Portable generator to an socket outlet


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Old 01-15-14, 12:07 PM
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Question Portable generator to an socket outlet

So I'm a high school student tasked with just building something. I decided to make a Stirling engine that will lead to a generator that will then lead to a socket outlet so you can plug in whatever you'd like. I've figured out that I can build the Stirling engine, and that I can then connect it to a generator, but what I'm curious about is if you could then connect the generator to the outlet. Would it just be a matter of getting a little power strip and wiring that to a wire coming from the generator? And if it's not likely that i would be able I would be able to get enough electricity from a Stirling engine to do anything like that, would it be possible to story the electricity that comes from it and then from that stored electricity go to an outlet? Any information/ideas at all about this little project would be appreciated. Thank you.

-Griff
 
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Old 01-15-14, 12:33 PM
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Generator Project

Will the generator be a DC generator or an AC generator?
 
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Old 01-15-14, 03:53 PM
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From the way he worded it, I think he wants to do 120V AC.

Which he can probably pull off by using the Stirling to run a small car alternator and inverter, but it will be limited to a couple hundred watts. I don't think he'd be able to achieve a stable enough speed or enough torque on the Stirling to maintain 60Hz output from a regular genny head.

If you go the alternator-inverter route, you can also add a small car battery to store power for use later.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 04:48 PM
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A car alternator is basically AC output. They use to sell an adaptor so you could run 120 volt tools from your car alternator. I haven't seen them in years though so they may not be compatible with modern alternators.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 05:55 PM
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Technically yes - 3 phase AC at that, but that is before the diode block. I'm not sure what method those adapters used.. They may have tapped the windings directly and fed the AC through a step-up transformer. The maximum DC output of an unmodified alternator at idle speeds with the windings at full-field is only about 20-25VDC. Of course that will go up as the RPMs increase, but even at 20V it will fry every piece of electronics in the vehicle. I would also be very hesitant to plug anything but a universal motor into something like that, given that the output frequency will probably not be 60Hz, so it would probably smoke anything electronic.

Connecting the Stirling to an alternator via belt, and using a cheap 150w inverter to step it up to 120VAC is going to be his best course. That way he doesn't need to worry about precise speed calculations and regulation to maintain the output. That's the same way they make the small Honda generators.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 07:31 PM
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Why not just use a pre-made engine? Coupled to an alternator or generator head on a nice cart will meet the requirements IMO.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 07:38 PM
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Justin I believe the primary purpose of the exercise is to build and demonstate a sterling engine. I doubt it would have the power to run a generator head.

Here is what $180 buys"

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https://www.stirlingengine.com/produ...tirling-engine
 
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Old 01-15-14, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith
Why not just use a pre-made engine? Coupled to an alternator or generator head on a nice cart will meet the requirements IMO.
Why not just go buy a pre-made generator?

It's a school project dude. He has to put work into it.
 
 

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