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Author Topic: cheapy gen set  (Read 5955 times)
Len Silva
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« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2010, 06:19:54 AM »

As usual, I must side with Sean on this one.

I have no doubt that I could properly and safely modify a contractor generator for RV use.  That would include remote fuel tank, extended exhaust, auxiliary cooling and a proper compartment.  It would not be listed, therefore not legal, but I would be comfortable with it.

That said, I would never suggest to someone else that they do the same thing.

One has only to note some of the questions posed on this board to scare the crap out of you.  My response (unspoken) is that this person should never hold a screwdriver, much less a multimeter.

The vast majority of busnuts here are very knowledgeable and more than capable of doing things safely, but when someone of unknown capabilities poses the question "Do you guys think it's OK to do this somewhat unsafe thing" (what ever it is), the answer has to be no.
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cody
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« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2010, 06:38:14 AM »

An interesting side note to the discussion just reared it's ugly head, Chris Morrison of American Honda (product and develpoment division) (Alphoraph Ga) has just stated by phone that honda is adding a slide out option for their inverter series generators along with the new remote starts and extended exhaust systems, I asked him if he was aware that the NEC code makes the inverter series illegal for RV usage, he said that the new product features were designed to place the units in compliance with the regulations and attained variance status and the new code book will list the adjusted status, so Sean was historically correct but using outdated information, he further stated that the inverter series has never been associated with the contractor series and the designation never clearly defined by code and the new additons to the product line will more clearly define their role in the industry.  Just to be fair to Sean, as he knows the code book is not published every year, however, new product development is an ongoing process and UL is continually accessing new developments as they come out and for those that pass the muster a variance is listed for that product then noted with the next printing, too often we assume that the code is up to date when it may accually be 2 years old, the inverter series of generators were a new product when the last book was produced so many things were tested and listed as given variences pending the next printing so as I said, in fairness to Sean the 2008 book he quotes while the current edition doesn't contain the new variences, the key is to not take the book as gospel but as a guideline and if further investigation is warrented, look for the variances.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 06:57:41 AM by cody » Logged
Sean
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« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2010, 08:12:42 AM »

Dan,

You seem unclear on how the code works.  Allow me to straighten you out.

The NEC does not "list" anything.  Neither does it contain or provide "variances."

Listing is completely up to the manufacturer and involves the manufacturer submitting their product to a listing agency (NOT the NFPA) such as UL, CSA, or others, and asking for it to be tested to a specific standard and listed accordingly.

Honda (and anyone else) is absolutely free to submit their generator products for listing to the RV standard, and some of their units are listed that way.  But I will note that no one was talking about a Honda in this thread, but rather a Kipor, and the fact remains that the vast majority of contractor-type generators are NOT so listed.  And I did make clear in each of my posts that contractor generators not so listed are illegal -- I never said that if you found a contractor type generator which ALSO carried an RV listing that it would be illegal or unsafe to use.

And I don't care how many generator salesmen told you this is balderdash -- they have axes to grind.  If the product manual does not have RV installation instructions, then the unit is not legal to use, because it can not be "installed in accordance with the terms of the listing" as required by code.

We seem to go around and around on these code issues.  If you want to ignore the code, again, I will not be the one to stop you.  But please don't come here and tell others that the code does not exist, does not have to be followed, is obsolete, or any of a number of other excuses (and that's what they are) for you to do whatever you please.  Your advice may well get someone killed.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Iceni John
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« Reply #48 on: May 21, 2010, 09:16:24 AM »

