• WTB / WTS / WTT ADS
    All Advertisements, including Want to Buy, Want to Sell, Want to Trade, Belong in the MARKETPLACE ONLY. Any new threads posted offering an item for sale, looking to trade or buy an item which are posted outside of Marketplace will be deleted without notice or warning. Existing threads will be moved to marketplace.
  • Marketplace Feedback Ratings
    The Marketplace feedback ratings system is now back. You can now leave feedback for your Buy / Sell / Trade transactions. Instructions on how to leave feedback ratings can be found HERE

Generator, batteries & power supply

edporch

Well-known member
FALaholic #
12834
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Posts
754
Location
Indiana
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
I've recently updated my power system described earlier in this thread.

I upgraded my alternator to a Leece-Neville model A0017706AA.
This is a 165 DC Amp rated alternator that has external control of the field, and has internal rectifier diodes.

I also upgraded my battery bank to 4 Trojan L16H-AC's,
Each battery is 6 volts and 435 amp hours (at the 20 hour rate), and weighs 125 pounds.
So my total battery weight is 500 pounds.

I put 2 series connected pairs in parallel, and this yields a 12 volt bank rated at 870 amp hours (at the 20 hour rate)

I've kept my 6.5 HP Honda motor that I had originally.
This motor will in no way drive this alternator to anywhere near it's rated capacity.
But it does drive this alternator to the approx 80-85 DC amp charging current I need.
I should get longer life out of the alternator before needing to have it rebuilt, because I'm only using about 1/2 of it's capacity.

Additionally, my system is now mounted in the 14 foot cargo trailer I take up to the the woods, so all I have to do is park it, them simply plug a 10 gauge extension cord into the modified fuse box of my cabin.

I've been up in the woods since Friday, and this setup has held up well to the increased loads that I and a friend have put on it.

I will give a more full report as I refine this new system, plus will have some pictures.
 
Last edited:

ukhayes

Well-known member
FALaholic #
39532
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Posts
201
Location
Cottontown,TN
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
If buying an inverter/charger, be sure to get a tranformer based unit. They will be field servicable at a service center like ours. The new "quick switch" technology units are sealed and since made in China, no parts available. Stick with Xantrex, Magnum Energy, or Outback Power. They have readily available boards and are usually 2-3 year warranted.
 

edporch

Well-known member
FALaholic #
12834
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Posts
754
Location
Indiana
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
ukhayes said:
If buying an inverter/charger, be sure to get a tranformer based unit. They will be field servicable at a service center like ours. The new "quick switch" technology units are sealed and since made in China, no parts available. Stick with Xantrex, Magnum Energy, or Outback Power. They have readily available boards and are usually 2-3 year warranted.
The inverter I use with my system is a 12 volt DC in, 117 volt AC out Exeltech 1100XP.
This is a pure sine wave output unit with 1100 Watts output.

It's worked great for me.
 

Story

Well-known member
FALaholic #
7638
Joined
Oct 9, 2002
Posts
16,441
Location
Right here
Feedback: 28 / 0 / 0
Relevant paragraph from the article below, broken down for readability.

http://mayvillesentinelnews.com/page/content.detail/id/509595/Tilting-at-windmills.html?nav=5041

When I was a kid in the 30’s growing up on a grape and dairy farm in Ripley, my parents used kerosene lanterns for illumination. Kid’s homework and dairy milking was done by lantern light. In 1937 my father purchased a 2nd hand 32 volt, 750 watt Delco-Light Plant (a General Motors product) consisting of a one cylinder engine and generator installed in the cellar. 16 very large lead/acid cells in tall, square, clear glass jars lined the cellar wall. This battery bank supplied 32 volts dc to the home.

The barn was too distant from the light plant and lantern light was still used there. The dc voltage drop in the wiring would have provided perhaps only 20 volts at the barn. Direct current bulbs were available in 28, 30 and 32 volt versions. The bulb voltage depended upon the distance, and voltage drop, from the light plant to the bulb. To supplement the generator, my dad built and erected a 50 ft. steel tower, topped by a wind driven 32 volt generator.

If the wind velocity was 7 mph or more, sufficient wind power was generated and the noisy, smelly Delco engine in the cellar could be shut down. Kerosene used to fuel the single cylinder generator engine was expensive (perhaps 10 cents/gallon) and wind power was quiet and free.

However, if the wind velocity increased to say 30 mph, the generator would over-speed and corrective action was required. Who ever was present at the time had to run to the tower and pull a trip rope to turn the wind vane at a 90 degree angle from the generator axis. The propeller blades were stopped by rotating them out of the wind stream.

