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Old November 10, 2017, 22:28   #1
D P Six
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Gas to propane generator conversion

I got caught short on gasoline during the recent hurricane so I want to convert my 7.5 portable generator to propane to eliminate storage issues. Conversion seems straightforward (watching youtube) but is the change reliable and not just and after thought? I will buy a propane gen when it becomes necessary (a Duromax 1200???). I know liquid cooled and diesel are much better but my bank book says 'No way!' What do you think?
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Old November 10, 2017, 23:37   #2
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Some of the kits allow you to switch back and forth, other kits don't fit well. Do your homework on your brand of genset before buying a kit. The universal kits usually don't fit anything.

They stopped making my genset a few years ago that I wanted to convert so now I am looking at dual fuel gensets. Some of the newer dual fuel inverter sets look very promising and don't break the bank.
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Old November 13, 2017, 07:47   #3
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I have tri-fuel kits on three generators and my portable welder. Use natural gas, propane and gasoline. Propane is darn nice as easy to store, doesn't go stale and burns clean. When get a minute will check brand of kits I used as have had no issues.
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Old November 13, 2017, 14:25   #4
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I had a conversion done on my 8kw. IIRC I mailed the carb off to an outfit in Maine, they sent it back with a port in it for propane/NG, a demand regulator and some hoses. Works fine. on gas and NG, never tried propane, but if it works on NG, surely will on propane with a tune and adjust.
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Old November 14, 2017, 05:08   #5
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I have Motor Snorkel kits on two of my generators. They have an interface requiring input of brand, model number and engine information so they match one of many kits to your machine. Came highly recommended by a local generator shop but my welder did not cross referance on their site so rigged a generic kit that works but not 100% happy. Later when talking to one of their reps said they had what I needed but the online interface didn't have welders referenced at the time but was able to find one and its in a pile to be swapped when have some spare time.

https://www.motorsnorkel.com/motor-s...-kit-3529.html

The two (both Generac) with motor snorkel kits have run perfect. They have tons of cool stuff including remote start kit which will go on new generator when we find the unit want at right price. That way if have freak ice storm and not at home wife can push button and generator starts without going outside. All she would "have" to do is flip main breakers in panel to isolate house from grid and turn on breaker(s) that feeds generator into panel. I can snap outdoor disconnect at meter and tidy up other details when got home as long as I had fuel valve on which with propane is less issue than gasoline. I don't like transfer switches and automatic systems as require too much additional wiring, unless spend big bucks don't have enough circuits for entire house along with complicated auto start circuitry on generator that can leave you with dead generator if goes south plus I like a pull start option.

Have a Generac 10,000 watt commercial generator and trifuel kit. It is wired into fuse panel using a spare dual gang 60 amp 240v breaker. New generator we are looking at is a commercial 17,500 watt with 22,500 watt surge and has two 240 volt outputs so would be able to feed panel from two lines going to two 240v dual gang breakers. That way if a fuse pops on one circuit just turn some big stuff off till get outside to reset it. Have added so many circuits and more equipment in 20+ years since installed the 10,000 watt unit need more watts so don't have to worry about overloading the generator. And yes, already know there is a trifuel kit available for the 17,500 watt Generac.
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Old November 14, 2017, 06:13   #6
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i did two. seamless, simple. a drill, some epoxy, a few nuts and bolts to mount the demand regulator. kits were purchased through U.S. Carburation. go with a dedicated conversion as a gasoline / LPG will yield a net output loss of apx 20% on LPG due to the vent needed in the carb for gasoline.
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Old November 14, 2017, 11:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flopshot View Post
i did two. seamless, simple. a drill, some epoxy, a few nuts and bolts to mount the demand regulator. kits were purchased through U.S. Carburation. go with a dedicated conversion as a gasoline / LPG will yield a net output loss of apx 20% on LPG due to the vent needed in the carb for gasoline.
Notice you have multiple generators stacked in your shed. Mine is masonry between generators and house and then frame construction with all framing treated with fire resistant paint type coating and fire proof/sound proof insulation so can't even hear generators running unless outside of house and close to enclosure. Have a 10,000 watt bolted to pad and room for more. Have a pair of 2,000 watt generators in garage that can be paired if need for 4,000 watt run with 5,000 watt peak as backup. Have the big three phase diesel mounted in trailer and keep at work. Goal is to take off trailer and pad mount in another enclosure at house with a mid sized pole pig and three small pole pigs so can use for small power substation for us and neighbors if they cooperate.

