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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #11 
I would look at the Hondas, they are the quietest I know of, especially in "eco" mode. The 1000I (what I had) weighs less than 30# and is easy to start (a consideration).  The 2200I (what I have now) is twice the power and is almost as quiet but weighs nearly 50# (you will be thinking of a cart for it) and it's not as easy to crank especially when new.  Both have battery-charging capability.  There are a couple other brands that are very similar but I have no experience with them.

For camping I'd go with the 1000 for quiet and portability, though if you want to run an AC you'll probably need the 2200.  A 50', 12 ga extension cord is good, too.  

If you can run on DC your 3-45w panels with your battery may be all you need, depending on conditions.








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Willie, Tampa Bay

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Willie,
      I love the Honda generators, but found a highly recommended competitor (Wen) for less than half the price and maybe as much as 2 times as quiet... I bought two and the parallel cords - should be enough for the next outage, which may be in a few days....

     Thanks for all of your help in understanding this !!!



David 

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #13 
I wouldn't be surprised if they're all the same generator... There are many brands and aside from the case they're nearly identical.  
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Willie, Tampa Bay
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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi Willie,
     There sure are a lot of similarities among several of the non-Honda bunch. I suspect you are correct that they are trying to copy the Honda as best they can.

     One interesting note is about noise. Every 3 decibels is roughly 2 times (or less noise). That means that the Honda at 57-58db is more than twice as loud (and maybe as much as 4 times) as the Wen at 51-52db. We will see...

     Our power utility has announced another preemptive shutdown. There is also a high fire risk Saturday evening into Sunday morning, so we are getting ready for a possible Round 2. We are not on the list of addresses that will be affected this time, but we are so close to the area that is affected that I feel like it could easily change.

     Along these lines, I did get the Kill a Watt device that you recommended and plugged it into our main refrigerator yesterday. As of 21-1/2 hours, the fridge used 2.35KW. If I did my math correctly, that is 109 watts/hour on average. I am assigning triple that (which would be suspiciously close to what the label lists -- 3.2. amps --as the energy consumption) for the start up load, but the smaller generator that we do have (a 1,000 watt Chinese clone of the Honda Eu1000i) should be able to run this, correct? Two Wen generators are on their way, but it looks as if they will be too late for either possible shutdown, so I will be trying to make do with this little generator for this week. 

      I will next plug the Kill a Watt into the chest freezer for several hours, and finally into the Sub Zero fridge in my MIL's apartment.  I don't expect to have enough juice to even start, let alone run the Sub Zero, but all of these appliance are still pretty empty after our last shutdown, so we can consolidate into the fridge in our house if needed.


Thanks,
David

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #15 
Re the generator... I noticed the similarity when I bought my 2200, but stuck with the Honda anyway. as much for service, etc, though for all I know they could all be made in the same factory and the only difference is the name.  I like the idea of the parallel feature though I only have the one so have never used it.
  
If the Wen is even quieter than the Honda you'll hardly hear it.  Good for you!  The DB is very much related to the load, and when they're in "eco" mode they run only fast enough to do the job.  Older generators ran at the same speed all the time.  

Re the Kill-a-Watt.  That sounds about right for a fridge, actually, as the fridge is presumably already cold and it only runs part of the time.   When it's actually running it will use more than the average, and it will probably use more in the summer or when you're opening the door a lot.  This is why fridges are so hard to estimate.  Probably the same for the freezer.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Willie,
     Another Newbie question regarding batteries:  the controller that I have expresses the condition of the battery in terms of percentage or number of volts. It has beyond my feeble brain to put that into terms that I can grasp more easily (why is it 14 volts? Why 12.8 volts?). Yesterday, I took a stab at the math, and would like to know if what I came up with is correct, or what I should be doing instead...

    I decided to try to express everything in watts, to try to make my understanding of the whole thing a bit easier. So, if the battery is at 14.4 volts. I took that 14.4 volts and multiplied it by the amperage rating of the battery (75ah) and came up with 1,080 watts. Likewise, when the monitor is showing 13.1 volts, it means that the battery contains 982.5 watts.

   If this is correct, then I can finally understand the relationship between use of the battery and its remaining voltage. I would start with the number of watts available and subtract whatever os being used. If I am recharging during the day, I can see that energy being added back into the battery.

  If I am wrong on any of this, please set me straight. I'd love to get better at this :-)


Thanks,
David

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jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #17 
I think you already know this but your capacity is rated in watt-hours. Watts is used for measuring instantaneous power usage whereas watt-hours is how much gas you have left in the tank. For example when your calculations came up with 1080 and 982.5 watts they should actually be called watt-hours. The amount of watt-hours will vary a bit with how hard your working the battery due to internal resistances. Here is a link which directly addresses your question about battery voltage vs. remaining charge that should be helpful.
https://pssurvival.com/PS/Batteries/Lead_Acid/Lead-Acid_Battery_State_Of_Charge_Vs_Voltage_1993.pdf

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #18 
David,
The only time you're going to get 14.4v from a "12v" battery is when it is being charged or immediately after. Lead batteries have considerable internal resistance and it takes some extra voltage to "push" the energy into it. When you stop pushing, the voltage will drop back to "normal", somewhere around 13v, depending on actual state of charge.

The reverse happens under a heavy load. You can drag a charged battery down to say 10 or 11v, but when you turn the load off it will recover SOME of the lost voltage. Different battery technologies will react differently, that's for someone with more expertise than I.

What I'm getting at is that trying to calculate available energy at extreme voltages is pretty much a fool's errand. The battery needs to "rest" a while before you can expect an accurate reading. However a battery in solar service rarely gets a rest, it's either being charged or discharged, so any estimates of available energy are just that, estimates.

Many battery monitors do as you did, they "count" the amp hours taken out of the battery and compare that with what the charged battery should hold. Of course they have to be programmed with the battery capacity. If you have 75 amp hours and use 7 amp hours, you should have about 90% left.

Don't overthink it. All you'll get is a headache.

https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_measure_state_of_charge

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
2002sheds

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi Willie,
     We had another round of wildfires in our area (about 20 miles away). The utility shut off the electricity for nearly 2 million people statewide in an effort to lessen the chance of tree branches getting knocked (and onto energized power lines) off by high winds and causing a fire. 
     Our electricity was shut off at 8 p.m. Saturday. It was restored yesterday (Halloween) at about 10:30 a.m. The entire time the power was out I was hoping on a daily basis to receive from Amazon two 2,000 watt Wen generators and a parallel cable set. The parallel cable came right away, but, of course, the generators arrived yesterday, the day that our utility was to restore power. And sure enough, the electricity came back on as I was reading the last page of the instruction booklet for the generators...
     Still, I fired them up, to test them. True to the description, they are VERY quiet. I started up the "Chonda" (Chinese knockoff of the Honda Eu1000i that powered very, very little) and it was at least twice as loud...
     And today, we lost power again. This time it is isolated to our immediate neighborhood, but it is giving me the chance to really test these Wen generators. So far, so good!
     Next, I am looking into a transfer switch so that we have at least some lights (all are LED bulbs) in the house, the two fridges and maybe (I have not done the calculations) the tv and internet. Heat can be provided by a gas fireplace, so we are okay in that regard. 


Thanks,
David

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #20 
Good to know. I think you have the right setup. Please keep us informed.
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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
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