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Author Topic: GENERATOR OR NOT?  (Read 17866 times)

Offline Shewmake

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2014, 07:22:53 PM »
We just had power restored an hour ago. I have made up my mind- buying a generator as soon as mommy says their enough extra peso to do so. We had plenty of drinking water stored, but were on the shy side for hygienic purposes. We ate well as all the goodies in the freezer were first to go. I have always believed in preparedness, and on the food and drinking water side we were fine, but the tank in the subdivision emptied in 24 hours after the power went out- so a few barrels of water for hygienic purposes will be in order.

I have to complement the members of our homeowners here for their quick action in clearing the roads of fallen trees, and finding a big generator to fill the tanks after a couple of days.

I hope the rest of the members, in the affected areas fared as well- take care.
Here for good,
Stephen

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month. Theodore Roosevelt

Offline swandivr

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2014, 09:59:59 PM »
Tell you what...if I could afford it,I would like to have some big honkin underground tanks installed.I would then direct all my downspouts to save the rain water for use later in the year.

I have also watched a couple of youtubes about the cheaper chinese diesel engines to make a diesel generator.I am inclined to try that option if the time ever occurs when I am flush with cash.Lol I wish i could determine what freight would cost as well as duty.

Offline coleman2347

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2014, 10:17:26 PM »
Tell you what...if I could afford it,I would like to have some big honkin underground tanks installed.I would then direct all my downspouts to save the rain water for use later in the year.

I have also watched a couple of youtubes about the cheaper chinese diesel engines to make a diesel generator.I am inclined to try that option if the time ever occurs when I am flush with cash.Lol I wish i could determine what freight would cost as well as duty.
Why not try a used Japanese auto/truck diesel?  Cheaper and more reliable IMHO the smaller ones are available surplus
The only thing worse than wanting to do it is not doing it

Offline swandivr

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2014, 01:19:52 PM »

Why not try a used Japanese auto/truck diesel?  Cheaper and more reliable IMHO the smaller ones are available surplus

More than anything else,it would have to do with fuel economy.Running a 6-10hp diesel has got to be more economical that a 4cyl import automotive diesel..at least i would tend to think it would be.

Offline coleman2347

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2014, 02:55:30 PM »
swandiver, I havent really checked, and dont know the hp available in used engines, I just had a old B model Toyota that I didnt have to buy..came from an engine swap I did in my BJ40, one of my theorys is that you always get bigger than you think you will need as the engine will not work as hard.   I looked on the web and found a site that may have what you want check this out...many pages so you will have to scroll them.
http://www.olx.ph/index.php/classifieds+directory/q/surplus+diesel+engine
The only thing worse than wanting to do it is not doing it

Offline Vicks

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2014, 04:41:09 PM »
As a nurse I had my own business for a few years. I had a custom Aerocel truck that I used to transport patients long distances. Inside the passenger area I had a digitally controlled furnace, laptop, printer, bed, table, desk chair, auxiliary lighting and roof top intake/exhaust fan. All these were powered by 2 deep cycle marine batteries that were connected to an inverter. They would easy power my items for 8-10 hours per charge. They batteries had a separator they would prevent them from drawing power from my engine starting battery under the hood. Once I was rolling down the road, and the start battery was at full charge, the separator opened and allowed current to flow to recharge my marine batteries.

I have also considered buying 4 marine batteries here and an inverter to run a lamp, a fan and my laptop. I have an inexpensive 2 cycle generator that was given to me as a present, but it takes 8-10 pulls to start the thing. Grrrr.
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.
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Offline Leinster Lad

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2014, 05:09:40 PM »
I have discovered a really cool inverter     http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5kva-4000w-48v-pure-sine-wave-off-grid-solar-power-inverter-MPPT-60A-charger-/131094766586?pt=AU_Solar&hash=item1e85db63fa

Even posts to the Philippines !

or this one     http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/8000W-48v-SOLAR-pure-sine-wave-Inverter-60A-battery-charger-solar-regulator-/130573676947?pt=AU_Solar&hash=item1e66cc3193

Is grid connected, and power just passes thru as per normal when the grid is okay. ( like a computer UPS )
In brown out, the inverter kicks in ( via connected batteries, 48 volts is the best choice ) and provides the power.
The inverter charges the batteries while the grid power is on.  ( 4 x 12V "marine" batteries ? )
Solar panels and / or a generator can also be connected to charge the batteries etc.