This was usually a “kid job.” One of us boys would climb the 50 ft. tower ladder to fill the lubrication cups with oil periodically. That was fun and the Lake Erie panorama was spectacular for an impressionable kid.

Dad purchased this “used” windmill in the fall of ’36. He spent the winter months in front of the kitchen stove hand carving and whittling a 6ft. propeller out of a hardwood log. He balanced it, and it ran vibration free. It was a work of art. The windmill and light plant went into service the spring of ’37 and performed well until the memorable year of 1940.

The magnificent “Rural Electrification Act” of 1940 enacted by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration caused power poles to be erected and 110 volt ac power came to the farm. Dad rewired our home and barn for 110 volt power. He sold the Delco-Light plant and the windmill tower to another farmer.
 

edporch

Well-known member
FALaholic #
12834
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Posts
754
Location
Indiana
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
linkable said:
Uh, at least 1/4 of the world's population HAS no heater fan, generator, fridge, or electric lighting, and they still survive just fine. So why bother with such niceties, or trying to prep for such? If it aint a worldwide collapse of law and the economy, why not just move to where things are ok, instead of putting self and loved ones at risk by staying in a blighted, high risk area?
Uh, there's many other reasons besides prepping for "a worldwide collapse of law and the economy" for building and experimenting with alternative electric power systems. :rofl:
 

TheDanimal

Well-known member
Contributor
FALaholic #
25945
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Posts
644
Location
USA
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
Here is one of my favorite recent purchases. They are working great and I love the charger as well. The first reviewer, Ned the Engineer, does a great job reviewing them.

Linky to batteriesLinky to charger

These are AA's by the way..not quite what we're talking about, but huge money saver.
 
Last edited:

G3isMe

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
6530
Joined
May 25, 2002
Posts
5,474
Location
Clinging to my Guns and Religion
Feedback: 333 / 0 / 0
Generators in Consumer Reports

The recent hurricane Isaac to hit the Gulf Coast once again got me thinking of buying a generator in preparation for a similar event to hit the Houston area. The latest issue of Consumer Reports, October 2012 issue, has a timely article on Generators. They rate medium sized units rated at 5,000 to 7,000 watts. The 3 highest rated portable models were the (1) Troybilt XP7000 30477 ($900), the (2) Generac GP5500 5939 ($670) and the (3) Troybilt 6000 30475 ($700). To my surprise, the $2,800 Honda was rated fourth. They also rate permanent generators.
 

Pinecone

Active member
FALaholic #
72992
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Posts
33
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
One thing to think about, is this to get through a power outage, or for living long term? For my use, it is power outages due to storms (snow or hurricane, etc)

I have a Honda 6500 watt generator. When the power goes out. I run it a while in the morning and a while in the evening, not full time. A few hours each, morning and evening, keeps the fridge and freezers cold. Gives us water for use (well). And with changing what is powered, I can heat up the water heater and take a hot shower. I can also run the furnace (oil) to warm up the house.

It will not power my central air, but if I need, I have a couple of small window AC units that I could run.

For light, we use battery powered LED lights or oil lamps. No need to run the generator for some light.

As for a fan heater, heating with electricity takes a lot of power (most small heaters are 1000 -1500 watts) so running them from a battery source is not the best idea.
 

Timber Wolf

Well-known member
FALaholic #
805
Joined
Aug 27, 2000
Posts
5,974
Location
Southern U.S.
Feedback: 14 / 0 / 0
Very interesting thread with a lot of good info. Because of a recent surge in interest in camping I finally decided to get off my butt and do something about running my CPAP machine on 12V. For those that don't know the CPAP is a air pump for sleep apnea sufferers. I can sleep without it but like it and rest much better with it. Anyway, after contacting the company that supplied it and a little research I settled on a Tripp Lite PV 150 watt inverter. It is non-intuitively small for the purpose but happens to work great even on the old battery out of my tractor (which is the old battery out of my truck). It should work even better with a real deep cycle battery which is my next avenue of research on the subject. Even so I am now set up for at least two nights (16 hours) of use on the CPAP off the old battery. My next move is to rig a plug off the 7 pin trailer light hook up on my truck so I can put the battery in the back of the truck and as I drive it will charge the battery. I think for my purposes (camping and emergency, storms & hurricanes in my case) taking every opportunity to charge the battery (while driving, a little solar, and when running the genny anyway) should get me by.

