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How long can a portable generator run continuously?
#11
What I don't understand is why is it that I can run my car for a month solid without turning it off and changing the oil or topping the oil of but yet a generator needs such maintenance as once every 20 hours? The obviously need to put better engines in them. Maybe because they are two stroke and not a straight 4?
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#12
ExcelToExcel;134108 Wrote:What I don't understand is why is it that I can run my car for a month solid without turning it off and changing the oil or topping the oil of but yet a generator needs such maintenance as once every 20 hours? The obviously need to put better engines in them. Maybe because they are two stroke and not a straight 4?

I never saw a 2-stroke gen. Your car engine is designed to use both oil and antifreeze to cool it, which reduces heat, which extends engine life. Your car is also designed to keep maintence to a minimum, by using high tech/ low wear materials inside the combustion chambers and bottom end.

If you would like to spend $10k for a 5.5KW generator that can run for a month straight, by all means buy it. Better yet, design one and see how many people buy them from you.
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#13
Just as a reference point, a Generac Guardian 20 kW whole house generator is about $ 4K +install. They claim ‘200 hour oil change interval’ but we do it more often. For me it runs everything in the entire house and pole barn but the AC.

http://www.generac.com/all-products/gene...eries-20kw

I’ve had more power outages in the first 6 months of moving to the sticks that I’ve had in my entire life. This is also my first place with a well, sump pump, septic, etc. so a genny was not really an option. During big storms and longer outages my neighbors take turns taking hot showers, filling water, doing laundry, checking emails here.
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#14
ExcelToExcel;134108 Wrote:What I don't understand is why is it that I can run my car for a month solid without turning it off and changing the oil or topping the oil of but yet a generator needs such maintenance as once every 20 hours? The obviously need to put better engines in them. Maybe because they are two stroke and not a straight 4?

Reasons

The majority of small engines run at a constant 3600rpms. how often do they change the oil in a race car engine?

the majority of small engines are oil splash lube, which will result running hotter

"put better engines" the million dollar reason is, to make it affordable. that still wouldn't change the maintenance schedule much.

and most important: motor oil is the life's blood of an engine, I never use recommended oil change intervals.

oil schedule for a 28,000 dollar genny

Change engine oil and oil filter. (After initial change, service
engine oil and filter at 150 operating hours or 6 months,
whichever comes first.

link page 10-1

Didn't pick-up on this till after posting,
Maybe because they are two stroke and not a straight 4?
Are you baiting or you truely don't know?
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#15
I had a Champion 3500 that I bought at Tractor supply for $300 and ran it for 4 months straight. I ran it 24 hours a day shut it off only to change the oil. I changed the oil once a week. Then I let a friend borrow it and he tried to soup it up and it dropped a valve.
Shorty, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#16
ExcelToExcel;134108 Wrote:What I don't understand is why is it that I can run my car for a month solid without turning it off and changing the oil or topping the oil of but yet a generator needs such maintenance as once every 20 hours? The obviously need to put better engines in them. Maybe because they are two stroke and not a straight 4?

In addition to what other people said, most small generators are splash lubricated and have NO oil filter.
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#17
Another major factor, not previously mentioned, is the construction material of the engine. Automobile engines are either cast iron or cast aluminum and in the case of the cast aluminum engines contain steel piston sleeves. Not all small engines, which are almost always cast aluminum, contain steel sleeves. With that said, NEVER buy a generator that does not contain steel sleeves, less of course you can't afford otherwise or you are not planning on keeping it for a while. Personally, I run mine a few days here and a few days there, then I change the oil, or if I run it several days straight. When I run it, however, I only stop it about every 8 hours of its normal 10 hour duration just long enough to refuel it. I'd run it longer but I don't like sucking fuel tanks dry and picking up anything on the bottom. For storage, I do turn the fuel shut off valve off and let the engine run out of fuel to get the residual fuel out of the carburetor. Modern gasoline with a Ethanol will clog a carb if it sits.
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#18
I honestly have no idea, I never owned one. So it's the cooling? Hum I guess an old beetle engine requires movement so air cooled engine are out but finding an old engine with cooling system in tacked may solve this. Bigger generator to accomplish the same output at idol speed? It just confuses me that we don't have generators that are up to auto standards
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#19
ExcelToExcel;135219 Wrote:I honestly have no idea, I never owned one. So it's the cooling? Hum I guess an old beetle engine requires movement so air cooled engine are out but finding an old engine with cooling system in tacked may solve this. Bigger generator to accomplish the same output at idol speed? It just confuses me that we don't have generators that are up to auto standards

We do. They are not $600 - $900. For example, start looking into 2 cylinder diesel generators as a starting point. Look at the prices and look at the construction. Many of the buildings I work in have enormous V-8 and even V-10 liquid-cooled diesel engines powering our generators, but you won't find them in Home Depot. Most home-owners don't need all that.
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#20
ExcelToExcel;135219 Wrote:I honestly have no idea, I never owned one. So it's the cooling? Hum I guess an old beetle engine requires movement so air cooled engine are out but finding an old engine with cooling system in tacked may solve this. Bigger generator to accomplish the same output at idol speed? It just confuses me that we don't have generators that are up to auto standards

The only way you are going to accomplish that is by using a digital inverter like the Honda suitcase generators. In a regular generator, changing the RPM's will change the voltage and frequency of the output.
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