UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhile?

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UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhile?

Postby sambojones » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:02 am

I'm not sure if this is a retarded idea or not but I'm trying to figure out a way to run 2 ac units off a honda eu2000i speced at 2000w maximum 16.7 amps max with a constant running rating of 1600w 13.3 amps. on paper it has enough watts and amps to run 2 efficient 5000btu at roughly 600 watts and 5 amps per unit, but the surge in power needed to kick the compressors on 2 units simultaneosly seems to always trip the breaker on the genny and just shut it down. would I be able to hook up a UPS like this http://www.rakuten.com/prod/tripp-lite- ... 61206.html to one of them or they both share one or have one each as like a kind of instant power backup for them if both ac units kick their compressors on at the same time? i'm not really very knowledgeable about electricity and how all this stuff works so hopefully i don't sound too retarded asking this. mostly i'm trying to avoid buying a 2nd honda eu2000i genny because if I could save around $700-800 if I can just use 1 or 2 UPS as a kind of bandaid for temporary high power spikes since i technichally should already have an excess of juice once the compressors turn over and start working that would keep these batteries topped off.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby BurnerBunny » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:11 am

i think you're looking for power conditioning, not a backup device.

personally I'm going with the honda's so I don't have to worry about it.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:35 am

you'd need some sort of capacitor/battery reserve, to boost the amps for start up, even if starting them individually, since it takes roughly twice the amperage to start, even if only momentarily. prolly some sort of inverter to add battery power to the line on start up?
and, generators, like compressors, don't like to run all day at max power, especially in heat and dust, and considering, due to elevation, your power output is about 20% less than rated.
if you had a neighbor, who had an eu 2k, and would "gang" with you for startup..............

but I'm no expert, so, maybe someone else knows better.

good luck
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:40 am

sambojones wrote:I'm not sure if this is a retarded idea or not .


If you have to start off a topic that way, then the answer is almost always yes.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:42 am

Thanks Ygmir!!! that's the kind of info I was looking for... I have very limited knowledge on this subject... Do you think a 700 watt rated UPS or possible 2 of them with each one hooked to each ac then each of them hooked to the genny do the trick or are they different from the solution you suggested? or should I hook each UPS to the genny and then run an inverter from each UPS to each ac unit? sorry i'm kinda dumb this is all greek to me.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:45 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:
sambojones wrote:I'm not sure if this is a retarded idea or not .


If you have to start off a topic that way, then the answer is almost always yes.


lolz I kinda figured I just thought somehow it might be possible since I only need the extra juice for a couple of seconds
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:48 am

sambojones wrote:Thanks Ygmir!!! that's the kind of info I was looking for... I have very limited knowledge on this subject... Do you think a 700 watt rated UPS or possible 2 of them with each one hooked to each ac then each of them hooked to the genny do the trick or are they different from the solution you suggested? or should I hook each UPS to the genny and then run an inverter from each UPS to each ac unit? sorry i'm kinda dumb this is all greek to me.


you've outreached my knowledge on UPS and such. What you're after, is something to provide a "surge" of power, for startup. More like a capacitor. I'm not sure how you'd circuit a UPS into the line to the A/C units, to provide that surge. But, I know there are folks here who do know. I'd almost think, finding a neighbor to "gang" gennies, for start up, then take one off line, would work easiest.
so many folks out there have the eu2K or better, that can "gang".

good luck
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:02 am

[quote="ygmir"][quote="sambojones"]Thanks Ygmir!!! that's the kind of info I was looking for... I have very limited knowledge on this subject... Do you think a 700 watt rated UPS or possible 2 of them with each one hooked to each ac then each of them hooked to the genny do the trick or are they different from the solution you suggested? or should I hook each UPS to the genny and then run an inverter from each UPS to each ac unit? sorry i'm kinda dumb this is all greek to me.[/quote]

you've outreached my knowledge on UPS and such. What you're after, is something to provide a "surge" of power, for startup. More like a capacitor. I'm not sure how you'd circuit a UPS into the line to the A/C units, to provide that surge. But, I know there are folks here who do know. I'd almost think, finding a neighbor to "gang" gennies, for start up, then take one off line, would work easiest.
so many folks out there have the eu2K or better, that can "gang".

