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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/13/2015

Well, it took a bit longer than I thought it would given the nearly unrelenting rains we had during the month of May, but I got 'er going! Tanglewood's new backup generator is up and running!

Now I must say I was very pleased with my 6-Kw Ecogen. It was compact, ran efficiently and quietly for a generator of that type, and powered Tanglewood through many a dark night or series of overcast days. When it died a bit over a month ago my immediately inclination was to buy another one.

That's when I stumbled across the newer, larger 15-Kw Ecogen and ordered it instead. I've certainly had my problems getting it installed (it arrived at the start of a month of unending rain, making even standing on the ground problematic much less unloading a 536-pound generator). But today I got it down the hill and got it hooked up and it's gorgeous. I thought I'd share a few observations on this second generation product.

Overall I'm quite impressed with the machine itself. It is better put together than than the 6-Kw model I had, with the bulk of the innards behind thicker sheet metal than one would find in most similar products. The control panel has been revamped and is perhaps a bit easier to navigate, and the removable front panel is both lighter weight and has thicker insulation. Overall the impression is of a much more "finished" product than the previous model.

There are some excellent improvements. The oil reservoir (often a source of problems for me) has been relocated to underneath the main unit and the three oil fill ports that were each very poorly placed have been reduced to a single one that's easy to get to. A GFCI outlet has been thoughtfully added to the area where the breakers live, and a USB port has been added to make software updates possible in the future. I'd say the new oil reservoir has enough room under it to slide a heating pad in there though I haven't tried that yet. The interior connections for things like the battery charger (though why no solar option Generac?) and the two-wire start are fairly well-labeled though I'm not a fan of the connection post type they used.

On the other hand there are still a few misses, though none so severe as to make me wonder "what were they thinking?" Turns out that GFCI outlet while very nice to have only actually works when the generator is running, so it's not a way to plug in that oil pan heater I was talking about. The battery compartment is slightly smaller which makes getting the battery in there a bit of a challenge, and getting it back out is a real challenge. The LED display isn't any larger than the old one and the menus seem a tad more confusing to me, though it's possible I'm just not used to them yet. Overall propane use is up a bit but of course it's making up to 2.5x as much power as the old one, so that's not a major concern.

Overall this is a solid generator and seems to be behaving itself quite well. I'm very glad I got it, and I'm trusting it to do its job well come this winter!

Steven in Colorado

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