This is the big diesel at work keep at the ready to put where needed as needed.



Shopping for new primary generator now and looking for a deal. Came close twice to having one in truck but want either a 15,000 or 17,500 watt Generac commercial portable can bolt to pad next to the 10,000 watt unit. Run house off the new big unit and use the 10,000 watt as backup or could split main floor of house and basement and use both to pour the power in like we are fully in the grid with headroom. Most likely going to set a second panel and let the 10,000 watt machine keep battery stacks topped off and then shut it down.

This rack recently was finally installed to augment existing home ham radio shack dedicated battery stacks.



This is at work but home radio shack has very similar setup below radios so can go to emergency power quickly and then go turn on big stacks when not in middle of a critical communication.



This is my big radio stack at work and have one just like it at home for radios plus three others that feed inverters to power critical 120 volt systems. Have a 240 volt inverter but sucks battery stacks fast if light it up.



This is not a stack at my house as don't want to show my personal house stacks in place as almost impossible to photograph without giving away too much of the layout of our panic room and/or entrance to it but have three stacks this exact size of 20 year non pro rated warranty NiCad batteries. If one or more die or malfunction 19 years after installation then SAFT sends their tech to replace at zero cost to owner.



Between three stacks of the SAFT NiCads, three stacks of the FAT100's, the rack of 28's and multiple large UPS power supplies we can run silent and keep reasonably comfortable for 48 hours. Can run as if on generator, sans HVAC, on batteries for almost 18 hours. Can run the ham shack at work or home for 48 hours without the big H.F. amps or if keep use of the big amps to bare minimum. Generators are great but in a SHTF scenario might want to run my video surveillance, seismic, radar and radios along with keeping freezers cold, etc for a few days. Have the option of running a single or pair of 2,000 watt inverter generators to keep batteries topped off if have a period where high power pull from H.F. amps or the big U.V. illuminators pull batries down. Really like the option of big burly brute that will run three houses if conservative in draw down to small 2,000 watt inverter generator and then ability to pull the solar panels and wind generators out of storage.

Now, as to your stack of generators... How do you have them set up. I know of no way to synchronize the phase of multiple large machines and can only pair inverter generators unless have dot gov budget. If you have a method of phase matching would like to know what your doing. Do you have home split up so they run separate systems or areas of home? Also like the use of multiple mid size machines where pull start capability is an option. Why I have the 10,000 watt commercial job site machine and shopping 15kw to 17.5kw commercial job site machines for my new primary. We are finishing out an efficiency apartment in basement and may run it off its own panel and then use the 10kw machine for it. So many options when have multiple machines. Add in the big Miller stick or TIG welder/generator and small machines from work before days end could have seven generators sitting at house without buying anything with ability to run diesel, gasoline, natural gas or propane based on machine. Add in the batteries to lean on and my alternative in storage building feel we have power locked down till run out of fuel.

Have a 500 gallon propane tank, 500 gallon gasoline tank, 250 gallon diesel tank plus several 100 pound propane tanks along with 30 and 20 pound cylinders stashed everywhere. I want to try and set up a way to make biodiesel, ethanol, alcohol and methane. With loss of grid long term a septic tank plus composting trash could be leveraged for methane. Have more of all fuel at work but in real emergency getting it home would be an issue but if able to get the 1,000 gallon tank of propane home along with gasoline and diesel we would be good for two years. Your generators are interesting as with the US Carburation kits your using almost exact same concept as we are. How you actually pipe that into your structure and split it up for use is my big question. Do you use all three machines, two with a spare or mix and match based on situation and need? I could see using one for HVAC, one for upstairs and other for downstairs. That would be very similar to our idea splitting house up if can't find deal on big machine and have to sit a second 10kw machine next to existing. Have actually looked seriously at adding a pair of 7,500 watt machines and run upstairs off the 10kw, downstairs off a 7.5kw and HVAC off the other 7.5kw as can buy a pair of 7.5kw machines for fair amount less than a nice 15kw or 17.5kw single whole home machine but then have to split panel with a pair of subpanels.
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Old November 14, 2017, 18:03   #8
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Originally Posted by hueyville View Post

