portable generator

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Old 02-09-04, 08:57 PM
bpress
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portable generator

hello,
does anyone have plans or information on how i can build my own portable electric generator? i need about 5500 watts. thanks in advance!
ben
 
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Old 02-09-04, 09:22 PM
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If you are starting from scratch and are just trying to come up with a power source you can't save much money by building it.

Perhaps you already have a generator and/or an engine. A horizontal shaft engine works the best. I've built a generator with a vertical shaft engine before and it's a pain. It would be best to have a welder so you can construct a base. Just couple the engine shaft to the generator with some kind of flexable coupler, turn the governor up to 3600 rpm (assuming a two pole generator) and you're ready to rumble.
 
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Old 02-09-04, 09:30 PM
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Do a Yahoo! or Google for "homemade generator" and you'll get lots of hits.
Any of the ones I saw were not much more than 1000 watts.

For $600-$700 the Troy Builts at the mega home centers can't be beat.
 
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Old 02-10-04, 05:04 PM
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Generac is good also. Nice wheeled 5500 watt ones at Orange Box.
Andy
 
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Old 02-10-04, 07:36 PM
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Be careful with the 5500W at the depot. It does not have a automatic voltage regulator. If a large load is place on the gen, the voltage will bounce a bit more than an equivalent one with an AVR.
 
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Old 02-10-04, 09:03 PM
bpress
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orange box?

andy,
what's orange box? is that a retail store?
thanks
 
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Old 02-11-04, 06:50 AM
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I think the term "orange box" refers to the Home Depot.
It has an orange logo and is called a big box store.
 
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Old 02-11-04, 08:10 AM
bpress
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orange box

Doh!
 
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Old 02-11-04, 08:36 AM
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Yep, that's the Orange Box.
As with most generators, it's always wise to start the biggest loads first to allow the genny to settle down before starting smaller more sensative loads.
I do like gennys with AVR, but they are expensive, and unless you are running electronics, regular generators seem to do fine.
BTW- I built a "homebrew" generator once with a 8HP horizontal engine and a belt driven generator. It ended costing almost as much as a storebought one, and it didn't work as well.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bpress View Post
hello,
does anyone have plans or information on how i can build my own portable electric generator? i need about 5500 watts. thanks in advance!
ben
ARISE DEAD THREAD! (actually this subject is always relevant)

I built an inverter-based generator a couple of years ago. Puts out only 1800W, but the concept can be scaled up to 5kW or 10kW. I used a 6HP B/S key-start lawnmower engine belt-driving a Delco CS-144 (140A) alternator, which charges two 50Ah batteries and powers a Xantrex Prosine 1800 inverter. Beauty here is- AC output still available when engine shuts down to re-fuel. 12V terminals allow connection additional batteries if longer silent-power is needed. Also allows for jump-starting cars w/dead batteries. AC output sinusiodal & VERY clean. Email me for pics.

Steve
 
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Old 09-16-09, 02:03 PM
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Well, unless you have quite a supply of cast-off equipment available to you this is going to be an expensive project. The inverter alone is about $1,500. Add another $300. for deep cycle batteries, a few hundred for the engine, a couple of hundred for the alternator and a couple of hundred for other supplies and you easily have more than two grand invested before you even assemble the rig.

Although I have no doubt it works, and probably works well, it sure isn't a low-cost system and there would be no no overall warranty.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 09:12 PM
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Commercial generators are a bargain. Unless you already have nearly all the parts you need to build one, it will cost more in parts to build than to buy a Commercial Off-The-Shelf product - even even if you pay retail. Also, you can be reasonably sure that COTS product will work or can be exchanged for one that does.

-- aside --

A couple of years ago and five days after an ice storm which left a lot of Tulsa, including us, without power, I went to "The Orange Box" (Home Depot) looking for more candles for light. They didn't have candles, but did have 6kW generators on sale for $400! They could have sold all these generators they could get for almost any price, but were selling them at a $100 loss each "as a service to the community" according to their service rep. I bought one and was able to run some lights and - best of all - heat (gas with electric forced air - don't work without electricity even if the gas is fine) for the duration. It was mid-December, so the heat and light was welcome.

I appreciate HD for this. The same generator listed at nearly $600 later, so I believe the rep's statement was true. Even at full retail, it's a marvelous piece of machinery.
 
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Old 09-17-09, 02:18 PM
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I am contemplating making a diy generator, but it's economical for me because I already have:

Battery (Numax 105ah deep cycle)
Engine BS 3.5hp (a touch underpowered, but have a small load
600w inverter for lighting, laptop, fish tank, tv (not all at once)

Only need:
Alternator
Pulley
Belt
Cabling

Unless you have somthing like this it is not worth it.
 
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Old 09-22-09, 02:23 PM
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Inverter = $500.00
Engine = $110.00
Alternator = $26.00
Generator frame = $50.00

All new from eBay.

Batteries = Free (Had them lying around)
All remaining hardware ~= $200.00
Total: Just under $900.00

While this setup is more than a gen-set from Homey or Lowe's, it puts out Sinewave AC power cleaner than the utility, and with big enough batteries, gives silent power for quite a while. Want more power? Scale it up. Want less power? Scale it down.

07bloomfieldb:

A Delco 10SI (by far, the most common alternator, ever) rated at 63A should fit nicely with the 3.5 Briggs and 600W inverter. If your battery is a deep-cycle type, just be careful to watch the charge rate from the alternator. You might need to augment the voltage regulator with a current regulator to prevent too high a charge rate.

-Steve
 
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