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Old 07-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #1
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Smallest Generator?

I've decided to spend some money on Possum and I'm considering installing a real generator. I can make do with my little Honda but I'd like a real generator.
I'd like to find one that I could put in place of one of my 25 gallon water tanks.
It would need to be able to be serviced from one side and as small as possible in a sound shield. Oh yeah, diesel.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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I'd look at a 3.5 Phasor unit, we had one in the Camano it was a small one banger in a sound shield. We also set it up to be fed via a March pump thinking of the belt driven one ever went out in that small little sounds shield salt water would be flung everywhere.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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There are several 4KW and under marine gensets: Fischer-Panda, Phasor, Entec West, NextGen. The latter three, use the one cylinder Kubota engine which is rock solid and drives the generator with a belt so they run at lower than 3,600 rpm. The Fischer Panda uses the one cylinder Farymann engine running at 3,600 rpm.


Any of these should be able to start and run a marine air conditioner and one other 1,500 watt appliance like a water heater.


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Old 07-04-2015, 07:39 PM   #4
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Tough one. The 3kw belt drive ones are a bit rough and noisy, but pretty reliable. The 4kw Farymanns are POS's. The 5kw Northern lights is the cat's meow, but probably too big and heavy for your 28. Expensive too.

Probably the best go is the Phasor belt drive. Just don't expect it to be silky smooth and quiet.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I've decided to spend some money on Possum and I'm considering installing a real generator. I can make do with my little Honda but I'd like a real generator.
I'd like to find one that I could put in place of one of my 25 gallon water tanks.
It would need to be able to be serviced from one side and as small as possible in a sound shield. Oh yeah, diesel.

Any suggestions?
i had a 2cyl 4 kw northen lights and it did great not to loud and ran at 1800 rpm,after the storm here in fl yrs ago i ran it for 13 days straight and no problem i did not have it closed in. it ran my air no problem and water heater
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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I don't think Northern Lights makes a two cylinder?? Smallest is a 4.5kW, three cyl. Could be wrong though.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:35 PM   #7
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I had a 4 KW Kolher with Faryman diesel engine installed in my Camano @ 3600 rpm it sounded "stressed" but ran fine the 3 years I owned it. The OEM sound shield worked well too. The Faryman was raw water cooled, never had probems with that either but only had it for 3 years.
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:11 PM   #8
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I had a 4 KW Kolher with Faryman diesel engine installed in my Camano @ 3600 rpm it sounded "stressed" but ran fine the 3 years I owned it. The OEM sound shield worked well too. The Faryman was raw water cooled, never had probems with that either but only had it for 3 years.

Where was yours installed? We installed our phaser in the lazz. Every time I walk into our engine room I'm thankful, that Camano's engine compartment was small for a kid!
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:29 PM   #9
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Tough one. The 3kw belt drive ones are a bit rough and noisy, but pretty reliable. The 4kw Farymanns are POS's. The 5kw Northern lights is the cat's meow, but probably too big and heavy for your 28. Expensive too.

Probably the best go is the Phasor belt drive. Just don't expect it to be silky smooth and quiet.
Just curious, what's the problem with the Farymanns. I've got one and so far (5 years) no problems at all. Just lucky maybe but interested.
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:47 PM   #10
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NEXT-GEN - Marine Power Units
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:56 PM   #11
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Read the reviews of these light weight gens. Phaser wasn't a leader in quality (as per reviews which I haven't followed in a few years). Clearly the Northern lights gen were the best , but that is certainly overkill in your usage. The Next gens have had good reviews on quality and service. They are also right up the road from you.
In the interest of full disclosure. I haven't used any of these gens and haven't kept up with the literature or reviews for the last few years. I did seriously research these several years ago for a project that never happened. YMMV.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:12 PM   #12
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Thanks guys! I would really like a Northern Lights but I think it will be a budget buster. The Phasor and Next Gen look like possibilities.
It looks like they both use the same engine. Do we like it?
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:36 PM   #13
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Thanks guys! I would really like a Northern Lights but I think it will be a budget buster. The Phasor and Next Gen look like possibilities.

It looks like they both use the same engine. Do we like it?

Ours ran great the time we had it no complaints. Powered a 50A batt charger and 16000BTU AC.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:56 PM   #14
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Thanks Oliver. That would be plenty of power for me. 5000 BTU AC and 40 amp charger.
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:28 AM   #15
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What about a DC generator? They are diesel and small....
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:03 AM   #16
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"What about a DC generator? They are diesel and small.... "
I don't have a problem with that but who makes them and are they any lighter or smaller than the AC generators I'm looking at?
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:00 AM   #17
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If you have the energy to research them all, there are a number of DC Generators out there as well as DC Air Conditioners. I haven't done the research. I considered that route on a sailboat a few years ago, but did not follow through. There are discussions on forums around including people who seem to be satisfied with their systems.


Fischer Panda DC Marine Generators

6kW Genverter: Diesel Generator & Inverter combined

Polar Power | Marine DC Generators
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:24 AM   #18
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They can be small & light: how about 240A and 120kg (~260lbs):


Ecogen DC Concept


NextGen, originally by Ample Power I think, was also mentioned above. Excellent reputation and now used often by telecoms companies.


Next Gen UCM1-3.5 3.5 kW Marine Diesel Generator
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:43 AM   #19
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A DC generator has its place. But to be effective you need a large house bank, about 1000 AH to stay within the 25% of AH capacity charging rule of thumb to match the Panda's 220 A continuous output. And for a trawler with a decent alternator, the house bank gets recharged by the main engine if you don't stay in one place long.


I have the NextGen 3.5 and it works fine. Vibration isn't so bad and sound is reasonable but not great with the sound shield. But the putt putt sound will be annoying for anyone anchored right behind you, but not bad for you.


We use ours for about 1/2 hour in the evening to heat up the hot water heater and for anything on the stove. Also again in the morning for coffee and maybe a few minutes of microwaving. Although it will run the 12,000 btu A/C we don't use it for that here in Ct.


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Old 07-05-2015, 08:38 AM   #20
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Unfortunately none of the readily available less than 4-4.5Kw units are 1800's. As mentioned the Kubota that most of these units use is as bullet proof as a small diesel gets.
Get the sound-shield. They are all expensive, the sales guy may say you don't need it, get the sound-shield.
Spend a few more bucks and install secondary isolators under the unit. For little units like this we're talking around $100 for 4 units. Makes a difference in vibration transmission. I think F-Panda already has secondary isolation.
Consider a separator for the exhaust in addition to the lift muffler that will come with the unit. Will make it very quiet outside.
The Northern Lights units set the bar and you get what you pay for. I like Phasor.
If you can find an 1800 unit in your budget and that will fit, there's your choice.

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