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Frequently Asked QuestionsEntec West Generators


Home About Entec West, Inc. Entec West, Inc. Products Installation Instructions Operators Manual Parts Manual Bargain Prices Frequently Asked Questions  
What is the fuel consumption?
It will be proportional to the load. At 30 amps you will get approx. 2.5 hours running per gallon. At 15 amps the time will be close to 5 hours.

What is the noise level without the sound enclosure?
86 Dba at 3 feet.

What does 86 Dba mean in layman's terms?
This is like standing next to Niagara Falls.

Your EW-4200D spec. says 63 Dba at one meter, inside your enclosure. Translate?
Between a vacuum cleaner in the next room and average conversation at 3 feet.

Why doesn't your generator have a battery charging output?
Most vessels already have a well regulated battery charger system that will operate on A.C. power.

Can I do heat recovery from the engine to make hot water?
The heat energy loss into the engine coolant is approximately equal to the fuel energy consumed to produce the electrical output. At best you might recover 20% of the heat energy. With a small generator it is not practical considering the cost of equipment.

How large a motor will the EW-4200D start?
This a difficult question to answer, because motor starting characteristics vary so much. Starting under load is also much harder, then starting with no load. We have successfully started many 2 h.p. motors in the past, but each application should be evaluated individually. We can start a 16,000 BTU air conditioner and after it is operational, we can start an additional 12,000 BTU unit.

Can I dry stack the exhaust?
Yes, if you install an exhaust/water separator.

Can I make my own sound enclosure?
Yes, however without extensive engineering and development, you might not achieve the same results that we have.

I would like to have a "soft blanket" enclosure made. Your opinion?
A well engineered enclosure can be very effective. However, make sure the combustion air is drawn from outside of the enclosure.

Can I hand start this unit in an emergency?
Absolutely, that is why we selected an engine with direct injection. You can find the instructions on page 14 of the OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS.

Can I leave the vessel with the generator still running?
Although the unit is equipped with a safety system (see pages 7-9 of the OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS), it is still an electro-mechanical device with the potential for unforeseen problems. An unattended vessel is always at risk for any system failure.

I intend to use my boat in colder Northern latitudes, where freezing temperatures may occur. Should I protect the cooling system?
The closed loop system has been charged at the factory with a 50/50 mixture of fresh water and anti-freeze down to -30 F. The sea water side, consisting of the sea water pump and one side of the heat exchanger should be protected. If you need advice, contact us.

Can I add an "AUTO-START/STOP" system to my generator?
The start motor must be disengaged at approximately 450 rpm, otherwise the engine will drive the start motor to destruction. This would require a special electronic control system that monitors the engine speed. Inverters that use cranking time and cycle control are not acceptable.

If I can operate all of my vessel's electrical devices when I'm connected to 30 amp shore power, how does this compare to 4200 watts?
Our generator can deliver up to 35 amps, which is 5 amps extra.

My boat is set up with dual shore cables to operate both my vessel distribution panel and air conditioner. Can you help me?
Yes, but it will require some discussion. Call us!

Why is 60 cycles important to my generator performance?
Standard residential and dock power in the U.S. is 60 cycles per second, and all A.C. appliances built for the U.S. market are designed to operate on 60 cycles. Many other countries operate at 50 cycles.

How does my generator produce 60 cycle power?
In the EW-4200 series units, the rotating part inside the generator must rotate at 3600 rpm to produce 60 cycle power. The rotor is connected to the engine crankshaft, therefore, the engine speed must also be 3600 rpm.

Do 3600 rpm generator engines operate at exactly 3600 rpm?
No. Engine speed is controlled by a governor system. All governors require an error sensing system and operate within a rpm band. Typical band widths may be from 3480 rpm to 3720 rpm. With no A.C. load, the cycles may be 61 to 62 cycles. At full load, the engine speed may drop as low as 58 cycles, that is 3480 rpm.

Does the engine speed effect the output voltage?
Yes. Most small generators are self regulated and the voltage control system can be effected by the rpm.

If my A.C. voltage is low, should I check the rpm or cycles?
Low voltage can be caused by several things, the last item I would look at is engine rpm.

How can I check the cycles or engine rpm?
The easiest method is to measure the A.C. voltage, with a frequency meter. Places like Radio Shack sell combination volt/ohm/frequency meters for a reasonable price. This is a good addition to the ship's tool box.
Measuring the engine rpm with a mechanical tachometer is not feasible for many small generators, because there is no good test point, and most tachs of this type are not accurate enough.
On our EW-4200, a "photo tach" can be used to monitor the water pump drive pulley rpm. Be sure to double the reading, as this is the camshaft speed.

If my generator is not operating at the correct rpm, can it be adjusted?
Yes, but only with our guidance. This is not a difficult procedure, but it does require some knowledge and technique. We will be happy to help you. Call us. NO EMAIL.

Why doesn't Entec West make larger generators?
There are several manufacturers already making high quality, larger units, and we felt that it did not make sense to duplicate their efforts.

I have heard it takes a 6Kw to 8Kw generator to operate a Heart Interface, Freedom 25 combination inverter/charger. Your thoughts?
We have tested our EW-4200 with a "25" and have come to the following conclusions.
  1. When the Heart "25" is operating in the batter charger mode, the D.C. charging voltage is reduced if the A.C. peak voltage is not high enough. This will reduce it's charging ability, resulting in a longer time to re-charge a bank of batteries.
  2. Many small generators have considerable wave form distortion and have a distorted peak voltage that reduces the "25" ability to deliver it's full battery charging capacity.
  3. Many small generators do not have a voltage regulating ability that can maintain the high peak voltage the "25" requires.
  4. Our EW-4200 however, uses a skewed rotor design, that in conjunction with our voltage regulating systems meets the "25's" needs. All of our tests show that the "25's" charging current achieves between 90% and 100% of it's maximum rated value when operating from our EW-4200. For additional discussion, call us.
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