new guy with generator question

Junior Burger
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2014/04/11 15:25:45 (permalink)

new guy with generator question

I'm in the planning stage of a food truck, menu will be deli sandwiches and salads with minimal hot foods. As a result I will be all electric with no propane. My idea for generators is to use 4x Honda 2k Watt gennys. One running a/c and assorted lights and outlets for light duty use (pos) 2nd running two true sandwich refrigerators 42" ish. 3rd running another true fridge and possibly small freezer. 4th running microwave, hot griddle, steam pan and Turkey roaster. The big benefit I'm thinking is if one genny ever breaks im not out of business like I would be if running Cummings onen 6500w . But I will have to get creative with wiring. Would I need four small circuit breaker boxes or could I use one bigger one with each generator supplying two breakers each? Or am I just crazy?

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    Junior Burger
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    Re:new guy with generator question 2014/04/11 18:36:22 (permalink)
    You should have the option to plug into power provided by the venue also. With this you need to have a transfer switch to lock out the genset feed. That would not be practical with 4 generators. Plus, 4x the maintenance. If you have a single genset, and it goes down, plug in or rent to get thru the event. Our 12 kw has had an electrical gremlin the last month and a half.
    Quit on us multiple days. We just rolled out the cord and plugged in. Gen is now fixed and I love being self sufficient.

    Good luck
    Junior Burger
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    Re:new guy with generator question 2014/04/12 08:56:56 (permalink)
    Tnx for input, however, I'm planning an everyday sales truck. City requires a private parking lot agreement and none of the lots have shore hook up option. A 6500w Gen is priced at $5500 new, 4. 2k Gen would be 1k less new and give more Watt. Believe me I see the simplicity of just one genny but I will be an island out there alone. Will be first and only mobile food in city, have commissary for all prep.
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    Re:new guy with generator question 2014/04/12 17:00:36 (permalink)
    Parallel the gensets.
    2x 3kw should work for you.
    Curb Hopper
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    Re:new guy with generator question 2014/04/13 00:20:40 (permalink)
    A few thoughts...

    1) Your 4 gen appliance distribution plan is faulty. The first and third you mentioned are doable. The plan for the second one isn't a good idea IMO as that unit will be running close to max output and could easily surge over 2kw. You can kill your coolers if underpowered. The fourth gen doesn't stand a chance with those appliances. Tip: list individual amperage for all units to have a true picture.

    You could easily go LP with these: hot griddle, steam pan and Turkey roaster.

    2) Weather or not you think you will never need/want to plug into shore power, you will. If you don't have experience you defiantly should not be narrow minded. If in fact you already have your mind set on the plan, it becomes confusing as to why even post for advice. To answer one of your questions, I think you just might be crazy. ;-)

    3) With your 4 gen plan, from my experience I would run 2 boxes to go with generators running in parallel. You cannot parallel more than 2 honda eu models do I would run 2 sets of parallel generators.

    4) I don't see (2) 3kw or even the (1) 6500w generators being enough to supply your listed appliances, but, I don't have the info in the units either.

    5) Being underpowered sucks for many reasons. My advice would be to go your best to avoid it and avoid beating on your power supply.

    Hope that helps.
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    Re:new guy with generator question 2014/04/13 00:39:46 (permalink)
    You need to talk to a LICENSED, EXPERIENCED Electrician!
    I'd also call Honda Technical Service and have Detailed Explicit information of the Brands, Amps, Wattage, etc. of the units you'll be hooking up available and I'll bet they have a design dept. that can lay it out for you. Even if it costs a few bucks, it'll be worth it rather than burning out your equipment and generators.
    post edited by Foodbme - 2014/04/13 00:45:45
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    Re:new guy with generator question 2014/04/27 15:50:00 (permalink)
    I respectfully submit this is not a good idea at all. Carefully calculate your fuel use at full load (and you need two or three more of these little sewing machine generators just to drive your fourth circuit). Running two gas engines and generator heads is not at ALL the same energy consumption as running one rig with twice the rated wattage.
    Plus you are multiplying your maintenance by Xx, the footprint is enormous, and you are trying to hedge against risk of generator failure by multiplying the risk of generator failure! Yes I understand what you're after and why, but just get a good generator and have it wired properly. If it breaks down once a year maybe, think of it the same way you do bad weather which keeps you home. It's just a cost of doing business, you don't get all tied in knots over it.
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