good luck[/quote]

Thanks Ygmir! I think I understand a little bit better I'll try to do some research on capacitors and how I could use them to acheive this. I might just have to pony up for a second eu since the ac's only run the compressor in cycles on the energy saver mode so I would need the extra power ready and waiting whenever one of them kicked off and decided to kick back on an hour later.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:07 am

again, there are those much smarter than I on this, that may have an easy solution. It may take a day or so for them to see this thread and respond.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:25 am

If I understand correctly, you plan to plug the UPS into the genny, then plug two 5000 btu air conditioners into the UPS?

I don't think the genny has the power to run both the AC's, and I don't think the UPS is made to make up the difference that way. :?
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:24 pm

FIGJAM wrote:If I understand correctly, you plan to plug the UPS into the genny, then plug two 5000 btu air conditioners into the UPS?

I don't think the genny has the power to run both the AC's, and I don't think the UPS is made to make up the difference that way. :?


i was thinking to maybe get one ups for each ac just to make up for the difference in power that I need to get the compressors to turn over. As you pointed out I'm also not sure the UPS would work how I want them to, they are just the only thing that I could think of in my limited knowledge that seemed like an off the shelf solution. From the specs of the genny and the ac's on paper once the compressor turns over and is running the genny alone should have enough power to keep them both running with some to spare to keep the batteries topped off even taking into account the loss of power due to elevation (i think there is also a high altitude kit for the eu2k that I might look into to decrease the power loss if I can get it running right at home first). If the only solution is to get another eu2k to gang together then I'll suck it upa and do that. I just was trying to see if there was a creative way I could get some extra juice just temporarily for compressor startups since I really don't need constant access to extra power. I'm not sure if it matters but I've successfully ran a 10k btu window unit out on playa with my genny that was speced at only 1 amp less than the 2 5k btu ac's together so I don't think that I have too much of a gap in power to make up. I'm not really sure the ups is the right road to go I think I might need some kind of capacitors like Ygmir suggested or something else. at the end of the day i'm just trying to be creative to save a few bucks if it won't work reliably or well I'll probably just bite the bullet on another genny.
Last edited by sambojones on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:26 pm

FIGJAM wrote:If I understand correctly, you plan to plug the UPS into the genny, then plug two 5000 btu air conditioners into the UPS?

I don't think the genny has the power to run both the AC's, and I don't think the UPS is made to make up the difference that way. :?


his stated numbers say it'll run both, but not start both (simultaneous or one running and one starting). I guess, if the UPS, could output 5KW for a few seconds, with the gen. going into it, so the "flow through" was at or less than gen. capacity, it'd work?
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:14 pm

Maybe, but I didn't think the UPS was made to handle that much surge, and then have to do it repeatedly.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:40 pm

I don't think there's a practical way to do what you're considering.
By the time you buy the hardware you'll need you would be better off getting another Honda, which is an infinitely better solution anyway. I see 'em on craigslist for $650-ish.
One EU2000 would be straining hard to run two 5 or 6k BTU A/Cs on the playa even after you started the compressers.
Something else I've found is that two idling EU2000s sound MUCH more pleasant than one screaming maxed-out one.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:13 pm

I do not think this will work. UPS units are designed for electronic loads. Motors produce VARs volt-ampere reactive, a mismatch of the voltage and current waveforms. It would take specialized equipment to measure the air conditioner VARs and the UPS doesn't list a spec for VARs. Even if the UPS works once, it could fail unpredictably at a future point due to that mismatch.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:56 pm

By the way, they do make and sell "hard start kits" for air conditioners that consist mostly of a large capacitor.
Here's Grainger's selection, and there are plenty others. I don't think you can go too big, so get a large one.
http://m.grainger.com/mobile/search/ecatalog/N-1z0dvex
This may work well enough, but I'm still doubting you'll run two A/Cs at playa altitude on a single EU2000.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby Zhust » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:00 am

sambojones wrote:... but the surge in power needed to kick the compressors on 2 units simultaneosly seems to always trip the breaker on the genny and just shut it down. ...


