Direct Current (DC) Generators - Variable Speed

When one is considering ZRD and its products, one needs to contemplate the following and keep it resident in their thoughts;

When looking at those items in life that provoke a fear of change and sometimes even make one tremble, embrace that fear with open arms and run forward with full force. What one meets on the other side is often truly rewarding and usually exceeds all expectations.

Generator or Genset
The words Generator and Genset are often used interchangeably. A generator or genset, consists of electricity production components (typically a DC Alternator or an AC Generator) connected to an engine that provides the required rotational energy necessary for the production of electricity using their respective components. This combination of components is called an engine-generator set, gen-set, or genset. Most commonly, the engine is assumed and taken for granted resulting in the combined engine with its electricity production component being called a generator. DC or AC is added for additional clarification as to which type of electricity is being produced.

GREENEST Charging Solutions available - Finally, what you have been waiting for, the BEST DC Generators made are here!

ZRD dedicated DC (Direct Current) Generator solutions may have up to 6,600% more amperage available for battery bank charging and may require only 5% of the engine run time as compared to some 120 Vac generator solutions.

This Low Profile Series is designed specifically to fit where clearance is at a premium. All servicing (Fuel, Oil, Fresh Water, Alternator connections, Belt Tensioning, ... ) is easily done from one side. Nothing on the back side needs attention. With optional stainless turnbuckle adjuster (shown, ILO standard Adjustment arm) even that is almost a non-event. The photo on the right shows the variable speed operator adjustable throttle control cable. Variable Speed Generator Output is enabled by design and operated by the user as desired depending on the needs of the battery bank charge state. The throttle control cable is very flexible and may be installed curved (180 degrees shown) to fit any location desired by the user. The *optional control panel (photos further below right) includes an Hour Meter, Water Temperature and Oil Pressure gauges, On/Off and momentary Preheat/Start Switches. By design, depending on model selected, some standard or optional features may not be offered. A simple 5-step installation process is detailed below.

120Vac is also available via an inverter. Click on this chart Why choose Dc over Ac when selecting a Generator?, the selector switch (below), or the words to view the MUST READ FAQ. "Why choose DC (Direct Current) over AC (Alternating Current) when selecting a Generator?" Additionally, you also have the option (if appropriate) to choose and install an upgraded version (model ZDCGEUR) that enables extended run time - see the FAQ for full details.
Standard Models
ZDCGE1222   &   ZDCGE2490
(EXTENDED Run Time Versions follow below)

220amp DC Generator front service side view

Front Service Side - Click for Enlarged Labeled View
Everything you could possibly need access to is here.

Shelf Mount Dimensions Low Profile - Fits in the smallest of locations. Click here for Shelf Dimension Requirements   (In addition to free space for cooling air flow, additional room is required for Exhaust Hose, Muffler, Throttle Cable installation with its associated (if needed) turning radii, and front side access for routine servicing.)

See images below for examples of remote location installation of Throttle, Control Panel, and Alternator control.

Standard Models*1
(High Output, Low Profile, Compact)
• 12/14.1 Vdc (3.5Kw-220E)
• 24/28.2 Vdc (2.6Kw-90E)

*1 - Due to engine availability, DC Gernerators are built on Demand and require a minimum of 4-8 week lead time, possibly longer. All other components premanufactured on site and available.
*2 - Extended Duty Operational run times for charging non-standard larger battery banks or loads requiring extended run times
  Optional 4Kw Extended Run Time Versions*2,3
(Only 1"wider than standard ZDCGE1222, Adds Only 33#s to Standard Weight)

New 4Kw EXTENDED Run Time DC Generator

FAQ Link - Choosing between EXTENDED Runtime and Standard DC Generators
(Click for additional assistance on Model Version Selection)

DIY Base Kit
(Customer Supplies Everything NOT Listed Below - Greyed out Area)

Includes ONLY the Following Listed Components:
• Base mounting Plate
• Q4 Isolation Mounts
• ZCCJE1222/2490 Alternator Mounted-in-Bracket
List Price $4,161.64  
Discount < $1,174.66 >
Retail Price $2,986.98  

Optional (Extra Charge)
• Turnbuckle Adjuster (Shown in Image)
DIY Base Kit

An Extended Runtime ZDCGEERT1233 DIY Base Kit is also available for an additional $2,490.27 charge ($5,477.25 total) over the Base ZCCJE1222 DIY Kit.

For Current ZRD customers with an Installed 3.5Kw ZDCGE1222 DC generator, an ERT Field Upgrade DIY KIT is also available with a special Additional Discount provided.