And as somebody else mentioned, the rechargeable AA batteries are the bomb. I have spent a lot of money on them but saved a small fortune not buying disposable batteries. If you have kids you know just about ALL their stuff runs on AA, as do a lot of swell flashlights.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
Past few days been very nice weather. Last night about 10 pm we noticed a bunch of emergency vehicles go past our house and soon traffic was backed up past our house and event was half a mile down the road. Didn't notice any power issues other than a flicker of our lights. Later got calls from a few neighbors asking how we were still on grid. Had to tell them we were running off generator.

Only got down to 34 degrees last night but a bunch of our neighbors had an uncomfortable night as power was not restored till 6 am. Eight hours without power in January is uncomfortable and they are lucky we are having above average warm temps. So just some person running into power pole paid for my whole house generator last night. Wife got to finish watching her movie. I got to sleep as had power for BiPAP ASV machine and we had heat.

There was no looking for gas cans, hooking up cords, yankuing on start cord of generator. Business as usual while rest of neighbors suffered. Buy your machines before you need them and life is good.
 

L Haney

Seriously Ponderin'
Silver Contributor
FALaholic #
20446
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Posts
17,163
Location
NW Ga
Feedback: 7 / 0 / 0
There was no looking for gas cans, hooking up cords, yanking on start cord of generator.
That's because you're not stupid, spent the money and expended the effort. You got exactly what you invested time and treasure into. Well done sir.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
Deep cycle marine batteries will be your bare minimum. Question is how often do you want to be able to deep cycle them and they recover a full charge. Luckily I ended up with a truckload of S.A.F.T. Tel.x batteries on the end of a job.



Each string is rated for 150 amp hours and unlike most batteries if you discharge more than 50% there is no permanent energy density loss. They carry a twenty year no question asked warranty. If they stop working 18 years after installed, S.A.F.T. replaces them with no pro-rating. For most the issue that they are extremely large nickle-cadmium units that if rupture turn your home into an EPA Superfund site.

You can tap each string as 12, 24 or 48 volts. The higher the voltage the more efficient your conversion to 120v AC using an inverter will be. While they are the best battery going if you don't end up with your client purchasing too many for the job, $3,000 dollars per string is a slap to the wallet. I have five strings sitting in a rack with all the rectifiers and auto switching electronics. Great for short outages and when you need to pull maintenance on the generator while grid is still down.
 

Wecsogery

Well-known member
FALaholic #
73856
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Posts
370
Location
Huntsville, AL
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
I agree about deep cycle marine (not marine/starting btw) being bare minimum, but that is only if you are only buying one. If you are buying two or more, go with 6V golf cart batteries as a minimum. L16s are even better, but more expensive too.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
If anyone needs professional batteries have a few grand worth that are driving me nutts keeping charged. From 28 amp hour to 130 amp hour all sealed and even some 20 year nicad packs the size of four diesel truck batteries sifting in a group. May even sell my three phase trailer mounted military diesel generator. Decided have way too many generators and batteries.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
Power blinked a few times and battery stacks picked up first few times. Then generator fired and transfer switch kicked in. News says local to expect power outage to last all night. Wife didn't have to miss a minute of Stevie Wonder special. (She toured with him several years along with any non caucasion band of the late '60's and '70's). She would have turned inside out if missed last half hour.

Even in North Georgia, never know when an ice storm is going to take down our grid. T.V. going, popcorn in microwave and tumblers still cleaning brass. Weather service didn't send up significant alert earlier so doubt folks even made the mad bread and milk runs. Think I will try and take a nap.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
Almost 12 hours into our little southeastern storm and one thing realizing short on DVD's. If a group of people are locked up in same structure, like in war the troops get a movie night to help morale, I have my battery stacks and generators but the cable went with the power. Have board games, cards, books but wife and I only have about 30 to 40 DVD's. Never been big on collecting movies.

Looks like I am going to have to scare up a diversity of entertainment. Battery stacks full charge, main generator humming along, HVAC keeping us toasty warm. About to cook breakfast and make coffee. Probably need more coffee too come to think of it. Four days is longest been without power. Mess we have may not be back on grid soon. Ham radio station tested. Thus far all systems go waiting on zombies to test the defense part.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
My home station is not near quality of work station. Follow links to my original work station and antennas. These are old as its pre D-Star, Rigblaster Duo and USB equipped radios. If wander my site is really dyslexic. Due to posting lots of pics and content, had a large number of people stealing content and selling it. Found three companies selling t shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads and even magazines using content from my site. Ripped 500 pages out, all the new stuff basically and left low resolution and not taken time to.fix.

http://www.crowderinc.com/hamradio_aa4bashack01.htm

http://www.crowderinc.com/hamradio_aa4batower01.htm

At home I have a Kenwood HF rig, Yaesu dual band, Icom 706mk2g for all band, and Icom Dual band D Star. Have a G5RV dipole and a 43' random wire vertical for HF. Have two diamond two section (don't remember model numbers) for VHF and UHF. Been meaning to stack out a tower but broke back and neck before got to it. Tower is laying at work with all antennas but all the people I installed their antennas for free magically got busy when needed help with mine. Still have people upset because don't bring bucket truck to fix their stuff for free.
 

