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Onan vs. Northern Lights

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by balboa, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. balboa

    balboa Guest

    We need 2 generators in the 55-65 KW power range (50 Hz, continuous duty).

    We're looking at the above 2 brands. Any comments on either brands would be welcome. Suggestions on other alternatives are also welcome.

    Thorwald
  2. Northern Lights

    Northern Lights New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    San Diego
    Northern Lights

    Northern Lights and Onan are great products. The most important factor is proper sizing. Frequent light and no loading will destroy any diesel. The most common complaint in the industry is misguided sizing that lead to glazed pistons that put a sheen of diesel on the water. Light loading leads to no compression and a dead machine. You may consider a third generator as a night genertator. You may consider a load bank to keep a load during light load periods. Sizing generators is not complicated subject. Load them hard in the first fifty hours and run them hard as often as you can after that. Its a simple formula that is so often not honored. Any diesel is destroyed by light loading. My portable load bank is great for break - ins and reseating rings.
    Northern Lights Generator
    San Diego
  3. balboa

    balboa Guest

    sizing gen sets

    Thanks again for the comment. Yes, I'm very much aware of the load factor issue.

    In fact, I had planned a 40-50 KW and 65 KW gen set but my electrical engineer said that for paralel running, different size gen. sets may bring trouble.

    We need one 65 KW generator to meet class requirements but our 3rd gen. set could be smaller.

    What's your take on this?

    Thorwald
  4. balboa

    balboa Guest

    load bank

    I guess that another way to create some load would be get the airconditioning running harder when the generator load gets below 50%.

    Instead of 'destroying' energy, at least we'd keep things cool and dry.

    Thorwald
  5. Northern Lights

    Northern Lights New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
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    Location:
    San Diego
    paralleling

    Paralleling different size generators is done often. The issue is pairing windings skew. An easy engineering issue.
  6. balboa

    balboa Guest

    generators parallel

    That's very good new$!

    Thanks
  7. First Pericles

    First Pericles New Member

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    London (for now)
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Hi,

    Nothing is truly free in life or electrical generation.

    These OSSA Engines claim massive savings in weight and size that is really quite hard to believe is accurate or substantiated by actual models in service.

    There is also no mention of any type of Classification Society testing and or approvals.
  9. balboa

    balboa Guest

    Ossa generators

    Yes, those were my thoughts too. The page with installations shows mostly artist impresssions and I didn't see a worldwide distributor system. Space is not really an issue.

    I do like the common rail, however, and wished other manufacturers would start using it.
  10. TSI AV

    TSI AV Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Estonia
    Hi,

    .

    Interesting.

    Just a few questions:

    1. Spare parts ? Or it will be "better to purchase a new one than to find any spares" ?
    2. Reliability. It whould be great to talk to someone, who used them for some time (5-10 years)...
    3. Class approvals.
    4. Fuel savings (as per i-net site). Where is the point ? (the point is the "B" (as per information in "Tech library - Fuel savings" tab),but some curves and statements are questionable.

    I would install follow brands as auxillaries:
    1. Scania
    2. Volvo-Penta
    3. Mitsubishi
    4. Cummins

    Regards,

    Andrei
  11. First Pericles

    First Pericles New Member

    Joined:
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    22
    Location:
    London (for now)
    Gentlemen,

    Your reticence is understandable, but I have spoken with Ossa and they do have units in service. http://www.ossapowerlite.com/customer.htm

    They are part of http://www.glacierbay.com/ and will be at Annapolis. They offer a new system to power boats, components of which can be incorporated in readiness for the future.

    As with all things "new" can be a discouraging concept, but I guess diesels had their detractors at some time. :D In this case, something better, this way comes.

    First Pericles
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
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    6,184
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Up until recently Onan has always been considered crude in comparison to Northern Lights, they were always noisier, didn't run as smoothly, made less stout, engines didn't last as long, and cheaper. The new electronic series is starting to change my mind on them after running several. They run much quieter, nicer and so forth and so on. But also more complicated with sensors and so forth. I definately feel they have surpassed Westerbeke and that the Westerbekes are pretty crude running nowadays in comparision.

    I also have experience with a 16kw Northern lights and it always ran great and also a few 55kw northern lights. Both ran very smooth, were very very simple to work on, very quiet, used very few wear parts, were designed to go many many thousand hours. Northern lights would still be my first choice given a fresh install and space limitations.

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