New 4Kw EXTENDED Run Time DC Generator

Pricing Overview
After discounts are applied, the 3.5Kw-ZDCGE1222 (ideal standard model) Base Price is $12,707.70. (List price $15,239).
• Most customers do not require every Installation Feature. Depending on accessories ordered, final pricing may be higher.
• For the 4Kw EXTENDED Run Time versions, the Base Price is $16,401.25 (list $20,542).
      This is an apx $3,694 upgrade over the 3.5Kw base model.
• For a 4Kw Upgrade Conversion, Contact ZRD for pricing.
• S+H is additional
• Sales Tax is charged when delivery is within Florida.

Features Included in Base Pricing:
Low profile
• USER Adjustable Throttle Control
4-Point Stainless Steel Isolation Mounts
Heavy Duty Belt Drive System
Mechanical Water Pump
Fresh Water Heat Exchanger Cooling
Zinc Anode in Heat Exchanger
Stainless Steel Wrapped Water Cooled Exhaust
Oil Drain Plug with Screen
12Vdc Electric Fuel Pump
Remote Electric Start
Air Intake Filter & Silencer

Standard Installation Features (additional charge):
Heat Exchanger Overflow Bottle
Stainless Steel Turnbuckle Adjuster
Anodized Pulley
External Regulation Control
• Prewired Control Panel with
    Oil & Water Sensors and Gauges,
    Hour Meter, and Control Switches
4" Duct Fan

Additional (Optional) Installation Features:
Matched set - Fuel Tank Pick Up, Return
RACOR Fuel Filter
Vernalift Muffler
Thru-Hulls, Hosing, Ducting, Wiring, Sound
    Reduction Material for Bulkheads (as needed)
2K to 8K Inverters
    Some inverter models are stackable
    120Vac/60Hz and 230Vac/50Hz Inverters available
    Click on following Image for details on Best Inverter/Charger Available

2K to 8K Inverters, Multiple Voltages, Frequencies

Remember 120, 208, 240 Vac is also available via an inverter. Click on "Why choose DC (Direct Current) over AC (Alternating Current) when selecting a Generator?" to see the FAQ link.
  ZRD 220amp DC Generator showing ZRD installed optional engine harness
In the ZRD 220+amp DC (Direct Current) Generator shown above is an installed optional Engine Harness. It comes complete with (see images below) a ZRD dedicated fused matched Control Panel. Its installation is as simple as mounting the control panel with 4 screws and plugging it in. The fused Plug-In connector plug may be seen between the starter and the alternator. This option saves installation time and considerable installation costs ($$$$).

Another option shown, to the right, is a matching ZRD supplied tachometer. It is not installed in the control panel allowing the user to select the best installation location (usually near throttle - see images below) enabling a smaller concise control panel size (6.5"w X 7.0"h). The Throttle Cable was removed for this image. Optional ZRD Tachometer

Click on any of the following 3 images for a Larger View
SS Prewired Control Panel Front
SS Prewired Control Panel Front View (Standard Option)
  SS Prewired Control Panel Back
SS Prewired Control Panel Back View (Standard Option)
  Wood Control Panel
Wood Control Panel (Special Order Option)

Specifications / Features
Kubota Model
No. of cylinders
Bore x stroke
Cooling system
Lubricating system
Lubricating oil
Starting R'qmts
Fuel line dia.
Return line dia.
Raw water dia.
Exhaust dia.
Dry weight
EA330-E3-NB1 Tier 4
Horizontal 4-cycle diesel
3.03" x 2.76"
19.83 cu. in.
7hp @ 3000rpm
Fresh water heat exchanger
Forced lubrication
ASTM #2 diesel, equivalent
2.0K-1.21, 2.4K-1.43,
Quality >or= API service CC
1.3 US Qt
60 amps @ 12Vdc
146 lbs. (Complete DCGS)
28"L x 14.5"W x 16"H
(Including Base & SS Mounts)
Matched set Fuel Tank Pick Up and Return
ZRD manufactured
Matched Set Fuel Tank 2nd P/U and Return for Generator
Why choose DC over AC when selecting a Generator?
ZRD manufactured
A/C Panel(s)
Sourcing Switch

EA330 Specifications

Engine Specifications
Depending on your usage, the Net Cost of a ZRD DC Generator may be $0!
Depending on your usage, the Net Cost
of a ZRD DC Generator may be $0!
Read the FAQ to find out how.

Click on any of the 4 images above for a Larger View

Animated view of ZRD DC Generator isolation mount Left is an animated view of a ZRD DC (Direct Current) Generator Isolation mount. The mounts ZRD use keep engine movements to a minimum and also significantly reduces vibration noise transferred to the vessel.

