marine engines digest banner

Cummins Onan Electrical Generators for Boats
Now MerCruiser SmartCraft Literate

Cummins Onan marine electrical generators have been given the gift of communication thanks to Mercury Marine's Smartcraft databus technology. Thanks to a licensing agreement, information pertaining to the main propulsion engine or the generator can be accessed at the touch of a button by scrolling through page displays on a single LCD screen.

On the generator end SmartCraft monitors AC voltage and frequency. On the engine side itís rpm, coolant temperature, oil pressure, starting battery voltage and engine hours that are logged. The standard, bare bones display module is mounted directly on the GenSet. More complex remote displays are optional, with the system accommodating up to three displays per vessel

The foundation for this welcome new technology is a set of nine new Onan generators ranging from 4 to 27.5 kW. Dubbed electronic-Quiet Diesels (e-QD), these models boast low noise levels and enviable fuel economy. Even better, a frequency control circuit locks in electrical output at either 60 cycles, or 50 cycles (Europe). Thereís more. Onan's e-QD generators feature self monitoring and network communication. In plain English that means they are self diagnostic and can spot problem areas before meltdown spoils a cruise. The user friendly system displays diagnostic information in text format.

Finally, the five-year warranty term is transferable and covers everything for the first two years, with the obvious exception of routine maintenance.

Author Timothy Banse has published articles in Popular Mechanics, All Chevy, Pickup Van & 4-Wheel Drive, Mecanica Popular, Motor Boating, Yachting, Mar y Vela and many other magazines and newspapers from around the world. He writes about cars, trucks and tow vehicles and marine-engine technology.