Anyone add auto throttle to a generator?

   #1  

KubotainNH

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Hello, hopefully the title says it all. Here's where I'm at, I have a Generac 4000XL, is does throttle down when no load but even a light bulb makes it full throttle. No in between. My FILs Honda EU2000 runs the RPM's at what is needed for the load. Anyone ever modify their gen to do this? That Honda is amazingly cheap to run but of course an expensive unit to buy. Thoughts?
 
   #2  

Iplayfarmer

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The honda can do that because it is built on inverter technology. That's part of the reason it's expensive.

You'll have to check your generac specs, but I think it has to run full speed to get the right Hz and voltage. That's why it throttles up all the way for even a little lightbulb.
 
   #4  

Scotty370

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What Iplay said. The frequency comes from the engine rpm.

Boy, you'd think they could build in a variable speed belt configured system (I.E Snomobile/ATV style) that would keep the generator side turning at the right RPM's and allow the engine to take a 'breather' during 'light' loads! (Pun Intended!)!!! :D ~Scotty
 
  
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KubotainNH

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Ah, I forgot about the inverter part of the Honda. I can run a drill at idle on the Generac but have to hold the governor to do it. I can easily monitor the voltage but do not have a scope to make sure wave is good.
 
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whistlepig

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The honda can do that because it is built on inverter technology. That's part of the reason it's expensive.

You'll have to check your generac specs, but I think it has to run full speed to get the right Hz and voltage. That's why it throttles up all the way for even a little lightbulb.

Auto throttle is perhaps Honda's best feature. Honda's are expensive but will run all night and then some on a single fill up.
 
   #7  

RPW

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You can run a drill, saw and a few other motor loads because they don't care what frequency the power supplies but only the voltage and sufficient current to power the tool. That's why you can run your generac at idle and still get your drill to work.
 
   #8  

whistlepig

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You can run a drill, saw and a few other motor loads because they don't care what frequency the power supplies but only the voltage and sufficient current to power the tool. That's why you can run your generac at idle and still get your drill to work.

His Generac won't run a drill at idle. It goes to full power load. That is why he is asking about auto throttle.
 
   #9  

schmism

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My FILs Honda EU2000 runs the RPM's at what is needed for the load.

as noted its inverter based.

meaning the output of the inverter is directly proprtional to the DC current input. (the more output needed the more dc input needed) DC input current is simply a function of how fast you spin the DC generator and therefor how fast you run the gas engine powering the DC generator.
 
   #10  

Iplayfarmer

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Boy, you'd think they could build in a variable speed belt configured system (I.E Snomobile/ATV style) that would keep the generator side turning at the right RPM's and allow the engine to take a 'breather' during 'light' loads! (Pun Intended!)!!! :D ~Scotty

That's not a bad idea. Perfect this and you'll be rich.

You'll at least be on the best friend list of most TBNers
 
   #11  

RPW

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Whistlepig - post #5 "I can run a drill at idle on the Generac but have to hold the governor to do it."

That was what I was referring too.
 

campinone

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Iplayfarmer had it right. The Generac will cut to idle at no load only and needs to run at 3600rpm to maintain the 60hz required by standard AC devices in the U.S. Honda uses an alternator which is rectified to DC voltage, which in turn powers an electronic inverter that creates your 120 volt, 60 cycle power. This means that it only needs to run as fast as the amount of current drawn. Ingenius, but as you know, rather a pricey way to go. Honda does make a eu6500 series now that provides 220 volt and plenty of power for your average home during a power failure, but you had better have deep pockets.
 

RickB

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Boy, you'd think they could build in a variable speed belt configured system (I.E Snomobile/ATV style) that would keep the generator side turning at the right RPM's and allow the engine to take a 'breather' during 'light' loads! (Pun Intended!)!!! :D ~Scotty

If that was easier, cheaper and more reliable than inverter technology, somebody would be doing it.
You get two choices: Cheap, fast & loud or quiet, efficient & expensive.
 

BHD

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since many are sold as back up power units, it is not logical to have a idle down feature, as so many things have need of a trickle of power to signal the unit to work, and to have some thing start and it voltage is low and frequency is off it is really hard on the equipment, it may burn up a few thousand dollar furnace, fairly easy,

(you do not see auto start systems hardly any more, my folks had a generator after ww2 that you would flip a switch in the house and about 15 seconds later the generator would auto start and the light would come on, and when the light was shut off it shut down when the need for power was not needed),

the fuel used is not that much more just to idle the engine at speed, as the work to keep the engine spinning at 1800 or even 3600 is not that much more than at 1000 rpm, so most do not worry about it,

If I was to use my welder as a generator I would not use the idle down feature as it make things work so hard starting up, (I hardly even use it on the welder as it makes getting the arc started harder),
 
  
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KubotainNH

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Wow, I forgot I started this thread. I ended up selling the Generac and getting a 4k Chinese unit with an inverter. It's not a Honda, that would be out of my price range. This thing is really quiet though and hopefully it will sip fuel similar to the Honda, unlike the Generac. It's also electric start so my wife or kids should be able to get things powered back up. We'll see.
 
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bigdeano

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(you do not see auto start systems hardly any more, my folks had a generator after ww2 that you would flip a switch in the house and about 15 seconds later the generator would auto start and the light would come on, and when the light was shut off it shut down when the need for power was not needed)

I have one of these, a Kohler 1500W. It still works great. It was made in 1945. It's sure handy when you just need a little heat and light when the power goes out for a while. It has a cute little 4 cylinder water cooled engine and runs at 1200 rpm very quietly.
 
  
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KubotainNH

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I have one of these, a Kohler 1500W. It still works great. It was made in 1945. It's sure handy when you just need a little heat and light when the power goes out for a while. It has a cute little 4 cylinder water cooled engine and runs at 1200 rpm very quietly.

Wow, 67 years old. Any pictures?? :)
 
   #18  

joshuabardwell

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Iplayfarmer had it right. The Generac will cut to idle at no load only and needs to run at 3600rpm to maintain the 60hz required by standard AC devices in the U.S. Honda uses an alternator which is rectified to DC voltage, which in turn powers an electronic inverter that creates your 120 volt, 60 cycle power. This means that it only needs to run as fast as the amount of current drawn. Ingenius, but as you know, rather a pricey way to go. Honda does make a eu6500 series now that provides 220 volt and plenty of power for your average home during a power failure, but you had better have deep pockets.

Interesting fact. The inverter generators make 3-phase power on the AC side! That's part of what lets them spin down when low powered without losing oomph.
 
 
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