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Thread: La Roca Express Power Requirements

  1. #1
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    La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Greetings

    I have a mobile (marquee) based business running a La Roca Express Compact 2 Group, a Compak A8 and very little else. I have the opportunity of a new pitch but its not powered so I have to look at a generator. I understand that I need a pure sine wave inverter generator set to ensure a really clean supply that doesnt blow the proverbial out of my gear but Im having problems trying to calculate the required generator output. The machine itself is plated at 3500W. As this is obviously the initial draw is there any way to calculate the continuing requirement?

    Ive seen a 3.5KvA generator silent generator which does 3.5 KvA at pak and 3.0 constant. Trying to decide if this will do the trick or if I have to get into the silly money area. Other alternative of course is to buy two generators - one for the espresso machine and one for the grinder and anything else we decide to use.

    My only other thought was to switch to gas powered. Can an electric machine be converted? Anyone have a clue on $$?

    TIA

    Nigel.

  2. #2
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by 0D2F322E303C2F295D0 link=1339896913/0#0 date=1339896913
    switch to gas powered.
    Even if you could find a suitable gas powered boiler, how are you going to power the pump with gas? Maybe a steam driven pump? I think you need a petrol driven generator.

    Barry.

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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Let me clarify re the "gas" question. Given that the bulk of the power for an espresso machine is used to heat the boiler, my thought was to use a gas powered boiler with a small generator to supply any other requirements. Just thinking out loud and outside the box. Cant friggin believe the price of generators!

    If anyone feels like expressing an opinion btw (surely, not on CS!), here is a link to the generator I was thinking of buying: Link deleted. Per site policy ebay links are not allowed.http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?virboard=Sale;num=1115338530

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  4. #4
    Member thundering_gerkins's Avatar
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    If the machine is plated 3500w, an absolute minimum of 4000w continuous would be required for reliable operation.
    It may take 20 minutes or more to get the boiler up to temparature before it cycles.
    When generators or invertor generators are nearing there output limit, voltage and frequency fluctuate somewhat. Although inverters definitely offer cleaner output.
    Beware of the chinese generators as the rated outputs can be a bit overated.
    If buying a Chinese generator, id make sure youve got a 1000 watts up your sleeve.

  5. #5
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by 667A677C7677607B7C754D757760797B7C61120 link=1339896913/3#3 date=1339919811
    If the machine is plated 3500w, an absolute minimum of 4000w continuous would be required for reliable operation.
    It may take 20 minutes or more to get the boiler up to temparature before it cycles.
    When generators or invertor generators are nearing there output limit, voltage and frequency fluctuate somewhat. Although inverters definitely offer cleaner output.
    Beware of the chinese generators as the rated outputs can be a bit overated.
    If buying a Chinese generator, id make sure youve got a 1000 watts up your sleeve.
    Are you saying this from professional or practical experience? I dont want to seem ungrateful - I appreciate any input but I cant see why a machine that is plated at 3500W would need 4000W continuous. Surely the plated requirement would be the maximum requirement.

    Is there a sparky in the house?

    N/

  6. #6
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Sorry to be blunt prosmart but if you want a professional opinion, you generally have to pay for one.

    Im not a sparky, but I would definitely advise getting someone to come out to your site and measure the peak current draw of all your kit that you need to function (machine heating up and pumping water, grinder grinding, fridge on etc etc), then convert that to kVA and add 20% safety headroom.

    There are going to be particulars to your equipment and configuration that make it impossible to say for sure whether a 3.5 kVA genset would do the job, but I have my doubts. If you say the machine is plated 3500W (at 240V or 220?), that would already require at least 4 kVA, and thats not including the grinder which is an inductive load and needs a bit of headroom.

  7. #7
    Member thundering_gerkins's Avatar
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by 54766B7769657670040 link=1339896913/4#4 date=1340010895
    Are you saying this from professional or practical experience? I dont want to seem ungrateful - I appreciate any input but I cant see why a machine that is plated at 3500W would need 4000W continuous. Surely the plated requirement would be the maximum requirement.
    What you need to remember when sizing a generator are several factors.
    Ambient temperature: Output from air cooled engines drop as ambient temperature climbs.
    Generator output/engine power is rated at sea level.
    An air cooled engine lifespan is significantly reduced if running at more than 80% of rated H.P

    If your planning to use the generator more than a few times a year, youll (IMO) need a generator that has power in reserve to enable reliable electricity supply.

    Ive had many hours of experience with generator service and repair and Ive rarely had anyone tell me the generator was to big, only "why has my machine burnt out"? mmmmmm Generator to small :)

    Remember: The induction motor for your pump can draw up to 6 times the rated wattage on start up.

  8. #8
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Running a generator that of insufficient capacity will kill the generator quickly
    Running a generator with excess capacity will not harm your appliance ( coffee machine)
    Its false economy to not have 20-40% surplus capacity on your generator.
    If your business/livelihood depends on the generator, it would be a poor decision to skimp on the generator size or quality ( Chinese ??* :o)
    Have you looked at a hire option, depending on how often you need the generator.?

  9. #9
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by 183A273B25293A3C480 link=1339896913/2#2 date=1339903105
    Let me clarify re the "gas" question. Given that the bulk of the power for an espresso machine is used to heat the boiler, my thought was to use a gas powered boiler with a small generator to supply any other requirements. Just thinking out loud and outside the box. Cant friggin believe the price of generators!

    If anyone feels like expressing an opinion btw (surely, not on CS!), here is a link to the generator I was thinking of buying: Link deleted. Per site policy ebay links are not allowed.http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?virboard=Sale;num=1115338530


    N/
    Sincere apologies - not done intentionally.

    N/

  10. #10
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    To everyone who has responded - thanks so much. I really do appreciate the input from all concerned.

    I think I may have to rethink this. Hire would almost certainly kill us as it would be a weekly occasion.

    I will however re-visit the idea of a bigger better generator.

    Regards

    Nigel.

  11. #11
    Member thundering_gerkins's Avatar
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by 15372A3628243731450 link=1339896913/9#9 date=1340094340
    I will however re-visit the idea of a bigger better generator.
    Yes, save up a few more pennies.
    Buy once, buy quality.
    The last thing we need is more landfill. :)

  12. #12
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    Re: La Roca Express Power Requirements

    Id recommend you go for a minimum of 5kVA for your gennie.

    Honda generators have a pretty good reputation.

    Also, a "silent" gennie will increase the price significantly, quick searches suggest a factor of 2-3 or thereabouts. Is it possible to locate the generator some distance from your site? 5-10m will make a large difference (but get yourself some nice chunky extension leads to minimise voltage drop) another option is to place some form of partition in front of the gennie to deaden the noise. Also be aware that most "silent" generators are rated for "domestic" use and are warranted as such.



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