How a home generator can help in an emergency

How a home generator can help in an emergency

Whe toilet paper for one, the generator for the other. Both are in high demand in times of crisis and are among the preppers’ favorite toys. It could be that the lights go out and there are no more roles. The paper is not a problem, you just hoard it.

Electricity is not easy to store, at least not in large quantities and at a reasonable cost. But you can make it yourself. The big solution for your own home is a generator that is permanently connected to the house network and runs on diesel or petrol, which releases its exhaust gases to the outside and supplies all three phases. The power grid must then be disconnected using a switch so that the generator does not feed into the public grid and the power generator is not damaged when it is switched on again. The connection is a case for the specialist, at least with a view to relatively inexpensive generators, we advise against such a solution. They only tolerate a little unbalanced load, so if one phase is significantly more heavily loaded than the others, this can destroy the power generator and connected consumers.

Easily transportable

Single-phase electricity can also be fed into the house network, the generator then only serves the consumers connected to that phase. It is questionable whether the effort is worth it, the supply via a compact power generator bridges a few hours to a maximum of a few days, after all the fuel has to be stored somewhere. The advantage of devices with a handle is that they are easy to transport and can therefore be used anywhere, for example when camping or on the construction site. The disadvantage of this is a meager power yield, much more than 2000 watts of continuous power can hardly be obtained from such power generators. This quickly becomes scarce, even if only the most important electrical appliances in the household are connected via extension cords.

The Japanese company Honda, which deals not only with cars and motorcycles, has almost seven decades of experience in this field and has now launched a power generator that combines compact dimensions and low weight with relatively high performance.

Comfortable for the legs

The new EU 32i weighs only 26.5 kilograms empty, with petrol and oil that’s around 30 kilograms, which can still be carried quite well with one hand over short distances. The maximum output is specified as 3.2 kilovolt amperes (kVA) (around 3.2 kilowatts), the continuous output is 2.6 kVA. As is usual with high-quality generators in this performance class, it works with inverter technology that generates a clean sine curve so that even sensitive consumers can be connected. The most important innovation is fuel injection with a controlled three-way catalytic converter instead of the usual carburetor, which does not require power from a battery and gives the EU 32i a gentle start and a constant ideal mixture of air and fuel, even on high mountains.

According to Honda, the newly developed engine with overhead camshaft and displacement of 130 cubic centimeters as well as the rotor of the generator equipped with neodymium magnets improve fuel efficiency considerably: Compared to the much more voluminous predecessor EU 30i, the consumption is 2.4 kVA output with 0, 86 liters per hour, 33 percent lower and at a rated output of 2.6 kVA, 1.09 liters is 35 percent lower, the tank holds 4.7 liters. Also new is a tank ventilation with activated carbon filter, which stores the fuel vapors so that no annoying and dangerous vapors can escape. After starting, the gases are sucked in by the engine and burned.

The engine starts immediately

We had to try that. The first thing you notice is that the generator, in the characteristic Honda red, has strongly rounded corners, which is quite comfortable on the legs when carried. Measuring 42.5 × 29 × 52 centimeters, it has the shape of a suitcase. The EU 32i had just been running before it was picked up, but there was still nothing to smell in the car.

The generator has a fuel gauge, two Schuko sockets and an oil shortage alarm. The status can be monitored with a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection and the engine can be switched off. Starting is almost easier than promised. Ignition on, pull the cable. This happens with amazingly little resistance, the engine starts immediately – not sometimes, but always. At 91 dB(A) or 84 dB(A) at quarter load, the noise is typical for this class. If you sit right next to it, you don’t want to have a conversation. The EU 32i easily copes with the starting currents of powerful electric motors. For test purposes, we charged an electric car with 2.4 kW for a few hours, which of course is only for emergencies due to the high losses. If the power is not sufficient, two generators can be coupled together. Of course, that also doubles the hefty price of just under 3300 euros per generator.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick