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Old 09-21-2007, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

that sounds expensive.
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Old 09-22-2007, 02:23 PM   #12
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

http://www.carrollstream.net/index.htm some of you folks might want to take a look here for some ideas i will throw my idea out there also to add to the confusion or help which ever most of my experience comes from big trucks but very similar a lot of guys are using an apu [aux power units] if you want to buy on they from 6 to 10 thousand but i was thinking of one of those liqiud cooled diesels they can be used for other stuff as well preheating the engine in cold weather hot coolant plumbed to a heater core for heat or maybe even a home made radiant floor system the possibilities are end less but some of the apu s reportadly burn 1/10 of a galon per hr i wish i could find some one who has used these ones on the web site im sure they are the same as the ones sold under hanzi diesel iam thinking of a small liqiud cooled diesel turning a 150 amp alternator or 2 mostly for cold starts and to reduce idle time in the winter up north for my truck well food for thought anyway
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:28 PM   #13
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RE: Lawnmower engine geni

My neighbor was throwing out a perfectly good push mower today, so I nabbed it up and I'm going to try to build one of these lawnmower engine powered generators. I did some reading on this site and it says 3-5hp should be enough, theres no sticker on this motor but it's a good size Briggs & Stratton and it runs great. Also I found when I removed the engine there's already a pulley on the shaft, that should save me a lot of work.



I went to the junk yard and found an alternator off an 85 Pontiac for $20, it appears to be a single wire style alternator which from the website is the easiest one to use. I did a google search and it looks like this alternator is either 56 amps or 78. I'm figuring at even 56amps @ 14 volts that will put out 784 watts which is a good match for my 750 watt inverter.



The alternator has a v style pulley and belt that match the pulley on the lawnmower almost perfect. All I gotta do now it build the base and mounting plate.



One thing I've read with the single wire style alternators is it may put too much strain on the motor when I'm trying to pull start it. I'm thinking to remedy this I could make a quick connector for the battery to the alternator like this. Then I could start the lawnmower/alternator contraption and then connect it to the battery. Does that sound doable to you guys?

Are there any holes in my plans here that you guys see? Any input/ideas are apprecieatd.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:55 AM   #14
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

if you have one of those harber freight or some other junk tool store near by, you might just want to buy a switch. I bought a fancy master power switch for the new bus for like 3 bucks or something silly.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:47 PM   #15
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My Lawnarnator

I picked up one of those switches and finished my Lawnarnator today. In all I've got $37 into it. $21 for a used alternator & belt, $9 for 4 feet of 1.25"X1.25" bracket metal, $4 for a switch and $3 for some wire connectors. Not bad for a 750 watt generator.

I hooked it up to my bus and did a test run. Before starting the motor the batteries were at 12.5volts. I hooked up the alternator to the batteries with my modified jumper cables and started the motor. Then flipped the switch and the voltage jumped to 14.5 Then I went inside the bus and started turning everything on - my dorm fridge, tv, radio a few lights... when I turned on the TV and fridge the mower engine changed tone for a second, sorta like a mower hitting a thick patch of grass, but then returned to normal... Everything's been out there humming along for a bout a half hour now. I took some pictures and a video.



Switch - to the left of the alternator.



Lawnarnator in action with TV, dorm fridge, and a few lights running off the inverter - battery voltage at 14.18

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Old 05-17-2008, 06:02 AM   #16
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

nice to have a cheap generator, but I don't think your neighbors in the campground will like you.
Did you try running all your lights and appliances and totally bypassing your batteries?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:49 PM   #17
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

i like it it olmost looks like a redneck go cart put a big glasspack on it timbuk
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:43 PM   #18
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada
nice to have a cheap generator, but I don't think your neighbors in the campground will like you.
Did you try running all your lights and appliances and totally bypassing your batteries?
almost all alternators require batteries to operate properly. Without a battery most alternators are unable to regulate their voltage.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:48 PM   #19
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada
nice to have a cheap generator, but I don't think your neighbors in the campground will like you.
Did you try running all your lights and appliances and totally bypassing your batteries?
I might see if I can rig a $20 car muffler on it to quiet it down, although it's not any louder than most generators are.

It's quieter than a train whistle I think.. haha
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:40 AM   #20
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Re: my ideas for a electric generation

I love it Phil!

I've been thinking of doing something similar sometime. I have an old monster Leece-Neville in the basement given to me by a fire chief cleaning out his basement. (I don't even know if it's a generator or an alternator. It's just big and heavy.)

p.s. - don't EVER run anything DC that you care about on an alternator without the batteries. The batteries filter the AC pulses (and any spikes) from the alternator.

I once had to remove the radio out of a fire pumper in a volunteer department. The battery disconnects on this particular rig were solenoids controlled by rocker switches on the dash, right next to the red light switches. A new member had been getting driver training, and while driving down the state highway through the village, he reached over and (accidentally?) disconnected both batteries. He created a "monument." In the wink of an eye, he popped all the light bulbs and blew up the radio, electronic siren, diesel engine controller, and just about anything electric that was powered up. All he and the trainer could do was sit and wave at the people stuck behind them until the tow truck came.
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