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Old 11-23-2014, 07:09 PM #1
Dirtyion
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Lawnmower generator Project

I think this is the closest pbn forum for this so....

I want to build myself gas powered generator to power a forced hot air furnace and possibly some lighting so the winter doesn't suck so much if we get a bad power outage.

I looked over a few projects out there and i see alot of people running a lawn motor engine to an alternator with a car battery and then to an inverter.

I like to make things, and would be using used parts to keep things on the cheaper side.

Has anyone here done this and what was your experience? I have an expensive trane 97% efficient furnace i'm running in my house and really don't wanna fry any of the electronics in there.

Recommendations?
I definitely do not want to buy a store bought generator too.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:19 PM #2
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Why did you post this on PBN at all?

Recommendation is to buy a real generator. It will be more efficient than what you're building, it'll last longer than what you're building and by the time you're done it may not even cost more than what you're building.

If you plan to just do it as a project and like to fiddle with things that is well and good but your best bet really would be to buy a cheap generator
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:07 PM #3
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I understand the drive and desire to do something just because...but if you're actually going to use this to power your home, when there's no electricity, it seems like too much work for the return. I've tried to buit a few generators to run off a tractor pto and, in the end, they're just not reliable. You'll end up screwing around with it just trying to get it to work correctly when you need it most. Just my 2 cents...But good luck.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:11 PM #4
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I'd be worried about frying those fancy electronics. Generating the electricity isn't the problem, keeping it within that 110-130v and 60Hz range is the real PITA.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:19 PM #5
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i'm literally doing this for the hell of it lol. as far as keeping the voltage from spiking i'm thinking of fusing it and putting on some kind of voltage limiter so it would not spike above 120 v
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:23 PM #6
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if it would be to sketchy to hook it up to fancy stuff and i wouldnt hook it up directly to the house or furnace. I would use it auxiliary purposes like lighting, space heaters and things i wouldn't care bout as much.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:26 PM #7
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Are you looking to power things directly or are you looking to charge a battery bank and then draw power off of those once they're (mostly) charged and the mower is turned off?
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:34 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtyion View Post
i'm literally doing this for the hell of it lol. as far as keeping the voltage from spiking i'm thinking of fusing it and putting on some kind of voltage limiter so it would not spike above 120 v
Phase my dear boy and some kind of voltage limiter doesn't sound like you've put much thought into this.

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if it would be to sketchy to hook it up to fancy stuff and i wouldnt hook it up directly to the house or furnace. I would use it auxiliary purposes like lighting, space heaters and things i wouldn't care bout as much.
Why not get a cheap generator or batteries and an inverter?
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:16 PM #9
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Are you looking to power things directly or are you looking to charge a battery bank and then draw power off of those once they're (mostly) charged and the mower is turned off?
i would like to do a bank system so i'm not constantly running the motor.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:21 AM #10
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I don't think running a furnace on a crude battery system with an inverter is a good idea, regardless of what's charging said batteries.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:38 AM #11
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I hope PBN isn't your first place to go to ask this lol.

Powering a house furnace + lights would be way more than I think a lawnmower motor would be able to handle. A battery system is $$$$, so you might as well do it right if you're going to do it that way or you might kill the battery or even worse some home electronics. I think it would be way easier to have some switch so you can disconnect your furnace temporarily then use an inverter to power your furnace directly from the generator or a battery system precharged (unless your furnace uses a crazy amount of power). Running lights from an alternator (or hell even a magneto) is easiest though since you don't have to use the inverter.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:08 AM #12
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You would need a decent sized battery bank to run the furnace for any decent amount of time. The main concern is going to be the inverter as that's what will be controlling output voltage and hertz. The only thing you need to remember is that when your inverting your amperage draw on the batteries is ten times the ac load is. For example: If you have a household furnace that draws 6 amps ac, when inverting, Will draw 60amp hours out of the batteries per hour. The higher capacity batteries tend to be 6v deep cycle batteries. Usually north of 200 amp hours. So if the batteries are fully charging and you want to run the furnace, You would get just over 3 hours use out of those batteries assuming it's running constantly without a charge being put back in to the batteries.

The other concern would be a transfer switch. Which will keep 110 from being distributed back through the house when inverting. That can be deadly

I've installed a few solar/inverter systems.
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