Simple 5-Step Installation Process
• Review ALL Documentation

    * Locate a Proper Location
        for installation
    * Unpack dedicated
        shipping Crate
    * Bolt in DC Generator
• Install and Connect
Fuel System

    * Fuel Tank Pick Up & Return
        ◊ Measure
        ◊ Cut (if needed)
        ◊ Drill & Bolt On
    * Fuel Filter
• Install and Connect
Cooling System

    * Thru Hulls
        ◊ 1 below water intake
        ◊ 1 above water exhaust
    * Muffler
• Install and Connect
Electrical System

    * Control Panel
        ◊ Mount & Plug In
    * Battery Cables
    * External Regulator
        ◊ Plug in Harness
        ◊ minor wiring
    * Tachometer
    * Inverter (Optional)
    * K&N Switch (Optional)
• Install and Connect
Throttle Cable

        ◊ Measure
        ◊ Cut (if needed)
        ◊ Bolt On

Removing a customer's Fischer Panda Removing a customer's Fischer Panda Removing a customer's Fischer Panda Removing a customer's Fischer Panda Removing a customer's Fischer Panda

The customer above replaced his Fischer Panda after only 300 hours of use and $$,$$$ in repairs. In this install, he first removed the heavy burdon (350+ lbs. Fischer Panda vs. 146 lbs. ZRD) using a hoist (photo shown on first row) attached to the vessel's boom. As you view the images (shown above - left to right) the old disintegrating (inferior) sound barrier (vs. sound absorption) material was removed, an improved smaller Stainless Steel mounting plate was installed, then he installed ZRD provided (optional) high grade sound absorption material, making the area ready for installation of his ZRD DC (Direct Current) Generator. This customer properly sound proofed the area around and above the ZRD DC generator allowing complete access instead of having an obtrusive (not to mention expensive) sound enclosure like on the Fischer Panda that he removed and replaced. All standard Serviceable items (as mentioned in the install shown on the first row above) are now being accessed from above on this install. In the images on the right, you may notice the duct and inline fan this customer chose to install bringing in outside fresh air cooling directly to the intake of the alternator enabling increased output and a longer lifecycle for all components. This customer initially installed a 3" duct fan and hose (picture second from right), but shortly upgraded (changed) the fan to a 4" model (picture on far right) that doubled the outside cooling air flow being supplied into the compartment. Due to the physical logistical limitations of his vessel, this customer kept the previously installed 3" air duct and only needed to modify the fan end connections from 4" to 3" in order to be able to connect the 3" duct to the new 4" fan. If you click on this image and view it full size, you will see a superimposed image of the modified 4" duct fan with the 3" adapters attached above the actual install. The fresh air duct terminates in front of the alternator's air intake (rear of alternator) with a 90 degree PVC fitting enabling the alternator to have direct intake of external fresh air positively supplied from outside the vessel. This customer also has an electric exhaust fan that removes air that has been warmed from the area. The second image from the right shows the installed controlled panel, throttle (above on horizontal panel), and the Alternator On/Off switch (below Control Panel. This customer purchased the ZRD installed plug-in wiring harness option - He desired to save time, $$$$, and wanted to assure himself of a 100% reliable install.

If your browser supports playing videos (If using IE - Ensure Compatibility Mode (in Tools tab) is Turned OFF), Press the play button (inside either blue video box) to view. Load time depends on your internet connection speed.

64 second video showing an easy (light weight) ZRD DC (Direct Current) Generator Installation in a vessel's main salon, Operation at 900, 1500, 2000, 2500 rpm, and lastly at 100% full 3000 rpm output. The sound cover is off the running DC Generator until the end of the video. This shows how smooth the DC Generator operation is. Holding a conversation is very easy with little extraneous noise from the generator. At the end, the Customer provides Comments. Note: The background noise during the first 30 seconds is from a nearby boat having its bottom sanded.

40 second video with the customer in the left video providing ZRD updated feedback regarding how he feels After cruising the Bahamas without ever plugging in. His ZRD ZDCGE1222 DC (Direct Current) Generator was his main source of electrical power. He also has a ZRD High Output 94amp engine alternator he used while motoring, but he routinely relied on his ZRD DC Generator for the majority of his electrical needs recharging his battery bank that supplied 100% of his power during his entire cruise.

The customer in the above videos routinely cruises the length of the Bahamas to remote locations that do not have marinas. At times, he may not see other vessels for days. By seriously using the ZRD DC (Direct Current) Backbone Design Philosophy (instead of 120vac) that ZRD teaches every customer, he only required 120 generator operational hours for his entire 6 month cruise. This included all of his 120vac needs such as microwave, 120vac outlet usage for plug in items, and yes, even air conditioning. The typical cruiser with a 120vac generator would have consumed considerably more fuel (720 to over 1,000 hours common - spelled $,$$$, ..., Noise, Pollution, ...) due to the significantly longer required engine run times that are necessary to achieve the same electrical results.

