thanks

Portuguese
You will not get the lifespan out of a 3600 RPM generator that you get out of a 1800 RPM set.

Thay may not mean much in a recreational marine enviroment though, since we don't put the hours on a generator to wear out either one.

What I'd look for is ease of maintenance. Some of the little Fischer Panda units are cute, but can you work on them easily in place?

What you gain in less weight and a smaller footprint might equate to a unit that is so compact that it makes it difficult to service.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Will you require 120 or 240 volt AC power? What power output will you require? Nextgen has a compact 5 1/2 KW Kubota powered gen that turns at 2800 rpm. It uses a cog belt to drive the gen that is like a timing belt on a car. It is a pretty smooth unit. Service points are on the front.

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Old 10-03-2012, 05:49 AM   #5
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For lots of genset use and a desire for efficiency and some quiet , I think a DC unit with a good sine wave inverter is the most practical and versatile .

A DC noisemaker can run at just enough RPM to power the current loading , idle works if the load is low.

220A 12v unit is common as are 300A 24V units in many buses.

I would roll my own if I had to operate with house current for much time.

A big Trace will put out 4000W on 24V , as will other brands.

For infrequent use and smaller loading the Honda 2KW gas unit seems the choice of many cruisers.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:48 AM   #6
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I second the NexGen line of 2,800 rpm gensets. Even the 3.5 KW unit is big enough to start a 16,000 BTU unit if no other significant loads are connected at the time. And it is reasonably smooth and quiet.

The Fischer Panda is a "wonderful piece of German over engineering that doesn't work in the real world" to quote one detractor on boatdiesel.

There are other high rpm gensets, the Phasor and Entec West, and there may be others.

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #7
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I had a Kohler powered by a 3600 rpm Lister-Petter diesel as oem on my old Mainship.
Even with a sound enclosure it always sounded like I had a lawnmower running in the bilge. Sounded like that outside the boat as well.

There...I let it out.

That was late 70's technology, hopefully today the noise level is lower.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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Over the last 17 years I have had 3 gen sets on Tidahapah.
2 x 3000 RPM 240 V 50 Hz
and the last one a 1500 RPM 240 V 50 HZ unit.
The 1 st 3000 RPM er I wore out in 3 years. Rebuilt it but did not reinstall it instead made the drastic mistake of buying another 3000 RPM er, (Kubota engine) wore it out over the next 5 years.
Have since installed a 3 cyl Perkins driven Stamford 9 KVA gen set that now has 4000 hrs on it and going strong. Just recently did a cyl head O'haul just because I had some down time.
Would not ever consider a high reving gen set again.
Really like the MASE gen sets, very quiet and well built with Yanmar engines.
One of these would be my next choice if required.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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So the question is what do you want to use the gen set for and is it temporary?

If you are going to install hydraulic get home/bow thruster on the boat, I would size the gen set based on the HP of the engine and the RPM required by the hydraulic pump/system. The larger HP/KW gen sets run 1500 to 1800 rpm which most generators require to out put 50/60 htz and the volts.

In the past we also discussed cruise generator powered by the main engine. We have three, a small portable diesel, the main Kohler 10 KW that powers the hydrualic bow thruster/get home, and 5 kw cruise gen set when we are out and about to save fuel and noise. If the main Kolher needs replacing it will be the biggest HP gen set that can fit the space as the KW is not that important.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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This decision should be driven primarily by considering first your electrical needs. If you are not intending AC-powered air-con (or are happy to only use this when on shorepower), then I am with FF at post #5: get a DC genset of 100-200A output and a quality inverter/charger. If you plan air-con and you want to be able to run it at anchor, often, then 1500 (50hz) or 1800 (60hz) diesel gensets are generally preferred for noise and longevity over high-rpm gensets. But if your air-con use at anchor is modest/occassional and you have good alternators and a quality inverter/charger, the high-rpm gensets can be a very cost-effective approach. MasterVolt & Victron (& perhaps others?) make inverter/chargers that can be parallel'd with gensets. This allows for a significant down-sizing of the genset, as the momentary power surges associated with starting motor loads (as experienced with air-con) can be handled by the inverter supplementing the genset and the genset itself can be sized to just cope with the more typical running loads. In my own case, this allowed down-sizing from a 13kva to a 7.5kva genset...big difference in cost, weight, noise, etc.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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I've been thinking of starting a new thread asking for comments on the Next Generator but maybe a reply to this thread will help me and the original poster. I've been looking at the 3.5 KW Next generator for doing just 2 functions - heat water and charge the battery bank. Nothing else. I've looked at all the small generators - Next, Entec, Fisher Panda, Mase and Phasor (which seems like a knock off of the Next generator) and I have come to the conclusion that the Next generator would best meet my requirements because of its weight and size. It also appears to have the best pricing compared to its competitors. Although I would prefer a 1800 RPM generator, they are too big and heavy for my boat. The Next generator is 200 lbs with sound shield and is the lightest of them all and it runs at 2800 RPM rather than 3600 RPM of the others.

