C223 as a backup generator

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C223 as a backup generator

Postby Pele » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:40 pm

So I have this idea to use a C223 engine from a Diesel P'up truck or old Trooper as a backup generator for a house in a remote location... Simply get a gen head and put it where the transmission would go... Then stick the throttle at 1800 or 3600 RPM dependent on the type of generator being used.

Simple setup. Parts are available. Reliable. I don't see too many downsides to a setup like this.

I'd wanna be able to start it in the event of a dead battery. In a vehicle, I'd just push start. In this setup I don't have the luxury.

Ideas?
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Postby GreasyJack » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:13 pm

Another battery is just about the only thing that'll work. I presume you'll need a car to get up to this remote cabin? Maybe you could run some cables outside to provide for ease of jumping the generator with your car.

Years ago I worked a summer at a building that had a variety of generators in the basement. There were a couple of the very large diesel variety, but then there was also one pretty old-looking small four-cylinder gasoline powered one (which I guess was the back up to the back up) that had an electric start from a 12v battery (which was always on a trickle charger) but also a lawn-mower style pull-start. I asked the maintenance guy about it once, and he said that he had only tried starting it that way once and even that ancient low-compression engine was pretty tough to get started. I can't imagine it would be easy or even possible on a diesel, especially since if you've got a dead battery, you've got no glow plugs.
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Last edited by GreasyJack on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tad » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:20 pm

The only issue is that you'll need to find a belt-driven governor. I had a Mercedes 5-cyl turbo-diesel engine that I had hoped to do the same thing with. I ended up finding a diesel genset (with a parts genset) on ebay for less than the governor would have run me.

Good idea though!

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Postby Van » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:17 pm

As mentioned by GreasyJack, if you can get a vehicle within a short distance of the other battery, then it shouldn't be any problem with a jump start.

If not, you could always use a solar charger to keep it at peak charge...
http://store.altenergystore.com/Portable-Power/c523/
... or get a portable power pack to jump start the battery (also on the same page).

Make sure you start off with a new battery with the proper specs for the worst temps you expect.

HTH
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Postby Pele » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:02 am

Yeah...

I had a few other ideas.

1.) Air start, like a semi truck... (Many semis have an air motor instead of an electric starter motor... They use the air brake system as an air source and store air in tanks. The starter sounds like a fawking HUGE impact wrench.) Build up air with bicycle pump.

2.) Use a come-a-long to compress a car spring. Use the car spring to push a rack gear against the flywheel or a cable wound around the main pulley.

3.) Use a geartrain to spin up a large flywheel. Once flywheel is at the right RPM, clutch it into the engine.

But since glow plugs are needed, I guess battery is the only way.
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