alternator generator

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  #1  
Old 11-24-03, 12:59 PM
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alternator generator

This may seem like a kind of odd question, but it possible to make a generator out of an car alternator. I dont really want to spend the money to but a generator. I have a small hunting camp and was wondering if i could make some kind of generator just to power a couple of lights or something. I have heard of this being done before but not really heard how. I have a whole bunch of old cars with engines around my house that were just parked in the woods and was wondering if these would work. I also have some small Briggs engines around. Thanks
Butterfingers
 
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Old 11-24-03, 01:17 PM
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im not sure but what about power inverters?



http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....OVMTC=standard
 
  #3  
Old 11-24-03, 02:59 PM
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i never really thought about a converter although i dont really care what kind of power i have. I would prefer ac but i guess dc would work for lights. From what i understand from reading about alternators on the internet (wich is next to nothing) the produce ac power but then i dont know how they would charge a battery. Anyone have any ideas? thanks
 
  #4  
Old 11-24-03, 04:02 PM
rocketir
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Alternators make 3 phase AC current but then these pass through diodes which then produces a DC waveform. Can't really remove the diodes as the frequency of the ac is directly proportional to the speed of the alternator. An invertor is the best solution.
 
  #5  
Old 11-24-03, 06:41 PM
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So an alternater powered by a small gas engine will make me some dc power?? I found exactly what i sort of want to make. It says it makes 400watts. I have this exact same engine in my garage just taking up space. I tried to attatch the picture of it but i dont know if its going to work. Thanks again guys
 
  #6  
Old 11-24-03, 06:46 PM
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the picture is also on this website

thnaks

http://home.no.net/slampis/generator.htm
 
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Old 11-24-03, 06:59 PM
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This would be a great post for the electrical forum and the small engine forum. My limited experience with small engines has taught me that not all engines are alike. For example, did you know that the blade on a lawn mower engine is part of the weighted flywheel system. This design makes those low end engines very low priced. However, on specific applications that do not have a weighted accessory, the fly wheel has to be much larger, thus the engine is much more costly.

My point is merely that there is probably useful information in other forums, so don't overlook them.

From an automotive point of view.... I think a power inverter is the way to go for such a project. If you use the power inverter alot, then you can expect the alternator to wear out prematurely. I have personally seen alternators that have been ruined, (i.e. little or no output amps and volts) because those vehicles have power inverters installed. Under continuous use, you can work an alternator to death. This is not a noteworthly affect if you only use the inverter on occasion as most people do.
 
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Old 11-25-03, 06:54 AM
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IMHO...

...I'd just go to the farm/hardware store and buy a regular generator..they're designed for what you want to do. Automobile alternators are not designed for that type of continuous duty
 
  #9  
Old 11-25-03, 02:35 PM
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A small 1000 watt generator can be bought new for 170 bucks and will run lights.An alternator puts out 12 volts so you need to convert that to 110 so now you have spent the same or more.
 
  #10  
Old 04-10-08, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by butterfingers View Post
So an alternater powered by a small gas engine will make me some dc power?? I found exactly what i sort of want to make. It says it makes 400watts. I have this exact same engine in my garage just taking up space. I tried to attatch the picture of it but i dont know if its going to work. Thanks again guys
ARISE Dead thread!

There are many websites dedicated to homebrew generators. I built one last year (generator, not website ). Send me your email and I will send you pics of it.

As far as automotive alternators not being rated for continuous duty, this is incorrect. No disrespect intended toward lugnut here, but your alternator is constantly producing electricity whenever the engine is running, even on long, cross-country roadtrips. Also, under much more extreme conditions than the light-duty use it would see as part of a home-brew gen-set. The temp under a car's hood can approach 350-400degrees F, for hours at a time.

What does matter, is how the alternator part of any home-brew gen-set is connected, and the loads it will be asked to power. Say, for example, you have an old 3.5hp B&S vertical-shaft engine (by far, the most common one laying around), a 63A Delco 10SI alternator (by far, the most common alternator ever produced), a car battery, and a 500W DC-AC Inverter, then you have all the necessary ingreduients for a home-brew gen-set. The engine spins the alternator, which charges the battery (or batteries, if you wish), which, in turn, powers the Inverter, giving 120VAC output. Sounds rather convoluted, but when you bring it all together, it is the most common-sense setup i can think of. Your uses are not restricted to powering AC loads,. Now you can jump-start cars, power 12V campsites, or run the inverter w/o the engine, making 120V silent power whenever needed.

If you have no need for 120VAC, then simply eliminate the inverter. Keep the battery, though, because alternators' outputs will vary wildly with changing loads w/o a battery.

Here are a few websites with much more info on what you want to do:


http://www.thefarm.org/charities/i4at/surv/tow02077.htm
http://www.otherpower.com/maytag.html
http://www.qsl.net/ns8o/Induction_Generator.html
http://www.qsl.net/ns8o/genmenu.htm
http://www.qsl.net/ns8o/welcome.html
http://www.homepower.com/files/mark8.pdf
http://theepicenter.com/tow052903.html
http://theepicenter.com/tow082099.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/suverkr...7594298597820/
http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive...nerator_1.html
http://www.geocities.com/astro_van_1...Generator.html
http://users.telenet.be/b0y/
http://www.webpal.org/b_recovery/3_a.../generator.htm
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=532398

Any of them should give you enough info on what you will need, and help you decide if this is for you.

Hope this helps!

Steve
 
  #11  
Old 04-27-08, 09:44 AM
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wow thanks for the great reply....not often a thread this old gets a response, Not only did you revive the dead thread but my ambition to build a generator is also revived. I will have to go down cellar and round up my components. Thanks
 
  #12  
Old 04-27-08, 10:11 AM
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Reviving a dead thread is not always a good thing....
 
  #13  
Old 04-27-08, 12:32 PM
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Or, just use your car with invertor? It be quieter.

Noise drives some people nuts depending on the location/people around. I have the 600W invertor (can use cigarette lighter up to about 150 watts) in my car. Ran heat lamp in car this winter. Wish more bigger alt and invertor though, for powering more powerful things, including a regular space heater.
 
  #14  
Old 08-05-08, 12:00 PM
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Generator Pics

Butterfingers,

Sorry I didn't see that you sent me a p.m. wayyyyy back in April. I will send you some pics presently.

With regard to ecman51's comments, engine noise is definitely a concern. It makes no sense to home-brew a gen-set if the damn thing is too loud to use. When spec'ing out the engine (or buying/restoring it), try to get a super lo-tone muffler. Or better yet, in the true DIY spirit, try custom-fitting a car muffler system to see how really quiet it can be.

Another thought, the noise issue can be mitigated by the nature of the set-up: running the engine at lower speeds under light loads will also reduce noise.

Cheers,

Steve
 
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