Does it work fine if you start one A/C unit and then the other? If so, why not rewire the air conditioners so they operate in tandem with a circuit that will only allow one unit to start at a time? It will require a bit of thinking, but it can be done with relays and time delays. You could also wink out a heavy load during compressor start (e.g. some lighting circuit) if it still doesn't work (recommended: design in a second outlet that will let you do that, even if you don't think you'll need to use it.)
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:39 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:I don't think there's a practical way to do what you're considering.
By the time you buy the hardware you'll need you would be better off getting another Honda, which is an infinitely better solution anyway. I see 'em on craigslist for $650-ish.
One EU2000 would be straining hard to run two 5 or 6k BTU A/Cs on the playa even after you started the compressers.
Something else I've found is that two idling EU2000s sound MUCH more pleasant than one screaming maxed-out one.


Yeah that's what I'm starting to think I honestly didn't really have much idea if what I was considering was even possible or if I had found the right equipment for it.
FIGJAM wrote:Maybe, but I didn't think the UPS was made to handle that much surge, and then have to do it repeatedly.


I didn't think a ups was the right type of solution either it was the only thing that in my limited knowledge I could think that might work, but after all the input from others i'm definitely won't be trying it with one.

some seeing eye wrote:I do not think this will work. UPS units are designed for electronic loads. Motors produce VARs volt-ampere reactive, a mismatch of the voltage and current waveforms. It would take specialized equipment to measure the air conditioner VARs and the UPS doesn't list a spec for VARs. Even if the UPS works once, it could fail unpredictably at a future point due to that mismatch.


Thanks for input! I had no idea bout any of that I'm really glad i asked :D

Captain Goddammit wrote:By the way, they do make and sell "hard start kits" for air conditioners that consist mostly of a large capacitor.
Here's Grainger's selection, and there are plenty others. I don't think you can go too big, so get a large one.
http://m.grainger.com/mobile/search/ecatalog/N-1z0dvex
This may work well enough, but I'm still doubting you'll run two A/Cs at playa altitude on a single EU2000.


Thanks for the link! I didn't know that they made those or the correct terminology to search them on google I'll check them out they are certainly much cheaper than a UPS and inverters, but I think I'll probably go with your suggestion of watching craigslist for a used eu2000i. Having the extra power of another genny might be nice to run some small sound or a small fridge.
Zhust wrote:
sambojones wrote:... but the surge in power needed to kick the compressors on 2 units simultaneosly seems to always trip the breaker on the genny and just shut it down. ...


Does it work fine if you start one A/C unit and then the other? If so, why not rewire the air conditioners so they operate in tandem with a circuit that will only allow one unit to start at a time? It will require a bit of thinking, but it can be done with relays and time delays. You could also wink out a heavy load during compressor start (e.g. some lighting circuit) if it still doesn't work (recommended: design in a second outlet that will let you do that, even if you don't think you'll need to use it.)


no unfortunately even if one ac is on and the compressor isn't running it doesn't have enough juice to get the second one running once it tries to kick the compressor on one on it just trips the breaker and shuts off the genny
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby Rice » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:44 am

With the heat and altitude, it might be better to assume 30% loss of available power. If the available amperage at that point is equal to or greater than maximum amperage drawn by your A/C units - go for it.

UPS's are typically meant for computers and will probably fail after a couple hours if hooked up to an A/C unit. Their circutry is not designed to accomodate that type of load. (at best, their circuit failsafe will cut out and the UPS will turn off, at worst - they will just be dead).

Whatever you do, be sure to test off-playa. Have a backup plan if they end up not working on the playa...

