PORTABLE GENSETS

Running Portable Generators

Generally portable generators are used to:

  • Operate the airconditioner
  • Charge the battery

Problem is:

  • If wired directly to the AC site power, there can be an overload condition and the generator tripping if the air-conditioner and the battery charger are operated simutaneously. 

​Two Solutions to this problem:

  1. Use a Hybrid energy configuration for the AC outlets drawing down the power from Lithium batteries (only Lithium will work in this scenario) and/or AC cutover. The battery charger is wired directly to the AC site power. 
  2. Use an automated control of the battery charger so that it only uses the the AC power remaining after the Air-conditioner (and other AC power users) have taken sufficent power.

​The most energy efficient (and fuel saving) Solution is No 2 because:

  • The Portable Generator wil run at maximum output which is generally the most efficent
  • The battery charger output is set at the remaining power, whereas in Scenario A, the battery charger is running at maximum output and the inverter is using power already routed through the battery charger to the batteries This is less efficient.

We are abe to guide you on the selection of best solution for you particuar setup.

Charge Acceptance Rate for Standard Battery Charging

However, it is the charge acceptance rate of lead acid and gel batteries that is the biggest drain on portable generators.

As non-Lithium batteries rise in charge level, the Charge Acceptance Rate declines causing the  generator output efficiency to fall, and the fuel consumption per kW soars.

This means the charging process is increasingly inefficient.

In absolute terms of converting diesel fuel into electrical power, we start around 10 percent efficiency and end at 2 percent efficiency. The losses in charging and discharging conventional lead-acid batteries are about 15 percent in each direction, so in terms of producing the electrical power that gets to our appliances via the batteries we are now down to an absolute efficiency of between 7 and 1.4 percent!

AC generators have to be run at a fixed speed in order to maintain the correct output frequency. Inverter Power AC generators like the Honda EU22i and EU10i operate at variable speeds if required and are much more efficient.

However, there is often little load on a generator when charging batteries. Air conditioners may cycle to off because the room has cooled to the temperature set point..

If the generator is being used to power a battery charger which is charging non-Lithium batteries, the total additional losses through the charger and batteries can easily be another 40 percent, bringing us down to an absolute efficiency of between 8.5 and 2.4 percent.

 

Lithium Batteries

The answer in improving efficiency starts with the batteries: switch to Lithium Batteries.
Lithium batteries have the ability to soak up astonishing amounts of power.

 


 



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