All day is exaggerated, but I can see .3 gal/hr
All day is exaggerated, but I can see .3 gal/hr
I have an Aurora 6500 watt unit for our house, and I'd give it a "C". It does the basics, but it has its issues. The harmonic distortion is terrible (it's a high-speed generator after all), and that pretty much drives my electronics crazy. Mine does not have glow plugs, so cold starts (if it starts) are difficult. Mine does not have access to a compression release, so cold starts (if it starts) are difficult.
On a positive note, it has saved our bacon many times, and I'm glad that I have it. I'd hate to have to work on the engine since the old-style enclosure is like a tomb around the engine.
I bet you aren't going to get a 12kw genset to use less than .25 gph running at speed. The ones that can idle down and or inverter/gensets have the advantage here. I do know that my 5500w Onan diesel uses about .25 gph at low output/standby use. The larger Onan units for example a 10kw can get by with less fuel, .12gph which I think is extremely good but that is still more than 2 gals/day. Now if the poster Ernie means an 8 hour time interval then the .25gph is possible.
Not cheap if you run it 24/7. Using road diesel at $3.33/gallon is about 12 gallons or $40+bucks a day at full capacity. $20 bucks a day for half capacity. Makes the electric company rates seem like a bargain.
I have to follow up on my post out of fairness. I just cut a hole in the top of the case so that I can reach the compression release lever, and starts are much easier now. We had a power failure the other day, and I had to use a smaller generator to keep only the absolutely essential stuff going. It's so nice to have my diesel buddy back on line!
I did the work after calling Aurora. I got a fast return call from tech support, and although they didn't tell me to cut on my machine, they did validate that using the compression release would be easier on my starter. All in all, I'd up the grade to a B+ since they keep parts in stock and are very supportive.
I purchased the Aurora Silent Diesel Generator earlier this year (mid-2011), after doing many months of research before deciding on Aurora. It appears that not all Diesel Generators are the same, even though they may APPEAR to be the same in every way including the interchangability of parts.
Aurora Generator reports that they are the manufacturer of the generator, and they offer a full line of replacement parts and a great support system, which most other generator sellers do not provide. Hence our purchase.
The same EXACT engine design is used by All the manufacturers of these types of generators, regardless of the country of origin, its just a matter of how well the manufacturing process is performed. So there are LOTS of Clones out there.
After owning this generator, and after using it through a few power failures, I have learned some of the ins and outs of this generator that I can share with you.
To begin with: Go to the Aurora web site and download the complete Operations Manual for your generator, DO NOT just rely on the manual that came with the generator. The on-lin manual is more complete and detailed.
To begin: The initial break-in period is ESSENTIAL and is well described in the Operations Manual... I ran it initially for 30 minutes a day for several days, and then increased the run time to 1 hour a day until I reached the recommended 25 hour break-in period of time. After which, I followed the Operations Manual instructions, and did all the recommended maintenance which included the following:
Removed the Rocker Arm Cover and adjusted the Rocker Arms with a feeler gauge per the manual's instructions, (Note: It would be worthwhile to change the Rocker Arm Gasket following this procedure. Replacement Gaskets are available from Aurora)
When re-assembling the Rocker Arm Cover to the Cylinder Head be careful to avoid getting any of the Foam Insulating Padding caught in between the Rocker Arm Cover and the Cylinder Head. I had to cut away some of the Foam Insulating Padding to make sure it did not get stuck between the parts.
Second, I drained the oil from the Crank Case, and then removed the Oil Filter.
It is Important to note that the Oil Filter WILL BE COVERED with small metal shavings following this Break-in Period, this is NORMAL, DO NOT BE ALARMED. This is metal residue from the manufacturing process that MUST BE REMOVED prior to running the generator in service. The Oil Filter is easy to clean with Soap and Water, let dry, and re-install making sure that the 'O' ring is in good condition. Mine was not, so I had to order new 'O' rings from Aurora. The 'O' ring dimensions are CRITICAL 25x2.4 mm and I couldn't find an exact replacement locally, so I had to order them from Aurora. (If you place an order for small parts, such as 'O' rings or gaskets, order extras to compensate for the higher freight costs associated with shipping from Canada)
After re-installing the Oil Filter, I put in Very High Grade Diesel Oil. DO NOT USE A CONVENTIONAL AUTOMOTIVE OIL in a diesel engine. (They are NOT THE SAME) I used Royal Purple 15w-40 weight Synthetic Diesel Oil. (The Operating Manual Recommends Mobil Diesel Synthetic 15W-40.) And, make sure you get the proper Oil Weight as recommended in the Operations Manual. Diesel Engines are NOT GASOLINE engines that just happen to use a different fuel. So Follow the instructions carefully every step of the way.
