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Old 06-25-2004, 05:41 PM   #1
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generators

Last fall someone donated this lovely generator to the bus project.

I didn't do a real good job at intigrating the new beast into my skoolie. I mounted it, and ran the electrical, but never permanently mounted the fuel tank or added an access door to allow me to get to the generator for maintance ect.

I only used it twice last fall....and it's just an object that's been attached to the bus ever since. Two weeks ago i tried to start it, and nothing happened. UGGGGGG First she needed to be removed from the bus. Then I did a lot of work, including rebuild the carb and now she seems to run fine.

I'ts an ugly 1970's single cylinder kohler 1,800 rpm 120 volt 4kw generator with really low hours. It's really quiet, since "full speed" is just a bit faster than idle.
Most generators spin at twice that speed, which = twice as many exhaust strokes and lots more noise. There is also a handy built in squirell fan that moves tons of air across the cooling fins, allowing the geni to be mounted inside a cabinet without fear of overheating. Being in an insulated enclosed structure makes for even more sound deadening.

I just did a test today to see how long she'd run on a gallon of gasoline. I plugged in the block heater for the bus (1,500 watts) and a 500 watt halogen worklight which forced the geni to put out half of it's rated power or 2,000 watts. She ran for 1 hour and 57 minutes. Half a gallon per hour is perfectly acceptable for a free generator!
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Old 06-25-2004, 05:49 PM   #2
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now i'd like to wash prep and paint the generator. Then i'd like to build an insulated enclosed box around the geni. The box needs to have air inlet and outlets for proper cooling. Then i'll remount the generator to the bus.

She was mounted under the bus. I considered cutting a hole in the side and mounting her inside, but I think it takes up an uneccaptable amt. of living space. The geni does hang about 6 inches below the body, but i have yet to get it hung up on anything, even climbing over curbs and driving through ditches. It still has more clearance than the front step.

approximate measurments: 22" high, 22" deep 33" long.
appriximate weight: Really Really heavy ! It's more than 2 of us can pick up. I"m guessing around 400-500 pounds?? I'm not really sure.
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:16 PM   #3
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well....that generator fell off of the bus at 57 mph. That was pretty exciting. IT's done for.

I still have a 110/220 volt 6.2kw gennie that is my main source when i need a lot of power. IT's noisy, and uses a lot of fuel, but makes a lot of electricity.

Most electricity for the bus comes from my inverters. I have a 700w and a 750 watt. They run off of a pair of golf cart batteries. I just ordered another pair wich will give me significantly more reserve. They charge off of the alternator when driving, and i just recently ordered a.....i forget the name of the little gizmo that allows power to only be taken from the house batteries when the engine is not running but allowes both the starting and house batteries to be charged when the engine is running.
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:25 PM   #4
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I bet that gotta "what the hay!" out of ya. Hope it did'nt do any damage.
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:27 PM   #5
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my new idea.....

I have a gasoline powerd pump that runs the jets on my jacuzzi. It's a honda power plant. @ 3,600 rpm's it's relatively quiet and fuel efficient.

I would like to install a pully on the shaft of the engine to run a standard GM 65 amp alternator while running the pump. This could be used to keep my house batteries up to snuff while running the jets in my jacuzzi.

Someday when i get rich i want to spend the 1K dollars on the honda EU2000, but right now i just can't bring my self to spend the money.

anyone have thoughts or suggestions about my new idea?
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:41 PM   #6
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How about a ford alternator with a seperate voltage regulator so you can maybe adjust your amps unless you already have the GM, and I dont know but wont you have to slow down the rpm? 3600 is WOT for most cars and I think it would be tough on your alternator. May be a larger pully on the alt would help.
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Old 03-29-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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i already have the GM alternator. I like the build in voltage regulator. As for 3,600 rpm's, i don't think that's too fast for an alternator. They are usually geared (with pullys) to spin much faster than the crankshaft of the auto engine. I read somewhere that 8,000 rpm was the max speed for most alternators. I"ll expirement with different pully sizes to see which seems to work best. Alternators are cheap, so if i ruin one or two it's not a big deal.

One thing about the jets on the jacuzzi i forget to mention in the previous post....to make the jets work well, the motor needs to run at 3,600 rpm but for general filtering when nobody's in the jacuzzi, the pump runs much closer to idle.

One problem with the built in regulator is that the alternator will try to put out max. amperage until the batteries get up to the proper voltage. This is probably faster than i should charge the batteries. I think they are rated @ 220 amp hours total for the four batteries.

do you have good info on how to alter a voltage regulator for a ford alternator to only put out 20 or 30 amps ?
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:04 AM   #8
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No I dont know. but I figured you could buy them set for diffrent amprige. Thanks for the info about the max rpm for an alternator.
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:43 PM   #9
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here is an excellent resource for anyone who has the desire to understand the inner workings of an anlternator in plain english.

among other things it tells you how You can run most alternators in excess of 120 volts DC for light welding, to run some 110v motors, lights ect.


[/img]http://members.1stconnect.com/anozira/S ... rnator.htm[img][/img]
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