18 Nov '12, 10pm
Engine Generator Basics:
Electric start with two-wire remote start capability: “Two-wire” means all starting control functions (such as cranking and crank duration) are handled within the generator, rather than externally. Remote start capability means that the start and stop signals can be sent from an inverter or other controller. (See “Automatic Generator Start” sidebar.) No or minimal standby load: Some generators, designed primarily for on-grid standby use, draw energy—even when not running—for control functions, charging the starter battery, and even for block-heating in cold climates. This may be acceptable for use with utility power, but not for off-grid systems. Look for a generator that has no parasitic draw when off, or expect to add a separate small PV module and charge controller to keep the starting battery charged. Engine speed: In general, quality conventional generators run at low...