Group 1 Honda Generator-Analysis

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Subsystem Interactions


Fuel Tank

Fuel Tank

  • Components
    • Container
    • Fuel Level Indicator
    • Fuel Valve
    • Fuel Line
  • Functions
    • Stores Fuel within the container
    • Displays fuel level to user
    • Transfers Fuel to engine
Starter Mechanism

Starter Mechanism

  • Components
    • Pull String
    • Electric Starter
    • Battery
  • Functions
    • Transfers energy to crank shaft to start engine
Control Panel

Control Panel

  • Components
    • Throttle Adjuster
    • Choke
    • Circuit Breakers
    • Outlets
    • Start-Run-Stop Switch
  • Functions
    • Allows the user to send different signals to the engine either electronically (Kill Switch) or mechanically (Choke)
    • Transfers electrical energy from generator to user via outlets


  • Components
    • Piston
    • Cylinder
    • Spark Plug
    • Flywheel coil
    • Cam Shaft
    • Crank Shaft
    • Engine Block
  • Functions
    • Receives gasoline from Fuel tank
    • Converts Chemical Energy (Gasoline) to Heat and Kinetic Energy
    • Transfers Kinetic Energy to Generator


  • Components
    • Armature
    • Generator Housing
    • Commutator Coils
    • Stator Coils
    • Wiring
  • Functions
    • Receives Kinetic Energy from the engine via Crank Shaft
    • Converts Kinetic energy to electrical energy via commutator spinning within the stator
    • Transfers electrical energy to Control Panel via wiring

Subsystem Connections

Engine Generator Connection

  • Physical
    • The commutator assembly is pressed on to crankshaft
  • Energy
    • Rotational energy from engine crankshaft turns the commutator within the stator to produce electrical energy
  • How are they connected?
    • Engine piston is bolted to crankshaft
    • Commutator assembly is pressed on to the crankshaft
  • Why are they connected?
    • The engine is connected to the generator in order to convert the chemical energy of the fuel, to rotational energy of the crankshaft, which generates electricity by spinning the commutator within the stator
    • This type of connection eliminates the need for excess transmission components between the engine and generator
    • This type of connection ensures a controlled and balanced rotation of the stator within the commutator

Control Panel Connection

  • Physical
    • Control panel is bolted to the generator frame
  • Signals
    • Mechanical or electrical signals are transmitted to the engine where the function of the signal is carried out
      • An example of this being the use of the electric start button being pressed and the signal being transmitted to the starter motor to start the engine.
  • Energy
    • Electrical energy is outputted through outlets on the control panel for use by the operator
  • Why are they connected?
    • The control panel is bolted to the frame to provide the user a neat display of the controls and power outlets
    • This connection also provides a cover over the engine to minimize the chance of injury

Fuel Tank Connection

  • Physical
    • The fuel tank is bolted to the top of the generator frame
    • Fuel lines carry fuel from the tank to the engine
  • Mass
    • Gasoline fuel is contained within the fuel tank
  • Energy
    • Chemical energy is contained within the gasoline
  • Why are they connected?
    • The fuel tank is connected in this manner to ensure a gravitational force to transfer the fuel through the fuel lines using a gravity fed system
    • The fuel tank also provides protection against injury by minimizing the chance for contact with the hot engine or any moving parts

Starter Mechanism Connection

  • Pull Starter
    • Physical
      • The pull starter is bolted to the flywheel
    • Signal
      • When the cord is pulled it initiates engine rotation
    • Energy
      • Requires human energy to pull the cord
  • Why are they connected?
    • The pull starter is connected this way in order to ensure the the motion of pulling the cord will initiate engine rotation to start the engine
  • Electric Starter
    • Physical
      • Electric start button is bolted to the control panel
    • Signal
      • Electrical signal from pressing the button starts the engine
    • Energy
      • Electrical energy is transmitted along a copper wire to the engine to start the engine
  • Why are they connected?
    • The electric starter is connected to the control panel to ensure a convenient, readily accessible location
    • The electric starter is connected this way to keep the electrical components that the operator will use in a close vicinity to each other
      • Components include engine start, run, stop switch as well as the electrical power outlets



  • Gasoline was selected as the fuel because it is readily available throughout the developed world
  • Generator was designed to be taken apart with simple tools that are internationally used
    • Screwdriver
    • Socket Wrench


  • Plastic was selected as covering for the wires because it is cheap as well as a good insulator. Rubber could have been used, but would have been more expensive.
  • Steel was selected for the majority of the components because it is cheap as well as a conductor
  • Same sized bolts, nuts, and washers used
    • Allows manufacturing costs to be kept down because only manufacturing a few of the same components


  • Engine is seal with gaskets to prevent harmful chemicals from leaking out of generator
  • Environmental concerns was not a high priority during the design of this product
    • No catalytic converter in the muffler


  • US outlets are used because of where the product is intended to be sold. US outlets are the standard type of electrical receptacle in the united states. Appliances made for use outside the US will not have this standard plug, and will require an adapter/converter.
  • System is designed to minimize possibility of injury
    • Entire system is placed within a cage
    • Control panel is large enough to prohibit contact with moving parts
    • Fuel tank prohibits contact with moving parts from above
  • Designed to be moved easily
    • Wheels on bottom of generator
    • Frame can be used as handles when lifting and moving generator
  • Electric Start
    • Enables more people to start the engine with ease, don\'t have to be strong enough to start manually


  • The engine and generator are located next to one another so that the crank shaft is traveling a short distance to provide a high electrical output, whereas if the engine and generator were not located adjacent to one another, the engine power would have to pass through a gear train. Because of the extra friction involved in transmitting power though additional gears, efficiency of the generator would be reduced.

Arrangement of Subsystems

The reasoning behind why each subsystem is placed in the location it is, and any restrictions on where it can be placed within the generator

Fuel tank

  • Reason for location:
    • The fuel tank is located on top of the generator because it acts as a roof for the generator protecting it from debris
    • Allows it to be easily accessed to be filled with gasoline
    • By locating it above the engine, gravity can be exploited to feed fuel into the carburetor, as opposed to a fuel pump.
  • Restriction:
    • The fuel tank stores gasoline, which is highly combustible, which prevents the fuel tank from being stored near the engine.

Starter Mechanism

  • Reason for location:
    • Located on outside so user can pull the cord without obstruction
  • Restrictions:
    • Has to be attached to crankshaft to initiate engine rotation

Control Panel

  • Reason for location:
    • Located on front of generator so user can easily access all of its functions
    • Provides barrier between user and moving components of engine
    • Located away from heat sources to prevent fire
  • Restrictions:
    • Must be isolated away from heat sources due to the fact that the electrical components will be damaged due to excessive heat


  • Reason for location:
    • Located inside the frame beneath fuel tank to protect the user from being burned due to the excessive heat it generates
    • Located next to generator to turn the shaft which ultimately generates the electricity
  • Restrictions:
    • Can not be located near fuel tank due to the combustible nature of gasoline
    • Can not be located near control panel due to the heat sensitive nature of electrical equipment


  • Reason for location:
    • Location behind control panel and under fuel tank to prevent electrical charge from escaping
    • Located next to engine to provide the highest efficiency output
  • Restrictions:
    • Needs to be connected to crank shaft to generate electrical current
    • Can not be near heat sensitive sub-systems such as the fuel tank or control panel

Arrangement of Subsystems Diagram

Subsystems Diagram