L Haney

Seriously Ponderin'
Silver Contributor
FALaholic #
20446
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Posts
17,163
Location
NW Ga
Feedback: 7 / 0 / 0
Tower is laying at work with all antennas but all the people I installed their antennas for free magically got busy when needed help with mine. Still have people upset because don't bring bucket truck to fix their stuff for free.
Funny how that works, ain't it.

I used to climb. Didn't stack towers, just bolted on antennas and ran the hardline. This when I worked for Motorola C&E. Made some lovely cash on the side replacing lights up high.

Then I got too old to spend six hours aloft. Started to hurt too much.

I like Kenwood radios. Ones I've been in the guts of were overbuilt. Lovely stuff. I don't have any experience under the hood with ICOM or <cite class="_Rm"></cite>Yeasu.

Do you have anything you ain't using for sale?
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
Here is view of back yard. NWS nor local weather gave any significant warnings of winter weather for us. They missed this big time. Atlanta is clear, hour north is whacked. May not get power back today from what they said at the EMA. Luckily GEMA and local EMA keep ham radio spotters in the loop.

[/IMG]

As to radios have been selling a few. Actually advertised here first and not a single nibble so ebayed half a dozen extras lately. Didn't need six HF rigs or five D Stars, etc. About down to what I want to keep but have a stack of Motorola UHF radios programmable into public safety and ham bands.
 

L Haney

Seriously Ponderin'
Silver Contributor
FALaholic #
20446
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Posts
17,163
Location
NW Ga
Feedback: 7 / 0 / 0
About down to what I want to keep but have a stack of Motorola UHF radios programmable into public safety and ham bands.
Got access to UHF stuff for free from the shop I used to work at. Public Safety orgs transitioned to trunked digital. 25 million local option tax paid for it. They went Harris radios.

Just looking for SSB HF stuff with maybe a general coverage AM receiver built in. Hundred watt, solid state finals.
 

hueyville

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
74557
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
9,379
Location
Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Feedback: 69 / 0 / 0
Down to four HF rigs not counting my tube radio. Will always keep one tube radio and amp with spare tubes and capacitors. If the big EMP hits us analog types will emerge from the ashes.

Announcement Hall County (where I live) still 80% of customers with no power14 hours after onset. No significant icing was predicted for us. I hit grocery, topped tanks all three trucks, brought spare work generator home so had triple redundant backups. If wholehouse goes out will look like construction zone with drop cords running every which way but HVAC, freezers and television would be operable. As is, can't turn stove and oven on same time as not quite enough amp headroom with coffee maker, HVAC and other stuff on. Could shut down one or two items but who needs to bake in oven and cook on range same time if compromises coffee or DVD...

Edit:
When installed whole house generator had gas range, smaller HVAC unit and less square footage. Figured 10,000 watt (1.2 Kw peak) generator was more than enough to run all home devices. Few years ago gas range started flaking out so due to finances (nice gas range costs a new rear end) pulled some wire and swapped to electric. This is first storm of significance since addition of both upgraded and upsized HVAC and electric range. So while all critical systems are working fine, if HVAC cycles while trying to run oven then generator goes into overload protection. Now I either have to shut down HVAC to cook two or three course meal or run HVAC and cook in microwave, single element of range or Coleman propane stove.

When installed generator calculated needs including peak start up amps of devices installed plus some headroom. Did not figure swapping range to electric and the new HVAC system. I am the freak the always says to do the math and add 25%. Thats what I did but 15 years of upgrades and additional equipment exceeded my built in overhead. Would have added about $300 to step up to 12,500 or $600 to 15,000 watt unit at time. So now I swap range back to gas or buy bigger generator. Don't learn this lesson like I am now. Upsize 50% as power demands on a home usually increase, especially if do any additions (did that too)

Adding another generator is hard to match phases unless split panels which is a different pain. Thus bigger generator or new gas range and realize even doing that, generator is maxed. Don't like that. So now to research cost of upsizing to a a 1.5 Kw unit.
 
Last edited:
Top