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Old 12-03-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
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Automatic generator on-off?


When we go places with Millicent, specially Burning Man, we have all kinds of uses for 110 Volt AC power -- but rarely for very long at the time. So we fire up the Honda EU3000 -- and then we have to remember to shut it off again.

Recently, a pretty good idea came along for a very efficient electric refrigerator; buy a chest freezer and use it as a fridge with an added-on thermostat. The anticipated 110 consumption was something like a few minutes per hour. And the EU3000 would have enough power.

But how to make the EU3000 start and stop as needed? The technology no doubt exists. Refrigerated 18-wheelers work that way.

The EU3000 has a starter with a key, like a car. But it also has an old-fashioned manual choke, which could be a problem to automate.

Any of you electrical wizards...?
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:58 AM   #2
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

another thought-

over on one of the truck conversion sites that i follow, 1 guy claims that he uses a chest freezer, runs it about 1 hr a day to keep it frozen and then uses a cooler for refrigerator/daily use.

My thoughts, use a 7 or 10 ft chest freezer, keep at least 4 gallon jugs of ice in the coldest part, rotate 1 or 2 of them into your day cooler every day, try to keep them from melting, freeze everything that you can freeze in advance and move what needs to thaw to the cooler a day ahead of when u want to use it.
try to open the freezer only once or twice a day,add a layer of insulation around the outside of the freezer, use/build a super insulated cooler.


also look at the coldplate refrigeration systems that they put in cruiser type sailboats for ideas
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:34 AM   #3
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

Top link.

http://tinyurl.com/ylyh24k

*edit* Upon further reading it would appear that this one is better. http://www.sunent.com/miscpage_007.asp
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:03 AM   #4
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

Do a quick search for Sun Honda Remote Start and you should end up with:

http://www.sunent.com/miscpage_007.asp

If you go down the page you will find a PDF that gives instructions on how to install their Remote Starter in the 3000, I am just not sure if its a generic kit or you have to find a model specific kit. *edit* Right above the PDF is a pair of Ebay links, the kit is the left one.

The PDF:
http://www.sunent.com/images/SUNENT/...onInstruct.pdf
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?


You folks are marvellously helpful!

Looks like both the Hayes and the Sun have an actuator for the choke. The Hays plugs the wiring in, while the Sun requires soldering.

The automobile type might also be worth looking at -- had not thought of those.

But I would still need to get rid of the wireless feature and replace that with something that senses when power is needed. These wireless thingies do nothing but save me a short walk. I don't mind the walk. I'm looking to completely automate the process. And preferably by good-old-fashioned hard wires.

So... so far we have solved half the question. We have found hardware that will operate the ignition switch and the choke.
But I would like to be able to leave camp in the morning and still have hard ice cream in the evening -- without running the generator all day.

Hmmm... Maybe the best answer is to build the chest freezer into a box with 12 inches of extra insulation on all sides, and then I might not need to run the generator more than two or three short times a day, when I'm in camp anyway?

Maybe I have cancelled my own high-tech question with some plywood, styrofoam and common sense?!

Yes, I do enjoy brainstorming.

Right, a generator should not be started with a load on it, so it would need the delay relay mentioned above.

These wireless "key fobs" scare the heck outta me. No such demonic device shall ever be used in Millicent! I have seen too many garage doors open by themselves when nobody was home.

All right -- it's warming up outside, so I can work on the barn.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:19 PM   #6
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

so, it's really all about the ice cream , as previously suggested, reseaarch the cold plate technolog that they use in sailbouts, it's actually derived from the early dairy/milk delivery trucks, you are also on the right track with the super insulated freezer box. thirty years ago while i was in florida i built a super ice chest/cooler to use at weekend long island parties, 3 inches of polyiso insulation enclosed in fiberglass and then installed in a plywood box to protect it 2'x2'x4' approximately 60 gallons, put it in the boat & then filled it up add some dry ice on top keep it out of direct sunlight and only open it a couple of times a day, worked real good and is still in use in fl buy the now middle aged party crowd.

if you want to do a freezer, find a hvac dude to help you get the compressor and condensor outside of your thermal envelope, also look around for used walkin cooler/freezer panels to assemble a custom thermal box out of.

the other thing is it really helps to keep the box as full as possible, anything to keep air exchanges to a minimum
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?


The E-Z Kold Kottager units with "cold plate" technology looked interesting -- until I saw that they cost around three Grand.

I'm thinking more like a $300 Sears unit plus some styrofoam and whatnot.

I like the idea of relocating the compressor and condensor outside the super-insulated "crate". Like a miniature central AC for a house. I know some A/C techs.

I still have the dead full size refrigerator that I laid on its back to hold Dry Ice in 2008. Might be able to put a small chest freezer inside it, and pack the void with insulation and thermal mass.

Yes, there SHALL be ice cream all week! (And I don't trust propane).

Good brain storm! Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:37 AM   #8
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

Read the "Cross Time Engineer" series by Leo Frankowski...Just do a search for Conrad Stargard and you should have no problems finding them...

But, in the book, he makes Ice Houses by making a huge building with a smaller building inside, then packs the middle space with sawdust and hay. It would then keep ice gathered in winter just long enough to go gather more the next winter. I remember reading in some history book in highschool that this method was used. I bet (guess) that 6" of sawdust would work for a day.

I wonder if there is a box that when it detects a loss of power, it can send a pulse, and another pulse when power comes back... Wire it to the remote, let it hit the buttons electronically.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?



There must be hundreds of old county roads around this nation named "Ice House Road". And that's pretty much how those facilities were built, yes.

Surprise -- they taught you something true and useful in high school!

I'm now leaning towards super-insulating the freezer with extra styrofoam, and turning the generator on manually just a couple of times a day. I can buy huge blocks of styrofoam fairly inexpensively at a local factory.

It is not unusual that I talk myself out of my own ideas!
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:18 PM   #10
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Re: Automatic generator on-off?

check on the R value of any insulating foum and opt for the best insulation, probably polyisocyanite, the brown stuff
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