This actually looks really good  :D

Offline BingColin

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2014, 06:04:05 PM »
I have also considered buying 4 marine batteries here and an inverter to run a lamp, a fan and my laptop.

I know someone that did that but used an old car battery, it certainly worked but I don't know how long for.

Offline swandivr

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2014, 04:28:55 PM »
I understand that turbines are more reliable and effective for generating power.No idea if one could be powered by a small diesel generator..I have no experience with these things however,so I am at a loss.Sure wish I knew more...wild dash to the internet!!!

I am aware of the "dirty power" thing...just don't know what other options there are.When the power is off,I need to run the ref and freezer..can't afford to lose the good stuff that is refrigerated.

Offline Leinster Lad

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2014, 05:58:29 PM »
Swandivr, a "generator" is a generic term for a machine that creates electricity.

Making electricity ( at least mechanically ) involves moving a conductor ( wire )  field thru a magnetic field.
This part of the "generator" is called the "alternator" as it makes "alternating" current ( AC ).
This is normally done by having a stationary coil of wire ( the stator ) and a moving magnetic field ( the rotor ) 
Vary the number of turns in the stator, varies the voltage
Vary the rotational speed of the rotor, varies the frequency.
Vary the strength of the magnetic field, varies the output power ( amps )

The rotor is mechanically spun by some form of engine/motor.

A diesel or petrol internal combustion engine spins a crankshaft, which then turns the rotor of the alternator.
A "turbine" is another type of engine ( think jet airliner engine )
This type of  engine can be powered by expanding gasses ( via combustion of jet fuel or LPG ) or a large and constant flow of water ( hydro-power )

These are two completely different types of engine, that create a spinning motion, that can be used to drive an alternator........ to generate electrical power.

The link to the inverter that I posted above appears to be the easiest and  lowest maintenance option that once set up, requires no user input. It will just work automatically.

The batteries are constantly charged by the grid.
Solar panels and/or a generator can also be connected to keep the batteries charged as well.

Buy and use "grid" power when it is available..... make your own when the grid is down.





Offline fred

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2014, 04:43:54 AM »
Swandivr, a "generator" is a generic term for a machine that creates electricity.

Making electricity ( at least mechanically ) involves moving a conductor ( wire )  field thru a magnetic field.
This part of the "generator" is called the "alternator" as it makes "alternating" current ( AC ).
This is normally done by having a stationary coil of wire ( the stator ) and a moving magnetic field ( the rotor ) 
Vary the number of turns in the stator, varies the voltage
Vary the rotational speed of the rotor, varies the frequency.
Vary the strength of the magnetic field, varies the output power ( amps )

The rotor is mechanically spun by some form of engine/motor.

A diesel or petrol internal combustion engine spins a crankshaft, which then turns the rotor of the alternator.
A "turbine" is another type of engine ( think jet airliner engine )
This type of  engine can be powered by expanding gasses ( via combustion of jet fuel or LPG ) or a large and constant flow of water ( hydro-power )

These are two completely different types of engine, that create a spinning motion, that can be used to drive an alternator........ to generate electrical power.

The link to the inverter that I posted above appears to be the easiest and  lowest maintenance option that once set up, requires no user input. It will just work automatically.

The batteries are constantly charged by the grid.
Solar panels and/or a generator can also be connected to keep the batteries charged as well.

Buy and use "grid" power when it is available..... make your own when the grid is down.

