Generator backup options for inverters

Much cheaper in the medium term than a larger battery bank.

Before I go back to 32 cells, I would seriously consider a generator.

Diesel one as Suzi is also diesel. Maybe I come across one one day and pick it up for " 'n appel en 'n ui " as they say.

If you do, get the smallest one you need. If I had to do it again I would rather spend the same cash on a 2kW inverter gennie that sips fuel then a 6kW horrible wave output that drinks fuel. If you got solar don’t need much generator power to take up the slack


As far as I know the small inverter types don’t play nicely with a MultiPlus, and definitely not with ESS, so you’re in for a reconfigure every time you want to use it.

Anyone have a different experience?

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I second this question.
Whilst I agree that a smaller generator is suitable. I’d also like to know if there is a “go-to” generator model out there that always plays nicely. ( Not a V-0-V model)

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And therein the crux to get that diesel gennie that is “plug and play”.

My generator took a few setting changes to get it to work with the multi because its frequency and voltage regulating is terrible, it would kick out a lot or wouldn’t connect. Another thing is that it doesn’t supply even close to its rated power. I would think a inverter gennie would be a much cleaner supply and connect easier to the multi.

I can’t answer the ESS question as I removed that setting when changing to off grid, so i just put gen power straight into the input and have set it on the multi that way.

Is there a way to disable ESS while generator is on. Maybe with the multis built in aux relay???
looks like if you want grid and gen buy a quattro

edit: where are the mods i think we need a separate thread

Builders sells a 3.5kVA Diesel generator that I would imagine should work fine, but it’s a cool 20k.

Edit: The one thing I cannot see on the spec sheet is the operating RPM. What you want is an engine running at 1500RPM, with a 4-pole alternator (that gets you 50Hz), rather than the more typical petrol generator running at 3000rpm.

Hence the " appel en 'n ui " … :wink:

Sometimes I sit and wonder … diesel-electric … I have a 280TD diesel engine in the garage, has “electric start” too.

… then I stop wondering and drink some coffee before it gets cold.

Apologies for editing those posts… but my OCD finally triggered too hard :slight_smile:

This is the generator. It has electric start, and with a Lithium battery nogal.

Also, BusinessInsider had an article about this some days ago.

It starts as low as R2000, for a little 2-stroke thing that I frankly think is Rubbish, up to 20k for the Diesel unit listed. There isn’t much below 10k though, and a lot of the stock would have sold out by now too.

My friend bought one of those 2-stroke cheapies at Builders and connected double conversion APC UPS to it to run their servers longer. Gennie is cheaper than the batt as you mentioned before too.

A few days later the APC’s died one by one. Batteries flat. The gennie killed their chargers, the chargers being uneconomical to repair too.

I have seen them, eyed them, and then saw their price. I like them … but Eskom really has to tick me off, the weather really has to be bad before I even consider talking to the wife about them.

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Hey! It is an “ei”, not “ui”. Though “ui” does make sense, it was originally an “ei” because I believe it is Dutch for “egg”. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d only get a generator if I can safely install it. I.e., but just standing in my garage. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real thing. So preferably an outbuilding with excellent ventilation.

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Apple and an Onion … Appel en 'n ui.

Haha I get that it means an apple and an onion, but the correct Afrikaans saying is " 'n appel en 'n ei", not " 'n appel en 'n ui" since it came from Dutch.

Unfortunately, I think a genny with sockets is highly likely to be V-0-V.

Why would V-0-V be a problem?

That’s actually right! I forgot. It is indeed “appel en 'n ei” in Afrikaans, and we inherited that from the Dutch. The Dutch also has “voor een scheet en drie knikkers” (for a fart and three marbles).

You can’t TN bond them, and then the Multi will not accept it as input. Technically you also cannot legally connect them to a house in South Africa, code requires that the supply must be bonded.

The reason you cannot bond them is that the 0 (in the middle) is sometimes already bonded to the chassis of the generator. If you bond one of the V-legs (which you could), then there will be a 115V difference between earth and the chassis of the generator.


But if the chassis is only at 115V it is not that bad, it’s like ¼ the shock you get from 230V. :crazy_face: