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Author Topic: odd generator mistake  (Read 16391 times)
eabadger
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« on: July 10, 2016, 04:01:01 PM »

hello, back after a long absence, due to work, building a home and illness.
whilst in hospital the new victron multiplus inverter stopped working the homemade water heater stopped working and the generator sprung an oil leak, so back at home i had to get to work sharpish.

Victron took a while to sort and then to realize what and why, i had it two weeks before i was taken ill, i had set it up using the usb dongle and that was that, whilst away the unit tripped, my son went and switched off and then on again, nothing, anyway i disconected the batteries and everything and back on it came, emailed victron and they suggested high battery voltage, two weeks later did same thing again, i noticed i had left usb dongle plugged in, unplugged and it started fine, tested and found the unit will not come on if usb dongle is plugged in but not connected to a pc, i emailed victron and they said this was normal, i found cutting wire 7 in the utp lead allows you to leave converter in.

diesel water heating is a modified ebersparcher and the glow plug had carboned up and was shorting out, quick fix.

the generator, well that is a petter ac1 and is in need of an overhaul, but weather not too good, we have used more diesel this year than last by about 33%% we are now in the big house so cant compare eggs with eggs.
so with weather bad and CHP unit still not ready to be installed (not built the extension it will live yet) i looked for a cheep generator to cover overhaul of petter, found a 10KVA diesel generator for 250 bargain i thought, 3 phase but no issue, i can run house/charger off one phase and water heater off another, sorted.
no, when i got it back home i discovered it is three phase 127v 220v. so 220v is made of two phases and no neutral, set is wired wye so need to convert to zigzg, but only 4 leads exit the alternator.
i then noticed the original avr was missing, so how was excitation occurring? turns out someone in the past had got excitation voltage from starter battery, lucky for him 12 - 14 volts gives 220v across phase.
i have fitted a universal avr across phase and get rock steady 220v, now i think what if i fit sense wires from neutral to phase, what will be the effects of running exciter with maybe double voltage? measured current and volts out of avr and very low, with no load 8v with load 13v current nominal about .25a, avr is up to 95v 20a.

what do you think, run a split phase with to "hot legs" or try upping excitor voltage, or give up?

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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
biff
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 05:25:05 PM »

Ah Ha ! Eabager,
              You just dropped in at the right time, There was me speaking wily words of wisdom to pdf27 and he had the audacity to tell me he thrives on stress. Then you came along and made it all sound right, Just to quote you,,,
         " Hello, Back after a long absence, due to work,, building a home and illness"...........In that order, And he has a new baby and a toddler.. garden.
   Anyhow, I must tell you that i have a multiple of a multitude of generator experience  and,,and ,, it is all bad, even today less than one hour ago, i came to the conclusion that i might have cocked up 3 generators,,2 x 5kw silent running ones and a 5kw open framed one.. it was really easy you see, The engines on 2 of them were perfect and a alt one one was perfect..Right.
 So,,I decided to swop things around,, I am positive that the shed is haunted by slanty eyes Chinese ghosts who are giggling in high voices..
 So about an hours ago I realised that not only do the parts not fit one another,  but now,I cannot remember what part belong to what machine,,
 You ask,,"What do you think, Split and run, Hot leg it, or stay and get excited in the upper legs  ,,or give up.."?
   Well don,t give up because if I knew half as much about the lark as you do, I would have stayed well away from Chinese generators in the first place.
  Don,t give up and let us know how you get on, I don,t want to suffer on my own, Cry
                                                                       Biff

 
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eabadger
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 06:16:44 PM »

i forgot to mention the 4 kids one of whom is a moody teenager.
house build has been biggest thing, 4 years in two mobile homes is no joke.
not sure next step with new to me generator, great beast of a thing, should have researched first, put it down to still recuperating, or just a bit daft.
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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
biff
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2016, 07:16:19 PM »

 Well everything and everything is different, same alts have different cones joining the geni shaft to the crankshaft,,then 10mm of difference in the length of the big centre bolt. Then some have brushes and some don,t and to get it to fit, i have to put a rotar with brush slip rings into a winding that had none before,,errrrrrr,,well  errr  a waste of time one might say, but,,I get a chance to study the little dog as she settles in and she is doing quite well,,It is a good job i am not trying to make a living at this lark or i would starve to death.








  Can we help,?




