A number of folks have asked me recently, what’s available in a small diesel for charging batteries. We have come up with a solution we think will work very well. In an off-grid home, camp, rv, boat, or whatever, a good quality inverter will run appliances much better than a engine generator, due to superior frequency and voltage regulation, and the ability to handle startup surges on equipment without browning out. What we recommend is you let your battery / inverter system handle the loads, and you use the gen to specifically charge the batteries. John Ferguson at http://www.woodnstuff.ca has a 3hp (1.5kw) Lister Petter diesel that is perfect for this job. Combined with a special purpose alternator and charge controller, this will keep your batteries charged with minimal fuel usage, a long life engine, and minimal fuss. Add some solar or wind to the mix, and you may not have to run the gen that often either.