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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    145

    Default Diesel Generators

    I know there are a couple of generator threads going around but I didn't want to interrupt their topic at hand. From what I read, the best and most reliable generators are diesel, not gas powered. Of course diesels cost more but like trucks, diesel powered trucks run forever and seem to be more reliable than gas powered.

    Am I wrong in my understanding about diesel vs gas powered generators?

    Which diesel generators are the best?

    I am looking for a permanent outdoor unit that is weatherproof and would kick in automatically after a power failure. Something that can run 24/7 for a week or more if needed. Power wise, I would think something like 10 kW - 15 kW should work.

  2. #2
    Member RVThere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    28
    Location
    Pattenburg, NJ
    Tractor
    JD 3520

    Default

    Have you considered propane?

    Just lost power for 10 days after Sandy and my Kohler 20kw generated kicked in automatically and ran for 238 hours with no problems. Burned about 28 gallons of propane per day.
    Tom
    Old Scoutmaster, new farmer

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    848
    Location
    N.E. PA
    Tractor
    BX22

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    You are correct, a good diesel unit will last a long time. Another advantage is that diesel can be stored for years, and if you have oil heat you have a built-in supply of fuel. I have a 10 KW diesel that powered my whole house (2 fridges, 3 heat pumps, freezer, well, etc) and I burned an average of 1/3 gallon/hr over 4 days. Compared to propane you would be using 1.5 gal/hr.

    To truly benefit from a diesel, you should look for an 1800 RPM water cooled unit with a name brand engine: kubota, Isuzu, Lombardini, etc. I would not go with an unknown name, imported diesel if you want life and reliability.
    Check out: Diesel Generators for Home Power or Off-Grid Electricity
    They have a nice selection at reasonable prices. Remember these features will cost you more than the "traditional" big box store generator.

    paul
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -new-gen-jpg  

  4. #4
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,228
    Location
    Virginia USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    I think that water-cooled diesels are the way to go, then the next option would be water-cooled propane/gas, and then finally an air-cooled unit.

    In shopping around, I concluded diesel was the best option for me. Fuel storage is a better proposition, and you can get by with much lower volume of fuel (i.e., tank size) when going diesel versus propane. If you do have natural gas piped to your house though, that is a compelling option, since you can get by with no tank at all.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    148
    Location
    Central Md
    Tractor
    kubota 2910

    Default

    If your natural gas supply is not interrupted.
    toys....
    kubota B2910 with cab N heat
    Bobcat S205 hiflow cab heat n AC!
    Bobcat Toolcat 5600 can heat n AC!
    JCB 214S cab N heat
    a couple of trucks N'
    Lots of attachements to play with!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    557
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Tractor
    1959 MF-65 sold, 2007 Jinma 554 diesel.

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    Hi,

    I have a 12kW kubota diesel generrator that was with the house when I bought it. The fuel in the tank is close to 12 years old (installed in 1999) but with fuel treatment, the machine has run fine. I live in an area that has cold winters (down to -40F sometimes) and to date, the generator has started up when needed. I might add that the generator is a manual setup rather than an automatic one - which may be a big issue with some. I usually run it once a month and vary on house load/no load. The electrical change over switch is manual as is everything else. I reckon I use aboout 1/2 gallon of diesel per hour when the generator is hooked to house load (gives me 100 amp service).

    Propane might be a viable option but the tank needs to be large enough to provide adequate gas boil off or the machine will die from fuel starvation. The weather where you live might also be a factor in what type of generator setup you can use.

    Look forward to reading more on your choice and reasons for it.

    Thx.

    Jim
    2007 Jinma 554 tractor, FEL, 8ft Rear Blade, 73" Snowblower, 2002 3500 Dodge Ram 4x4, 1986 F250 4x4 SC 6.9 turboed diesel.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    163
    Location
    Ozark Alabama
    Tractor
    07 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    Quote Originally Posted by RVThere View Post
    Have you considered propane?