Removing a customer's Fischer Panda   Removing a customer's Fischer Panda   Removing a customer's Fischer Panda

The customer's install in the above images required less than half of the space needed by the former Fischer Panda it replaced. Access to the Front Service Side is all that is required. All standard Serviceable items may be accessed simply from this one side. This includes the Air Cleaner, Zinc, Coolant System (Antifreeze level checks and servicing), and Lubrication System (Oil checks & servicing). Additionally, the Fuel System and Alternator are also accessible, but usually do not require any servicing. The installer for this customer did a very nice clean professional installation, but it was prior to ZRD offering our plug in Control Panel. You may notice he ran multiple independent shielded wire runs as compared to the preinstalled dedicated ZRD concise wiring harness. This customer chose to have the throttle come through a wall in an interior lazarette and install his tachometer above it.

Some comments from customers regarding a ZRD DC (Direct Current) Generator:
• Your DC Generator should receive an Oscar-equivalent. This is by far the most advanced and logical system I have seen anyone bring forward.
• My installer thinks your DC Generator is beautiful. Well-made and glistening. 'Can't wait to see and use it.
• Exceeded my expectations! View the video above to hear it said in the proud new owner's own words.
  Click here to view more

DC Generators being shipped to waiting customers in ZRD custom built shipping crates to ensure a safe delivery worldwide. One customer's completed order is being shipped internationally. Another customer has ordered many additional ZRD products (in addition to his DC Generator) for his vessel, propulsion engine, and optional accessories bundled into a single consolidated shipment. The far right image is a ZRD ZDCGDI2440 (12Kw) being shipped to an international boat builder (at cusomer's request) to be installed during construction and commisioning. As a certified US freight forwarder, we are able to offer this service to our customers at a very reasonable price.   Another DC Generator being shipped Internationally to a waiting customer   ZRD Very High Output DC Generator - Another Happy Customer

VHO DC Generator (Special Order - Custom Build)
Very High Output (12Kw) DC Generator - 400amps@24Vdc

ZRD Very High Output DC Generator with Integral Sound Shield ZRD Very High Output DC Generator - Aft View ZRD Very High Output DC Generator with Integral Sound Shield removed - Port Service Side

Above are views of our Very High Output DC (Direct Current) Generator DCGDI2440 showing the purposely designed functionality of the integral sound shield. The first image displays the compact cube shape vs. the standard elongated rectangular shape common on AC Generators. Each point of engine entry allows for 100% open access for any possible servicing need. This design feature eliminates the usual requirement to ensure at least 24" is added in every dimensional direction for access in order to allow for hinged faced panels to open. Should one desire or have a reason to, every sound cover panel may be removed in minutes allowing complete non-restrictive access. The VHO DC (Direct Current) Generator unit weighs only 499 lbs. "Comparable" 12Kw AC Generators sizing is apx. 650 pounds in weight.

wiring overview   Note:

If desired, ZRD will provide a custom electrical schematic (see FAQ link - AC & DC Schematics) that covers the major 12 vdc and 120 vac components. It will show their relationships such that your plans for a desired electrical system upgrade or replacement will be assured and may be easily implemented. Also, if requested, additional components will be included in the schematics to assist future desired plans or expansions. This option, a $680 value, is provided free of charge when a major electrical system upgrade is purchased. Contact ZRD for details.

Regarding Water Makers, Dive Compressors, ... ZRD considered manufacturing a multifunctional unit that some occasionally ask for, but fundamentally ZRD decided - it was the wrong approach. Instead and actually a much better approach, is to use the DC Generator as ZRD intended it to be used. This enables reaching peak efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint as much as possible. That is a lot of words to simply say – Run EVERYTHING on your vessel off of the battery bank without exception. That includes 120Vac needs (via an inverter) too. With that as the underlying guiding principle at the foundation of ZRD, most accessories such as water makers, dive compressors, … are available electrically. Therefore the electrical vs. the mechanical versions of options should be chosen and installed. In the case of water makers, it is very simple and clear – ZRD suggests installing and using electric water makers. They are simple, efficient, relatively priced, … and obviously can be run any time without the need to have an engine running.

Take slow careful consideration about what we have explained and hopefully you will reach the same conclusion ZRD did. The belt driven water maker pump is not wrong, it is just that doing everything electrically just made more sense. No different than running air conditioning via the battery bank instead or running a 120Vac generator for hours … See our FAQ - Why choose DC over AC when Selecting a Generator? for additional details.