(Last burn I tried to run a single A/C unit off of our generator. It worked fine in San Fran but would not stay working once we were on the playa. Even though the generator had 30% more amperage than our A/C unit required, it would not work. The generator kept serging and seemed to be running at full speed the entire time the A/C unit was turned on. We ended up abandoning the A/C and doing something else to keep cool. [which worked out fine, due to a fluke in shade structure wall construction])...

YMMV
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:13 am

Rice wrote:With the heat and altitude, it might be better to assume 30% loss of available power. If the available amperage at that point is equal to or greater than maximum amperage drawn by your A/C units - go for it.

UPS's are typically meant for computers and will probably fail after a couple hours if hooked up to an A/C unit. Their circutry is not designed to accomodate that type of load. (at best, their circuit failsafe will cut out and the UPS will turn off, at worst - they will just be dead).

Whatever you do, be sure to test off-playa. Have a backup plan if they end up not working on the playa...

(Last burn I tried to run a single A/C unit off of our generator. It worked fine in San Fran but would not stay working once we were on the playa. Even though the generator had 30% more amperage than our A/C unit required, it would not work. The generator kept serging and seemed to be running at full speed the entire time the A/C unit was turned on. We ended up abandoning the A/C and doing something else to keep cool. [which worked out fine, due to a fluke in shade structure wall construction])...

YMMV


Thanks for the input!

Yeah I've given up on the UPS i hadn't really intended on using one it was the closest thing I could think of to what I wanted and was hoping someone to could point me to something better suited such as those hard start kits. At the end of the day I think I'll invest in another eu2k for the length of time I can use it and it's array of other possible uses it'll be a good peice of equipment to have another of.

I'm pretty sure I'm not losing 30% power because I ran a 9 amp 10000 btu ac window unit just fine last year, once the compressor was got started it sounded like it was running at around half load. If I was losing 30% it definitely wouldn't have had the juice to start I don't think. I think power loss on the gas genny due to elevation is like 3-4% per 1000 feet from what I've read so I'm always expecting power loss of around 12-16% since the playa sits at about 4000ft. What genset were you running that wouldn't run your ac? i think some manufacturers overhype their generator specs which is what I suspect might have happened because a 30% loss shouldn't be experience until at least double the playa elevation at like 8000 ft+.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby GreyCoyote » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:52 pm

You may find the usual de-rating rules for density altitude are not uniformly applicable to small gas generators. The problem is the generator design. You typically have a short-stroke, over-square, single-cylinder mill fed by a poorly designed pot-metal carb on a very short intake plenum. This is pretty much a worst-case scenario when it comes to fuel delivery.

These cheap carbs are "tuned" (to use the word very loosely) to deliver most of the fuel in the middle of the intake pulse when airflow is highest and manifold depression is greatest. Very little fuel is pulled-over in the leading or trailing edge of the pulse. This isn't so much an actual design decision as it is a result of the need to keep parts count down and costs low. What this means in practice is that these cheap carbs have a very limited range of operation and when exposed to high density altitudes the vacuum across the venturi is reduced to a point where the "tune" is lost, and in some cases quite spectacularly. Since there is no low-speed circuit to help contribute to a stable mix, power drops off quickly. The cheaper the genset, the more this seems to be an issue.

Theory says the atmospheric physics should affect each genny the same, but the designs skew the results. As an example my EU2000s that are rated at 1600 watts nominal will produce 1300 watts very reliably on the playa and will do so all day long. But the B&S-powered 3KW I have won't even pull 2000 watts and at 2KW transient response to sudden changes suffers markedly. The difference here is the Honda is designed with an idle circuit it uses when the "Eco" mode is engaged and rpms are low. The Honda carb has a very narrow throat, operates at a fairly high manifold depression for fuel atomization, and is designed to deliver fuel thoughout the intake event. The B&S however is designed only to run at one speed, FAST, has a disproportionately large venturi (for top-end power), a low manifold depression, so it gets upset whenever the altitude changes. (The Briggs manual says that operation above 4000 feet is "not recommended").