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Tombo
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2016, 05:24:21 AM »

eabadger, sorry to hear your tale of woe.  The generator/mobile home/self build I have done, got the scars.
 I have a lister / petter little air cooled gen set 1500rpm designed to power road works and  traffic lights in the 1970's.  It was configured as four phase 120V (two outlets).  I managed to reconfigure it to be 240v, but I didn't do it correctly as I ended up with 60V between neutral and earth.  I wasn't worried about this as I was only using it to power tools, but it would be a problem for sophisticated electronics (& HSE).   I know what is wrong with it, but I can't get to the connections I need to change without  damaging the generator, so I am happy to live with it, rather than risk turning it in to a boat anchor.
Just worth looking out for the trap, if you do go ahead.
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camillitech
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2016, 08:31:57 AM »

eabadger, sorry to hear your tale of woe.  The generator/mobile home/self build I have done, got the scars.
 I have a lister / petter little air cooled gen set 1500rpm designed to power road works and  traffic lights in the 1970's.  It was configured as four phase 120V (two outlets).  I managed to reconfigure it to be 240v, but I didn't do it correctly as I ended up with 60V between neutral and earth.  I wasn't worried about this as I was only using it to power tools, but it would be a problem for sophisticated electronics (& HSE).   I know what is wrong with it, but I can't get to the connections I need to change without  damaging the generator, so I am happy to live with it, rather than risk turning it in to a boat anchor.
Just worth looking out for the trap, if you do go ahead.

Hi Tombo,

have you tried just running it through a 110/230V transformer backwards? I had one of those in my very early 'off grid' days, ran all weekend on a tank full. That's what I did, I guess it wasn't very efficient and the lights certainly flickered but it did seem to work. No idea if it was 'safe' and I never put a meter any where near it, twas the early eighties, I was young and thought I was indestructible  Grin
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 8kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
eabadger
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2016, 09:40:41 AM »

Biff,
those Kippor (chinky random factory) generators, i had some brand new when we first came out here off grid, they were super cheep at the time, 550 i think ex vat, first one caught on fire as low voltage starting wire fell in to metal cooling fan as the crppy zip tie fell off, the second through a balancing shaft out the side of the block, i got  a bit disillusioned then with them, they also seem to be fractionally different, the threads were not very good, and i didnt think very silent.

the pain, i cut my finger, a scratch, something we all do all the time i am sure, rushed back to the UK for work, had to go up to glasgow for a week were it snowed and was not pleasant working outside, job overran and i stayed to chaperone the software engineer,last day i tried to bump my next job which was in Brighton, office said no, so i had to leave Glasgow at 10am get to Brighton about 10pm and start work! long drive home next day (400 miles or so) next week felt tiered but could you blame me? turned out the scratch had been a source of entry for an infection that went to my leg, couldn't walk for 4 weeks in hospital for two! now on crutches and still feel tiered, but i do where gloves all the time when working now, hands have never been so clean.

those traffic light generators were great, they are probably wired star/wye, if you find the neutral point and earth it to a rod all should be fine, the two leg 1f 110v would give you less than 220v unless you crank up the rpm and then the Hz would change.
an old site transformer running backwards would work but you would have no neutral just like my problem now, i get two hot legs, 127v 0v 127v, i can unbond the earth to neutral, the victron can do this automatically, so whilst on generator the mains "floats" again i would earth the neutral point of the star/wye on the generator.

but has anyone ever tried upping the excitation voltage?
so currently i sense the voltage over two phases, the avr then produces dc to excite the field and keep the sensed voltage accurate, if i connect the sense wires from the star neutral point to one phase the avr will produce more dc voltage to the field coils, what will happen? anyone got a clue real world?

will get pictures of the beast later, it left the french army with a peugeot 203 petrol engine, it now has a renault trafic diesel engine, is mount to a trailer with the hitch so high i cant tow it, will remedy that later.
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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
Fionn
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2016, 10:10:06 AM »

Upping the excitation voltage / current will do the trick.
People do it all the time on car alternators to convert 12V ones to 24V etc.
On some models it can be as simple as swapping the regulator over from the 24V one.
The only thing to watch out for is that if the windings were designed for 110V 3ph operation, the insulation will not have been specified for 220V operation.
In practice it should be fine (220V isn't that high) but there's always a risk of letting the smoke out - or worse!

