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 Post subject: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:52 pm 
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I'm thinking about doing some combination backup power / renewable energy at my house (combination of solar, batteries, grid interactive, generator, etc). I have a pretty good grasp on the electrical stuff, but I'm looking for a decent generator engine (doesn't have to be new or complete) on the cheap. I want something that's pure-sine-wave, so most of the complete small gensets are out. I'm expecting to have to mate and engine and a head. Here's what I'd like to have:

- Biodiesel compatible (love to have SVO/WVO, but that's asking a lot with newer diesels). I'm okay with something lister-type if doesn't have "collector pricing"
- able to produce enough HP for about a 5kw load continuous and 7500w peak (that's pretty much most of the house sans AC)
- common enough to be able to find parts or mechanics to work on it if need be
- not huge (i.e. 2/3 cylinder max
- oil cooled (I want a decent duty cycle, not a lawnmower engine).
- Doesn't require a lot of work to make it run (i.e. not a rusty junkyard special)

Any thoughts on where to look something that fits the bill, like out of what old application? I thought about an old VW TDI, but figured it was way too big and would be hard to adapt from all the automotive systems.

Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:42 pm 
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Dan-
I'm wanting to do the same thing. I have a surplus of WVO and need to do something with it.
I have a few worn-out 1.6 VW diesels (non TDI) that I'm thinking of re-building, they work fine on WVO blends and can drive a generator via a belt drive. You need the belt drive so you can up the RPM so the engine runs at its peak HP and efficiency (low RPM) while the generator needs to be at 60 Hz. The Inject. pump can be modified for constant RPM by any competent pump builder. If you are going to charge batteries with it, pure sine wave, perfect 60 Hz, etc is not that important. Run your critical loads off an inverter from your battery bank. That's the best way to tie solar, etc all together. Do a Google search for vw diesel backup generator.. Its been done.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:09 am 
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My intent is to have a quality inverter/charger for brown/blackout backup and solar integration with the hope that the batteries can handle the load for short-term utility outages and off-peak time in extended outages. The challenge is the integration of a genset for extended outages (which, admittedly, are rare where I live) when the batteries will need charging and/or the house load (cooking, AC, etc) exceeds the capacity of the battery bank for startup load. In that case, I need something that will take the place of the utility source (i.e. pure sine and an auto-transfer).

Thanks for the info on the VWs. It's a long-term pipe dream anyway, so it might just be on the project bench for a while :)

Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:22 am 
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You know you want this Dan :twisted:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... number=192

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 Post subject: Re: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:19 pm 
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That one would be about twice the capacity I need and more than twice the cost. Nice, though. If there was a good source of little yanmar 3-cyl tractor engines, that'd be great.

Unfortunately, I live hundreds of miles from any major crop farming areas, so it's hard to get local deals and l leads here. I wonder if anyone has a VM-Motori turned into a gen-set? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Like your thinking!
Some have sourced out those older Lister engines around here through eBay at a reasonable price. There are a lot of people doing just what you are working on.

Lister type 13,500 watt diesel generator with electric start
http://www.generatorsales.com/order/09935.asp?page=L09935

Keep hunting you'll find it.........

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 Post subject: Re: Small Veg/Bio generator ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:51 am 
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At the moment I am also thinking about buying a generator. I am not sure which one I should buy. At them moment I use generator rentals but I thought it would be a good idea to buy one. Will check different offers and hopefully will find a good offer. SLS thanks for sharing the offer here. Will take a look at it.


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