(Survival Manual/5. Energy/Emergency & Camp Generator)
A. Which generator to buy?
There are a variety of different generator models available for home use. When it comes to purchasing one it’s important to find a generator that is capable of supplying the right amount of power to match the demand of the load. Any excess usage or power output is a waste of fuel and money.
[Shown at left, a Yamaha 5KW ‘portable’ generator.]
1000 Watt Generator: A 1000watt generator is ideal for homes and small offices. It’s capable of powering practically all the average household appliances – one at a time. This type of generator is highly popular among causal users. A 1000watt generator can be used in cabins, trailers and even in camps. The 1000watt generator models are small and light weight. Therefore it can be carried to any location without much effort. 1000watt generator models are ideal for areas where there is a constant blackout of power.
2000 Watt Generator: Three popular models of 2000 watt generator are: 1) All Power America APG 3014, 2) Honeywell HW2000i and, 3) Yamaha EF2000iS. These three models have different built-in options and power producing capabilities to consumer needs and pocketbooks .
_1) The All Power America APG 3014 is the cheapest 2000 watt generator and is a suitable gen set for a home. It is very light and you can even lift it by yourself and carry it in a vehicle whenever you want to carry it to another place. Nevertheless, it is a much louder machine than others and due to this people think it is much suitable for home use, as it could be left in a sound proof area restricting its sound pollution. Another factor that goes against this type is, it is not CARB submissive.
_2) The Honeywell HW2000i is a smaller than the All Power. It has a few upgrade features that make it better than the All Power America version. When comparing, the Honeywell emits less noise, about 62 decibels. Another plus factor is that the Honeywell is lighter than the All Power America model. It has more sturdy outer cover that protects it from huge impacts. This type is also CARB compliant Unlike APA which was ruled out from California, Honeywell HW2001 is legal to use. This type is ideal for camping.
_ 3) The most expensive of the three is the Yamaha EF2000iS. You can have uninterrupted power for about 10 hours from one fueling. It makes the least amount of noise out of the three models, 51.5 decibels. It is fuel-efficient and is nationally CARB compliant, with very low emissions. Even though the Yamaha comes with a higher price tag, it’s worth the price, because it supplies more power, has built-in options (discussed below), is much quieter, and has lower carbon emissions.
Other than these 2000-watt generator models mentioned here you may find more machines under various brand names. The Honda EU2000iA, Generac 5793iX2000, Yamaha EF2000is, and Kipor IG 2000 are some of the most popular and best-selling models. Each unit has different features which make them unique from one another.
Yamaha EF2400iS Generator:
Yamaha is a well-known company that produces high quality generators. The Yamaha EF2400iS generator is among the best that they offer in a light weight generator. We can describe the EF2400IS as being completely user-friendly and featuring a very good compact design that boasts much more power than we might believe when we look at the size.
The generator is capable of starting most RV air conditioners of 13,500 BTU. It is powered by a very good 171 cc Yamaha engine that will be able to continuously operate the generator for around 9 hours – the capacity of it’s 1.6 gallon gas tank.
There are many specialists that believe that the Yamaha EF2400IS is the best generator that the company created so far. It features a compact design that is small and yet powerful. It can meet the personal needs of most regular users. At continuous output the device shows a 2000 watts rating and weighs 70 pounds. This means that you can easily transport it wherever you want to go. We are talking about a perfect power source that can be used for running AC in hot days, watching TV or running a microwave oven. The Yamaha EF2400IS generator is suitable for powering sensitive electronics and computers with the use of it’s special inverter system featuring PWM control.
On every refueling, you can expect 9 hours of runtime. This is enough to supply you with the power needed through the night.
A special technology called, Smart Throttle, is used, which varies the speed of the engine on the basis of load. Due to the Smart Throttle, you’ll notice that fuel economy is improved while noise is reduced.
The EF2400IS is campsite friendly only producing 53 db of sound while in operation. The Yamaha generator is simple to use and easy to store.
It has 2400 watts of starting power and is easily accessible with an included control panel. There is a visible gas gage to keep track of how much gas you have left. The oil monitoring system is accomplished by the Oil Watch feature, which will alert you when there is low oil pressure. On the whole, the Yamaha EF2400IS generator is really a smart choice for people that need small generators.
5000 Watt Generator: It’s not enough to have a backup generator connected to your home’s electricity architecture you need to know just how much power it will give you. Generators come with specifications listed for the maximum wattage they can produce. This information is important because it will help you establish just how big a generator you need. The rule is, the bigger your home, the more the appliances you are likely to have and the more power you are likely to need. A 5000 Watt Generator can suffice, but there are a few things you need to know: With the many appliances a home has, it’s virtually impossible to have them all running at the same time, unless you are willing to spend a lot on your emergency power energy bill. So it goes without saying, when there is a power outage, your most power-hungry appliances like the clothes dryer, electric furnace-heater should be turned off; if left on, 5000 watt generator will not be adequate. If you take these energy hogs out of the equation, you will probably have enough power for lighting your entire household. Incandescent bulbs generally consume more wattage than fluorescent lamps, even with the same brightness output. The fridge can stay on, as well as the TV, music system and the AC unit, but that is about as far you can go before exhausting the 5000watt output. If there is still a need to have all the appliances running, you have the option of running one at a time in order to avoid creating a power overload on the generator.