BTW, 300 square feet of these panels will cost you around $22,000 today.
I applaud you for wanting to use more renewable energy.  But you will not likely eliminate completely your need for a generator.  Neither will this save you money -- as I have written here many times, and also in a recent magazine column, PV power has its place in this community for a variety of reasons, but long-term cost savings is not one of them. In fact, it takes anywhere from 15-30 years to "break even" on a solar installation, and many never do.  So, frankly, from a safety standpoint as well as cost-effectiveness of power produced, you will be better off putting that money into a proper generator installation.
Did I say I would be covering my entire roof?   No, I plan on using about 1000W of panels, which at $3 to $5 per watt is far less than $22,000.   Add in two charge controllers (I will split the entire PV system into two separate halfs, each charging four golfcart batteries;  this way I still have half my system working if something goes wrong) and their associated cabling, and I'm still way below your notional figure.
You assume I will be using roof-mounted AC.   Again, no.   Who says I will be parked where I need that much cooling?   I have absolutely no intention of being anywhere so hot/humid that I need that amount of artificial cooling.
My electrical needs will be very modest compared with the profligate use of electricity that is endemic in this country.   I used to live in a small (700 sq.ft) house that had only 20A main service, and we managed just fine!   I neither need nor want power-hungry appliances for every imaginable purpose.   With some creative thinking and a willingness to accept a more-sustainable lifestyle there is no reason I cannot live well with less.   For example, a 6 cu.ft. chest freezer used as a refrigerator (using a home-brewing external thermostat) typically runs for only 90 seconds per hour, well within the ability of a modest PV system.   (I assume this would also be illegal in a bus, because its UL listing doesn't specify such use!   Quel horreur.)
From a safety standpoint I do not see how a generator can be considered safer.   What is safer than a few PV panels?
You mention the NEC.   Remember, this is a code that allows wire nuts !!!!!   Enough said.

I am very strongly aware that we are rapidly approaching the end of what history will probably show as being the longest period of unsustainability in human existance.   Just this one country alone is responsible for consuming about one fifth of this entire planet's natural resources and energy.   Is it any wonder we are experiencing the current problems that are insidiously permeating our entire society?   Quite simply, we cannot continue living a lifestyle that so many think is their birthright.   Whether we prepare for change now, or have it thrust upon us later, it is coming, and the longer we procrastinate and fiddle while Washington burns the worse it will be.   As is said, we ain't seen nothin' yet.   J.H.Kunstler says we are sleepwalking into the future, and we'd better do what we can now to make that future as tolerable as possible.   Reducing our energy-dependency is just one of many radical changes that need to happen, whether we like it or not.   Running a generator for many hours a day is simply not viable or even ethically sound for me.

I'll be curious to know the typical carbon footprint of an average bus conversion, once one factors in all the indirect costs of its construction and use.   My goal is to reduce my overall environmental impact as far as my modest finances and DIY abilities allow.   I simply do not have the luxury of seemingly-unlimited funds and resources to complete my dream, so therefore I must do what I want as expeditiously as possible, otherwise it won't get done at all.

John
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 12:29:01 PM by Iceni John » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: May 21, 2010, 10:03:56 AM »

I aksed in the body of an dearlier post but thought I minght get a better repsonce in a new post. I want to buy a cheap generator. I only need to run one roof air and was considering a Honda 3000 as they run so very quiet when I came across this Honda clone called a KIPOR  for 1/2 teh price. Money is always better if one can keep it in our own pockets. Anyone heard of these. They seem to be very close to the honda 3000

Grant

You ever hear of anyone getting fired because they bought the Honda . . ?
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« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2010, 10:45:52 AM »

Quote from Sean: "And I don't care how many generator salesmen told you this is balderdash -- they have axes to grind."

I have to take exception to that, Sean.  "Axe to grind'" implies a malicious intend.   If you used something more like, "They have a horse in the race," it would be okay though.

John,

So it would appear that you want to use a contractor-type generator pretty much in the manner it was designed.  The only variation is installation on a slide rather than several feet away on the ground.  Still, I would say, since good RV units can be had cheaply if one is patient, be patient and ultimately you will have something that you will be happier with.  If you must use a Kipor for now, why bother to install it.  Just put it on the ground until you find one worth installing at a price you like.
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« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2010, 12:09:04 PM »

Speaking of unapproved and potentially dangerous items tucked in our buses, what about Wabasto's or the like? Are they approved for installation in an RV?
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Sean
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« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2010, 01:07:49 PM »

...
I have to take exception to that, Sean.  "Axe to grind'" implies a malicious intend. 


