Honda has updated its most popular portable generator, the EU20i and is replacing it with the even more versatile EU22i with more power, improved fuel economy and even quieter operation.
The first portable generator with inverter technology was introduced by Honda in 1987, offering electricity stable enough to power sensitive appliances. By the mid 1990s the company had launched its EX500, using a micro-processor to produce sine-wave electric current with stability to match mains power. Now Honda offers a full line-up of inverter generators from lightweight models, easy to carry and ideal for camping to larger professional versions capable of operating power-hungry, sensitive equipment wherever needed.
Since its introduction in 2001 the EU20i has been popular with users offering up to 2.0kW of electrical power in a compact, lightweight and easily portable package. With a larger and more powerful engine, the all-new EU22i can produce 10 per cent more power, but remains the nearly the same size and weight as its predecessor.
Lower noise and improved fuel economy result from the larger 120cc engine which operates at lower speed than the 100cc power unit it replaces. A guaranteed sound power level of just 90db(A) means operation is near-silent.
Fuel capacity is 3.6 litres, the same as the EU20i but extended operating time up to 8.4 hours is possible, depending on power demand. Because Honda’s inverter generators provide precise electrical output at all times regardless of operating speed, an Eco-throttle mode is available which constantly adjusts engine speed to precisely match the load. This saves fuel, reduces operating noise and extends engine life when maximum output isn’t needed. Eco-throttle or maximum power mode selection is by a switch on the control panel.
The new engine offers improved handling of varying load demand, with faster speed recovery when increases occur. Clean combustion means Euro5 emissions standards are met.
The engine and electronics are fully enclosed within the sound-insulated carry case, protecting the components and minimizing operating noise. Dry weight is 21.1kg and even with a full tank of fuel the EU22i weighs just 24.2kg, the same as the EU20i. A large carrying handle makes it comfortable and easy to transport by hand.
External dimensions are identical to the previous model. Attractive new styling includes changes to the labels and controls, and improvements have been made to the recoil starter housing for improved resistance to wear.
A new fuel valve arrangement simplifies preparation for long-term storage. Selecting the appropriate position on the main engine switch allows the fuel supply to be switched off while the engine remains running until all the petrol in the carburetor has been consumed and the engine stops. Draining the carburetor in this way before storage helps prevent problems including carburetor clogging caused by stale fuel, and ensures easier starting when the generator is needed again.
Parallel operation is possible with all Honda’s inverter generators. Because electrical output is controlled electronically, two similar models can be linked together using dedicated cables, available from Honda as an accessory. The pair of generators then behave as one, providing double the electrical output of a single unit for more demanding applications. Connected in this way, two EU22i portable generators can supply up to 3.6kV of super-clean sine-wave current. The EU22i also has a 12-volt, 8.3A DC output socket, ideal for battery charging direct from the generator using an optional adapter lead.
Maintenance is easily carried out through access doors in the case. Engine oil changes are needed every 100 operating hours and are easier and cleaner than before. Improvements to the engine oil filling and changing process reduce risk of spillage and include an extended rubber channel to contain oil while emptying the sump, and a much larger diameter filler opening simplifies top-ups and allows filling direct from a can. As previously, protection against damage due to low engine oil level is provided by the Oil Alert system.
Domestic and professional applications
The EU22i is easy to transport and carry and packed with features appealing to a wide variety of users. Its light weight and ease of starting, even after months of storage, ensures easy set up and use for activities such as camping to power home comforts including hair dryers, television and computers in remote locations. Ultra-quiet running makes it unobtrusive and suitable for use in busy campsites without disturbing near neighbours.
Work applications include providing reliable, clean power wherever needed. The new EU22i is ideal for construction sites, TV and film production, catering vehicles and mobile medical centres where its inverter technology means generated power is suitable for the most sensitive medical equipment. Easy starting, long operating times without refuelling and low maintenance requirement make it suitable for demanding regular use.
The new EU22i is also an ideal stand-by power supply for the home and garden. Suitable for powering sophisticated computer-controlled electronic devices it also has enough power for many power tools making it easy to carry out DIY and gardening tasks away from mains supply.
For those demanding clean electrical power in the most remote locations, the EU22i is ideal.
The current Under the Pole 3 expedition is undertaking an ambitious three-year worldwide study of under-water eco-systems. The project commenced in 2017 and essential equipment includes two Honda Marine outboard motors and an EU20i, due to be replaced during 2018 by the new EU22i as soon as stock is available, allowing its superb performance to benefit the Under the Pole team.
Deliveries of the new EU22i are due to start in late January and full information is available from all Honda Industrial main dealers.
Power output (Watts)
Noise level (rated power) 91 dB (A)
Fuel capacity (litres) 3.6
Continuous operating time (h) 3.2–8.4
Dry Weight (kg) 21.1
Engine GXR120, 121cc, 4-stroke, Euro5 emissions compliant