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Call me crazy, but has anyone looked into ultra light portable gas generators...

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    Call me crazy, but has anyone looked into ultra light portable gas generators...

    I realize most people are saying, "why don't you just buy a motorcycle?" But seriously, if you wanted to take an off-road trip of a few hundred miles or so. I know there are little 4-stroke generators around 20lbs and safe (sort of I guess) high octane gas canisters with up to a 5-yr shelf life out there. To recharge batteries either while stopped or on the go?

    #2
    Seems like it would be easier and more efficient to just go with one of the 4 stroke gas motors as the drive and carrying extra gas. Putting a 20 pound generator on a bike is going to be difficult but I guess you could carry it on a trailer.

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    • Louis
      Louis commented
      Editing a comment
      You mean in an airplane...

    #3
    How about carry some solar cells on a tough but light weight trailer with extra battery storage..charge as you ride?

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      #4
      Been there, done that!

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        #5
        I've given a lot of thought to it. As have other pilots of small planes. My home built plane has wheel skis on it in the winter, and having a very small gas generator to pre heat the engine when out overnight is something I have been looking into. The engine pre heat elements draw a max of 300 watts. Here's what I have found out: the 1000 watt Yamaha is a pound or so lighter then the littlest Honda, and equally highly regarded. I have never seen one for less then $799.00, 27 to 29 lbs. My local farm store had some Chinese generator with a 4 stroke engine that weighed 19.8 lbs, for $300.00. 800 watt output. I'm not real sure I trust it in a pinch though.

        That seems to be it in 4 stroke small generators. What I'd like to see, and believe they may be a viable commercial market for, at least for airplane and e bike geeks is, a Honda powered using this engine:http://engines.honda.com/models/model-detail/gx25. 6.8 lbs! The alternator/generator would be best direct coupled to the engine output, if possible. That's as far as I've gone.....engineering the electrical end of it is beyond me, though I did have the thought that rather then mess with putting out a tightly regulated 120 AC at the proper hertz, it may be lighter to make it a 12 VDC generator (18 VDC output) and then a off the shelf 12v to 120 ac inverter. That's for the plane, where I have a 12 v system. For an e bike, an output based on the battery used would of course be the way to go. Either way, it'd be hard to keep it all below 10 lbs, and I have no idea how the claimed horsepower of that little Honda would translate into amps/watts. I have been tempted to just buy one of the engines, and start experimenting, that works better for me, hands on I can make things work out. I do have some sources in the alternative energy world that would help in where to obtain, or make, a purpose built alternator, hand wound.

        But figuring out the engine load v. electrical output, and how that relates to the engines torque curve, would be the tricky part. Everything has to come together at the same time, the engine being "happy", and the alternator in it's sweet spot. Anyone with a large fortune looking to make a small fortune (probably would be worth it in other words) could easily hire the professional engineering to bring a product like this to market, I'd sure buy one, a 300 to 400 watt 10 to 12 lb Honda powered generator, hell yeah, hopefully for less then $1000.00.

        Another approach I have thought of, is buy a Yamaha 1000 watter, and then strip it down, put it on a diet. It'd still be pretty quiet, but get rid of all the plastic crap that makes it look pretty. You may be able to knock off a couple lbs., still too heavy. Put enough minds on this, and I'm sure it's doable, it would be expensive (custom built in small quanities V mass production) relative to it's power output, but for the small market clamoring for it, worth it.

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          #6
          The solar trailer above uses 50 watt panels that weigh 2.3 lbs. and a Genasun charge controller that charges lithium ion batteries directly, and weighs 1 lb. That would be about 15 pounds for 300watts. and no fuel necessary, which is more weight. I use three cells now. 150 watts. In full sun I get 2.2 amps charge current to my shark pack. Even on cloudy days in the shade I can get .75 amps. My whole set-up weighs 8 lbs. including wiring and connectors. I agree, the sun, no sun thing is a PITA, especially if you need a full charge asap. Might not be the best thing for you fly boys, but it works for bikepacking into remote areas.

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            #7
            I really considered putting some of the semi flexible panels on the plane, but couldn't justify their weight. My 12v to 58 converter is working great, allowing me a 2 amp charge while flying. But back to the OP, if a gas gen set was light enough, having it built into a solar trailer would be the ultimate. Power during the day, and at the end of the day so a full charge and ready to go the next morning. Having been off grid for 28 years previously, I can attest to the power of a small amount of gasoline, when you absolutely need to get those batteries charged. It would be very interesting to break it down, but I bet a micro Honda genset built right would allow some surprising battery charging on minuscule amounts of fuel, like 1/4 gallon or less. I'm basing this partially on how my little 4 stroke Honda brush wacker works, great, for a long time, on little fuel.

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            • wklatt
              wklatt commented
              Editing a comment
              Can you elaborate on your 12V to 58 converter. That could do away with having to carry the charger and use a 110v inverter. While I have a plane, was thinking also being able to use it at the cabin where we have solar, and wouldn't need another Luna charger.

            #8
            From another thread here:

            I bought this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

            Nice and light, and even more importantly, quiet. It also sips gas, it will run for 12 hours on .6 gal of gas. Has enough power to charge two batteries at once with 2 300 watt chagrin and still has power left to run something else.


            Interesting, I wonder how much weight could be saved stripping it down, getting rid of all the non essential things that make it prettier or more marketable?


            Getting back to a purpose built one using the littlest Honda engine: I see that engine is apparently rated at 1 HP, while the standard 1 KW Honda generator is rated at 2 hp. So the rough numbers would seem to agree that using that tiny engine to somehow produce 300 to 500 watts is somewhat feasible. It occurred to me, that AC isn't needed, keeping it real simple would result in a purpose wound generator/alternator producing the 58 volts (more or less) we want to charge a 52 v battery, DIRECTLY, as DC power. It would need to somewhat hand controlled, no features such as the LUNA charger has. But if it saves weight.....?

            I know a guy in town who runs a big truck electrical shop, anything with a vehicle alternator actually, I need to bounce some of these ideas off him. Plus, my own micro hydro http://harrishydro.biz/, system uses a modified car alternator to produce 24 VDC, with 48 VDC as an option. It's alternator is much too heavy and bigger then needed, something the size of the one on my Kubota tractor would be more like it. I know that by adjusting the field strength, the load on the engine can be fine tuned, along with the power production. This is how I adjust my unit for lower water flows, I lose power by keep it running at the needed RPM.

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              #9
              How about a 12 lb. 1000 watt generator? BUT, it looks like it never made it into production. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...mart+generator

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