Now, as to your stack of generators... How do you have them set up. I know of no way to synchronize the phase of multiple large machines and can only pair inverter generators unless have dot gov budget. If you have a method of phase matching would like to know what your doing. Do you have home split up so they run separate systems or areas of home? Also like the use of multiple mid size machines where pull start capability is an option.
not running them in tandem. redundant assets only. two Mitsubishi 6700, one Mitsu 4800, one Honda 2200 and one Honda EU1000 inverter. primary lp is 250 gallon. plumbing and fittings on hand to run off any other configuration of lp tank if necessary. ten circuit manual transfer switch. i favor versatility over capacity. i gave up on gasoline as a primary fuel years ago and only the easily transportable units run on it. ALWAYS e free stabilized that i store at ground temperature and rotate monthly. 16 20lb cylinders on hand.
Huey, you have an impressive system. kudos.
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Old November 14, 2017, 19:41   #9
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Wall of Text Warning

Why I die without electricity:

If don't use a BiPap Auto Server Ventilator the two or three hours I do sleep then stop breathing every few minutes. First time in a sleep lab quit breathing so long they called a code blue and I woke up to a person bagging me and another starting compression's. Sleep lab did not have full crash cart and about to call 911 when I woke up and they had a fight on their hands. Nobody jumps me in a team while sleeping even a pair of Playboy Bunnies at Hugh's place without gently shaking and telling me need to start breathing like wife and climbing partners did.

Anyone that has seen one of these charts will see its not good and even if have never seen one will be able to tell its not the best situation.



Quote:
The Apnea–Hypopnea Index or Apnoea–Hypopnoea Index (AHI) is an index used to indicate the severity of sleep apnea. It is represented by the number of apnea and hypopnea events per hour of sleep. The apneas (pauses in breathing) must last for at least 10 seconds and be associated with a decrease in blood oxygenation. Combining AHI and oxygen desaturation gives an overall sleep apnea severity score that evaluates both the number of sleep disruptions and the degree of oxygen desaturation (low oxygen level in the blood).

The AHI is calculated by dividing the number of apnea events by the number of hours of sleep. The AHI values for adults are categorized as:[1][2]

Normal: AHI<5
Mild sleep apnea: 5≤AHI<15
Moderate sleep apnea: 15≤AHI<30
Severe sleep apnea: AHI≥30
So without a Cpapm BiPap or BiPap ASV over 30 is like worst case might die anytime go to sleep. On the best machine made I still have nights where my AHI is over 100. Basically the only thing keeping me alive is our God in Heaven. Have met Him and He sent me back. Hard not to believe when you die fairly regularly...









These logs are not worst case, worst nights. They are average. Doc says any night where my AHI is under 100 and slept over 2.5 hours was a good night for me. Usually the events keep ramping up and once get above 100 for a bit I wake up and am done. Will sometimes be able to go back to sleep. When see the numbers hit 130, was pretty much dead but too dumb to stay dead.

Some may take above statement as proof I am loony because they are not believers but die as often as I do for as long as I do and you will meet some interesting folks. Longest was not breathing in sleep lab was 3.5 minutes on a machine. Before the machine and was still climbing in the Andes above 6,000 meters it freaked out folks to the point nobody would sleep with in same tent with me period. I had to stop sleeping above 15,000 feet when that happened as without someone to wake me was when things got really odd.

Had one guy tell me after a mountaineering trip to Peru where we shared a single wall mountaineering tent at high camps in the 17,000 to 18,000 foot range and base camps at 14,000 to 1,5000 that he would never share a tent with me again because it freaked him out to wake up and realize he was sleeping next to a dead man. Give me a nudge and would wake up and start right up like jump starting a car but said I would be blue, grey or some color in between and what woke him was my snoring had stopped. For almost a decade wife did the same following an accident where I fell off a radio tower, landed on my head and fractured my skull.

