Generator/AC Shootout 2016 v1.5 First Look

Copyright (C) 2016 by padgett, all rights reserved


Note: Weasle words: This is a limited experience. The AC and generators are all single examples purchased at retail and sometimes below (I get a 10% discount at Lowes including sale items). It is possible that one or more may not be a representative example. Its purpose is to solve a personal problem

Electrical and Mechanical concepts expressed are from observation and experience & would be glad to discuss. Can contact me at app1 at 6007 dot us.

2016 Portable Generator Comparison

31 March 2016 -Today we hit 90 degrees for the first time and I can begin testing. 95 is really better but that probably will not be for a few months yet.

Have made a few changes for this year. I really liked the Westinghouse WH2000XLT and near the end of the year Westpro came out with a new model, the WH2400i. Where the 2000 was rated at 2200/1800W the sub-50lb WH2400i uses the same chassis and body but has been redesigned to be rated at 2400/2100W and that increase of 300W continuous I feel is quite important. The assembly has the same sound-deadening foam lining and is just as quiet, about the same as the industry standard Honda EU2000i.

Like the earlier model it starts by the second pull if you give it a few seconds for the bowl to fill after turning on the gas and like other units with CDI ignition, a gentle pull is all it takes.

Also new this year is a 15,100 conventional room AC I bought to cool the garage. Like the Coleman on my trailer, this is a self contained 115VAC unit. Being about a decade newer, this unit has about the same SLA and RLA as the '06 13,500. I am going to install a switchable soft start unit on it also.

Initial Tests

Just some load tests on the two Westinghouses today that did bear out the rating increase. For this I used two loads, a 7,000 btuh roll around AC (8A/960W RLA) and a heat gun. Together with the heat gun on LOW gives about 1700W & on HIGH about 2400W. Since for the Honda the maximum continuous is only 1600W, I did not perform this test with it.

Both had no problem with the LOW setting:

But the real difference came with the HIGH setting. Here the 2000 (1800 continuous) overloaded almost imediately while the 2400 (2100 continuous) ran for over a minute before I reduced the load.

Was also pleasently surprised to find that the 2000 and the 2400 can be paralleled with a WHPC 260041 Parallel Cord. Together the two can provide a continuous 3900W/32.5A, enough to run the 15,100 BTUH Fridgidaire AC or the whole Trailmanor trailer without any mods.

Since then I ran the same test with the Predator. It also had no problem with the small AC and the heat on HI.

This is a good solution for the cost concious to use in conjunction with the soft start device for the AC. When my first one failed, replacement was immediate at the Harbor Freight store. It is about 20 lb heavier and its engine is more than 50% larger than the Westinghouse so is louder under load. Even with a two year protection plan when on sale (several times a year it is near or below $400) it is several hundred dollars less than the others.

OTOH for me light is important and it is easier to lift a 50# genny than a 70#. The Westpro is both lighter and quieter than the Pred. It also has a sealing gas cap and an Econ mode for when I do not need the AC. For me it was worth the additional price

2500W Predator is larger and cruder than the others but can be effective for running a camper AC with soft start.

In the "what if" department if Honda made a 2500W then their knowlege base would win out. They don't and while Yamaha makes a number in the 2.5KW class (e.g. EF2400iSHC), they are too big/heavy for my use. For 2016, the Westpro WH2400i is really in a class of its own.

Since I acquired the Westpros, I've found other units that seem likely candidates and should fit in a 2720 rear compartment but are heavier than even the Predatator. If a reader has experience with any of these, I would like to hear about it.

These are the
Dirty Hand Tools 3200W at 91 lbs, the Lifan Energy Storm ESI2600ier, 85 lbs , and the Hyundai HY2800sei, 76.2 lbs. The latter two have electric start.

Sun'N'Fun 2016

Sun'N'Fun was in early April this year and mostly under 90F. As always was dry camping in "Paradise City" with a number of campers with generators ranging from a Honda EU2000i for a popup to an older 2720SL with a big 4k site generator.

Paradise City was full.

For five days I had AC during the day (10 pm curfew) and coffee every morning plus infotainment as long as I wanted (32" 1080p TV with HDMI and VGA inputs/11" Intel 3700/8 GB/500GB netbook/MiFi wireless). Quite a contrast to the hot and sweaty experience last year that led to this overkill setup. Did verify that nobody was quieter.

Gen and one can was good for five days of use.

Did have a little trouble getting the propane fridge to start but was holding 38F box/15F freezer afterwards.

Mention of power package is important: 2 GC2 batteries for power storage, 200W solar with 30A controller, 2400/2100W Westpro gen, & a 1KW 120vac inverter when generator curfew was enforced, all with appropriately sized and protected wiring provided a balanced system.

System also provides for a seperate battery float charge system when not in use and solar cells are covered with a tarp.

So after two years of design and testing (first year of finding out what didn't work), job done.

Original 2015 Shootout

Copyright (C) 2016 by padgett, all rights reserved

This page was written using Windows 10 Notepad. Some habits die hard.
All photos taken locally. I have never been very good at graphcs.