So, does anyone have any direct experience with the Next generator and can comment on noise, vibration and reliability?

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
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Phil and ALL:

I put this thread in because the high RPM gensets are getting cheaper in Brazil. However, I do prefer a low RPM MASE or ONAN or any other running @ 1800 RPM. In addition to that, I intend to connect a 8 KVA 120 v alternator to the main engine as I will cruise between 1800 and 2000 RPM. This will give me good cool air condition in the country of the never ending summer. When I go south, Argentina, Uruguay or South Brazil, I will put the AC units on heat mode, while I cruise @ 6 - 7 knots. My maximum constant needs are 46 AMPS 6 KVA, with a 8 KVA genset I'll be set, I think!
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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I ended up geting an electrical BT
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:06 PM   #14
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Portuguese: sounds like you are going in the right direction with the cruise generator. I'd recommend the best inverter/charger you can find with parallel operation capability and as you are going to be using a genset a lot, an appropriately-sized (given the inverter/charger) 1800rpm genset for low noise, longevity and efficiency.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by windmist View Post
I've been thinking of starting a new thread asking for comments on the Next Generator but maybe a reply to this thread will help me and the original poster. I've been looking at the 3.5 KW Next generator for doing just 2 functions - heat water and charge the battery bank. Nothing else. I've looked at all the small generators - Next, Entec, Fisher Panda, Mase and Phasor (which seems like a knock off of the Next generator) and I have come to the conclusion that the Next generator would best meet my requirements because of its weight and size. It also appears to have the best pricing compared to its competitors. Although I would prefer a 1800 RPM generator, they are too big and heavy for my boat. The Next generator is 200 lbs with sound shield and is the lightest of them all and it runs at 2800 RPM rather than 3600 RPM of the others.

So, does anyone have any direct experience with the Next generator and can comment on noise, vibration and reliability?

Thanks,
Ron
Ron, I had a Nextgen 5.5 kw in my 34' Mainship Pilot. It had a 12,000 btu A/C in the cabin and a 16,000 on the helm deck. It would run everything. I would recommend that size as you never know what you will add later. I had one problem with it. Just a small bearing. I was in St. Augustine so ran up to their assembly place in Jacksonville. They were very helpful, and didn't charge for the part. I was very happy with the unit.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #16
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Portuguese,
Mate you are on the right track.
Down here in Australia , similar wether conditions and also you may want to run a water maker.
I have a 9 KVA 1500 RPM gen set as main. A cruise gen 5 KVA driven off the front of my main engine, especially handy for long trips.A 3000 Watt , 70 amp, 24 V Victron inverter charger for daily use on the hook and a couple of solar panels
The back up is a 2 KVA Honda petrol gen set that has come in handy , especially if only want to top up the batteries on a cloudy day and also go out fishing in the tender.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #17
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Ron,
I installed a NextGen 5.5 kw in my boat earlier this year. I chose it for several reasons, it is lightweight, it fits perfectly in a space in my engine room, it is an easy to maintain design and has simple controls.

The guys that build it are easy to contact and are very willing to answer questions. I don't have enough hours on it yet to comment on durability. With the sound shield, it doesn't make enough noise to be annoying inside the boat. I think the exhaust makes enough noise to irritate your neighbors if run constantly.
Lyle
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:09 PM   #18
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I'd be very curious to see the real sound level differences between say the next gen unit and a northern lights.

People say they're louder but are they really ? You never know.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:23 PM   #19
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I'd be very curious to see the real sound level differences between say the next gen unit and a northern lights.

People say they're louder but are they really ? You never know.
I had a 5.5 kw Nextgen, and now have a 12 kw Northern Lights. Not that much difference in noise.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #20
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Phil

I ended up geting an electrical BT
Electric works! Any plan for a get home?

So you are going to have a 120 volt cruise alternator/gen. Might want to think about using an electric clutch so it free wheels when not using and/or starting the engine. Both the cruise gen and the hydrailic pump have electric clutch. I have change the pulley on the both the Perkins gen motor and DD 671 to bigger diameter to get the max performance at a lower RPM.

Since you have plans to charter and cruise with the boat then make sure what you install meets the needs in the short term and long term. The Eagle was built to be a long range coastal cruising, but even thou we use her as a dock condo, we maintain and upgrade keep in mind what she was originally built for long range crusing.
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