A 5000 watt generator is not particularly large but they are fairly heavy (read: not very portable); it is common to find both “portable” (wheels or skids) and stationary units (meant for mounting). Considering their relatively modest wattage, you are likely to find more ‘mobile’ generators than stationary ones. Choosing one becomes a question of who is offering the best product, the most options, at the best price. A modest budget of $500 can buy a basic, no frill 5000 watt generator, for those willing to spend more, the figure can ascend to $1500 and beyond. Remember, you get what you pay for. The type of fuel availability will also matter, as there are units powered by gasoline, propane, natural gas or all three [more about Tri-fuel below].
B. Generator Notes
• It’s not necessary to run the generator 24/7, and in a survival situation with limited resources, it should be avoided. We recommend running the generator 2-4 hours in the morning, and another 2-4 hours in the evening. This should be enough to cool the contents of your refrigerator, prepare meals, take showers, heat or cool the house, fill water bottles, flush toilets, etc. Most refrigerators and freezers will maintain temperature if operated 50% of the time, depending on ambient temperature, condition of the door seal, and how often the door is opened.
• The Yamaha EF2000iS generator was tested on 3 different portable air conditioners and a refrigerator. The generator was able to start and run each of them individually. The portable air conditioners were a; 9000 BTU Haier, 7000 BTU Haier and a 7000 BTU Danby. The refrigerator was a GE 18 cubic foot. • Generator rentals: A 3000 watt generator rents for $95/day. A 2000 watt generator rents for $60/day. Therefore a 2500 watt generator such as the Yamaha 2400 would rent for $75/day. • It is a good idea to install one or more Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home. If CO gas from the generator enters your home and poses a health risk, the alarm will sound to warn you. Many home fires and deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning have occurred from using a generator improperly.
• Do not hook up a generator directly to your home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator, or use a properly cable sized extension cord.
C. Campground or neighborhood generator use:
Most commercial and government camp grounds have some form of quiet hours. Most are not overly restrictive and would permit the opportunity to recharge the batteries if you were in the midst of an extended stay and were without electrical hookup.
Most National Parks have ‘generator sections’
• Texas National Forest & Grasslands: May not operate an electrical generator between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., except on designated loops
• Most state camping grounds require the sound of a generator to be below a specific decibel level so, find out the details from the management of these facilities beforehand. If your generator gets too noisy, you could be kicked out of the park.
• I love my generator, but once I start it up I immediately take a walk up & down the road to see if it’s noticeable at the next neighbors camp sites – in most cases I can’t hear it at all, but there are some places where the terrain, ground cover, foliage (or lack thereof) allows the sound to get through and then I’m much more conservative about running it.
D. Yamaha EF2400iSHC Generator, Tri-fuel, with pure sine wave inverter
[This was my choice for personal wattage needs, portability and options – Mr Larry]
MSRP* $1,479 ($1550 with tri fuel carburetor added, add another $70 S&H fees)
The Yamaha EF2400iSHC Generator advertisement follows:
A great recreational activity companion and perfect for at-home backup in the off-season Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., introduces a High Current version of the top-selling EF2400iS – the new EF2400iSHC. Compact, lightweight and quiet while still powerful, reliable and with low emission, the Yamaha EF2400iSHC generator is perfect for camping, tailgating, powering workshop equipment or at home as back-up during a power outage.
From small power tools to appliances, such as a refrigerator or microwave oven, the Yamaha EF2400iSHC starts appliances quicker thanks to High Current technology and special Field Effect Transistors in the electronic controller. These features combine to increase the surge output, helping the EF2400iSHC respond more quickly for greater big-appliance starting capacity and longer run time for all uses.
A powerful 171cc engine and Yamaha’s industry leading Smart Throttle, which automatically adjusts the engine speed to match the load, allowing the EF2400iSHC to run at a slower engine speed resulting in quieter running and maximum fuel efficiency – up to 8.6 hours at 1/4-capacity load on one tank of fuel.
To ensure the EF2400iSHC retains its portability – small and lightweight (merely 75 pounds) – without sacrificing strength or reliability, a die cast aluminum frame and aluminum flywheel was used.
Additionally, the EF2400iSHC has an actual noise level range of only 53~60 decibels (quieter than normal speech) – giving consumers a lightweight, quiet running and durable generator.
The EF2400iSHC will see most of its work done in a portable shop, at the track, RVing, tailgating, at the hunting cabin and during other recreation or leisure activities, but its real mettle is proven at-home during a power outage.
The EF2400iSHC uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to produce high-quality electricity, which is as clean if not cleaner than the power supplied by public utility companies. PWM means consumers can use this generator with confidence as a power source for computers, variable speed power tools and appliances with built-in computer functions – perfect for charging cell phones and other sensitive electronics.