Actually, one meaning of the term is just a "hidden agenda."

The term has its origins in a story involving Benjamin Franklin and a grindstone.  The man with an axe to grind didn't want to buy the grindstone -- he had an ulterior motive.  No malice was involved.

It is only in later times that the expression also picked up a meaning involving a resentment.  But that's an alternative meaning and not the only one.

I tend to use the expression in its original meaning.  One will generally not get full disclosure from a salesman because he has a hidden agenda, like the man with "an axe to grind" who asked Franklin to demonstrate his grindstone.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2010, 01:14:22 PM »

Did I say I would be covering my entire roof?


Just to be clear, John, I did not say you would.  I merely was providing a "best case" for how much power can be derived from solar.  The intent was to show that even in such a best case, most people will still need a generator.

You may well be able to get along without one, however, that will put you among a very small minority of users.  Remember, many people are following this discussion, and few are willing to go to the lengths you have outlined to keep their usage down to your stated 3kWh per day.

And if you are going to have a generator at all, it should be installed safely, which was my original point.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #54 on: May 21, 2010, 03:14:44 PM »

Good grief I been to Algodones Mex to the dentist for 2 caps a 400 mile round trip and you guys are still in a watering contest on this topic ?.


good luck
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cody
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« Reply #55 on: May 21, 2010, 03:45:32 PM »

Sean, rather than continue to try to enlighten you I'll just ask you why there is no record of you in the PE Registry? You do know what that is don't you, pm me if you have questions.  Google UL variances to NEC codes and you'll find page after page of the non existant variances listed, this alone proves the availability of changes to the codes       http://books.google.com/books?id=3rPS-jVhV4wC&pg=PT21&lpg=PT21&dq=ul+variance+to+NEC+codes&source=bl&ots=YgC5DwxAFB&sig=ahDXWytXG-Cw2fRjmE2wpkvctnw&hl=en&ei=OBb3S8TxPMOC8gbSgbW0Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q&f=false
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 04:29:09 PM by cody » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2010, 03:49:15 PM »

Speaking of unapproved and potentially dangerous items tucked in our buses, what about Wabasto's or the like? Are they approved for installation in an RV?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                     yes















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« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2010, 04:55:04 PM »

I'm afraid to ask about using the nuclear unit I bought from a Korean that came through who was down on his luck. I get worried about Chinese and Korean built stuff. I guess I'll throw these green rods in the tubes that he showed me and see what happens.  Cheesy Don't worry. He sold me some rubber gloves and uv sunglasses also so I should be safe.
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cody
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2010, 05:06:10 PM »

Be careful of the dialithium crystals, they can be tricky lol.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2010, 05:25:52 PM »

Cody, I think you are way off the mark here. I am very sure that Sean is aware that the NEC can be and often is superseded by local authority.  The vast majority of variances by local authority are stricter than the code requires. The NEC is only a guide but is usually adopted by the authority rather than write a whole set of rules on their own.  Of course the next town over might well write rules that conflict with them.

When ever a question comes up here, Sean has always provided the best advice he could and usually cites chapter and verse of how he came to that conclusion.  In the end, he usually says that it's your bus, do what you want.

I just don't understand the animosity toward a guy who only wants to help and has considerable knowledge and the communication skills to do so.

There have been several significant and knowledgeable contributors here who finally just said to hell with it. It's not worth the aggravation.  Their contributions are sorely missed.  I have learned a lot from Sean and I already knew damn near everything about anything!

Sean, my advice to you FWIW is to continue posting as you have but don't waste your time and energy defending your posts.  They stand very well on their own.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 05:28:04 PM by Len Silva » Logged


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