Have posted pics here before of what back of my head looked like before. After that blunt force trauma that the doctor told wife only way I lived was a God Thing as by all accounts should have died, not gotten my equipment gathered up, called a friend and he kept me talking while drove back to my doctors as did not want to go into emergency room with open head wound and catch some funky staff infection in my brain. For a couple months would forget how to get home or even if I was on my way to work or way home from work.

Later took a bunch of tests thinking it had dain bramaged me but after two full days of testing with a psychiatrist that specialized in severe brain injuries said I scored in the 99th percentile but to this day still don't compute like I used to. Could do calculus in my head without a calculator or slide rule and now I can hardly manage algebra. Most days can't remember if I ate lunch by mid afternoon but two to three days later can tell you what I ate, where and exact time to the minute. Have a pause button between short term and long term memory on mundane stuff but if its an event of importance have almost photographic memory with no pause, its just little stuff like did I take my morning meds...

Have to keep a log so don't mess up and double down on the thyroid, adrenal and other endocrinology medications that came post cancer. Thus electricity is as important of a survival essential as breathable air and drinking water is to most. Can tell you what I took this morning now, what order and if I screwed up the Sunday and Wednesday no taking the thyroid med or Monday injection of testosterone. Till after lunch unless look at the log have no idea some days but it keeps getting better, could probably do o.k. without the log but its habit and makes the wife happy.

When go to bed have a pulse oximeter that wear like a watch and has a thing that goes over my bird finger to allow the device to read pulse rate and blood oxygen level then feeds it to a computer. Also have the BiPap ASV tethered to the computer and if for some reason I pull the mask off in my sleep and stop breathing alarms start wailing to wake me and wife. If really tired I can sleep through the alarm so wife has to come in and nudge me. we start off in same bedroom but once I start drifting she makes sure have the mask and pulse oximeter on then retreats to her bedroom. I flail around some and have a tendency to wake up in panic mode realizing am swinging my fists at a non existent foe. Odd thing is sleep with a 1911 under my pillow as have since a teen and rifles next to bed but never go into that type of panic and think a lifetime of trigger discipline even runs subconsciously.

Thus if I lose power or run out of my endocrine medication am a dead man walking. Up past four years of meds stockpiled now getting close to five. My BiPap is plugged into a UPS that I modified and has a 100 amp/hour telecom battery so if power went out and wife didn't wake sun would rise and set twice before the reserve power ran out. Change the battery in the watch monthly and the computer is tethered to a hacked UPS with two FAT100 telecom batteries Frankensteined into it. Had whole house generator with a backup along with television, stereo, surround processor, ham radio and all my electronics protected by large UPS's so that power surges, brown outs or lightning strikes eat the UPS and not equipment its attached to.

Once diagnosed with complex sleep apnea went totally electricity freakish. Luckily all the time I worked in the battery backup and generator service business for Ma Bell and several other Fortune 500's server rooms and hospitals like Grady Memorial in Atlanta have access to lots of batteries. Almost all batteries we do are in strings of four though some have up to six in a string. If one goes bad six months into a ten year service cycle we replace the entire string and the three good ones go home with me.

Was working for a company that subcontracted for Ma Bell and bankrupted. Had over $10,000 in the big NiCad batteries on my truck when went to the warehouse to re-stack my truck and was padlocked. Ma Bell didn't want them as involved in a lawsuit plus other rules they have about chain of ownership. The big NiCads are a serious HAZMAT issue to point that was at limit of what could legally transport on one truck. Now they are all stacked out keeping me ticking if grid goes down and the engineers say they should last 30 years no problem. The lead acids will die in 12 to 20 years keeping them temperature stable and good charge controllers running them so I should be good on batteries for life as still get enough jobs to keep fresh coming in on occasion.
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"If it is worth doing once...it's worth doing it a few more times to get it right." Stimpsonjcat
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