I guess the only way to see how much power you will really get from a genset is to try it. The formulas will give you a good idea of the maximum power you could expect, but you may see substantially less.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:18 pm

[quote="GreyCoyote"]You may find the usual de-rating rules for density altitude are not uniformly applicable to small gas generators. The problem is the generator design. You typically have a short-stroke, over-square, single-cylinder mill fed by a poorly designed pot-metal carb on a very short intake plenum. This is pretty much a worst-case scenario when it comes to fuel delivery.

These cheap carbs are "tuned" (to use the word very loosely) to deliver most of the fuel in the middle of the intake pulse when airflow is highest and manifold depression is greatest. Very little fuel is pulled-over in the leading or trailing edge of the pulse. This isn't so much an actual design decision as it is a result of the need to keep parts count down and costs low. What this means in practice is that these cheap carbs have a very limited range of operation and when exposed to high density altitudes the vacuum across the venturi is reduced to a point where the "tune" is lost, and in some cases quite spectacularly. Since there is no low-speed circuit to help contribute to a stable mix, power drops off quickly. The cheaper the genset, the more this seems to be an issue.

Theory says the atmospheric physics should affect each genny the same, but the designs skew the results. As an example my EU2000s that are rated at 1600 watts nominal will produce 1300 watts very reliably on the playa and will do so all day long. But the B&S-powered 3KW I have won't even pull 2000 watts and at 2KW transient response to sudden changes suffers markedly. The difference here is the Honda is designed with an idle circuit it uses when the "Eco" mode is engaged and rpms are low. The Honda carb has a very narrow throat, operates at a fairly high manifold depression for fuel atomization, and is designed to deliver fuel thoughout the intake event. The B&S however is designed only to run at one speed, FAST, has a disproportionately large venturi (for top-end power), a low manifold depression, so it gets upset whenever the altitude changes. (The Briggs manual says that operation above 4000 feet is "not recommended").

I guess the only way to see how much power you will really get from a genset is to try it. The formulas will give you a good idea of the maximum power you could expect, but you may see substantially less.[/quote]

Awesome info thanks for your post! I'm really glad I started this thread even tho my idea failed I'm learning a lot from y'all I thought that I had done my due dilligence in generator research when I bought my honda almost 5 years ago and thought it might run better than some other gensets but I really had no idea why I thought it was just because of the quiet sound and the inverter it's cool to find out the mechanics behind it!
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby CornMan » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:53 pm

I think one of those battery backup things would be a great idea for our camp's generator running the radio transmitter. When the gennie runs out of gas, the broadcast will not be interrupted. I bought one of those many years ago. I imagine the battery is no good any more.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby Rice » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:25 pm

CornMan wrote:I think one of those battery backup things would be a great idea for our camp's generator running the radio transmitter. When the gennie runs out of gas, the broadcast will not be interrupted. I bought one of those many years ago. I imagine the battery is no good any more.

for a radio transmitter, a UPS would be perfect. Most low cost UPS's get about 1.5-2 years on the original battery. The more expensive units last a bit longer, and maybe will allow you to replace the battery (assuming there is nothing else wrong with the unit)...
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby trilobyte » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:58 pm

Regardless of UPS/power conditioning, I think an eu2000i isn't big enough for the job. Especially in the case of an appliance like an aircon, if you've ever lived in an old house you may have noticed that the lights in the room often dim when a window aircon unit kicks in. A pair, drawing almost the full peak load of the generator, is pushing it. And then factor in the altitude/environment on the playa, and I think it's asking for trouble. My advice, bring more power or fewer air conditioners.
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Re: UPS connected to genny for power surges dumb or worthwhi

Postby sambojones » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:39 am

I think I figured out my perfect solution thanks to a local burner. I saw his ac last year and completely forgot how he had set up ducting for it. Since I already know I can drive a 10k btu ac on playa I'll just duct it to have 2 hoses for output and 2 for input with small fans at the end of each tube to help push and pull air in and out since I'll only be cooling 2-3 yurts on playa this will be more than enough to keep them cool.
does this water taste like raspberries or am I still fucked up...oh wait it's raspberry flavored water
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