The 110V-220V transformers in reverse is not to be recommended.
The earth connection on the 110V output of the generator can't be connected to the neutral as the 110V side of the transformer has a centre tapped earth.
They're designed for normal operation where an earth to phase (live or neutral) gives a maximum voltage of 55V - around the accepted limit for avoiding a fatal shock.

Tombos experience with 60V between neutral and earth on his generator output is interesting.
It suggests that there may be a mid point tapping available on the generator for you to use as earth on the transformer 110V side.
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biff
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2016, 10:33:53 AM »

This is getting to be an interesting thread,
                                Especially for me, Grin. The generators in question, the dismantled ones were not going anywhere in their "out of order" state, Despite getting a few books on how to correct faults,etc, It was only when I stripped down the Alts and the wiring back to the dash that I began to understand how they worked. The differences between the brush and the brushless models.
 The AVRs and the AVRs with the internal rectifiers.I just tracked all the wires back to the dash and wrote down all their purposes.
 The connect cones are a very clever idea but sadly,they seem to be all different, so it is practically impossible to fit one alt straight onto another engine unless you transfer the rotar as well.
 I opened a thread on a 120dc Battery charger, The engine (a yanmar clone like them all) also had a coned connection but I bought blank pulleys and had them machined to fit the cone, 4 pulleys in all ranging from 50mm to 85mm. They can be changed in seconds so they have their advantages.
 Anyhow, thank you all for your comments and I apologise eabadger for apparently kidnapping your thread.
 I will wear my gloves from now on, Mrs Biff always keep me well stocked with decent ones so i have no excuse.
 I wish you steady recovery,
 Thank you all for your helpfull posts, I might still win a generator out of this yet.
                                                     Biff
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eabadger
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 12:44:09 PM »

biff, i got a brand new 5kva alternator off ebay for about 200, a mecca alta one so pretty good.

the center earth tap is pretty much what i am suggesting, it is same as they use in the US.
i am going to try the excitation increase this afternoon.
the alternator is massive, i hope the insulation is ok, after 63 years......


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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2016, 12:56:38 PM »

DC  charging  , is still my advice ,  it can be a lot of stress for a AC generator connected to an Inverter charger  , like the Victron  or Sunny Island

I decided to  reduce  runninghours and  setpoints of the Inverter/charger ( 2 Victron Multi plus 3000 )  and get more PV and reduce loads in the house , by getting other computer , and other TV


It feels kind of funny that the cheapeast  honda clone petrol Generator for 350 Euro last now  longer then the others..... , but only running a few hours each year ....

« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 01:00:07 PM by billi » Logged

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eabadger
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 01:17:53 PM »

i was dc charging but found issues with that, failed brushes and comm.
also if inverter fails no back up, with ac i can feed house and charge.
tv changed netbooks all low power, but XBOX rrrrrrrrrrr.....
last year generator heating and digger and dumper and diesel whacker used only 1000lts or red diesel in total, i think 600 for all that not bad
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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
biff
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2016, 03:26:07 PM »


  It don,t look good. I am going nowhere fast.
  I had a friend years ago, who used to give me a hand swopping over engines, He was very fond of mechanicing, In fact,,give him a spanner and he would try loose the legs of a stool.
  I used to put everything carefully in a box, labelled and coded in such a way that i could put it all back together again or  know what it was for. That did annoy him,
  "Never will be needed" he would say and only now do I realise that he was 99% right, Still there were the odd victories..
 So I am off down to the shed for round 12, the final round. I have no other ideas left in the box.
  The engines are good,(2 of them) the looms are good and pretty understandable but the differences in the mechanical connections scupper the lot.
             Biff
  There is even a remote control starting and stopping system in that box Cry
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eabadger
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2016, 03:31:39 PM »

i built a remote start in to one of mine and sold it with it on, does it look like from factory?
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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
biff
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2016, 09:53:57 PM »

 It is factory,
              That pale coloured box with the solenoid under neath it on the left. It had a white mini fob50mm x 30mm x 10mm  a black button B and a red button A. It worked really well until the oil started weeping out of the engine head gasket.. I pulled it apart and tightened down the head. At least the alt is good even if it don,t fit anything else.  hysteria.
  Change of plan now, I have a Lister Startomatic Alt a 2.5kw which is next out in the middle of the floor. The starter is in the windings and i am thinking of hitching one of those Yanmar Clones to it,  Something has got to work but the Lister Alt is dead dead weight. It belongs to a CS.
           It is not a bad idea.
           Biff
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