With a single side-mounted control panel that puts all controls on one surface and a detachable rear panel for easy access to service and maintenance points, the new EF2400iSHC is simple to use and easy to maintain. Like all recently introduced Yamaha generators, the EF24000iSHC meets the strictest emission standards in the country making it legal in all fifty states including California.
• Type: Brushless Inverter
• Maximum AC Output (surge-start-up): 2400 watts
• Rated AC Output: 2000 watts
• Rated/Maximum AC Current: 16.7 / 20 amps @ 120V
• 12-Volt DC Output (Recharge 12-volt batteries for RV, auto, marine, aircraft, etc.)
• Engine OHV, Air-Cooled, Four-Stroke, Single Cylinder
• Displacement: 171cc
• Dimensions: 20.8”L x 16.5”W x 18.2H”
• Dry Weight: 75 lb
• Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.6 gal
• Continuous Operation at 1/4 Rated Load: 8.6 hr [when fueled by the gasoline tank]
• Noise Level: 53 – 58 dBA
• Warranty: 3 Years Limited Warranty
• Will operate a 13,500 BTU portable air-conditioner up to 110F.
• Legal for sale in all 50 states – Meets CARB emission regulations.
• Auto-decompression system – Reduces compression for easier starting.
• Gasoline pet cock – Helps prevent carburetor contamination during storage.
• Controls all on one panel – Easy access to controls.
• Smart Throttle™ varies engine speed based on load – Improves fuel economy and reduces noise.
• Comfortable grip handles – Easy portability and storage.
• Fuel gauge – Ability to gauge fuel level without opening cap.
• OilWatch warning system – Prevents engine damage and provides added peace of mind.
• Electrical overload breaker – Prevents generator damage in case of overload.
• Super-quiet muffler with USFS – approved Spark Arrester: Only 53 dBA at 1/4 load…eliminates errant sparks.
• Die-cast aluminum frame: Light weight, high strength.
• Inverter system with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control – Can run products with built-in microcomputers or microcomputer-controlled electric tools.
• DC outlet: 8A 12V outlet for charging batteries (cables included).
• Rubber vibration isolation feet: Absorbing feet for increased smooth operation and noise reduction.
• Multipole alternator: Light, compact design with great power output to weight ratio.
• OHV engine with cast iron cylinder liner: Efficient, reliable, powerful providing long life and excellent heat dissipation.
• Easily detachable side panels – For easier serviceability.
* Mr. Larry note: For those of us living in a hot climate, where several hours of air-conditioning is required daily, the generator will power up to a portable 10,000 BTU (maximum) air conditioner.
E. The National Yamaha Hybrid Fuel Center
[Have the optional TRI FUEL (gasoline, propane, natural gas) carburetor installed before its shipped]
No other generator brand can offer: 1 carburetor for 3 Fuels, $1550.74
Yamaha Deluxe Engine/Tach Meter
Dial in the fuel mixture for peak performance and efficiency.
Also helps you to maintain your generator at proper service intervals. Service intervals are preprogrammed into this meter (10 hours initial, every 50 hours thereafter). Upon reaching the specified service interval, the meter displays a flash alert for a two-hour period. Includes hour meter and tachometer functions. Seal lifetime battery.(Battery life is 7-10 years (non-serviceable).
Professionally installed. This is not standard equipment but we know how important this meter is so we include one “installed” with all generators as standard equipment! ($49 value)
When a Yamaha generator is operated on propane and natural gas:
• It does not give off noxious fumes-which is great for campers and close quarters.
• The clean emissions are better for the environment-which is great for all of us.
• The carburetor cannot and will not gum up-for dependable starting every time.
• Larger fuel supplies (ie. 100 pound propane fuel tank)-can give much longer run times and no dangerous HOT refills.
• Safer fuel-propane and natural gas have proven to be safer than gasoline.
• Lower maintenance-with less moving parts and a fuel that CANNOT gum up!
• Longer engine life-absolutely no impurities in alternative fuel.
• Remote Starting-requires no choking to start on alternative fuel.
Choose the fuel option you want
You can have propane, natural gas, or gasoline and even use all three on the same generator. Switch back and forth on the fly.
A portable 20# propane cylinder is equivalent to 5 gallons of gasoline, which equals 3.12 tank fills of gasoline for a maximum operating time of 26.8 hours generator time at 1/4 load.
You could run the generator from the cylinder while camping and then, when you come home, you can connect the same generator right into a natural gas line or just fill the generators gasoline tank and run.
The generator has a 1.6 gallon gasoline tank capacity.
Fuel conversion factors: (Since the generator runs up to 8.6 hrs on one tank full of gas. at ¼ load):
• 3.12 refills (per 5 gallon gasoline or 1 #20 pound propane tank) x 8.6 hrs per tank full =26.8 hrs operation.
• 1 ea 20# propane or 5 gallons gas provide about 26 hours electrical power
• 2 ea #20 propane or 10 gallons gasoline provide 52 hours electrical power
• If you run this generator for 4 hours per day, each 20# tank of propane or 5 gallons gasoline would last almost a week; 2 ea. 20# propane tanks would last about 2 weeks.
• A 100 pound propane tank = 130 hours continuous electrical power.