    Just lost power for 10 days after Sandy and my Kohler 20kw generated kicked in automatically and ran for 238 hours with no problems. Burned about 28 gallons of propane per day.
    What do you pay for propane? Did a search and see its about $3/gallon if my calculations are right that would be about 275 gallons and over $800 for the 10 days. If that's right that's a big hit to the pocket book. My prayers are with everyone in the NE.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,132
    Location
    Vancouver Wa.
    Tractor
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    Quote Originally Posted by doxford jim View Post
    Hi,

    I have a 12kW kubota diesel generrator that was with the house when I bought it. The fuel in the tank is close to 12 years old (installed in 1999) but with fuel treatment, the machine has run fine. I live in an area that has cold winters (down to -40F sometimes) and to date, the generator has started up when needed. I might add that the generator is a manual setup rather than an automatic one - which may be a big issue with some. I usually run it once a month and vary on house load/no load. The electrical change over switch is manual as is everything else. I reckon I use aboout 1/2 gallon of diesel per hour when the generator is hooked to house load (gives me 100 amp service).

    Propane might be a viable option but the tank needs to be large enough to provide adequate gas boil off or the machine will die from fuel starvation. The weather where you live might also be a factor in what type of generator setup you can use.

    Look forward to reading more on your choice and reasons for it.

    Thx.

    Jim
    Very true especially if you pull vapor off the tank. Looking at a chart on the Yanmar site you can see a 7kW generator will need a 400gal tank when at 20F. As temps drop a larger tank will be required as well if a larger generator is being used. The problem can be addressed by pulling liquid propane from the tank and have it vaporized in a warmer location.

    In addition you have the cost issue. Propane is not cheap in many locations and with its lower energy content you'll burn a lot more of it.

    During your deliberation on what to choose, give a lot of thought as to how often it is needed. A qlty gas model can last upwards of 3k hrs and run as long as you need if fuel is available. I've not shopped for a model as large as you are looking at so I don't know what is available.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    Immediately after "Ike" I reviewed my loads and bought a 16kw Isuzu enclosed diesel from Hardy Diesel in California. They had free shipping at the time. Hooked it to the house thru a 200amp manual transfer switch. Then I purchased a used 400 gallon skid tank and put a 12volt fuel pump on the tank. With battery jumper cables you can always have power for the pump from a car or truck battery. My thought process for the diesel tank was and is; it will provide fuel for the generator, my pickup and my tractor. One source for all and under normal circumstances the fuel is delivered by a supplier. If that is not possible, I also have a 100 gallon aluminum tank I can throw on my pickup and drive out of the area to where there is fuel. My needs tell me that I can probably get about 3 or so days from the 100 gallons before I need to go looking again. I also use a biocide and fuel preservative called Pri-D to keep the fuel fresh and algae free. Everyone has their own ideas and this was mine. Hope it helps you in evaluating what to do. Best of luck to you!

  10. #10
    Elite Member WilliamBos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    4,473
    Location
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    MF 1635 12x12 Powershuttle

    Default Re: Diesel Generators

    How long have you had the kubota generator?


    Quote Originally Posted by techman View Post
    You are correct, a good diesel unit will last a long time. Another advantage is that diesel can be stored for years, and if you have oil heat you have a built-in supply of fuel. I have a 10 KW diesel that powered my whole house (2 fridges, 3 heat pumps, freezer, well, etc) and I burned an average of 1/3 gallon/hr over 4 days. Compared to propane you would be using 1.5 gal/hr.

    To truly benefit from a diesel, you should look for an 1800 RPM water cooled unit with a name brand engine: Kubota, Isuzu, Lombardini, etc. I would not go with an unknown name, imported diesel if you want life and reliability.
    Check out: Diesel Generators for Home Power or Off-Grid Electricity
    They have a nice selection at reasonable prices. Remember these features will cost you more than the "traditional" big box store generator.

    paul
    Thanks,

    Will


    I do not care if someone's net nanny is watching!! You need to stop...

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