Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have gone through several generators. we need to build one that will not burn out.

My there is that we could use a small car motor and run it at idle speed (500 rpm?) and still have enough hp to turn a good size dc electric motor at a fast enough speed to generate enough power.

our solar power does not work in the middle of the winter because there is not enough sunlight. very frustrating.

I hate not having enough electricity. I have done every thing possible to cut down the amount used. But there are some things that just need it.

I hope that some one has experience in this.....HELP!!!
 

·
Still an :censored:
Joined
·
15,870 Posts
I don't know if you're talking about the engine or the generator end itself. If it's the generator you need to get familar with NEMA winding ratings. You also need to understand the difference between standby and prime ratings for generators. It's highly doubtful you'll find a generator with a prime rating in a store or from a dealer specializing in home units. Put simply a prime unit can be run until some elapsed time for required maintenance. Even the small ones can be run continuously for months. That rating is an indirect measure of the quality of the engine.

If you doubt this look at the warranty exclusions on consumer units. The reality is in the fine print.

If you're building one yourself, a diesel block is better than gasoline simply because of the block itself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,905 Posts
Hunt for an Onan 1800rpm model. They are well built, and last a LOT longer due to the lower rpm. The typical standby generators run at 3600rpm and simply scream themselves to death.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
well I don't know anything about generators. But we were trying to generate electricity by pedal power and I can maintain about 35 watts for a half an hour.

we are not interested in buying one. only building one. we have a DC motor that could produce some thing like 125 volts.

stepping 500 rpm up, is the easy part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,883 Posts
My money says that you have fallen prey to the cheap stuff from the big box stores.
Yamaha, Honda, Onan make good stuff.
Ford Industrial 4 cly are very good . .but they run at far more than 500rpm . . .

What big loads are you putting on these "burn't out" gens. . . ?????
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
We have gone through several generators. we need to build one that will not burn out.

My there is that we could use a small car motor and run it at idle speed (500 rpm?) and still have enough hp to turn a good size dc electric motor at a fast enough speed to generate enough power.

our solar power does not work in the middle of the winter because there is not enough sunlight. very frustrating.

I hate not having enough electricity. I have done every thing possible to cut down the amount used. But there are some things that just need it.

I hope that some one has experience in this.....HELP!!!
what are you using in the past or now?

what burnt up?

heat is the major reason they normally burn up, and that is usually do to over loading, pulling to many amps,

what is your current power source, and how are things regulated?

alternators are more efficient than generators, and a DC motor would probably not produce a regulated power,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Jawnn, I think what you need to do is take a step back and first answer more important questions like "why are the generators burning out?".

They are pieces of mechanical equipment, and if you're not maintaining them properly, most likely no solution people can whip up for you is going to have any longevity either.

Getting back to the previous responses, what is buring out, the electrical motor, or the gasoline engine? What kind of load is the unit getting and how is it shut on and off? How frequently are you doing maintainance like oil changes, sparkplugs, and air filters? Do you keep a log book to document generator run times? Has your unit stopped because of low oil? What is the frequency between runs and how long do you run your unit with what load? What location is the generator being run at?

I've got a 6kw Delco to power my homestead's well pump, and it's been a reliable performer except to a few isolated hicups. I'd try to anwer the questions above before you concider going the DIY route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
now that you got me thinking, it could have been the voltage to the batterys and controller was too low. we used 12 volts for every thing untill recently. i am not the tech, I can't say exactly what was going on. but I will ask questions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,554 Posts
So I take it you are saying you are using the generator to charge a battery bank that powers your house with 12v? Is that a back up for a solar system or something? Or is it the only power for the batteries..

Sounds to me like there's something wrong with the way things are hooked up.. Pretty hard to toast a generator charging batteries..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,587 Posts
.............Your controller should be able to manage several sources of electricial power based upon the load you place upon it ! One of those inputs should be a generator with electicial starting capability . The controller should beable to automatically start the generator when the load exceeds the total capacity of inputs minus the generator . The quality of the power output and efficiency of the generator is directly proportional to the amount of $$$$$ you are willing to spend on a quality generator .
.............The Inverter generators made by Honda are THE Best available , bar none ! A Honda 6.5kw inverter genny will run $3999 , new plus or minus freight and state sales tax . As has already been stated the older Onan gennys that came in motorhomes made power at 1800 rpms , even better are the water cooled models that were installed in boats , IF you can find one . , fordy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
well I don't know anything about generators. But we were trying to generate electricity by pedal power and I can maintain about 35 watts for a half an hour.

we are not interested in buying one. only building one. we have a DC motor that could produce some thing like 125 volts.

stepping 500 rpm up, is the easy part.
I would think a car alternator would work, most car alternators (new should last 3 to 4000 hours under automotive use,

some thing based on this type of system

http://home.btconnect.com/brettoliver1/bicycle_generator.htm

if you need more voltage there are 24 volt alternators, for trucks and some farm equipment.

(alternators have a working speed they need to run in to work properly) to slow and they will not generator much and may over heat, and to fast they may fly apart, so one would need to find out what the operating range is and do some calculations to get it in the correct range, from your power source

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
build your own alternator/generator,

small engine (lawn mower) type engine alternator/generator build,
http://theepicenter.com/tow082099.html

both vertical and horizontal units,
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top