Special Note: The starting battery that Aurora sends with the generator is a small "sealed" battery (for shipping reasons), and is designed to be a convenience to the customer, and not the recommended battery for the generator. It is necessary to purchase a larger "Lawn Tractor" type of battery for the generator at a future date. Diesel Generators have very high compression ratios, and a Larger, Stronger Battery is necessary. Also, remove the 4 bolts from the sheet metal cover that is over the Rocker Arm Cover, and leave this access cover unbolted for easy access to the Compression Release Valve, which is the red lever on the side of the Rocker Arm Cover. Using the Compression Release Valve every time you start the engine will be a BIG HELP in getting the generator started and running. Again, follow the instructions in the Operations Manual.
Another odd situation is as follows: The Remote Starter Unit can start the generator remotely, or can be used to shut the generator off remotely. The Receiver for this Starter system (which is inside the generator case) is wired directly into the generator's battery system, and bypasses the Starter Key Circuit, as a result the Receiver is powered all the time, and despite the low drain of approximately 150 Milli-Amps or so, this will eventually Drain the Battery over time, and just when you need the Generator the most during a power failure, the On-Board Starter Battery will be dead.
This is a bad design feature, that would have been very easy to avoid when the electrical sysem was designed, but what are you going to do, someone just wasn't thinking when they designed that portion of the electrics. I solved this problem by adding a simple Battery Disconnect Switch and connected it to the Negative Terminal of the Battery. I can easily give the small knob on the Battery Disconnect Switch a quick turn to engage the battery when needed, and disengage the battery when in storage. This system has worked great.
Another problem came up following the initial Break-in. The engine vibration seemed to have loosened some bolts and fittings, and as a result I started getting minor oil and fuel leaks. I located a series of 4 engine bolts located on the crank case cover just to the left of the Oil Filter Location that needed to be tightened. I also discovered a minor fuel leak around the fuel line connections to the Fuel Filter, and the Fuel Filter Bowl appears to be leaking slightly around the connection point between the bowl and the metal Fuel Filter tightening ring.
As a safety precaution, the Aurora Generator will shut itself OFF, if the oil level gets too low and there is a drop in oil pressure. The Proper Oil is the life blood of a diesel generator, along with clean fuel. Always use the proper engine oil. And, I use PRI-D Fuel Additive to stabilize the fuel and keep the injectors clean. Its a great product, look for it. It is highly concentrated, and used by many commercial operators of diesel fleets.
To put these issues into perspective. While I was doing my generator research, I discovered that it is Very Common that ALL generators tend to develop leaks, even the very expensive brands made in the U.S or Japan will leak. So, finding these leaks and fixing them is just part of the Joy of Generator Ownership. If you don't fix them, then the safety cut off switch will stop the generator to save itself before a lot of damage is done. Its always best to check the oil level periodically, just like you would do with a car engine
I hope this information is helpful. You can also go to You-Tube and see all kinds of videos on the Aurora Generator, showing various repairs and maintenance tasks done on-line. There are a number of links from the Aurora web-site to these videos.
As a side note, Diesel Generators get almost twice the run time per gallon of fuel as a gasoline generator (even running at 3600 rpm), and the engine (if taken care of properly) will last 5 to 10 times longer than a gasoline engine. Aurora makes one of the best, and provides the support both in parts, and on the phone that the others don't.
If I had to purchase it again, I'd do it without hesitation.
If I can be of any help to anyone considering the purchase of an Aurora Generator, you can E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'd be more than happy to help if I can.
Best Regards to you all...
How many hours do you have on your Aurora genset now?