Leinster.. Yes seems like a good idea that inverter..
The expensive part of that system would be the batteries I think.. You would also need some kind of control switch so as not to overcharge or undercharge.. From memory,deep cycle batteries shouldn't really go below 30/40% charge.
10 X 100ah batteries fully charged carry about  7000 watts.. That includes deductions like the 30/40% that shouldn't be used.
To power them with solar,I reckon you would need about 15 X 80 watt panels..
I`m just doing the math in my head here.. Check with the experts before you buy!!

Offline BingColin

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2014, 08:40:04 AM »
A simple backup system would be to build a small platform on wheels/casters and mount a 12v battery, charger and inverter. You could also add a 12v light and fan (used here in jeepneys). Charge it when you have power and wheel it to the computer or TV etc during brown-outs. It would be good for the more common short brown-outs but not for long term. This could be expanded and made permanent when you can afford to add solar panels.

Offline Leinster Lad

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2014, 09:59:46 AM »
Hi Fred, The inverter that I linked to does everything automatically.  No need for change over switches or chargers etc.
And you are spot on with your statement of 30 - 40 % discharge.
Lead - acid batteries can tolerate 80% DOD  ( depth of discharge )  but it does shorten their life.

4 x 12 volt car batteries would be fine, and give maybe a couple of hours power.

4 x 12 volt  heavy duty "marine" batteries ( usually rated at 200 amp/hour )  would give a storage of  48V x 200A = 9,600Kw
This will run 10 x 100 watt globes for 10 hours.

Electric forklift batteries are normally rated at 1000amp/hour.............

The problem with lead / acid batteries is that they do produce explosive hydrogen gas, and they are full of acid.   bit of danger right there.

LiPo batteries are a LOT safer.......... just more expensive and harder to find.

The beauty of the linked inverter is that it is very flexible and does everything automatically.  set and forget if you like.

You can also add some solar panels that will charge the batteries ( instead of paying for power from the grid to charge them )

This inverter is actually wired into the house, between the power meter and the fuse box.  as i said,  set and forget.

The "trick" with all of this ( that most people overlook ) is that your house will RARELY use that much power all at once.
( an A/C rated at 3000 Watts will NOT use 3000 watts of power, hour on hour.  its AVERAGE consumption should be more like 1500 watts per hour.....1.5 kWh )

If you take REGULAR readings of your power meter, you will soon find out exactly how much power you DO use, WHEN you use it, and what your AVERAGE power consumption is.

You will then know what size solar / inverter / generator / flux capacitor to install  ;D

Offline BingColin

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2014, 10:51:06 AM »
I assume that a 'linked' inverter is one that is permanently wired in and will take over the whole power consumption. This may be the ideal solution, but could be expensive for both inverter and batteries. Most people only need an emergency supply for things like fans, light, tv etc. aircon is good to have but certainly not essential and fridge/freezers can survive a few hours without any problems.

If you can afford it, a fully off grid solar system is ideal, but most people can't and only require an emergency backup for perhaps up to 5 hours. I accept that a full system will pay for itself in time but some of us will not be around long enough to reap the benefits  :(

Offline fred

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Re: GENERATOR OR NOT?
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2014, 12:56:20 PM »
Colin.. I would have agreed with that before..
But when we got cut off for a week because of an earthquake and then a whole month because of a typhoon that struck hundreds of miles away from us I have since changed my mind!
Our local power company are struggling financially because of the recent disasters and there`s always the possibility that the power will simply go off one day and perhaps not come back on!
I think I could near enough be  independent here for about 2000 Quid in regards a solar system..
2 things I did learn during these power cuts..
1. Everybody wants a generator and an emergency light at the same time. Nothing available 2 days after power was cut..Sold out everywhere.
2. I bought myself a cheap inverter from our local Bombay store and used my diesel vehicle as a generator..Worked wonderfully then and still does during the ordinary shorter brownouts we still get occasionally.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 12:58:16 PM by fred »