Rated 3.2 out of 5 by 5
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by OffGridOnWhidbeyIsland Generac Finally Admitted Defective Engineering
We have just finished building a 3000 sq ft house 100% off the power grid. The system consists of 6500 watts of solar and two wind turbines with 3000 watts total. We use four Outback 4830 inverters with 24000 watts of continuous power production capacity. The battery charging side of the inverters are limited to 6500 watts so after hearing about the EcoGen we thought it was a perfect match.
We installed the EcoGen October of 2012. After putting the system on line to charge the batteries we found our new Electrolux washer and dryer would not work, the ceiling fan hummed so loud you had to shut it off and the true root mean square voltage for the house shot up from 122 volts to way over 130 volt. I suspected this was all being caused by extreme total harmonic distortion from the EcoGen. We then called out a Generac service tech and called Generac to get problem looked into. This started a 6 months runaround where everything but the EcoGen was being blamed for the problem with the dirty power. I finally spent the money on a top of the line Fluke Scopemeter and was shocked at the crazy spikes in the waves. After calling back the service tech and doing some more tests he told me we had a serious problem and to shut off all the power to the house when charging the batteries. It still took another 2 months with Outback and Generac engineers involved till Generac finally admitted that the generator engineering was flawed. Generac agreed to refund 100% of my cost. Home Depot picked it up and we gladly waved good by. We ended up getting a 10Kw Kohler industrial water cooled 1800 RPM generator off Craigs List for $2000. The power is super clean now when charging. Should have got the better generator from the start. Live and learn.
April 7, 2013
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by OffGridOnWhidbeyIsland Correction for EcoGen Review
Just reread my posted EcoGen Review. Wanted to correct info about our system to avoid confusion. We have four Outback FX3048T inverters with a total power production capacity of 12000 watts not 24000 watts. We loaded the EcoGen to 85% capacity max, charging batteries at 5100 watts and still had extreme total harmonic distortion. Sorry for the goof.
April 7, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Mushi A true life saver.
We have only had this unit one day, but I can not tell you how much worry has been lifted. My husband has to have breathing treatments every day, some times three times a day, and with the electric going out 2-3 times a year for 4-7 days at a time, we will not have to worry about his treatments. Also, because of his bad lungs we can not longer use our fireplace, this unit will keep our furnace going. Thanks.
February 27, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Livinthedream Quite pricy but a great product.
I have had my Ecogen for over two years now and approx. 1,000 hrs. on it.
Had one issue with the solenoid that controls the choke mechanism. Generac was very supportive and warranty was no issue. A service tech.had to drive up 300 kilometers to install replacement part. Fortunately I am a mechanical kind of guy and was able to tell him what to bring for parts or he would have had to make two trips.
I live off grid in the bush of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. My primary power source is Solar. For at least three months of the winter we do not receive enough sunlight to meet our daily needs. Thus the need for a back up generator to charge my battery bank.
The past two winters have been very cold and I cannot use any type of electrical devices to assist starting my generator (ie. block heaters, warming devices). I do keep a smart charger on the battery to keep it in top shape and have the Gen. under a lean-to which gives it some protection from the elements. That said the generator starts reliably down to -28 C (18 F). I feel that is quite good for a propane engine. Any colder than that I use a portable Gen. that is kept in a heated shed to charge my battery's. Unfortunately we have had many - 30 - 40C days this winter.
This Generator is quite fuel efficient, simple to do maintenance and very quiet.
Overall I am very pleased with this product.
January 8, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Lee Good, but know what you are getting
I live off the grid in Vermont, and having a propane generator that would auto start was a priority for us. Finding one that was warranted for off-grid use was important; However, a few things surprised me when I got and installed the product.
1. the installation manual is less than clear about how to install and wire this unit. More detail and pictures would be a plus.
2. this unit requires 120v power to keep the on-board battery charged. this seem counterintuitive for a system designed for off-grid use when every electron is precious. the computer that runs the generator uses a lot of power, and will drain the battery in a few days. why not install a more efficient computer so I don't have to waste power in maintaining the battery?
3. if you want 240, you have to order a conversion kit. since I haven't ordered the kit yet, I don't know what it costs, but if it is only a few dollars, why not make it a standard part that is shipped with the unit? it looks to consist of a dual-pole 25-amp breaker, a piece of wire, and instructions.
4. the price i paid was the lowest I found anywhere, but the unit was still almost twice to cost of a unit not warranted for off-grid use. it might have made more sense for me to buy a less-expensive unit without the warranty and be prepared to buy another one later on. hindsight....
It is very quiet, and I have not had any issues with it starting, running or charging my batteries. We will see how the 240V upgrade goes.
I recommend this product, but know what you are getting before you buy.
March 9, 2013