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Author Topic: Gaaa... power outage!
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
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Icon 3 posted November 12, 2007 18:47      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A big storm blew us up real good here in B.C., and we just finally have the power back on after about 20 hours.

Heh, we were watching Blow up, that great 1966 movie about the photographer blowing up a photo and suspecting he's accidentally photographed a murder. The tension was building and building as he made the photograph larger and larger... he was just about to make the discovery... then the power went out! [cry baby]

Anyway, good to be back. [Smile]

Posts: 8111 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1659

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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 03:37      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Snaggy _______________________________ What the Geekculture main castle doesn't have a UPS on the telly. How un geeky.

If you are thinking about a generator get one big enough to run the well if you have one. It sure is nice to be able to flush the toilet.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 04:28      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan _________ All this talk about a wind generator and now a backup generator reminds me of an idea I had as a teenager.

My parent's house always lost power in storms and being not in a rich neighborhood we were always the last to be hooked back up.

My idea was to get an old diesel engine from a rusted out truck ($50 special at a junkyard) and then to find an old decently sized electric motor (also in the $50 range at a junkyard). I wanted to connect the drive shaft of the diesel to the drive shaft of the electric motor and voilŗ, theoretically it one has a generator.

Both my parents and my grandfather, all having degrees in electrical engineering, told me this wouldnít work to supply power to a house because to regulate the voltage, you have to regulate the throttle of the diesel, and every time there was a different electric load on the electric side, the diesel engine would have to be re throttled. They said electric throttles are expensive and they didnít know how one would be connected to a diesel engine for a truck anyhow.

Having a different background and being more of a tinkerer, do you have a easy cheap way to control the voltage of a self built generator of this design?

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 06:00      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ashitaka __________________ Good question. On decent Generators the throttle controls the RPM for frequency control, the windings in the stator are arranged so that there are series and shunt windings to control the voltage, back to the field windings.

For the tinkerer the easyest would be to spin a car generator or alternator with a large lawn mower engine and then run an Inverter off of batteries.

From the above one can see that if you had a big enouh UPS and a set of jumper cables you could watch the big screen during a power outage.

My plan would be run the windmills into elecric heaters in the crawl space under the house, that heat would perculate up into the house causing the propane furnace to run less. If I had excess then I would invert to 60Hz and spin the electric meter backward, but heat first because the propane is more expensive.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
hal9000
Geek
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 16:23      Profile for hal9000   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Big Gens, used

The one i like is here

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P.E.B.K.A.C. if you can fix this, you can fix anything.

Posts: 183 | From: VA under a bridge living in a van. | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 16:52      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hal9000 ______________________________________ I have modest electrical needs so a 7.5 Kw unit is over kill, However We use a 5Kw because of the loads starting the pump in the well. When starting electric motors a little excess helps.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 23:17      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
MoMan _________ All this talk about a wind generator and now a backup generator reminds me of an idea I had as a teenager.

My parent's house always lost power in storms and being not in a rich neighborhood we were always the last to be hooked back up.

My idea was to get an old diesel engine from a rusted out truck ($50 special at a junkyard) and then to find an old decently sized electric motor (also in the $50 range at a junkyard). I wanted to connect the drive shaft of the diesel to the drive shaft of the electric motor and voilŗ, theoretically it one has a generator.

Both my parents and my grandfather, all having degrees in electrical engineering, told me this wouldnít work to supply power to a house because to regulate the voltage, you have to regulate the throttle of the diesel, and every time there was a different electric load on the electric side, the diesel engine would have to be re throttled. They said electric throttles are expensive and they didnít know how one would be connected to a diesel engine for a truck anyhow.

Having a different background and being more of a tinkerer, do you have a easy cheap way to control the voltage of a self built generator of this design?

Electrical regulation is easy- you'd just need a heavy duty inverter to take 12VDC and make it into 120VAC @ 60 Hz.

When it comes to auto-throttling the motor, I have a picture in my mind of a solenoid-controlled throttle body (or what accounts for a throttle on a diesel engine- you know, those crazy disc-thingies). Control that using a current transformer circuit and, if I remember correctly, an integrating opamp circuit, and the force the solenoid exerts on the throttle will be proportional to the current going through the line; since the voltage is more or less constant, this means that your engine would burn more fuel as the amount of power through the line increased.


The thing is, you'd have to carefully calibrate the solenoid pull-distance, because 1 horsepower equals about three quarters of a kilowatt. So you wouldn't have to add much more fuel to generate more power.

I know your question was meant for the MoMan, but it was an interesting problem and I thought I'd post my thoughts.

Snaggy: we had crazy-ass winds down my way, as well. On monday night I was travelling back to my town from my parents house, and I saw trucks that had been toppled by wind and I myself was almost blown off the road a couple times. Several transformers got pwnd, and in the town of Anaconda several large trees were uprooted and crashed into people's houses.

There was an awesome amount of energy in those winds... too bad it couldn't have been harvested and stored for later [Geek]

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2007 03:39      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
nerdwithnofriends _________________ Actually controlling a diesel is quite easy think old tractor and take the governor off. Stepper motor controls are easyer than proportional solenoids but the tractor makers solved that problem a long time ago.

Now the railroads use a different method. All engines have a RPM zone where they are the most efficent, they set the diesel govener to the center of that range. Then the speed of the Loco is controled by varying the field control on the generator hooked to the diesels. Very good method of Continuosly Variable Ratio drive. The auto Companies are playing with Mechcanical drives to achieve the same result. CVT as the acronim, right now GM is leading the push but have not adopted to production because of reliability issues.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Dave
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Icon 3 posted November 15, 2007 16:28      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ashitaka_____ We used to have a 1950-something Massey-Ferguson tractor (I forget the model) with a centrifugal governor. This device, which resembled a generator or starter motor, broke into the throttle linkage between the throttle lever and the carburetor. It was spun by the crankshaft and would pull open the throttle whenever the engine started to bog down. We also had a Ford 8N which may have had a CG - I know it was available on that model. I also know there are a few companies in the US that make replacement parts for antique tractors, if you ever feel the urge to revive the project.

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I'm not normally like this, but then I'm not normally normal.

Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Dave
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Icon 3 posted November 15, 2007 16:36      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Generators_____ My parents just moved into a new house in town; they had it equipped with a standby genny that's fuelled straight off the natural gas network. Starts automatically after about 30 seconds; does an automatic self-test once a week - pretty much a hands-off system.

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I'm not normally like this, but then I'm not normally normal.

Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
hal9000
Geek
Member # 9896

Icon 10 posted November 15, 2007 22:55      Profile for hal9000   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pedel Faster damm it!!! The lights are dimming.

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P.E.B.K.A.C. if you can fix this, you can fix anything.

Posts: 183 | From: VA under a bridge living in a van. | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 16, 2007 03:25      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hal9000 _____________________________-Back when I first got interested in Amateur Radio one of the one by twos (very prised call, mine is a two by three) had an old military surplus field radio. You guessed it, a stationary bike with a hand crank also. Now it was not too hard to keep the low speed light unlit while the radio was recieving but you sure could feel when the operater went key down.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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